Posted October 22nd, 2008 @ 01:44pm by Erik J. Barzeski
I've read quite a few reviews of the Kodak Zi6, and nearly two weeks ago, I bought one for myself. It arrived shortly thereafter and I'm impressed. I've never had a Flip - never even seen one in person - but the Zi6 does two things that I wanted that the Flip doesn't do: HD and 60 FPS.
While I don't have time for a full review, but I do have time to write a list of likes and dislikes.
- Includes rechargeable batteries - in AA form - and recharger.
- Movie format is H.264 and .mov - plays instantly and without any problems on my Macs.
- Form factor and feel is good: solid enough without being excessively large or heavy.
- Macro mode is nice and works pretty well.
- Near-instant on. You can be recording within three seconds of pulling the thing out of your pocket.
- 60 FPS! 720p!
- Speaker is adequate; microphone is adequate. I didn't notice any excessive noise picked up.
- The built-in tripod mount is a plus that I'll use eventually, though I think you'd have a hard time finding a camera without this port these days.
- SD card slot expansion. I've put a simple 1 GB card1 in and it records plenty of video.
- I have to flip back to "HD60" mode every time I turn the thing on. It should remember the mode in which I last recorded.
- I'd like an option to format the card to erase all content instead of deleting one by one (or remembering to delete everything when it's plugged into the computer).
- The USB plug doesn't fit on the front of my Mac because of a wall beside the computer. It doesn't fit in my keyboard USB ports. It won't fit in the USB port behind my monitor. I have but one place to plug it in: the top of my USB hub. Oh, and shame again on Apple for putting that notch in their keyboard extension USB cords.
- I would have preferred a toggle switch for on/off rather than the "slide/return" switch.
- Only 30 of the internal 128 MB is available for storage - the other 90 MB or so is occupied by Windows software I'll never use. Plus that wasted 90 MB partition appears every time you dock the darn thing.
Two sample videos: one showing macro mode2 and another showing my friend George swinging a 5-iron. I had rotated and saved the second video prior to uploading, but Vimeo doesn't appear to have picked that up…
Both were recorded at 720p and 60 FPS. For the latter, you might wish to download the original .mov file. The link is in the lower right. 60 FPS and 720p is great for golf swings.
In the end, though my list of dislikes is about as large as my list of likes, the likes are soooo much more important and the dislikes rather small in comparison. This camera's a huge win and a great upgrade over the 320 x 240 videos I've been shooting with my Canon SD 550.