Kodak has made a grab for YouTubers with its hi-def USB camcorder. Can it put the frighteners on the Flip?
While the Creative Vado, Flip Ultra and soon to be released Mino all have peerless YouTube credentials, they’re all missing one thing: hi-def recording.
That hasn’t escaped the attention of Kodak photowizards – they’ve waved their wands and produced a competitor with, you guessed it, the ability to record 720p video.
Just like the Creative Vado and the Flip, the Zi6 sports a super-simple interface and a flip-out USB plug for instant uploading, but can switch between VGA video, stills camera and a 30fps or 60fps HD video.
Shoot at 60fps and you can playback video in slo-mo, while fastforwarding and rewinding is available for all clips.
Hook it up to an HDTV or a bog standard telly with the included cables and you can bore your friends and family stupid with hours of home videos.
Well, you will if you buy an SD card, as the Zi6 has only 128MB of internal flash memory. That’s no big shakes as you can pick up an 8GB card for £15 these days and, with support high capacity SD cards, that’s potentially up to 32GB of shooting. The Flip’s 2GB suddenly looks a bit paltry.
But let’s not let the Zi6 get all hoity toity yet. Firstly, it’s far from pocketable – put it side by side with the Flip Mino and you’ll see just how chunky Kodak’s baby is.
As far as performance goes, it’s better than the Flip, but you can’t compare it to a regular HD camcorder. In lowlight conditions it struggles. A lot. And even in HD, there’s some jumpiness.
Picture not so perfect
Picture quality doesn’t really compare to standard HD camcorders. It still has that softness common to VGA cameras, but you’re able to play your videos fullscreen without losing detail.
Review continues after the break...
When it comes to uploading your vids, basic onboard software lets you browse, import and perform basic edits like cutting or setting them to music. There’s also one touch uploading to YouTube, although you’ll need an account first.
The Kodak Zi6 won’t win any beauty contests, having seemingly sprung from the design labs of early nineties phones. But its large screen, ease of use and decent video output is a significant improvement on the Flip and Vado’s efforts.
Kodak Zi6 review
Won’t fit in your pocket, but easily beats the Flip and Vado for video quality