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24 Days of Gadgets - Day 12

December 14, 2009 - Dave Hecei
You may not believe me, but you can get decent video from a camcorder that costs less than $200. Last year Kodak introduced the Zi6, which could shoot 720p HD video. Adding to that success, the new Kodak Zi8 adds 1080p video along with some more advanced features.

There are other compact pocket video recorders out there, Flip Video, Creative, Sanyo, to name a few. While most of these only do 720p, some can shoot at 1080p full HD. Kodak adds some more advanced video features.

The biggest feature, to those serious about shooting quality video, is an external microphone input. Most compact camcorders and pocket cameras have tiny built-in microphones that will pickup sound, but it picks up everything, including noises from holding the camera.

The Zi8 is tall and skinny, like previous models – even the ones from Flip Video. It measures 2.4 by 4.5 inches and is only .9 inches thick. It weighs only 4.8 ounces, with the included Lithium Ion rechargeable battery pack. The Zi8 has a small flip-out USB cable connector, plus it also comes with an AC adapter. Also in the box is a strap, HDMI cable, AV cable, ArcSoft Media Impression software (Windows), and user guide.

Other features include: image stabilization, smart face tracking technology, 2.5-inch color LCD display, 6.3mm lens with 4x digital zoom, SD/SDHC card slot, macro mode, 5 megapixel still shooting, and is compatible with both Windows and Mac computer systems.

Street price for the Zi8 $150 to $180 and come in red, black, or blue.


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