Thursday, November 12, 2009

rockin' kodak zi8: 1st review

(When the Kodak zi8 ultralight camcorder came out earlier this fall, I decided to crowdsource some reviews of it under real working conditions -- but I told all my testers, professional communicators at universities all around the U.S., that they should feel free to take any kind of footage: at home, at work, at play.  I wanted them to test it under all sorts of conditions, and I got my wish with this review just in from Jim Barlow, who directs research communications at the University of Oregon.  Leave your questions in the comments!)

We had great anticipation of testing the Kodak, but our turn and the Kodak arrived the same time H1N1 and a nasty respiratory illness was slamming our campus. Two scheduled shoots had to be canceled due to staff illnesses. Another was nixed when the researcher involved was sick. And another project in which we were going to videotape artwork that a researcher studies was halted because of copyright issues on the out-of-country artwork involved. We had planned multiple uses including using an external microphone on a visiting molecular biologist at a busy event, but it was scuttled by operator illness. Ouch on the week.

That said, our senior director of communications took the Kodak to a multiple speakers forum. He set the camera for 60 frames per second in a room with lights on speakers with a dark background. Sound quality was OK. He did not like the zoom effect of going in stages rather than smoothly, and did not like the on-off beep--he thought it was distracting to those in the room, but realized later it can be turned off. Worst case scenario is that he had experienced operator error when it came time to retrieve what he thought would be a great usable segment video … he had turned it off instead of on, so he missed the scene.

So our office's plans got smashed.

However, my son, UO journalism student Andy Barlow, who is interested in becoming a music writer, took the Kodak with him to Portland to capture his friends for a video to use on his MySpace page and on YouTube involving the Eugene rock band "The Last." The band members are friends of my son. The event was a battle of the bands to determine which band would open in Portland for a more well known band. My son made a long video (15-minutes plus for his MySpace page and a more-edited version for YouTube):

Andy Barlow's "review:"
- Very easy to use. Just turn on and hit one button and it's recording.
- Easy to change modes. One button and you can change the quality, type and options for taking video or still images.
- 5 MP camera
- 1080 P HD video quality
- Good pickup of sounds while recording
- Built in USB connector
- Overall look and style of device
- Easy to carry and fit in pocket

No cons with using camera.

Related posts:  Our Kodak zi8 test

Is the Kodak zi8 a video editor's dream?

Where's that Kodak zi8 camera?

Buy a Kodak zi8 camera

1 comment:

nintendo dsi r4 said...

This little gem arrived via UPS just last week, and I am extremely impressed with the combination of features, quality and performance