Kodak waited for all the cheap tinycams to take their best shot, and now it's swooped down with the Zi8, a 1080p pocket camcorder with face tracking and, get this, image stabilization. None of the other cheapo camcorders have such a thing. We're just wondering how well it can stabilize those shaky shots, especially at the undercutting price of $180.
That bargain-basement price smacks down the $230 (and 720p) Flip Mino HD and Creative Vado HD (also 720p) in one shot. Like the others, it can upload directly to YouTube, but this one adds Facebook uploads to the mix, too, and lets you record everything onto an SD card. And look at that clean styling, available in three cool colors, and sporting a bigger-than-the-others 2.5-inch LCD screen on the top half and just one button sitting in the middle.
We'll have to wait until the Zi8 is available next month to see if Kodak also nailed the main weakness of such tinycams: the audio. But then, the Zi8's external audio jack gives us a hint, implying that if we don't like the onboard mic, we can supply a higher-quality one of our own. Nice.
Press release here:
KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera brings sleek style and high-performance to pocket video
Easily shoot and share high-quality 1080p HD video
Rochester, NY, July 29, 2009 - Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) today announced an exciting new addition to its popular line of Digital Video Cameras - the KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera, featuring a sleek design, high-quality full 1080p High Definition video capture, and built-in electronic image stabilization.
"Images and video have tremendous power to help us stay connected to family and friends," says Phil Scott, Worldwide Director of Marketing, Digital Capture and Devices and Vice President, Consumer Digital Group. "The KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera makes it easy to spontaneously capture HD video - of heartwarming moments, of 'can you believe that?' moments, and of just plain laugh-out-loud moments - and then quickly and easily share them."
The slim and stylish KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera is designed to meet these needs at the touch of a button -- no lens cap, dials to turn or settings to adjust. The new camera's range of advanced features includes:
• Full HD 1080p video capture wherever you go;
• Built-in electronic image stabilization for sharper videos and reduced blurring;
• Vivid 2.5″ color LCD;
• Flexible swing-out USB arm for fast uploading, sharing, and charging;
• 5 MP 16:9 widescreen HD still pictures;
• Easy upload to Facebook and YouTube;
• Compatible with PC and Mac operating systems;
• Record up to 10 hours of HD video* with the expandable SD/SDHC card slot that can hold up to 32 GB;
• Capture family and friends in their best light with smart face tracking technology;
• See more details and accurate colors in low light;
• External microphone jack;
• In-box HDMI cable;
• Record from a distance or playback on your TV conveniently with optional KODAK Pocket Video remote control;
• Grab attention and define your style with the ultra compact design, stunning looks, and a range of colors.
Uploading to Facebook and YouTube
The KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera provides one-button upload to Facebook, the premiere social networking and sharing website. Content can also be quickly and easily uploaded to YouTube, the world's most popular online video community. The built-in software on the camera allows seamless upload of your video and pictures from the same desktop interface used for video editing and movie creation.
A range of accessories are available for the KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera, including:
• KODAK SDHC Memory Cards, available in 4, 8, and 16GB capacities customized for optimal video capture;
• KODAK Pocket Video Remote control;
• KODAK KLIC-7004 Lithium Ion batteries;
• KODAK Flexi-tripod;
• KODAK Adventure Mount for helmet, handlebars and more;
• KODAK cases, camera bags and neck straps.
Pricing and Availability
The KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera will be available in aqua, raspberry and black from September, 2009, and retail for US$179.95 MSRP.