Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Media Pocket Tool Rated Best Under $200

Kodak Zi6 pocket video camera - Lots of people love the Flip video camera for its smallness and ease-of-use but Kodak looks like they may one-up the Flip with the Zi6. The real attraction of the slightly more expensive Zi6 is that it shoots in 16x9 HD at 720p. Image Credit: Kodak

New Media Pocket Tool Rated Best Under $200

If video posting used to tell a story is the way one likes to do New Media communications, then this review about the Kodak Zi6 from may be of interest to you. staffers provided their findings on a handful of camcorders that you can take home for less than 200 bucks. Each reviewer provided a brief introduction about the camera, what they liked and didn't like as well as a final verdict on the product. One of the six cameras in their test drive was Kodak's cool Zi6 Pocket Video Camera.So what was's final verdict on the Zi6?

"After testing out the camcorder for a couple weeks, we recommend it as an excellent alternative to the much-hyped Flip, especially if you're looking for HD capability. Actually, size aside, it's quite simply the best of the bunch."

Become an instant celebrity or paparazzo! This sleek pocketable design is built for easy video—there is no lens cap, no dials to turn, or settings to set. Just turn it on and hit record to capture the action, adventure, and all the juicy details in stunning HD! Make your cinematic debut on any HDTV. Or just pop the USB in the nearest PC and you’re ready to share the fun on YouTube™. Image Credit: Kodak

This excerpted and edited from -

Best Camcorders Under $200
by Thomas Houston, posted Sep 8th 2008 at 6:02AM

Kodak Zi6What It is:
Kodak's entry into the super affordable USB camcorder market,
the Zi6, comes with the ability to record high definition (HD) video (720p at 60 frames per second). As is standard for this new genre of camcorders, the controls and features are stripped down to the bare minimum, and it's incredibly easy to use, with just three controls. As for getting the footage onto your computer, you have two options. As on a digital camera, you could pop out the SD memory card and throw it into your computer's memory card slot or a card reader. Or, you can click the USB button on the front of the camcorder and a USB-equipped arm will pop out of the side of the case, which you can hook up directly to your computer's USB port.
What we like:
You're probably wondering how the HD footage in a sub-$200 camcorder looks. Well, although the video may not look as stunning as what you'll get out of a more expensive camcorder, it looks better than the output of the rest of its pocket-sized brethren. In our tests, the color range was well-rounded and bright, the color balance was accurate, and even filming high-speed action didn't result in too much noise.The Zi6 comes with a SDHC (a faster, larger version of the standard SD cards) drive that supports cards up to 32-gigabyte (GB) cards (compared to the 2-gigabyte capacity of most of these budget camcorders). We like the option for swappable memory -- it means we can pop in a new card whenever we've filled up the current one.
The camcorder uses two AA batteries, so you won't have to worry about lugging around a battery charger (note: it also comes with rechargeable Ni-MH AA batteries, if that's your thing).

3 mega-pixel still image from the Kodak Zi6 - Pictured is Monarch, a former show dog who reigns at Harmony Ridge Lodge, just north of Nevada City. Image Credit: James A. Martin

What we don't like:
The Zi6 comes with a disappointing 120MB of onboard memory, which is even worse when you consider the Zi6 doesn't come with an extra SDHC memory card. Fortunately, SD cards have dropped in price significantly over the past few years, but figure dropping down an extra $20-$30 for a 4-gigabyte SDHC card, and much more for anything approaching 32 gigabytes. It's hard to argue about size when camcorders are smaller than the size of your hand, but for something that is supposed to be pocket-sized, the Zi6 -- which is as big as an average digital point-and-shoot -- feels just a bit large.

Final verdict:
Size is a minor complaint, though, and we're impressed with the image quality, large and crisp 2.4-inch screen and easy-to-use interface. After testing out the camcorder for a couple weeks, we recommend it as an excellent alternative to the much-hyped Flip, especially if you're looking for HD capability. Actually, size aside, it's quite simply the best of the bunch. The Zi6 will run you around
$180 and is in stores now
Reference Here>>

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