Kodak Zi6 Pocket Video Camera - Kodak Zi6

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

As with other YouTube-oriented camcorders, the Zi6 is not exactly jam-packed with features. You won't be able to attach any external peripherals, as there is no accessory shoe (nor room for one), and no audio input either, although a tripod mount is available. There are no manual settings to worry about, either. The joystick on the back simply works the digital zoom and toggles between the recording modes. The photo mode is also found amongst these, offering 3-megapixel stills (using interpolation), equating to a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536.

However, like the video modes, there are absolutely no settings available other than the digital zoom - not even different quality levels. In fact, the only manual setting is the switch that swaps between tele and macro options, physically moving the lens. The macro mode works quite well, allowing focus on objects just a few centimetres away - handy for recording the antics of your local flea circus.

The Kodak's main differentiation with others in its class is therefore simply the HD video quality. Unfortunately, although it has plenty of detail on its side, the Zi6 tends to shoot very yellow footage in very bright conditions, which wasn't a problem with the Flip or Vado. It fares much better in more moderate, but otherwise decent lighting. So in everyday conditions its footage will be quite pleasing, and on average will achieve better results than its competitors.

In reasonable artificial illumination, the Zi6 also picks up decent colour. The level of grain is greater in HD60 mode, however, probably because the shutter is limited to a minimum of 1/60th in this mode, whereas it can drop to 1/30th when shooting 30 frames per second HD. In even worse light, the Zi6 produces quite dark footage, with some pronounced compression artefacts, but there is still a decent amount of colour information.

So, overall, if you're not a camcorder enthusiast you will probably be perfectly happy with the quality of the Zi6's footage. Its photography abilities, however, are marred by the lack of a flash. Results are acceptable in good light, but in low light the shutter speed is set so low it's virtually impossible to get a non-blurry shot - something with which iPhone users will surely sympathise.

Xiphias

October 18, 2008, 10:25 pm

That is surely not a 16:9 screen on there, when shooting in 720p do you get letterboxing or are the edges cut off?

James Morris

October 24, 2008, 3:35 pm

Good point. It's actually letterboxed when shooting HD, but not when taking photos or shooting in VGA mode.

William Murray

December 19, 2008, 11:25 pm

I have just bought this neat little camera and am very impressed with it. Not so I'm sorry to say with the Kodak or media impression helpsites. The main reason for getting this little camera was share holday videos and to be able to email them to my relatives in the States.Well, the camera functioned really well, but fire up the software and all I got was the message "Failed to transcode the video file" whenever I tried to set up an email. Probably the most annoying feature here is that I don't know what this means and no where on the helpsites can I find the answer. Oh yeah and Kodak's speak online to a specialist 24/7 is also a bit of a joke with 30 attempts so far with no luck. I don't suppose anyone out there can explain the above, looks like a frustrating Christma for me. PS I still like the camera

Kim Koch

March 30, 2009, 3:39 am

Hi. I would like to know about the quality of the still pictures with this camera. I have not found a camera with a quality video option so I thought I would go with a video camera with a still picture option and see if I get a better piece of equipment.

Toaster

April 19, 2009, 12:33 am

this camera takes 3mp still shots.


If you are looking to buy one in the uk, buy it at boots, as it is 䀊.67 there.

Grant

August 24, 2009, 1:42 am

I found the instruction manual with this camera to be worthless; I finally got help thru the Kodak Chat room; but, even then I finally gave up and am returning the camera.

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