Gear Update: Kodak Zi8

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Gear Update


Last year, I shared about a new Kodak Zi6 pocketcam that I was using as my main camcorder.  I have been extremely pleased with the camcorder and we have used it a lot over the past year.   But with the cheap price and small size, pocketcams all have some drawbacks. Typically the battery life and recording times are short.  Because of the small size, it is almost impossible to keep the video stabilized while filming.  So expect some shaky footage.   But the biggest drawback for filming footage for youth and church is the audio quality.  The first generation pocketcams did not have the capability to hook in an external mic.

Fast forward to today.  All the major makers have updated their camcorders.  Flip, Creative, and Kodak all have new models out, and all the other camcorder makers are quickly jumping in this growing market. I wanted to spotlight the newest model from Kodak, the Zi8.  Here are the new features

  • Record High Definition video (1080p at 30 fps with 16:9 aspect ratio)  The old Zi6 that I have only goes up to 720p resolution
  • Expandable SD/SDHC card slot up to 32 GB. The new SDHC cards are getting cheaper all the time
  • Rechargeable batteries and charger included.  It uses a battery pack now, but they have also added a DC port to power the unit continously.
  • Vibrant 2.5-inch viewfinder; Watch footage on HDTV with included HDMI cable
  • Get sharper videos and less blur thanks to built-in digital image stabilization.
  • But the biggest new feature is the external mic port.  This is HUGE!  You can hook up an external mono or stereo mic to record audio from a distance.  I have not been able to use my Zi6 for many of the church videos because of the poor sound quality. With this camcorder, you can use a lapel mic or boom mic to get the sound directly from the source.

And the price … currently it is $179 on Amazon.  I have been able to simply drop the footage into iMovie from my Zi6.  If you are looking for a cheap high quality camcorder, then you may want to check this one out.   You can find out more info about using this camera over at

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I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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