Kodak unveils 1080p, image-stabilized HD pocket camcorder

Kodak has announced a new high-definition pocket camcorder, the Zi8, which captures video in 1080p HD. The Zi8's predecessors, the Zi6 ( ) and the weather-resistant Zx1, maxed out at 720p. Along with recording1080p HD video, the Zi8 can snap 5-megapixel still shots at a 16:9 aspect ratio. At $180, its price falls into the same range as earlier models.

The Zi8 has an HDMI-out port and a swing-out USB arm (like Pure Digital's Flip UltraHD [ ], a more expensive alternative) that enables users to upload files quickly. The Zi8 comes with only 128MB of internal memory, so you'll have to use the expansion slot for an SD/SDHC card to store most of the video. It's also the first pocket camcorder we've seen that has built-in image stabilization, which will certainly come in handy for recordings captured during high-speed unicycle chases.

Also worthy of note is its external microphone jack. The Zi8 comes in raspberry, aqua, and black. This newest addition to the Kodak camcorder family is to go on sale in September.

At a Glance
  • Pros

    • External microphone input
    • Image stabilization
    • Five shooting modes
    • Removable storage and battery

    Cons

    • Terrible zoom
    • Noisy microphone input
    • Low framerate from 1080p video
    • Image stabilization doesn't help much
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