The world of video has gone HD. While the improved image quality is a very good thing, what’s not so good are the prices for HD camcorders, which hover near $1,000.
So when you first hear that you can buy Kodak’s Zi6 HD mini camcorder () for just $180, you’ll likely think that it’s too good to be true. (Pure Digital’s Flip Mino went HD too late for 2008 Eddy Award eligibility.) While it’s not the perfect camcorder, the Zi6 does indeed shoot good-looking video at 720p resolution—other miniature video cameras in this price range shoot only in standard definition.
The price isn’t the only thing about the Zi6 that’s small—the unit itself is pocket-size, so you can leave the camera bag at home and bring the Zi6 with you almost anywhere you might want to capture a moment. When it’s time to record, the Zi6 is easy to use. Videos are recorded in H.264 format, so you can copy then to your Mac over USB and watch the video using QuickTime, or import them into iMovie or Final Cut Pro for editing.
Available in black and pink, the Zi6 obviously doesn’t have all the features of a full-size HD camcorder. But its price makes high-def video possible for a lot more people.