Kodak Zi6 is the latest entry in the point-and-shoot camcorder category. A 1/4.5-inch 1.6-megapixel CMOS sensor captures 1,280×720-pixel resolution video displays it on a 2.4-inch LCD screen. It also takes 3.1 MP stills. The 5.6-ounce device fits nicely in your pocket and is available in two colors, black and pink.
All the controls are underneath the LCD screen, which consists of a joystick and four membrane buttons. The membrane buttons serve different functions depending on the mode, (record or playback). On one side is a video/playback button and on the other a stop/delete button.
The Zi6 comes with two rechargeable AA nickel metal hydride batteries and a charger. You can substitute regular AAs in a pinch and the batteries are easily replaceable.
The 128MB onboard memory is virtually useless, especially since only 30MB is available for storage. So, SD and SDHC cards are going to be your primary storage. Too bad, Kodak didn’t throw one in for good will.
Windows-only ArcSoft MediaImpression software is included for downloading the files onto your computer, plus there is a shortcut for uploading directly to YouTube, in addition to some editing features that include trimming clips and adjusting contrast, color, and brightness.
The video quality was acceptable. While it was 720p resolution, it was a little soft and colors were not as vibrant as you might find on more full featured HD camcorders. You’ll want to keep the camera steady, and don’t pan too fast, because the autofocus feature is slow. The Zi6 performs best in sunlight or any well-lit environment. It shoots poorly in low light and the footage is too noisy and dark to be of much use. There is a threaded mount on the bottom of the camera, so you can attach a video light bracket. It’s also good for using a tripod.
I liked the ease and convenience of the Kodak Zi6. I could just pull it out of my pocket and shoot video at any time. While it’s not meant for any serious videography, it’s perfect for sharing special moments with friends and family, particularly via YouTube.