Kodak Zi6 first impressions

June 30th, 2009

I’ve done a couple of tests on this ultra portable video camera, and I’d like to report them here.

First of all I was right in my previous post: the video is not high quality in poor lighting conditions.
The clips are quite fluid at 60fps, but there’s a lot of noise.
On the other hand, there’s a big jump in quality, when being outdoor in the sunshine: noise becomes very little and one may appreciate the 720p 60fps on a big screen (I tested the Zi6 on my 37” Samsung).
Zi6 snapshot 1 Zi6 snapshot 2 Zi6 snapshot 3
One thing that left me helpless is that my T5600 notebook can’t handle correctly the 60fps stream: VLC just shows a couple of still images every 2-3 seconds. All fine if you connect the Zi6 directly to the TV set.

I also wanted to use the macro switch on the lenses and it turned out that you have to be really close to stay on focus: so I just took a picture on a still object. It was something like 2cm close.
Zi6 macro image
It takes nice 2048×1536 (3Mpixel) images, but the sensor has still the same noise problems of the video function (it seems like it interpolates, as the picture is not very sharp)

My conclusion is that this is a very nice gadget, because has HD and 60fps, it’s really handy and portable, so that you can bring the Zi6 with you all the time and be ready to shot in a couple of seconds from extracting to being operational: you’ll never loose a face expression or a sudden event.
On the contrary, the Zi6 cannot be used as a professional video camera because of the noise and the poor quality in low light conditions, does not shows important information, like remaining recording time and space on the display and does not have advanced settings like shutter and color (white balance) adjustments and zoom lenses (only fixed focus).

Anyway, the price around 100-150 euros puts the Zi6 in a mid-low end user level and so, perfect for a pocket video camera!

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