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Kodak zi8 Pocket Video Camera Review

Updated on December 21, 2012

Best Handheld Camcorder to Capture Family Moments

Technology is amazing, but it also gets in the way. Let me explain.

Video cameras capture the coolest moments of family life like birthday parties and soccer games and graduation ceremonies. As the years pass, these snippets of everyday life become more precious.

But if you're like my family, there is always one thing (person) missing from the recordings of the family activities: the person operating the video camera.

That usually means either Mom or Dad. This designated family videographer captures the moments without being seen.

The Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera changes the scenario to allow the person behind the technology to be part of the action too. Not a bystander to their own family party.

5 Coolest Things About the Kodak Zi8 Camcorder

If you like simplicity and function, then you'll enjoy using this pocket video camera. After using a two-handed, high-tech, side-window view video camcorder, I prefer the easy elegance of the Kodak Zi8 .

1. Grab and Go -- It's basic design with a big button and big screen make it exceptionally easy for anyone to use. Just grab it in one hand, select the video mode, push the start button and record on the spot. Your thumb is the controller with no fidgeting of other fingers.

2. No Learning Curve -- There's nothing to study. It's as simple as picking it up and pointing in the right direction. Your thumb operates the control start/stop button and you just push up and down to move the the zoom. It more like a smart phone than a video.

3. Downloading Double Duty -- Taking videos is fun but making home movies takes work. The Kodak Zi8 gives you two options for downloading. Either use the built-in flexible rubber USB port to transfer to a computer or just take out the memory card and plug it in your machine.

4. HD Video Quality -- The images are sharp and the colors are popping. It's not a professional video camcorder, but for family outings and YouTube videos that focus on fun more than marketing, you'll be satisfied with the scenery.

5. Audio Excellence -- The Kodak Zi8 picks up sound loud and clear within a few feet of the video camera. Shooting interviews requires being up close and personal, but there's an option for an external microphone for even better quality.

The Slim and Simple Design of the Kodak Zi8

The most attractive feature of this pocket video camera is its slim design that makes it easy to carry and pull out to use in an instant.

Sometimes technology is overdone. Too many features and functions muddles the mind and prevents getting the best moments of your life. Or how many times does pulling out a high-tech video camcorder that seems invasive to the others. That's because the spontaneity is lost when the director starts to film the action.

Here are some other simple features that I like that make this one of the best handheld camcorders:

1. Soft Rubber Sides -- Despite the compact design, it's fairly easy to manipulate the rubber openings for the memory card, A/V hookups and USB plug in. The seals are tight and flush to help protect against rain and use during bad weather conditions.

2. Tripod Screw -- A simple extra that let's you use a tripod of any size to help steady the camcorder and keep a hands-free approach for interviews or when you might be alone with your thoughts or if you want the whole family in the picture.

3. Solid Not Heavy -- The mini video camera has some heft, but it is not heavy to hold or carry. It's not a lightweight toy that feels like it might break if you drop it. It's a solid piece of equipment that will last with proper care.

Big vs. Small Video Cameras

How Will You Use Your Pocket Video Camcorder?

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Kodak Pocket Camcorder Review - Listen to the Tech Geeks

Our Kodak zi8 Camcorder Homemade Video - Creative, Convenient and Cool

Here's the proof. I make videos for my Nature Escapes website to promote outdoor fun for families and anyone searching how to get out of the city.

We took a one-hour trek in the rainforest with a local guide to visit a small waterfall. I just kept the Kodak zi8 in my pocket and pulled it out to capture various parts of our walk. Even my son participated in the interviews and held the camcorder to interview me using only the built-in microphone.

My son and I edited the video at home using the basic Windows MovieMaker program and he found some free music online to use for the background. It only took us a few days and it turned out to be a great project for us to tackle together.

Now we look forward to the next video project.

Kodak Zi8 Compare Prices and Color Choices

Pricing on the Kodak Zi8 camcorder is a bit of a fishing expedition. In order to get the best price you'll need to decide what your preferences are for cost and color.

First it depends on New vs. Used prices. There are some substantial bargains at Amazon for used camcorders (as seen below). If you're fussy about color, then you might have to search around for availability of the raspberry and aqua styles.

What's Your Favorite Pocket Video Project? - Share Your Creative Ideas

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