The current crop of HD video cameras are great but I don’t know that I’d want to throw one into the bag I carry my journal around in — it would get trashed in relatively short order. While There’s always a small digital camera for grabbing pictures of things that I want to explore in one way or another later on or for capturing images of things that amuse me for some reason at that particular moment like the sign below.
Documenting your artwork is always a good thing and although I have access to several very good quality video cameras over the past few months I’ve been thinking about getting a pocket size video camera — something that could ride around in my bag and be pulled out at a moments notice and something I could blow off were it lost, stolen or damaged. I wasn’t concerned with super high-def panoramic cinematic excellence , I was more interested in capturing the moment. The Flip series of cameras seemed like the logical choice but as I did some research, I stumbled across the Kodak Zi8 which is a direct competitor to the Flips — in the end I chose it over the Flip for three reasons.
First, the thing I hate about most about these types of cameras is the crappy audio quality; above all the the external microphone jack is what sold me on the Zi8. With it, I can plug a good microphone in and get excellent audio. The second feature of the Zi8 that appealed to me was the ability to use an SD card and a replaceable battery — If I get to the end of the road with storage or juice, a quick swap gets me going again. The third and final factor was video quality, my personal preference in side-by-side comparisons was the Zi8. The day that I chose to see how much it cost on Amazon was the closer, by chance it was $30.00 off that day which made it a $150.00 investment.
Even though I got it around the holidays I didn’t actually have time to tinker with it until I was at PLAY and my goal in using it at PLAY was to see how fast I could throw together event documentation. To put the video below together I intentionally relied on iMovie and one of its default templates instead of the more robust video editors I have access to. While it may be cheesey, the total time to whack this thing together not including the 25 minutes it took to actually upload it to YouTube — about 35 minutes.
If you want to see more information about the Kodak Zi8, Amazon is a good place to start, click on the image below to get there: