Kodak Zi6

Presumably pronounced ‘Zix’? Anyway, Kodak have a new camera coming out that’s making noises (more)(more) along the lines of it being a potential Flip-killer.

My worries:

  • No mic jack. Again. Gaaah. Wired lapel mics are less than £35 and allow you to shoot basically anything. Strap ’em to a broom handle to make a cheapskate boom mic – background noise rejection and wind handling suck but everything else rocks. Without a mic jack you can shoot a single-person midshot only; anything else and the audio is pot luck.

  • Shooting from the hip is often more pleasing than shooting from eye level. The Flip’s handling and vertical view angle preclude this. Looks like the Zi6 might have the same problems. Drat.

But here’s the biggie:

  • low light performance?

The Flip excels here; my otherwise-brilliant Canon FS100 sucks in poor light. 720p from a device as small as the Zi6 implies very little sensor area per pixel, which in turn suggests rubbish low-light performance.

The genius of the Flip Ultra is surprisingly subtle. It doesn’t do anything brilliantly – it’s that it does things ‘well enough’, in a wide enough range of circumstances, that you don’t notice it and just get on and shoot video. The ‘wide range of circumstances’ includes, critically, low light conditions.

At the moment the only review of the Zi6 I can find is this largely content-free post at Crunchgear which says the quality is ‘pretty good.’ What does that mean? I’ve no idea.

I guess we’ll have to wait for Andy Ihnatko to review his unit, when it arrives.

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