Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flip vs Kodak Zi6 video cameras

Now that we've been using the Flip & the Kodak zi6 pocket video cameras here at my school for a while, I've collected some feedback.

Here are my findings:

Recording time

FLIP 60 mins at a time (then move to computer to begin again) No option for SD card.
KODAK Unlimited w/SD card. And you must have an SD card to record more than a few minutes.
Battery Life
FLIP Charges when plugged into computer. It seems to last a really long time.
KODAK Uses rechargeable OR standard alkaline batteries. Goes through them VERY fast. Keep a supply on hand.
FLIP Works in both formats. But the Flip is seamless with a PC. There are one or two more steps when using the video on a MAC – still easy though.
KODAK Works in both formats. It’s seamless in a MAC because it films directly in QuickTime. This makes it also seamless with PC, since most people have QuickTime on their PCs.
FLIP Has software that you can install or not install. It does have some basic editing features, but if you want more advanced features, you would probably want to import the video into another program & edit there. I usually just open the folder to view the videos & take them out to use where I want.
KODAK Has software that you can install or not. However, it claims to have some basic editing features, but I was unable to locate these features after installing the software. (perhaps you have to download from the software website or purchase something additional?) Again, I usually just open the folder & move the videos where I want them.
Ease of Use
FLIP Very easy. Just turn it on, hit record & go. The buttons are easy to see & easy to use. It was pretty intuitive without even reading the directions.
KODAK Very easy. Just turn it on, hit record & go. However, it did take a little reading of the directions to figure out the playback features. It wasn’t as intuitive. Plus, I’m not a fan of the toggle style button. With bigger fingers, that doesn’t seem like it would be as easy to use. I’m also a little curious about the location of the button that pops out the USB connection. It works, it’s just in a strange position.
Both cameras have a pop out USB connection, so you don’t have to worry about carrying around cables. Also, they both have cables to connect to a TV, if you should need to do that.
Quality of Video
The quality seems quite good on both cameras, particularly for our use here in school. Both models now have HD available. Both have acceptable sound quality.
They’re both so small – the difference is negligible. But the Flip is about an inch or two smaller.
I like both cameras. I’m glad I don’t have to pick between the two. If I had to, I would select based on the platform at my school. If you have mostly Mac users, the Kodak will please them more. If you have PC users, either will work and I like the Flip software better. It’s installs quicker and it’s easier to figure out, especially if you have staff members that don’t have a lot of time to learn something new.