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drramkishorehs Jun 11, 2010 11:53 PM

Why zi8 and not samsung hmx-u10.
Hey polderon,

I'll tell you,don't be in 2 minds,Just go for Kodak ZI8!
My friend owns a SAMSUNG HMX-U10 (I hate it). It records should be 1440x1080 resolution and not the full HD resolution of 1920x1080 of the Kodak ZI8.

My Kodak ZI8 records crisper and sharper videos (video bitrate is higher than Samsung HMX_U10) which is best among all the pocket HD camcoders.

But the video quality from Samsung HMX-U10 is awfull and especially very bad at low light situations. The primary purpose of any camcoder is to take great videos. Its sales over Amazon was very bad due to negative reviews. Stills too are not good and the higher resolution (10 MP) they claim is due to interpolation.

Dont expect optical image stabilisation in any of pocket Hd camcoders,if present the optics would make the cam very expensive.

Dont't just sacrifice many great features just for optical zoom. Optical zoom when present is space occupying and makes the camcoder larger-bulkier and the cam would no longer remain pocket HD. The battery life would also be reduced.

Regarding the features of the Kodak ZI8 that differentiates from its closest rivals like Flip Mino+Ultra HD,creative vado HD,Samsung HMX-U10,Sony Bloggie(lack most of these features) is,

1) Electronic image stabilisation-not as good as optical image stabilisation but will compensate for your handshakes to some extent.Something is allways better than nothing.
2) Macro Mode for very close stills/videos.
3) Full HD 1080p(1920x1080) + bundled,a free HDMI cable( $25) to go with it.
4) Expandable SDHC slot up to 32GB.
5) External Mic Jack.
6) Very simple user interface.
7) Hot design in 3 attractive colors.
8) Constant support from Kodak in form of firmware upgrades and this thread itself is a lively example for the popularity of the cam.(Kodak ZI8 full review series has every bit of information about the ZI8- thanks to fishy and its contributors.).
9) $179 at Amazon.
10) Better low light performance as Fishy told allready..

When you buy a SDHC card, buy Transcend class 6 16GB.

Most of these features were lacking in its closest rival the Flip Mino+Ultra HD.
When it comes to a winner among the Budget Pocket HD camcoders allmost all articles published over the net vote for KODAK ZI8 (Undisputed King).

I am just a very content and happy owner of the Kodak ZI8 and have no major complaints about it.

If you want to save some bucks go for the Kodak Playsport. It is basically a downgraded ZI8 which is compact and waterproof.

It lacks,

1) Macro mode.
2) External Mic.
3) Flip off USB port.

Its newly integrated features are,

1) Waterproofing upto 3 metres depth.
2) Rugged design,hence the durability is increased.(example in case of an accidental fall)
3) Just $149 at Amazon ($30 cheaper than ZI8)

Just check for Test video clips of both ZI8 and U10.Log in with a name and password and you should be able to download them.Now simultaneously play the 2 videos side by side with 2 different media players on you PC and compare it. See it for yourself and decide!

Wayne12 Jun 12, 2010 12:18 AM

My camera is a dud.
It seems to be very noisy, have strong fix pattern noise and crawling pixel binning/interpolation noise (I am yet to examine if this might be related to fly screening). Virtually everything is SD resolution because of the problems an blocking, unless you are outside in bright sunlight. It looks very horrible.

The daylight footage seems a bit too gleamy and sharpened, and color seems higher then I remember from other footage I have seen. Even near an open door inside there was heaps of noise. I am yet to examine things further, but I possibly saw more noise where it should not be for a sensor of this spec outside. When i went to bed last night I though I would have to recommend that they needed to improve low light ability ten times/24db, but maybe this needs to be 42db (meaning 100 times/42db actual). I have seen people use this brand o sensor on project cameras and not seen anything like this.

Latitude looks better than my HSHD, which has been faithfully malfunctioning as usual beside em as I try to download footage off the card I had in the zi8.

If this is the quality of footage that this camera is now producing, I don't at all recommend this for anybody that wants to shoot anything inside half descent.

This seems to be much worse then any footage I have seen posted before. I am currently downloading footage to compare on the computer, to see if the player configuration was the cause of the past footage looking better.

Wayne12 Jun 12, 2010 12:27 AM

Well, it seems that now my HSHD internal memory is faulty and lost all my comparison footage. It was reporting memory full before, but started shooting after some restarts, now it started reporting it was unformatted on the computer, then full, and now empty.

Wayne12 Jun 12, 2010 1:06 AM

OK, seems that media player classic, seems to be giving the best results. Have tested on the outside wall, and it has substantial noise. This is the sort of indoor performance I didn't buy the U10 because of. I can clearly see some of the dark vertical streak noise I saw on my LCD TV, so it is not the hdmi playback. I am looking at the clips now under magnification feature.

Is it my imagination, or does the macro mode have substantially less problems?

It doesn't seem right. I want to return it, but I don't know if this store will accept it back.

Wayne12 Jun 12, 2010 1:29 AM

Had a look at steves video clips, and they seem to have substantially less problems. I would be embarrassed to play my clips back on a large screen TV to people. I would have hoped an upgrade in sensor performance by now.

The pool scene still had blocking. Well, heres to 36mb/s H264.

I forgot, my camera has noticeable column noise in low light. We have noticed that some individual cameras get column noise. Wed have also noticed this across different cameras.

Wayne12 Jun 12, 2010 3:04 AM

Did any firmware upgrade reduce low light performance in full HD?
I would like to ask this before I return it, in case I can downgrade firmware to get better fullHD noise performance.

I notice the binning/interpolation of 720p+30 seems to hide the problems a bit.


Polderon Jun 12, 2010 6:11 AM

@ drramkishorehs THANK you for your complete answer, really detailed ;), like i wrote, i come from a zi8 and i loved it, i still have the aquapac 404 to bring it underwater :eek: and a wide lens kit (never used)... :(
I'd like to try a new camera, i was looking at the u20, these are 2 vids i like:
(this is the situation i have usually with my son (imagine a little man instead of the dog :D))
this is a nice feature i'd like to try :cool:

I hope that less pixels than u10 can give a better quality, in low light conditions zi8 didn't give me expected results... (backlight also not so good)...
I think i'll try u20 so i'll post my results.

@ Wayne12 THANK you too, and i'm sorry about your bad results... Whith my zi8 best results where in 720p 60 fps, with mine i never had "columns" but a low sensitive result (inside videos for example gave me dark video, darker zooming).

fishycomics Jun 12, 2010 6:26 AM

Oh yes we are entitled to our opinions positive, negetive, etc, etc.....

These are just some, of the video's I made, these are not Hd format, these are WMVHD converted to a Internet site called FLV /SWF. etc etc.

If they were orginal they would look just as good or even better. never saying they are good or are better , I said they would look just as good.

1. FW 1.01 orginal will not get you back to a perfect model,
2. FW 1.02 is non existant
3. FW 1.03 is a improved firmware in the orginal cam
3. FW. 1.04 is non existant
4. FW 1.05 is an improved firmware in the orginal cam
5. FW 1.06 is an improved firmware in the orginal cam

There are no New Generation Kodak zi8 released at all, and its not called the Playsport either.

The Kodak Zi8 is now considered discontinued its been a year or less from Aug 2009, and its been 7 months from Nov 2009 since a new Firmware release. and for that kodak has negleted , and given in, if you ask me.They concitrated on the Playsport, but hey, the same gives

Mar 2010 releas two weeks later a new firmware, and it's been 3 months pass.

Now you say Steves , Oct 2010 his review and never pointto his page ,and well uh , hmm they are the people LOL, but like I said thiscam has been out prior Aug 2009 not Nov. And even aired pror with no responses from any Author POOR business. or is it.

that is the Sites review above
That's their samples. and only their samples,a nd they will never be updated, they are 3 stills, while the cam only has 1 setting INTERPOLATION, and they have 6 videos 6 sec saverage.

I missed out on something. can you post a comment to that review?

never punning.

Now that I have said what I said, or whatever I said.

You cannot compare Apples to Oranges, butno one said you cannot decide what is best for you.

Well enough said that RED car is a older cam, the others are the kodaks, and yes as long aas I amable to capture video enough said


Wayne12 Jun 12, 2010 11:50 AM

Hardware revisions are often to internals of the chip, or circuit board, so you may not see, but may notice better performance. A producer could even downgrade performance if they wished. But I have made progress to problems.

I am sure the link to steves review is here in the thread (or on the site) and many people have seen it. Comment, not much I can remember, his footage turned out better.

Wayne12 Jun 12, 2010 12:35 PM

OK, I have made some progress, though the results are still very poor.

When you change from PAL to NTSC, everything gets a lot brighter, less noise, maybe more definition (looked that way in the 720p30 test, maybe it is using some sort of binning etc to over come the reduced performance,a s the shutter could even be at 120th a second). As I have suggested before, the 60/50hz is now tied in with PAL/NTSC selection. What probably happens is that the shutter drops to something like a 60th a second or less, to allow a frame timed in with the lighting, so brightness drops in half or more. But at night time I need the 50hz option as this is a florescent light economy (though the 60hz option handles it so many times better than my HSHD it is not funny).

The surprising things is when you turn the image stabilizer and and face detect off it gets brighter again (I did not try turning the features off separately, I'll leave that to you guys). But the odd thing is that there maybe less definition, it is hard to say (without detailed testing) as to why beats me. Often EIS takes up some pixels, and interpolation can be used to stretch the remaining pixels out, but there is left over pixels in 1080p anyway and I would have expected definition to get better.

Turn Pal on for a couple of stops darkness, and EIS and face detect on for another stop or so. So, I now have exposure control Fishy ;) .

WVGA has lots of crawl, and even this is far to noisy. Resolutions often have similar brightness, so obviously interpolation, but I would have expected WVGA to show less pixel crawl with interpolation. Brightness is more affected by PAL/NTSC and EIS/Face.

I did notice that the Pal option gives harder/darker interpolation on the details, and Ntsc less.

In 1080p the differences between PAL Ntsc and EIS/Face off are less and similar, maybe ntsc is slightly brighter then EIS/Face off now.

Well, guys any comments, anybody feel like checking it out.

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