Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Kodak Zi6 (low-end) HD camcorder

Our old camcorder stopped auto-focusing. And it doesn't have manual focus. It's kind of "Random Focus" now. Theoretically we could run around and change the distance to what we're recording to put things in focus (or yell to the kids "Run, fast, closer!"). But then it would react to that and refocus on something random ("No, stop, okay go way back! Go go!"). Kind of a Schrödinger's cat deal. Well, I'm not sure that's true. But still, that's a good Wikipedia page.

Anyway, even though we're not really buying anything, ever again (. I bought a refurbished Kodak Zi6. It's pink. I'm going to say it's Kelly's. Besides, I'm red/green color-blind and it doesn't look pink to me. Ha. It was $87 with shipping (from geeks.com on eBay) and has a one year warranty. I also paid $18 (at Amazon) for an 8GB class 6 (which here means "fast") SD card for $18. The camera came with two rechargeable AA batteries and so far works. It saves QuickTime .MOV files to an SD card and it's easy to get them into iPhoto and then iMovie.

The idea is the next time we go visit our families we can videotape us visiting or doing things. That are funny. Or nice. The camera doesn't do so well with motion. I guess that's how it is with < $100 HD camcorders... It does great in sunlight and with things that aren't moving quickly. iMovie '09 has image stabilization so you can process your videos and make 'em look less shaky. I'll see how that goes.

I just checked the firmware version on the camera. And it's an old version. Whoever refurbished this didn't update the firmware. That's okay, 'cause I LOVE updating software. Seriously. It's like you get a better product for free. So I'm updating from 1.01 to 1.11. Wish me luck.

Update The 8GB Class 6 SD card arrived. I took some test video with it and it seems much smoother than what I shot before. I think the 2GB SD card I used from my cell phone was probably fragmented AND slow. So I'm a little more optimistic. With that said... the audio is crappy. It's got a high pitched hiss. I'm going to chat with Kodak online now...

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