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Weekly Video Tip: Zi8 Review

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By Stephen Schweickart

RISMEDIA, July 14, 2010—Those high-tech, palm size camcorders keep getting better and better. They’re relatively inexpensive, easy to use and perfect for showcasing your listings, your neighborhood, your satisfied clients and even yourself!

The Kodak Zi8 has become especially popular for a number of reasons. It not only shoots in high definition, but also sports a number of features that set it apart from the competition.

For starters, it’s one of the few mini-camcorders that allow you to use an external microphone, which is great for recording testimonials or interviews. You’ll also find an image stabilization feature that helps clear up the jitters if you can’t record using a tripod. Video quality is razor sharp and the 16 x 9 screen format is great for real estate applications.

The Zi8 also features a switchable macro option that allows you to film objects and capture fine details extremely close up. You may not need it every day, but it’s nice to know it’s there when you do.

Video is recorded on SD memory cards up to 32 gigabytes in size—enough to capture over 10 hours of action. Recording options range from 1080p high-definition to 720p standard definition at both 30 and 60 frames per second. The camera also features built-in editing and posting software that downloads automatically onto your PC or Mac using a flexible USB connector—making uploading on YouTube or Facebook a breeze.

Power is provided by a lithium-ion battery which can be fully recharged in about two hours using the built-in charger. When shooting in the field, taking along a spare, fully charged battery is always a good idea.

All in all, you’ll find the Zi8 an easy-to-use “point and shoot” camcorder with excellent online reviews. It offers more features than most other competitors—including adjustable mic gain, a face detection option and video outputs, with cables included for both HDMI monitors and standard definition screens.

The Zi8 will generally cost you about a $180 without a memory card, but can often be found priced a bit lower with a little online searching. All things considered, it’s a lot of value for under $200, and a good investment to enhance your online video marketing for years to come.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at http://www.vscreen.com/blog/.

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