Help me find a compact video camera
February 22, 2011 8:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a compact video camera to capture the activities of my 3 month old. Currently I have my eye set on Kodak Zi8. If you have suggestions, advice on the Kodak or any other camera please let me know.
Would a regular Class 10 SDHC be enough for video recording or do I need a 15mbps one or a 30mbps one.
posted by WizKid to Technology (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
looking for the ability to record at 1080p (or minimum 720p)
posted by WizKid at 8:14 AM on February 22, 2011

I tested out a Flip Minio HD a couple months ago and liked it a lot.

Disclaimer: The camera was provided to me by Cisco, and was raffled off as a prize to my blog readers afterwards. I received no monetary compensation for the review.
posted by BZArcher at 8:41 AM on February 22, 2011

@BZArcher : Thanks

Another one that I'm looking at is Kodak PlaySport (Zx3)
posted by WizKid at 8:46 AM on February 22, 2011

Beware the Classes and MB/sec listed on SD cards. The 15MB/sec card you linked is actually only a class 4 card. It will have a maximum write of 15MB/sec, but is only guaranteed to write at 4MB/sec. Not good. The 30MB/sec card you linked is a Class 10 card, and I doubt there really is much legitimate difference between it and the much cheaper Class 10 card you linked.

I would go with a regular Class 10 card, unless the manual for the camera specified something different. Try googling to see if you can pull the camera's manual and see if it specifies something like "only use a Class X SDHC."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:59 AM on February 22, 2011

Instead of the Zi8 go for the Kodak Playsport. Same camera, just shockproof and waterproof.
posted by Gungho at 9:03 AM on February 22, 2011

I have the Zi8 and a 16gb Class 10 SDHC! I recorded in HD (1080p) as well.

I was actually quite pleased with the footage from this little camera. I expected the sound to be kind of crappy (based on reviews from here and Amazon) but I was pleasantly surprised. My footage was of an interview, and there wasn't a whole lot going on in the frame, so I can't speak to the camera's ability to capture quickly-moving subjects or far away subjects. The video that I have is quite clear and looks really good. I was watching mostly on a MacBook screen and on a standard-def TV, so you might take that with a grain or two of salt. Also, I just got glasses and I watched all of my footage before my visit to the optometrist. :)

It quickly powered up and was ready to use within seconds. After about 40 minutes of continuous HD recording the battery was quite depleted, but it's easy enough to charge.

I chose this camera over the Flip because of the ability to use larger memory cards than the memory the Flip came with. You'll need a high-speed memory card to record in HD, as Mister Fabulous points out. I think that, recording in HD, the limit to how long you can film between charges will be determined by the battery and not necessarily the memory card. There are extra batteries and stand-alone chargers available, FWIW.
posted by heathergirl at 9:45 AM on February 22, 2011

I wouldn't worry much about the SD card class. I use my Canon HF-S21 with class 4 cards and it records 1080p just fine.
posted by sanka at 10:29 AM on February 22, 2011

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