August 4, 2009

Upcoming battle for my disposable income

I've got my eye on two competing products that should be out within the next month: the Kodak Zi8 (Kody) and the Samsung HMX-U10 (Sammy).

These are digital camcorders that shoot 1080p video onto expandable flash memory (SDHC up to 32 GB) for around $200. Both feature a roughly 2" LCD screen and one-click upload to youtube, as well as HDMI to connect directly to an HDTV (which I like even though I don't own an HDTV).

Mind you, neither of these is out yet, so this certainly isn't a review, just expressing my excitement and indecisiveness.

The case for Sammy: Samsung's product is more aesthetically pleasing to me. The body is angled, which looks cool and seems useful. The camera also features a set of on-camera editing tools. And it has animated thumbnails for easy video-selection. Both of these cams take stills in addition to video, but Sammy takes 10 MP images, as opposed to Kody's 5. It's not official yet, but it appears that Sammy is also coming out sooner than Kody, so my impatience likes it better. That having been said, Sammy seems to be getting more attention from gadget sites, while having almost nothing "official" said about it on Samsung's own web site (beyond the above-linked press release). Perhaps Samsung's tight-lipped-ness is garnering more attention from outside sources? But it leaves questions about some features unanswered: removable battery? Mic jack? Included/available accessories? Zoom? Get us some info, Samsung!

The case for Kody (made-for-TV movie title?): I think Kodak sometimes gets a bad rap because their products are made to be "consumer-friendly" and perhaps shunned by those looking for more "pro" features and image quality. But, Kodak has the advantage of specialization, concentrating more on cameras than electronics in general. Another advantage: experience with this particular style of cam. Kodak already makes the Zi6 and Zx1, which are similar in features and hardware, so you have to think they've worked out some kinks with these first two models. As far as features: Kody has an external mic jack, which I don't know how much I'd use, but love that it's included. Kody also features one-click uploading to facebook in addition to youtube, image stabilization, and includes an HDMI cable. Kodak also (even though it's (apparently) coming out later than Sammy) has lots of information about the Zi8 on it's website (linked above), including tech specs, included accessories, and accessories for purchase. One such for-purchase accessory is a remote control which seems useful for playback.

In general: I'm amazed that these cameras can shoot full HD footage for $200-ish. I realize it's nowhere near the quality of anything professional- or pro-sumer-grade, but still! That's cool! I'd like to see threaded lenses with some kind of zoom/wide angle add-on possibilities. Optical zoom would also be cool (Kody has 4x digital), but again, I realize there are limits to a camera this size at this price. Time will tell whether I become friends with Sammy or Kody (I'm sure they're holding their breath). I'll let you know (I'm sure you're holding your breath)!

3 comments:

  1. Oh how I love me some digital cameras. From the sound of it the "Sammy" as you so eloquently called it seems more superior. But I'm always skeptical about these new consumer products that say they do more all-in-one stuff just like the professionals. I have friends in the business and hosnetly they have endless gear that they use just so they can get the shot right. But it's like you said a $200 camerea to do all that would be awesome. Either way I will be in expectation of the Sammy. But if I had my choice I would buy the Nikon D90. Great camera.

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  2. LAURAAaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaSeptember 25, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    Wichever one you get, it HAS TO HAVE AN FAST TRIGGER! I dont want one that takes it 3 seconds after you click the button... not even .5 seconds! IT MUST BE QUICK!

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  3. IT WONT LET ME FIX SOMETHING! "A" fast trigger.

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