The Kodak Zi8 Digital Camcorder is my first HD and portable video camera which I use for YouTube computer hardware tutorial videos at youtube.com/johnsonyip1, and for recording digital video cameras. I mostly record and upload files in 480P widescreen which is like DVD quality video, and has a smaller video file for uploading to YouTube, and won't take hours to upload a HD 720P to 1080P video. However, if you have fast upload speeds, you can record and upload 1080P video which you recored with the Kodak Zi8 which can record in 720P, 720P 60 frame per seconds, and 1080P video. You can also use your own SD memory cards, so you can use a 2GB SD card, 8GB or 16GB SD card depending on your video quality and length of video. The microphone quality of the audio the Zi8 records is pretty good for a portable camera since it is clear and picks up my voice well.
The Kodak Zi8 also has a removable battery, so you can use more then one battery to power the Zi8 which means you can swap out a empty battery, and insert a full battery to continue recording videos. Charging the battery is pretty easy. All you need to do is plug in the power adapter to the wall power into the camera and it charges. The battery life is also pretty good. It lasts a few hours before it needs charging.
One of the best features of the Kodak Zi8 is it has a built-in USB port which means once you connect the Zi8 to your PC or laptop, you can upload your video to YouTube at once, or use a video editing software like Windows Live Movie Maker, iMovie, etc to edit the Mov file which is the video file format the Zi8 uses.
The Zi8 also comes with video editing software which helps you edit, and upload video to YouTube.
The Zi8 also has a tripod hole on the bottom for attaching the Zi8 to a tripod stand for more stable video, and you can also use the Zi8 image stabilization feature to stabilize your video.
If you need a basic digital camera as well the Zi8 also can take 5 megapixel pictures which is good for the web, and printing small pictures.
The Zi8 controls are easy to use since it is like using a point and shoot camera. All you have to do is use the joystick on the Zi8 to change video resolutions, and press down on it to start shooting your video, and press down on it again to finish recording your video.
The Kodak Zi8 also seems pretty durable because it is made with hard plastic, and the buttons have a nice quality feel to it. It is also very portable as well. I can carry it in the front pocket of my pants or jacket like a cell phone, and start recording when I see something cool.
I think the Kodak Zi8 is the best point and shoot portable digital video camera for people who want to get into video blogging, video tutorials, and short viral video recording without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a expensive DSLR, or HD hard drive based digital camera which are also more fragile, but still having HD video recording, image stabilization, and a good mic on the Zi8.