I’ve heard from several folks that the Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera is a flash-based camcorder worth waiting for, and based on the review from Wired it looks like that predication is accurate. It is now available for $180 retail. Marco Torres had told me to be on the lookout for this camcorder back in February of 2009 at ITSC.
One of the biggest benefits of this flash-based camcorder over Flips is the fact that it has an external microphone port. If you’re interested in recording high quality audio, which should be the case for any serious digital storyteller, this is a HUGE feature. It also can record up to 5 MB still images, which is excellent. All the Flips I’ve seen are very limited in the still image resolution they can capture.
If you’re a Mac user, I’ve heard the MP4 native file format of the Zi8 is QuickTime native, making it much friendlier to import into Final Cut, iMovie, or just QuickTime Pro. I haven’t verified this, but I definitely know (based on our Storychasing Creativity project work in September) that Flip video formats are TERRIBLE for importing into Final Cut Express.
I hope to get my hands on a Kodak Zi8 soon! If Santa is asking for your wish list, you might consider adding it to yours this Christmas season!