The following review first appeared on my other blog, Writers' Know-how. I've reproduced it here because I think this camcorder could be of great interest to teachers, as it seems robust enough to be taken out on school visits.
The Kodak Zi8 pocket camcorder has a range of options for video, a still photo facility, and a really easy-to-use programme for importing your efforts into your computer and uploading to YouTube, Vimeo and other sites.
However, if you’re looking for something a little more rugged, an alternative is the Kodak Zx1. It’s not as pretty, but boy, is it robust! It’s built to stand up to rain and snow, which in the UK we seem to be getting a lot of at the moment. The results are very good. I’ve used it not only in bright sunshine, when you would expect the results to be good, but at night and indoors too. You can see examples of the results below. The Zx1 takes two types of HD video, VGA and still pics.
It feels solid. I shouldn’t like to test it by dropping it from a great height or onto a concrete floor, but for everyday use in an outdoor environment it would, I’m sure, cope very nicely. It’s not as slim as it’s Zi8 cousin, but, as they say, looks aren’t everything.
You can record to internal storage, or expand the capacity through the use of SD cards.As soon as you connect the Zx1 to the computer, the built-in software is launched. This is very easy to use, and well-featured. The only thing I would say is that it seems to get confused when you try to upload a video to Vimeo directly through the software. I’ve found it better to transfer the files to the computer using the Import facility, and then launch Vimeo separately.
Bizarrely, the pink version costs £20 less than the black version. Understandable I suppose: the black looks more chic. I have to say, though, that I quite like the pink one. But I wouldn’t buy it – people might talk.
At just under £60 or £80 depending on the colour, the Zx1 is very good value for money. You can purchase one in the UK by clicking on one of the pictures below – and if you do so I will earn a few pennies to help me feed a wife and seven kids (they’re not mine, but we’re very close!).