Usage & Testing
Getting the Zi8 setup to use is really simple. First you want to make sure it is fully charged. You can charge it either by just plugging the USB connection in to your computer or using the AC adapter. I prefer using the USB connector, because it’s one less thing to carry along with me if I want to use the AC adapter.
Once you have the camera charged up you can go ahead and insert your SD or SDHC card into the camera on the left side and go ahead and turn it on. When you first turn it on you can set the time and date easily with the controls. If you ever need to change anything you can easily go back into the settings by hitting the settings button. In the settings are a few basic options and the option to format your SD card.
When you are ready to shoot you can select the mode you want to shoot in. You can select from, 1080p (1920x 1080, 30 fps), 720p/60 fps (1280 x 720, 60 fps), 720p (1280 x 720, 30 fps), WVGA (848 x 480, 30 fps), and still (5.3 MP, 16:9 widescreen interpolated). When you select the mode it will also show you how much time you have left in your SD card.
So how easy is it to shoot video? All you do is turn the camera on and select the mode you want to shoot in and start recording. The large LCD screen provides you a great view of what you are shooting. You can easily zoom and in and out with the directional button. Here is a video I shot in 1080p.
Here is another video I shot in 720p at 60fps.
With all pocket camcorders it is sometimes hard to hold the camera completely stable. You can see that in the 1080p video. The image stabilization is pretty good though. Also to note this camera work great in good lighting conditions, but where there isn’t much light video come out very dark. This is the same for all pocket camcorders.
You can also take photos with the Zi8. This is a nice feature if you do not have a digital camera with you. It is a 5.3MP camera, but the quality is that of a cell phone. So if you have a digital camera with you, you would be better capturing that moment with the digital camera. Here are 2 photos that I look with the Zi8.