Living in a new city away from friends and family has given me reason to make a purchase that I have never cared to do in the past, a video camera. The issue I had in getting one is I rarely have anything worthy to put on video. No kids, no interesting hobbies that would benefit from a video camera, nothing. This being the case, I still decided I had no use for a full featured camera, but instead felt that one of the popular pocket cameras would be perfect.

The initial decision was between one of the many Flip cameras or the Kodak Zi6.

Although the first Flip cameras are very popular, I had a desire to get a camera with good video quality above what these Flips were capable of. This quickly narrowed my selection to the Flip MinoHD and the Kodak Zi6. After much research, I ended up with the Kodak.

The decision was made for a few reasons. The Flip has 4GB internal memory with no way of extending the memory whereas the Kodak has an SD (SDHC) slot. The internal memory of the Kodak is so small it isn’t worth mentioning, so an SD card is basically required.

Another item was the battery. The Flip has an internal Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery that gets 2 hours of life. This is plenty since the 4GB memory can only hold 60 minutes of video, but since I wanted more than the 4GB, I felt that the battery life needed to be longer if not replaceable. The Kodak requires 2 AA batteries, and includes 4 rechargeable AA’s with charger. I have not had a chance to fully test out how long 2 AA’s will last, but the ability to switch in new batteries quickly is essential.

Lastly, the price. The Flip costs $230 and can be found for as little as $200. The Kodak costs $180 and can be found for as little as $140. The difference is that the Kodak will require an additional purchase of an SD card, but a 16GB SDHC card can be had for $20.

In the end, both produce great video at 720p with minor variations in quality. The Kodak tends to be more yellow, and I have read the Flip tends to be more Blue. Neither from what I have found do very well in low light or dark environments. The Kodak is a bit more bulkier than the Flip, but it also has a 2.4 LCD screen vs Flip’s 1.5 LCD screen.

Although I have no video to show just yet, you can find comparisons all over. Check out John Gruber’s, from daringfireball, vimeo. He has a couple of videos comparing the two.

UPDATE: Gruber’s comparison is between the Flip Ultra and Zi6, not the Flip MinoHD.

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