The Good Solid 720p video; comparatively large LCD; memory-card expansion slot; AA rechargeable batteries included along with protective carrying case and video output cables.
The Bad Insufficient onboard memory and price doesn't include an optional memory card; can't recharge batteries via USB connector; included software isn't Mac compatible.
The Bottom Line While bigger than most of its competitors and high priced for a mini camcorder, the Kodak Zi6's attractive design and decent video quality adequately compensate for some usability drawbacks.
Like many inexpensive competitors, the Kodak Zi6 is technically an HD camcorder the way a tomato is technically a fruit: it meets the definition, but doesn't deliver the experience. True, the Zi6 records video in 1,280x720-pixel resolution at both 30 frames per second and 60fps--720p resolution--which technically qualifies it as an HD camcorder, but a lot of factors go into creating an image, not just a CMOS sensor capable of capturing an image at a certain resolution and frame rate. Still, the 720p video it does capture is a step up from the 640x480-pixel VGA resolution video you typically find on competing sub-$200 direct-to-YouTube camcorders from Flip Video, RCA, and Creative.
That higher resolution comes at a price. To accommodate the larger 1/4.5-inch 1.6-megapixel sensor and generous 2.4-inch LCD, the Zi6 is bigger than most of its competitors, particularly the similarly priced Flip Video Mino. Weighing 5.6 ounces, it's not huge and it fits in most pockets, but if supercompact is what you're after, there are better alternatives.
Instead of a built-in or removable lithium ion rechargeable battery, Kodak opted to include a set of two rechargeable AA nickel metal hydride batteries and a charger. The upside is that in a pinch you can use readily available standard AA alkaline batteries to power the unit. The downside is you can't just charge the battery with the built-in USB connector like you can with some models, such as the Mino and Creative Vado. Also, a smaller lithium ion battery would probably have helped trim the size of Zi6 a bit.