Pocket Camcorder Review of Flip Mino, Sony Webbie, JVC Picsio and Kodak Zi6 (Partial #Spon)

Pocket Camcorder Review of Flip Mino, Sony Webbie, JVC Picsio and Kodak Zi6 (Partial #Spon)

A few months ago I did a Digital Soul Hour episode about Vlogging and I promised to do a review of the different pocket camcorders that I own. This is the promised review. As I was starting my review process, I noticed JVC came out with the JVC Picsio and I tweeted out that I would love to include it in my review. JVC contacted me and sent me a blue Picsio (yes, in the name of disclosure, that means free). For the FTC, here is the list of the 4 pocket camcorders I will be reviewing and how I came to have them in my possession.

Kodak Zi6 – This camcorder was in my swag bag from the SocialLuxe party at Blogher

Flip Mino HD 60 – I won this one through a random contest at yourtribute.com

Sony Webbie PM-1 – We purchased this one ourselves last year.

JVC Picsio GC FM-1 – JVC sent to me to include in this review

I have included the iPhone 3Gs in the video comparisons at the very end, but it was because I was curious how it compared. I didn’t expect it to do as well and I am not “officially” including it in the review, but it’s there if you’d like to see how the video looks.

I spent at least 2 weeks with each of the 4 camcorders. Using it as I normally would, carrying it in my purse, taking to dance, school, vlogging, etc.

All of the videos below were recorded at the same time using the highest quality HD setting for each camcorder. I uploaded them to my 24″ iMac and used iMovie to put together the short clips. I uploaded directly to YouTube using the default HD settings. All 4 cameras allow you to put the camcorder on a tripod.

Comparison of Basic Features

Features Sony Webbie Flip Mino Kodak Zi6 JVC Picsio
Weight 4 oz 3.3 oz 3.8 oz (no batteries) 3.36 oz
Display Size 2.5 in 1.5 in 2.4 in 2.0 in
Zoom 4x optical 2x digi 2x digi 4x digi
Video HD Hightest Quality 1080 720 720 1080
Still Format & Quality JPG/5M N/A JPG/3M JPG/8M
Power removable
rechargeable
internal
rechargeable
removable
rechargeable
internal
rechargeable
Memory Sony Memory
stick PRO Duo up
to 32 GB
internal
60 min
4 GB
128 mb internal
SD/SDHC slot
up to 32 GB
SD/SDHC slot
up to 32 GB
Software PC/Mac PC/Mac PC PC

Here are my findings and at the end I’ll let you know which one I am ultimately going to use as my camcorder.

Kodak Zi6 Pocket Camcorder

I have been using this camcorder since I brought it home from BlogHer as my main camcorder and I’ve been very pleased with it. Pair it with the eye-fi video and it worked really well for me. It wasn’t easy to just easily slip in my pocket so a few times I opted to take my iPhone only and leave the Zi6 behind. I sometimes find the video to have a slight bluish tint to it which I was able to easily fix in iMovie and I didn’t see it all the time.

Pros:

  • The Kodak Zi6 pocket camcorder feels very comfortable in my hand. I like the texture of the outside and it feels very sturdy and I don’t worry about dropping it.
  • It has a large display which I found quite easy to see even outside in the sun.
  • The controls are very easy to master one handed which leaves one hand free (great for Moms)
  • Both the batteries and memory are removable, so you can carry spares and never run out. It also comes with 2 AA rechargeable batteries.
  • Comes with a pouch to carry the camcorder in so it does not get scratched up.
  • Turns on very quickly and ready to begin recording.
  • Has a close-up and normal mode.

Cons:

  • The Kodak Zi6 pocket camcorder does not easily fit in your pocket.
  • The sound was not very good and I could often hear the wind blowing in my outdoor videos
  • No Mac version of the software
  • Hard to use for vlogging because I can not see if I’m in the picture, but I was able to make it work.

Flip Mino HD Pocket Camcorder 60 min

I can’t say enough positive things about the Flip Mino HD pocket camcorder. I was very pleasantly surprised. I had one of the very first Flips that came out a few years ago and while I loved the ease of use, it didn’t take very good video at all. I have stayed away from it since then. But, WOW, they have definitely improved on the quality. I do miss the screen they had that “flipped” to make self recording much easier.

Pros:

  • Very small size makes it easy to carry in your pocket or purse everywhere you go. My arm did not get tired holding it up to record a 1 hour dance recital.
  • Excellent sound. I took video at a concert and I heard the concert music just as well as the sounds right around me
  • Turn it on and begin recording within seconds (about 3 sec)
  • Excellent quality video in all types of scenarios. I tested at a concert, outside, sports, recital, scenery, at night and I was pleased with all of the video.
  • Offers a Mac version of the software.
  • I never have used the software that comes with a camera or camcorder in the past because I never found it useful, until the Flip Software. It makes transferring the videos effortless and I can easily upload to a private location for others to view or to YouTube. When I want to change where they are located on my computer, I can do that easily also.
  • The still picture capture feature in the software was a huge plus because I could get the exact shot I wanted.
  • Has a red light which turns on the front of the camcorder when recording. Works well for vlogging because you know if it is recording or not.
  • Video was crystal clear and looked the most natural to me. It handled the transitions from a dark room to a lighted window very well.

Cons:

  • The zoom buttons are not “true” buttons, but rather a lit up ‘+’ and ‘-’ on the panel and quite often I would press and press and nothing would happen. It was hit or miss.
  • Can not remove the battery or memory, so if you use it up, you need to download the video to continue recording (you get 60 min worth of time)
  • Can not take still photos (however you can capture a still photo with the software included, see Pros above)
  • Difficult to record yourself without a tripod. I am often cutting off my head in my vlogs. You need to get used to this.
  • The viewing screen is really small.

JVC Picsio GC FM-1

I really wanted to like the Picsio pocket camcorder. When I took it out of the box, it looked like a jewel, but it just wasn’t happening for me. Overall I found the buttons hard to use, the quality of the video wasn’t good and the battery didn’t hold a charge for very long. Maybe if I had plugged it in before each outing, it might have helped? But I tend to keep my camcorder with my iPhone and grab it and take it wherever I go. I don’t want to have to plug it in after every outing.

Pros:

  • Records video in HD 1080p
  • Can plug an HDMI cable into the camcorder
  • Still pictures can be taken up to 8mp (depending on your settings)
  • Memory is removable so you can carry a spare.
  • Has a close-up and normal mode.

Cons:

  • I found the buttons kind of hard to work. I have small hands and when I would hold it in 1 hand (which I do often), I often dropped the camcorder.
  • The holographic design on the front of the camcorder was very distracting for my kids (and not in a good way). They would want to play with the camcorder and take it outside and make the sun reflect off the camcorder.
  • The location of the “on” button is horrible for me. When I press the button, I cover the off/on light with my thumb and at first I couldn’t tell if it was on or off. I thought it was just me, but a couple of other people who tried it did the same thing.
  • Does not come with a pouch or anything to protect it from scratching.
  • Battery is internal, therefore you need to recharge if it runs out.
  • I heard a humming sound on many of my videos. The sound also was very muffled.
  • When you watch my video below, you’ll see some flickering that I saw in a lot of my video from this camcorder.
  • The website claims 96 minutes of power, but I found that I never had enough power. I would power it up, start taking video and within 10 – 15 mintues, it would shut off (with a 4GB memory card).

Sony Webbie PM-1

The Sony Webbie pocket camcorder served me well for quite a while. I think the rotating lens feature is really ingenious. I just wish the quality of the video were better.

Pros:

  • The 270 degree rotating lens makes self recording for personal vlogs a breeze! I absolutely LOVE this self recording feature.
  • Records video in HD 1080p
  • The battery is removable and comes with recharger.
  • When turned off and closed, the lens is completely covered and protected from scratches.

Cons:

  • I was not impressed with the quality of the video. This was the first of the 4 that I received and even before I compared it to anything, I was not happy with the quality. It was very grainy and
  • This is a negative that is true across all the Sony products. I do not like that you can only use the Sony Memory Stick. We have so many SD cards for all our cameras and I always have to have a different one for my Sony products.
  • I was forever pushing the display button to start the recording. You have to press either Movie (for video) or Photo (for still). Then when you stop recording, the word “recording” in red pops onto the screen. It confuses me every single time it comes up and everyone who uses the camcorder. There are numerous times that I have thought I was recording because I saw the word “recording” when in fact I wasn’t. I missed my daughter’s entire preschool graduation because of that.
  • The sound near the camera is always very very loud and any sounds further away are hard to hear.

Vlogging with Your Pocket Camcorder

Since the majority of the time, I’m using my camcorder to record a vlog post, I decided to do one for a Casual Friday which showed you all 4 of the above camcorders in action. You can hear the sound and see the video for yourself and decide which one you like.

And the camcorder I will be carrying around with me every day? ::::drum roll please::::

The Flip Mino HD

It was very close between the Kodak Zi6 and the Flip Mino HD. Ultimately, I was very impressed with the quality of the video from the Flip Mino and along with the small size and ease of use, it is the camcorder I will use.

I took it to a Miley Cyrus concert (I took all of them with me) and the video was spectacular. I can not post them because I do not have permission from Miley. But we could hear Miley very well and when I zoomed in, the quality was not deteriorated at all. We compared them to some of the videos from her youtube channel of her concerts and we thought it was pretty close to the same quality and all that from the little Flip.

I also recorded my daughter’s Nutcracker show and that was probably the deciding factor. It was very simple to record, my hand was not tired after holding the camcorder up for an hour, we could hear every word spoken on stage and the quality even in the dark parts of the production were fantastic.

iPhone 3GS

(just out of my own curiosity I added this one)

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Michele

A 40-something geek trying to juggle 4 kids, lifestyle technology blog, husband, running, living a healthy lifestyle and still find time for digital scrapbooking.

Love Lifestyle Technology, Social Media, Fitness Gaming, Diet Coke, Running, PC & Mac Geek, Reading, Learning, Beach and anything with Bling!
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26 Responses to Pocket Camcorder Review of Flip Mino, Sony Webbie, JVC Picsio and Kodak Zi6 (Partial #Spon)

  1. WOW! What a comprehensive comparison! This is really helpful because hubby & I are considering buying a pocket web cam – my Vado just isn’t cutting the mustard. Love the video and the side by side specs! THANKS!
    .-= KnitPurlGurl´s last blog ..I Don’t Negotiate With Terrorists =-.

  2. [...] more from the original source: Pocket Camcorder Review of Flip Mino, Sony Webbie, JVC Picsio and … Share and [...]

  3. This is a very thorough review. You really did your research. If I was in the market for a camcorder, I’d definately take your advice. And hubby is a talented pumpkin carver! Keep Posting.

  4. WOW this is the most complete review I’ve ever read! I have a flip mino HD too and love it!
    .-= Fiona´s last blog ..Take a Look Around the Bayou, Friends! One Blonde’s Review of The Princess and the Frog =-.

  5. Jason McGraw (jmcgraw013) « Pocket Camcorder Review of Flip Mino, Sony Webbie, JVC Picsio and K... « Chat Catcher says:

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  8. I own a Kodak Zi6 and think it is a pretty decent camera! It does have it's glitches, though, and I am ready to upgrade! Thanks for posting this!

  9. I have always been partial to the flip myself, and not only because that is my nickname but because of its small ease of use…how can one company make so perfect a camcorder that looks so simple?

    • I agree. I think sometimes we (and companies) get to caught up in the bells and whistles that we lose track of what we want a gadget to do. With the Flip, they have managed to stick to what they do best…recording video in a small simple device. No bells and whistles, but it does a damn good job at the 1 thing it does!!

  10. Hey Michelle,
    I have read all your findings and as you may know ,i am tech want to be ….well maybe not!
    As you know though I NEED cameras and now video recorders for my business(use a PC)…just from your opinion and findings ,which of these 4 would serve me best to video -homes and neighborhoods? I want to have a web presence w/ facebook/You Tube/and Twitter
    Thanks for taking your time w/ this info.
    Beverley
    PS: remember i'm a slow learner :>)

  11. hi…the software that comes with the camera does NOT work on the Mac, BUT who cares Apple has iLife 09 that has tremendous editing features and will import native HD content from the camera. iLife is like whatever Sony gives you but on heavy steroids so you don’t need to worry. Beware however that iLife will not export the edited footage in true HD, it interlaces it and creates a lesser quality. A big POO POO to Apple for doing this. To get around it download free JES Deinterlacer for true HD quality you can play back on your PS3 or DVD player. Yes, you can record HD to DVD without Blu Ray discs as the files are saved in TRUE 1920×1080 in Quicktime Pro. Have FUN on the Mac!

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