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Kodak Zi8

Recording tests

WVGA 848x480 pixels
Camera 6369, first battery charge.
Recordings saved when battery dies. Two recordings
1 hr. 23 minutes, 1 GB, 1,704 kbps, I think second recording picks up where first one ends
19 minutes, 236 MB, 1,727 kbps
Total recording 1 hr 42 min
Above recording rates are low, maybe because there is very little motion.
Reformat card and see if you can record more than 1 GB
Record higher motion, now data rate is 6,200 mbps. Audio always 128 kbps stereo AAC, 48 KHz

Second battery charge, card reformatted. Reformatting did not make difference.
Two recordings again
1 hr 29 min, 1 GB, 1,572 kbps
9 min, 108 MB, 1,618 kbps
camera shows 1 recording, 1 hr 39 min

Camera 6455, first charge
Two recordings also, similar to above
1 hr 18 min
26 min
But camera shows only one recording, 1 hr and 44 min long, so the two are continuous
reformat card, recharge
Second charge
1 hr 46 minutes

First charge of battery life is as long as second charge battery life
Data rate is variable, from 1,700 to 9,000 kbps, depending on content.
Files over 1 GB are split up in memory, but can be sequenced seamlessly, and are continuous when viewed in camera.

  mbps megabyte/min megabyte/hr 16 GB card will hold
 Low motion (i.e.: Interviews)
 1.7-2.5 15900
 1,066 minutes
 Medium motion
 High motion
8-9 67.5 4,050 (4.5 GB)
 237 minutes

It seems charge light does not go on if battery is slightly discharged

Editing Tests
Time to transfer 1 GB (355 MB) file to Mac Pro (2x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Xenon, 2 GB RAM): 3:06 min
Time to import 1 GB (1 hr 13 min) file into iMovie 6, stuck at 38 min, however found in trash when force-quit.
Time to import 30 min into iMovie 6, stuck at 13 min, however found in trash when force-quit.
Time to import 30 min file into iMovie 7 (iLife 8), imports very fast, but thumbnails took 7:45 to create. (OSX 10.4.11)
Time to import 30 min file into iMovie 8 (iLife 9), (OSX 10.6.2)
    Settings "Copy Files" "Optimize Video: Import 1080i as Large 960x540", imports very fast, thumbnails took 2:40 to create.
    Settings "Move Files", imports very fast, thumbnails took 2:30 to create.
    NOTE: with this codec, Optimize Video on of off makes no difference. "Move Files" moves the original, "Copy" makes a copy         and leaves the original alone.
Time to import 30 min file into Final Cut Express, set to DV-Anamorphic. Imports immediately, but render takes 57 min in OSX 10.4.11 and 62 min in OSX 10.6.2.
CONCLUSION: iMovie can edit in the native Zi8 AVC codec, and does not need to transcode to DV, so is much faster for ingesting video. iMovie 8 can create thumbnails much faster than iMovie 7.

Additional Testing (June 3, 2011) Captured with Zi8 
    60 seconds of 1280x720, 83 megabytes, 11.3 mpbs, H.264 mov
    60 seconds of 1920x1080, 104 megabytes, 14.4 mbps, H.264 mov
Import 720p into iMovie '11 (v9), 30 seconds. mov file is imported without any changes.
Import 1080p into iMovie '11 (v9), 35 seconds. mov file is imported without any changes.
Using iMovie 06, import 720p as HDV720, 65 seconds, file size 361 megabytes, 47 mpbs, converted to AIC
Using iMovie 06, import 1080 as HDV1080, 1 min 46 sec, file size 983 megabytes, 129 mbps, converted to AIC
(note: conversion times may not "scale up", i.e.: it may take considerably less time proportionally to import longer files in iMovie 11)

Zi6 vs Zi8 Comparison