Flip Ultra HD vs Kodak Zi8 – A Comprehensive Comparison

by Michael

Both the Flip and the Zi8 are great cameras. They’re very similar in many ways but both of them also out-do each other at a few different things. Since they both got their strengths and weaknesses, making your choice between the two of them depends on what you want to do. Both these cameras are suited for quick, short internet videos and not for three hour long videos.

Video Quality

When it comes to the video quality both perform very similar. The Flip Ultra HD records in 720p which is enough for the Internet (720p is HD [High Definition] on YouTube.) The Kodak Zi8 also records in 720p but you can also get the option of going up to 1080p, an option that you don’t have with the Flip. So in terms of size the Kodak is better but when you put videos online, the quality would be pretty much the same.

Sound Quality

In the sound department, the Kodak camera wins. The reason why is because it has a small external microphone jack where you can plug in a label microphone (or any other microphone) if you have one, which is quite handy if you’re a bit away from the camera when you’re recording.

This lets you keep good sound quality. The Flip camera does not have one of these microphone jacks so you’re stuck with the sound from the camera. However, there’s a fix for that.

You can use an external voice recorder and record the sound separately. You can then later match up the sound and the video together.

To record the sound, the Edirol Voice Recorder from Roland is a great choice. However, it’s quite expensive (around $500) so you may want to go with a cheaper option. There are many cheaper options that also work great.

So in the sound department, the Kodak camera wins. However, you can still get great sound quality with the Flip camera by using an external voice recorder.

File Format and Storage

With the Flip, the USB is really easy to use because you can just flip it out and plug it in. The Kodak has something similar but it’s just not as neat. The Flip records in the .mp4 format which works great on both PC and Mac. It’s also a great format for editing and works great with most editing programs and applications. The Kodak records in the .mov format.It does have some space to record movies onto the camera itself but for the most part you record the movies on an SD drive (SD card.) On the SD card there’s 32GB of space so that gives you the option of recording quite a lot of longer footage. The Flip camera only got 8GB of space and it only records straight onto the camera, it doesn’t have an SD card.

The Flip only got 8gbs and it only records straight onto the camera, you don’t have the SD card option. In the file format and storage department the Zi8 probably wins. It’s very close between the though. However, if you’re only going to put up some short videos online, the 8GB space that you get with the Flip is probably sufficient.

Ease of Use

Both these two cameras are really easy to use. However, if we have to crown a champion the Flip takes the price. The Flip only has 4 buttons (on/off switch, a navigation button, a record button etc.) so it’s almost impossible to make any mistakes when using the Flip.

The Kodak camera is a bit more complicated but it’s also very easy to use. It has a few more buttons that has the potential to confuse you but that means that it also has more features and extra functionality. It will take a bit longer to learn how to use the Kodak Zi8 compared to the Flip Ultra HD.

Looks and Design

A good thing about the Flip camera is that it has a flat surface. The Kodak doesn’t have a flat bottom so you can’t stand it up on a table or any other flat surface. You can screw in a tripod into both of these cameras. The Flip fits really nicely into your hand but this can of course be different depending on the person. The Flip also has nice rounded corners. The Kodak is quite thin and it could therefore be subject to slipping from your hand.

Battery and Power

The Flip camera has a rechargeable battery that’s in the AA size. What that means is that if you run out of battery; if you brought a few normal AA batteries along with you, you can just put them in continue to use your camera.

The Kodak also comes with a rechargeable battery of course; however, it’s not the standard size. This can be a bit of a pain because if you run out of power, you’re doomed. You can of course buy a few more batteries of the same type so that if you’re out and can’t recharge the battery, you can still continue using the camera by putting in another battery.


The Kodak Zi8 comes in three different colours; black, aqua (light blue) and raspberry colour (it looks pink.) The Flip Ultra HD comes in two different colours; white and black.

Final Verdict

As mentioned above, in many ways they’re very similar to each other and both are truly great cameras but overall, the Flip Ultra HD wins over the Kodak Zi8. The biggest reason why the Flip wins is because it’s just so easy to use. What about the price? Both cameras are being sold for about the same price, $200. Which is not a bad price considering that both these two are good cameras.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sven @ Outsourcing Pitfalls September 4, 2010 at 9:24 am


I have a Flip Mino HD 4GB since last year and it is a great piece of camera :-)
Have had a closer look at the Kodak, as I heard that it is whater proof up to 10 feet (3 meters). Not that much and their are also housings for the Flip available, but that might be an option. As said, love the Flip but might give the Kodak a shot!

Great overview! Include some aff-links, haha.


Michael September 4, 2010 at 11:32 am

@ Sven, the blog is too new to start monetizing!

But I think adding an amazon link here and there wouldn’t hurt! Will do it soon :)


Ravi Jayagopal September 21, 2010 at 6:37 am


Followed your Warrior-forum “Video Warrior” free WSO link to this blog. Nice job!

Yes, you must add some amazon links at the least – not to mention, some Adsense too :-)

I have a Sony Bloggie – also 1080p – and I love it. For many years, I’ve recorded some great videos using my old, bulky Sony “camcorder”. You can do great videos with just about any basic video, but having a nice, small HD one that can fit in the palm of your hands, doesn’t help when you’re on the road, at seminars, etc.

Thanks again for the free WSO. Will check it out soon.


- Ravi Jayagopal


Chris August 5, 2011 at 3:26 am

Very nice review there my friend.. I’ll go for flip ultra HD :)


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