Video Experts, Please! My Kodak Zi8 vids are blurry! :(

by zsolt
23 replies
Hi Folks,

I need some help from here before I start breaking stuff in frustration.

I have recently bought the Kodak Zi8 pocket camera. I did some trial shots and uploaded them to youtube.

However, I not satisfied with the results at all. My videos aren't nearly as sharp as I'd like them to be. I don't know if it's me doing something wrong or if it's the Zi8's limitation, but I expected much cleaner and sharper images.

Here's what I have done.

I just shot a short video in 720p/60fps mode of me sitting on my couch in my well-lit living room. I transfered the file to my PC and did some very basic editing in Corel Studio Pro X3. I then exported the movie as MPEG-4 HD and uploaded to YouTube.

And lo and behold, I got this ****ty result (click on the vid to watch it in youtube):



My face, my body are all blurry. Switiching to HD helps only a little bit. It's still blurry.

Now, people keep saying they produce great sharp vids with the Kodak Zi8, and I did saw some very nice videos on YouTube created with the Kodak Zi8.

Oh, don't bother the impossible language, it's Hungarian. And yes, I am in my pajamas in the video.

I am very frustrated not being able to get good results from my new pocket cam.

So, is that all I can expect from the Kodak camera or is there something to do to improve the quality?

Help me out please before I shatter my camera with a hammer.

Thanks a lot!
Zsolt
(Hungary)
#blurry #experts #kodak #video #vids #zi8
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    What did you expect for a little over $100?

    If people are getting sharp videos with that camera it is because they are
    using professional lighting.

    In short, you are looking at the limitations of the camera under the conditions
    you are shooting the video under.

    In other words, you get what you pay for.
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    • Profile picture of the author zsolt
      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      What did you expect for a little over $100?

      If people are getting sharp videos with that camera it is because they are
      using professional lighting.

      In short, you are looking at the limitations of the camera under the conditions
      you are shooting the video under.

      In other words, you get what you pay for.

      Thanks for your input, Steven! Well, you're probably right and I did get what I paid for. I will try the Zi8 out outdoor on a sunny day. If the results improve then the Kodak camera just does not perform too well indoors. We'll see.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      What did you expect for a little over $100?

      If people are getting sharp videos with that camera it is because they are
      using professional lighting.

      In short, you are looking at the limitations of the camera under the conditions
      you are shooting the video under.

      In other words, you get what you pay for.
      Partly right, partly wrong.

      You're correct about the lighting, but not about the cheap camera. I use a $100 Flip and get better results than I did with more expensive cameras, if (and only if) I use good lighting for the shoot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Olson
    I always get great vids w/ the zi8. Was the original video blurry? You didn't say it was blurry till after you edited it, re-encoded it, and uploaded to youtube (who probably re-encoded it again).

    If the original was blurry, you can blame the camera (or poor lighting or a smudge on the lense). But my guess is that when you exported it from Corel Studio Pro X3 you kinda screwed the quality.
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    • Profile picture of the author zsolt
      Originally Posted by icevapor View Post

      I always get great vids w/ the zi8. Was the original video blurry? You didn't say it was blurry till after you edited it, re-encoded it, and uploaded to youtube (who probably re-encoded it again).

      If the original was blurry, you can blame the camera (or poor lighting or a smudge on the lense). But my guess is that when you exported it from Corel Studio Pro X3 you kinda screwed the quality.
      Yes, all those encodings could have had an ill effect on the quality. However, sometimes you gotta do some editting. But alas, it seems like these Kodak videos don't take multiple encoding too well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    I don't know what you are talking about.

    EDIT: Oh wait, did you just upload the video to youtube.

    If you did then you have to wait a couple of hours before youtube figures this all out and fixes the video quality.
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    • Profile picture of the author zsolt
      Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

      I don't know what you are talking about.

      EDIT: Oh wait, did you just upload the video to youtube.

      If you did then you have to wait a couple of hours before youtube figures this all out and fixes the video quality.
      Well, it's been about 10 hours now. Should have figured this out already, I guess.
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  • Profile picture of the author zsolt
    I forgot to say that I cannot skip using an editing software, because my external mic (Audio-Technika ATR-3350) is only recording mono sound, so I always need to duplicate the left channel to get sound coming from both speakers. Thus, I can't skip the extra encoding step.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Olson
    Encoding doesn't have to kill your quality. You probably are using the wrong settings. I use sony vegas and camtesia so I cant help you with your software.

    I know your encodeing to mp4 but what is your bitrate, what encoder are you using... stuff like that. There are about a million settings to set that can effect your quality.
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    • Profile picture of the author zsolt
      Originally Posted by icevapor View Post

      Encoding doesn't have to kill your quality. You probably are using the wrong settings. I use sony vegas and camtesia so I cant help you with your software.

      I know your encodeing to mp4 but what is your bitrate, what encoder are you using... stuff like that. There are about a million settings to set that can effect your quality.
      Well, I do have Camtasia installed on my PC, but have never used it for editting and encoding my videos. Problem is, my microphone (Audio-Technika ATR-3350) is mono, so sounds comes from only one speaker. I need a software that can duplicate audio channels or something like that.
      Can Camtasia do that? Also, what setting do you use in Camtasia when encoding your Kodak movies for youtube?

      Currently, I am using Corel Studio Pro X3 as it can duplicate audio channels. When encoding I use the preset, called MPEG4-HD. I copy the codec specs:

      MPEG-4 Files
      24 bits, 1920 x 1080, 30 fps
      Frame-based
      H.264 Main Profile Video: 15000 Kbps
      32000 Hz, 16 Bit, Stereo
      MPEG AAC Audio: 128 Kbps
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      • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
        Originally Posted by zsolt View Post

        Problem is, my microphone (Audio-Technika ATR-3350) is mono, so sounds comes from only one speaker. I need a software that can duplicate audio channels or something like that.
        Have you tried pulling out your microphone jack so that
        it's half-in and half-out?

        If I ever get to watch a video that has the left channel
        only, then I usually pull out my headphone jack halfway
        so that the sound comes out of both ears.

        Maybe you can do the same with your microphone input
        jack. Just pull it out a bit and see if you can get it to
        record both channels instead of just the left.

        Worth a try...

        Dedicated to your success,

        Shaun
        Signature

        .

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        • Profile picture of the author zsolt
          Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

          Have you tried pulling out your microphone jack so that
          it's half-in and half-out?

          If I ever get to watch a video that has the left channel
          only, then I usually pull out my headphone jack halfway
          so that the sound comes out of both ears.

          Maybe you can do the same with your microphone input
          jack. Just pull it out a bit and see if you can get it to
          record both channels instead of just the left.

          Worth a try...

          Dedicated to your success,

          Shaun
          I haven't tried this yet, but will give it a go. Worth a try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Olson
    You could always use audacity to create your stereo sound.

    In camtesia:
    1280x720
    custom prodution settings
    mp4/flv/swf - flash outputs
    flash options > flv - encode for quality (turn quality up higher)

    In sony vegas:
    video format: sony AVC (mp4, m2ts, avc)
    1280x720
    entropy coding : CABAC
    framerate 29.970 (ntsc)
    progressive scan
    bitrate 6,000,000
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    • Profile picture of the author zsolt
      Originally Posted by icevapor View Post

      You could always use audacity to create your stereo sound.

      In camtesia:
      1280x720
      custom prodution settings
      mp4/flv/swf - flash outputs
      flash options > flv - encode for quality (turn quality up higher)

      In sony vegas:
      video format: sony AVC (mp4, m2ts, avc)
      1280x720
      entropy coding : CABAC
      framerate 29.970 (ntsc)
      progressive scan
      bitrate 6,000,000
      Thank you! I will try the setting you specified in Camtasia. Although I strating to get the feeling that the lighting was not sufficient in my room after all.
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  • Profile picture of the author WilliamLark
    I would recommend getting Sony's Wbbie HD I have both flip HD and Sony Webbie and the Sony wins hands down. I record better HD video and have a 16GB memory card that holds a ton of video. And the software you use to import and edit video makes a big difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author sharris203
    You have turned off macro mode right?
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    • Profile picture of the author zsolt
      Originally Posted by sharris203 View Post

      You have turned off macro mode right?
      I sure have.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I've got the sports version of that camera and I love it. But you do need to have plenty of lighting to get a good crisp video. Also, if you are moving around a lot, try changing the camera from 1080p to 720p. You can set it for higher frames per second w/ the 720P setting.
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  • Profile picture of the author tht222
    I don't see anything blurry - just give your monitor a good wipe Am I the only one that sees pretty good quality movie? I've been sitting in front of the computer for more than 10 hours though, so my eyes could be tired as well...
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  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    It looks good to me, nothing wrong with the video as far as I can tell.

    I also have a Kodak Zi8 - and I couldn't be happier with it. Amazing camera, worth far more than the $100+.

    A thousand kudos to Kevin Riley for suggesting the Zi8 to Warriors in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Piteo
    ZSOLT,

    I can solve one of your problems. You need this $2.69 fix to make the sound come from both speakers. I use it for my zi8 and it works perfectly with a mono mic. Just plug your microphone cord into it and then plug it into the zi8.

    1/8" Stereo Plug to 1/8" Mono Plug Adapter - RadioShack.com

    (not an affiliate link)

    John P
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    • Profile picture of the author zsolt
      Thanks for everyone for the suggestions and tips!

      I have come to the conclusion that the Kodak needs plenty of light to produce really sharp images. Second, I might be a little to picky about image quality. Third, I found that my Pinnacle Studio produces pretty good output with the correct settings, plus if I export audio as mono it'll take care of the "sound comes from only one speaker" problem. Nevertheless, I may get the adapter John recommended.

      So, I have peace of mind again at last. Thank you all!

      Zsolt
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  • Profile picture of the author Quentin
    Yes light is very important.

    You may like to watch and see what you think of the quality.


    Q
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