Simple camcoders help me simply record stuff. In HD, too.

Today I was recording a new episode of my Productive! Show video podcast where I was talking about the contents of the new 4th issue of the Productive! Magazine and it struck me how easy it is now to record a video in HD and have it up and running on Youtube....
Just point, record, copy file, add headlines and publish :-)

That's exactly how much it takes to record a HD content and put it on Youtube... and this is my step-by-step process:

1. Record video using Kodak Zi8 pocket camcoder that records in both 1080p and 720p. I tend to record in 720p these days. Recording using Zi8 means: pressing the "on" button. Pressing the "record" button once to start and second time to finish recording. Point-and-record :-)

2. Once the recording is done, plug the camcoder via USB to my Macbook Air. As the movies are stored as files on an SDHC card, copying takes just a few seconds.

3. Import the movie to iMovie app (part of Apple's iLife package) and set up an iMovie project. Add text labels, transitions and cut out the goofed stuff. iMovie makes it very easy for a beginner director like myself :-)

4. Click on the menu "Share" in iMovie to upload the video to Youtube. Fill out the details like video description and category. Let iMovie handle the rest.

5. Presto! After a handful of minutes the video is up and running on Youtube! iMovie even gives you the link to it.

I mean, really, it's that simple. The fact that my pocket size camera is so easy to use, that it stores videos as files on a flash card and that iMovie handles all the rest and makes editing video a breeze.

The barrier of entry to video podcasting is very low. I love it.

Question: What's your camera and setup of choice? Do you publish on Youtube?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 (business,video)

Karol Zielinski
Mar 31, 2010 12:32
What can you say about Kodak Zi8? Is it really good? I would like to buy a camera for my podcasts recording and I'm looking for something, which would be good enough and won't so expensive. Maybe you could recommend something?
Michael Sliwinski
Mar 31, 2010 12:40
The Kodak Zi8 camera is fantastic. Better than Flip HD Ultra yet also as easy to use. Has external mic entry so it can be really useful for even more professional podcasting needs.

When I was considering it, I asked a friend who had one if it made sense to get it. He told me "totally" and I bought it. It was a very good decision :-)

Jakub Górnicki
Mar 31, 2010 16:38
Yeah "totally" - I had to be short, cause Michael called me from Boston and I was on the other side of the ocean ;)

The best thing about KodakZi8 is it's "handiness". I took it for 3 weeks trip to Asia, and I would never took 80% of the funnu or great videos I made there, if Id have normal camera. It takes ages to put it on, you need to have a separate bag, bla bla.

Plus - people treat it like mobile phone, so they dont run away !

And last but actually first PLUS - you can connect your microphone to it and totally rock ;)

Michael Sliwinski
Mar 31, 2010 20:41
Yes, it was worth calling across the ocean to get this recommendation of Kodak Zi8 pocket camcorder. Thanks again Jakub for your support and for quickly letting me know it was worth to buy this great piece of video simplicity.

If I don't use it for podcasting, I use it for recording my little daughter and as it's with kids - they are fast and move around quickly. Standard camera doesn't cut it. You need something portable and it better be with you in your pocket at all times :-)

Karol Zielinski
Apr 1, 2010 09:16
thanks a lot guys.
in terms of defects, what I found is:
1. no flash lamp;
2. useless for mac owners (that's the opinion from official Kodak website)

however... it still looks good.

Jakub Górnicki
Apr 1, 2010 09:29
Ow come on Karol

1. No flash lamp - ???? Have u seen camera for 2000 USD with flash camera? This one costs less than 180. Be reasonable!

2. Useless for mac??? - elaborate, before writing. Works perfectly via USB or SD card


Karol Zielinski
Apr 1, 2010 09:42
yeah, you are right Jakub.

1. video camera with flash lamp costs much more then $180. However for me, it's a 'defect'. Not so significant, but still a 'defect'.

2. chill out Jakub. I wrote, what I have read. On you can find an opinion: "This camera is junk if you have a mac.
The owners manual is not helpful in the least bit. It claims that you can easily download videos and edit using ilife software.
Tried everything on my computer to view video and when I was able to get some footage on the computer the audio could be heard but the video was like watching a poorly put together slide show.
If you have a mac, save your money (and the headache) this is a poor excuse for a video camera."

Michael Sliwinski
Apr 1, 2010 09:47
As I wrote in my blog post - all I do is record the video with Zi8, plug it in to my Macbook Air and open up iMovie and import the video from the plugged in camera. Add opening and closing credits and do some processing in iMovie and post from iMovie straight to YouTube.

If that's not simple enough on a Mac, I don't know what is. That was my point of this blog post - this simple process makes me love this camera and the iMovie software.. and my Mac :-)

Karol, if you need flash light, this camera is not for you. But then again you wouldn't have that low barrier of entry to recording and publishing on Youtube with a professional camcorder... and you will pay a lot more than $200 for it. Cool discussion guys!

Bob Reid
Jul 9, 2011 17:46
So - I looked at your videos on YouTube and some of them include screen-shots. What tools and techniques do you use to add screen grabs into your videos?
Michael Sliwinski
Jul 9, 2011 21:08
I use iMovie to edit my videos and over there I can add screen-shots and modify the videos even more. I try to keep it clean but sometimes I find iMovie on the Mac very handy to add an extra thing to my videos. Thanks for your comment Bob and good luck!