Notes: When uploading to YouTube, obviously a lot of quality is lost, but since YouTube is the likely destination for most videos taken with these camcorders, it seems appropriate.
iPod Nano, outdoor: Colors are washed out, dull, and muddy, it seems much darker than it really was, detail is lousy (especially in the blades of grass).
Aiptek PenCam HD, outdoor: Choppier than the Nano, but better color reproduction, and lots more detail, especially in blades of grass. Colors, however, are faded, even if fairly accurate.
Flip Mino HD, outdoor: Pretty good color and clarity, but blurs with motion and slightly choppy. It's totally usable, but the choppy panning is a problem.
Flip Ultra HD, outdoor: Very similar to the Mino HD, which means it's pretty good but has a hard time with motion. Color reproduction, however, is very slightly more accurate than the Mino HD.
JVC Picsio, outdoor: It's choppier than flips but thankfully it's not blurring. Unfortunately, while it's better than the Aiptek or Nano, its color and clarity are both lacking, not nearly as good as the Flips, Kodak, or Creative.
Kodak Zi8, outdoor: Best color reproduction and clarity yet—it's damn impressive how clear this video is. But this 1080p video exhibits some jerkiness with panning and motion, and 1080p video is HUGE: This 20-second clip takes up 50MB of space, meaning you'll get less than 10 minutes of video per GB of storage. Eep.
Creative Vado HD, outdoor: Very yellow, poor clarity and color reproduction, really awful with light—slow to adjust while panning, has difficulty distinguishing between sky and light buildings.
iPod Nano, indoor: Usable, but not all that great—colors are still super muddy and dull, and its VGA resolution means you're not going to get much detail.
Aiptek PenCam HD, indoor: Detail goes out the window. Noisy and dark, too.
Flip Mino HD, indoor: Pretty good—sharp enough, very smooth, good color.
Flip Ultra HD, indoor: Looks exactly the same as the Mino HD, which is to say, it's quite good but not as sharp as I'd like.
JVC Picsio, indoor: Horrible, grating sound, super jerky and tons of noise.
Kodak Zi8, indoor: Surprisingly mediocre. Blur is the real problem here, but the focus is weird—notice how clear the bottom of my oven is? And yet the Zi8 can't focus on the onion three feet away. Weird, but not good.
Creative Vado HD, indoor: Really, really impressive—sound quality is near-perfect, color reproduction, clarity and detail are all excellent, with minimal noise.
iPod Nano, macro: Where did this come from? Color is super accurate, not choppy or blurry, good depth of focus.
Aiptek PenCam HD, macro: Totally unwatchable. Oh well.
Flip Mino HD, macro: Pretty blurry, disappointingly so after the Nano's surprising performance.
Flip Ultra HD, macro: Color is off—it's way darker than it should be. Plus it's having trouble focusing on something so close.
JVC Picsio, macro: The JVC's hardware macro function helps it out here—it's kind of jerky but still pretty good, if not as good as the Kodak.
Kodak Zi8, macro: Definitely the best—super clear, perfect color, after initial two or three seconds of jerkiness it's baby-smooth. Awesome.
Creative Vado HD, macro: Focuses on the wrong thing, in this case a leaf about six inches further away than the flower we wanted to film. It also has the same weird problem with natural light that it showed in the outdoor test—maybe this is the camcorder for couch potatoes/bloggers who are afraid of the sun.
iPod Nano, low light: What can you expect? The audio's good and panning is smooth, but it's very noisy and having trouble focusing on anything—you can't even tell a truck apart from a car, really.
Aiptek PenCam HD, low light: Super choppy and noisy, with a strong red/orange tint that's very distracting. The lights also give off a ton of glare.
Flip Mino HD, low light: Still fairly noisy but color reproduction is excellent, motion isn't choppy, much better in distance than Nano. The frame rate's obviously much higher.
Flip Ultra HD, low light: Redder but sharper than Mino HD—you can even see spokes on that car's tires. However, the color's off, distinctly red, but no bleeding and definitely sharp.
JVC Picsio, low light: If you can see anything in this one, let me know. I think it's unwatchable.
Kodak Zi8, low light: Surprisingly not so good. A little choppy, a little dark, a little red, and panning isn't as smooth as it should be. Picture quality is decent but overall it's too jerky and dark.
Creative Vado HD, low light: Dark, but super smooth and clear. No problem panning, good color reproduction, not very noisy at all.