Product Type: Kodak digital camcorders
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Kodak Playsport Zx5
Member Name: waniyaahmed
Kodak Playsport Zx5
Advantages: good video, waterproof; waterproof to 10 feet; HDMI; software is excellent
Disadvantages: USB attached via lead connector; short battery life especially at 1080p, sharing software only works
The Kodak Playsport, whose model number is Zx3 id Kodaks follow up to Zx1 also by Kodak. The main change within the model is the fact that the zx3 is waterproof not only weather resistant, which is great especially if you are out in the rain or if your recording on holiday. It can survive up to ten feet of water surviving up to half an hour submerged so no worries if you drop it in the ocean like I did. Just, for a test dive I took it in the pool with my little ones and honestly its great in water, no problems whatsoever. There is especially no problem with what you are getting for the price. It is not a state of the art camera but it is great for family outings.
The camera basics:
This camera is definitely not going to add any extra weight in your bag or pocket, it is quite a nice size, no bigger than your iPhone but it is slightly heavier than a your phones, but not so much that it will agitate you. It is said by Kodak that the camera is 4.4 x 2.3 x 0.8 inches and weighs around five ounce. The body is textured to allow for an easier grip, which is especially good within water as you do not want your camera slipping in and out of your hands. The casing is also very sturdy. The camera has fallen out of my hands on multiple occasions and even though the case is simple plastic there has been no scratches or breaks so I assume it's a very good quality thick plastic, however I do worry about it falling because it is not a shockproof camera. Also I would not recommend using this in snow for long periods as the camera is not freeze proof but it has resistance to dust so desert areas or areas with a huge amount of dust should not *fingers crossed* get damaged. The storage capacity of the camera is entirely dependant on the size of your SD or SDHC card, the bigger it is the more you will store. But in theory you should get 80 minutes of recording on a 4GB card, but it does have 128MB internal memory. The battery life on the camera is also around one and a half to two hours, and it uses a rechargeable battery which is really annoying as it can take absolute light years to charge in comparison to the time it works so it is not a plus point. It takes about 4 hours to charge via USB cable and two hours via plug. If you are going to film in 1080p then keep in mind the battery life will die very fast and the only way around this is keeping extra batteries on board.
The camera design:
The Playsport has a Fixed focus, f2.8, 48mm lens which is the same as having a 35mm lens. The front of this lens is not protected very well so I am always fearing scratches and dirt, you need to be very careful with it. The cameras minimal zoom in 3.3 feet above water and 4.4 feet below water so zooming into object can become a huge hassle. The camera also has a microphone, which is basically monotone so it will not pick up many tones or pitches of sounds. the camera also has the option of being controlled by remotes that controls the camera via a hidden IR receiver. Just like all cameras the blinking red light whilst recording is also there. This light can be shut off.
The controls on the camera are pretty much idiot proof. The anti-glare LCD is 2.5 inches wide and all the operational buttons apart from the power buttons are surrounding the LCD in a circular pad. The LCD anti glare is excellent in viewing outdoor as well as the 3 settings for the screen brightness it makes it easier to see.. The power button is on the back of the camera higher up on the right side. The up and down buttons on the controls next to the LCD zoom up to 4x and the left and right buttons control recording settings. The pad is also used for fast forward, rewind, and volume whilst playing the volume. The center button has various uses. It is used to control the start and stop of recording, capture a photo, and finally to play/pause/stop videos whilst watching them. There are four other buttons on the left side of the pad they aid you to watch the recording in Liveview or watch what you've shot; delete photos and videos; as well as using the settings. These changes in the settings will only improve visibility on the LCD screen not the video itself which is a bit of a pain, as if it is excessively sunny or dark the settings will not aid the video in getting better or worse.
To ensure water stays out of the camera all areas such as USB ports are kept well sealed and watertight by two small flaps or doors on each side of the camera body. The ports being covered include a USB port, a HDMI port, battery port, a slot for the memory card as well as a AV jack .
The video quality:
The video for a camera this size is phenomenal. The video at 1080p had a crispness that is very rare for a pocket camera and the colours are so vibrant it is unbelievable. Unfortunately on a large screen fast moving object can turn out blurry in the 1080p mode so it's a lot smoother on the 720p settings and the more you zoom the worse the quality but luckily it shoots very well in low light and there is noise reduction. And to be honest the underwater results aren't bad either.
The photo quality:
This disappointed me, it is just like shooting with a phone, and the photo quality is not all that amazing. It also takes a few seconds to shoot a photo before you can go for round two and I hate waiting. I think I shall stick to my camera when photos are concerned.
Loading photos onto the computer:
Firstly, like with most cameras you have to install the camera. This occurs immediately after you connect the camera via USB to your PC or laptop. This software is actually amazing it allows you to upload directly onto multiple applications like facebook directly. There is also a basic photo and video format editor included. I love the fact that it is all in one. I also love the fact that I can edit and enhance my videos on the software as well as add effect to the photos. The only downfall is this software will not work on my husband's Mac it is for windows only so I am restricted to my HP. On a Mac you would use this camera just like a USB and edit using whichever software's you have available.
You can obviously, not expect a minicamcorder to be as good as a normal HD camcorder at any aspect. But as far as most minicamcorders go this is an excellent piece of work and to be completely honest, its more than good for the pricing and it is an absolute beauty for the HD quality of videos.
Summary: The mini camcorder can take a lota rough luvin'.
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