* Prices may differ from that shown
I recently celebrated my first wedding anniversary and decided that due to not having a perfect time on our honeymoon I would take my wife away on a second honeymoon and in order to capture all of those memories for her to be able to look back on happily I purchased her the Kodak Zx1 HD video camera in pink as her anniversary present and following using it on a number of occassions I felt it now fair to leave an honest review of this pocket video camera.
To start with the camcorder is a nicely designed piece of kit which looks extremely good (especially in the pink) and seems instantly like it is a well designed item from a well known and respected manufacturer with Kodak having years of experience in the taking of images and storing of memories.
The camcorder came with rechargeable batteries and charger making it an excellent package that allows for the continued use of recording your memories without needing to go out and purchase further items continually (other than a high capacity fast SD card as the internal memory only has 128MB storage).
Setting up the camcorder was very simple to do as once the batteries were charged you simply put them in and then put the back cover over the battery section and that is you ready to go and shoot your movies.
Ease of use:
The video camera itself was very simple to use once setup as you simply point and click and thanks to well designed controls you needn't be a genius to operate this and use features like zoom (although not a great quality of zoom as only 2x digital it is still useful).
The quality of the camera itself is good with the ability to record 720p HD video at upto 60 frames per second and the fact it is built to be weatherproof helps to allow users to feel confident that if changes in weather happen the memories need not stop being recorded.
The video camera does also offer the ability to take stills of a 3MP quality but for me this was not used much other than to test. The feature works ok and allows users to have a stills camera and video camera all rolled into one so saving them space which is good for when going on holidays where you need to fly as it also cuts down on your weight being carried.
Once your memories have been captured the video camera is put together in such a way as to make it easy to transfer them for others to see with an HDMI port on the camcorder allowing for you to simply plug the video camera straight into your tv or if you wish to upload the video to the internet then take your SD card out and plug it into a memory reader and upload straight to the internet, it is that simple.
Overall this video camera is a well built piece of kit that feels like a quality item. The ease of use makes it something that is excellent for all and thanks to excellent value for money is something you are less likely to be worried about if worst came to the worst and you damaged or lost it.
Well worth purchasing and an excellent present for your loved ones.
I got my first camcorder in 2007, 3 years ago. It was a mini DV camcorder, that while it would fit into your hand, was quite big and bulky and required old fashioned tapes to record onto. HD camcorders were just making their way onto the consumer market at this time, and the cheapest consumer HD camcorder was around £600 at that time, I believe. The most famous mini HD camcorder, the Flip Mino HD, hit the market November 2009. The concept of the mini HD camcorder, is that you have a small camcorder, the size of a mobile phone, that can record video in HD quality. While standard definition video material typically holds a resolution of about 704x480 or so, the lowest resolution qualified for being called HD is 1,280x720, and this is the maximum resolution supported by the Kodak Zx1.
The Kodak Zx1 is claimed to be weather resistant. Basically, it's not water proof, so won't survive being submerged in water, but it's supposed to survive splashing water and you should be able to use it in the rain or drop it in some sand without it ruining the device. While the actual enclosure seems to be made of plastic, all connector slots have a rubber cover. The buttons are also made of some sort of rubber. The camcorder is incredibly light. Must be about 100g or so. It's so light I do feel like it should be able to survive quite a few falls. My only worry is for the lens, as the glass in front of the lens is quite exposed, although that's just the way it has to be with any camcorder. However, there is no lens cover and nothing to protect the glass when the camera is not in use. It does come with a very nice carrying pouch, though, which is very soft on the inside, yet thick enough that I feel the camcorder is protected when in my pocket.
The camcorder can film in 720p HD 30 frames/second, 720p HD 60 frames/second, Standard definition and it can take still photos. The stills camera takes photos in 3Megapixels resolution and is comparable to mobile phone cameras, and I can't imagine using it for anything serious, so I will still need to bring my stills camera on vacation. There is 128mb of onboard storage, which is a joke. You'll be able to fit in about 13 seconds of HD footage. Thankfully the device supports SDHC cards, which are cheap and offer loads of storage. At the time of writing you can get a 16GB SDHC card for about £17 or 8GB for about £10. This would be enough for many hours of HD footage (approx 20 min. recording per 1 GB at HD 30 fps). There is an onboard microphone, which is somewhat low quality. When I got my Kodak Zx1, in August 2010, it came with firmware version 1.05. A firmware upgrade to 1.06 can be downloaded for free from Kodak's web site, and is installed easily by putting the files on the SDHD card and following simple instructions. This firmware upgrade is supposed to improve sound quality. If I am not mistaken, I think all it does is boost the gain a bit. The microphone does pick up a lot of noise, although I guess it is not much worse than your run of the mill mobile phone camera microphone. For any serious work I would use the Zx1 for, I would ensure to capture the sound independently and not use the sound captured by the Zx1. There is no image stabilization built into this, however, thankfully it can be attached to any standard tripod. There is a usb connector with a separate usb cable (not built into the device). When connected to the PC, the onboard storage will be available to you as if it was an external usb disc, and you can also access the SDHC card like this. The video you record with the Zx1 is automatically converted to H.264 .mov files that you can instantly play back in any decent media player (I suggest VLC) or import into any good video editing software package. Transfer speeds are fast. One must ensure to 'safely remove' or 'eject' the device from within Windows so as not to corrupt your data. Usb storage devices are vulnerable for this. The Kodak Zx1 is powered by 2 AA batteries. Rechargeable batteries, as well as a bettery charger, are included in the box. The batteries charge very slowly, the first charge taking 12 hours to complete. It can also be powered by a 5V DC adapter. This is not included. However, my Sony Playstation Portable power adapter is 5V, and this happened to work perfectly with the Kodak Zx1. Finally, there is an HDMI port, so you can connect the Zx1 to your HDTV. There is a cable included for this. I haven't yet been able to try this feature. Of course there is a small screen on the camera which both works as menu screen and view finder as well as for playback. There is also a small speaker on the Zx1. This works reasonably well, although obviously you'll need to play your footage back on your PC or TV to see all the details and to properly assess the quality of the footage.
I got this mini camcorder because I love gadgets, and I was dissappointed with the quality of the footage from my standard definition mini DV camcorder. I didn't use my mini DV camcorder as much as I thought I would, to a large part because it was big, heavy and bulky, and I was disappointed with the quality of the footage. Even with proper lighting and the camcorder on a tripod, I was never really satisfied with how things looked. The idea of a super light and portable HD camcorder is very intriguing. It is obvious the quality won't be able to compare with a big, heavy and bulky HD cam, but could it superceed my old mini DV cam? If you look on Youtube, you'll see footage from a whole bunch of people who are testing out the Kodak Zx1. These clips tend to reveal that the device has a lot of potential, while also exposing weaknesses. These run of the mill users are using the camera the way most people will, handheld in a spontaneous setting. Thing is, I am not a run of the mill user. Shaky, handheld video footage, with the camera being panned around at high speed is very unpleasent to watch, and it does expose that the camera can't quite keep up with you if you are going to make a lot of fast movements. Now, what I wanted to see was, if I use the camera sensibly, can I achieve professional looking results? Is a £50 camcorder able to produce professional looking results? In the hands of the run of the mill user: no. The visual quality will often be decent, but shaky footage is a dead giveaway. Thankfully the camera can be attached to a tripod. This is a godsend. This is your portal to decent looking quality footage. This and correct lighting conditions. You have no way to alter the camera's settings, to adjust white balance, shutter speed etc. The camera does everything automatically, and all you can do is point and click and hope for the best. I want to make a music video. I have a brick wall in the garden that during daytime is illuminated by the sun. On an overcast day, when the sun is not too strong, I have put my Zx1 on a tripod stand, pressed record and filmed the band in front of the brick wall. So the camera was 100% still. When looking back at the footage, the quality of the footage is very good. To make it look artistically more exciting, I opened the footage in the editing software Sony Vegas on my PC, and I colour corrected, to very subtly emphasize the colours I thought would best reflect the mood. I adjusted gamma correction, brightness and contrast, as well as saturation. Using these tools I made my footage look edgy and modern and very fitting for a music video, and it looks like it was filmed with a camcorder ten times the price! The main weakness now is that the footage is still. In Sony Vegas I can add smooth, gliding camera action without the quality being noticably affected. I do this by making just very subtle movements. So I now have edgy and modern looking footage with sliding steady cam movement, and for how much? £50. Fair enough, the editing software was crucial for this, and Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD 10 Platinum Production Suite cost me £69. Still, my verdict is, yes, this £50 camcorder can produce reasonably professional looking results, but it will be much harder than with a proper (and far more expensive) camcorder. There are limitations, but find a way around them, and this will produce brilliant results. I don't know how many people will actually attempt to be artistic with this camcorder. I am guessing it is primarily targeted at those who want to film while on vacation and such, and if you belong to the crowd who are happy to do handheld footage and are not obsessed with achiving super professional results in your editing software, you can't go wrong with the Zx1 at this price!
In my experience, this £50 HD camcorder, the size of a mobile phone, produces superior footage to my mini DV camcorder. My mini DV camcorder was better at handling movement, so it is far more difficult to get very good footage with the Zx1, but assuming you are filming outdoors it is as easy as point and click to get very good consumer video. If you put bigger demands on your footage, you will have to come up with some workarounds for the sensitivity to movement,as it's very hard not to end up with shaky footage with such a light device. I believe I have proven to myself and my friends that you can achieve impressive results with this camcorder. Because of the build quality and the price, this is a product that makes you want to bring it with you places without being afraid of smashing it. For me to be able to get the high quality footage I crave, I do need a tripod and very good lighting conditions, but the power of having a HD camcorder in your pocket at any time is immense.
What a delight this little box of tricks is. I recently bought this for my husband who wanted to video the dogs when he takes them for a walk. He is not techie minded and did not want to use the bigger cam corder that we have. This is absolutley perfect for the job. It is very simple to use, with all the controls on the front and once you know what each symbol means there are very few options to remember. The quality of the filming is excellent. It certainly rivals the quality on my Sony DVD Camcorder and was a fraction of the price. The footprint is also amazing. It is no bigger than an average mobile phone and with the armoured casing on is very durable. The whole lot cost £50 (data card extra £13:00) which is truely unbelievable. You do need the data card as if you try to do any hi def videoing without it you can only film about 20 seconds worth.
The batteries are rechargable and it comes with a charger for them. They need about 8-12 hours for a full charge.
Only one word of warning, is about deletion. The option to delete gives three options, a red x, a green tick and mutliple green ticks. The red x means do not delete (or cancel) and the green tick means delete. This confused both me and my husband and several others who also have this camera. I automatically assumed that the red x was red for warning and meant delete. I lost some nice bits of flming as I pressed the tick (thinking I was keeping it DUH!) Never mind, I know now.
Tansferring the vids onto PC is very easy. The software is contained on the camera and when you connect with the USB cable to the PC it auto installs the necessary software. Once you view the filming on the PC you will be amazed by the quality. It also has a screw slot for attaching to a tripod.
There is a sound firmware upgrade that you need to install when you first start using this. You download the firmware file and upload to the data card (via usb connector). Then you install the firmware onto the camera. Make sure that the camera is fully charged and do not switch off during install as you will corrupt the camera. Once this is done the sound is brilliant. The link below takes you to the right location to find the file.
There is also an HDMI cable for connecting to a Hidef TV. I tried this but could not get it to work. The Camcorder is 780p and my TV is 1080p so that may have been the issue. My mate did get his to connect to his old TV without any problems.
It is also showerproof and with its amoured casing can be dropped and should still work, so great for action filming.
This is probably the best gadget that I have bought in the last few years. My husband loves it.
First things first lets talk about what in the box.
A nice grey pouch, to keep the camera in
2 Kodak batteries, fully charged ready to use
A plug in battery charger
A/V cables so you can plug it right into the TV
and a spare battery cover, very handy
The camera is very easy to use, 2 minutes after opening the box I was recording a video. It has 3 shooting modes SD, HD, and HD60. It really just a point and spot device it does have a zoom but its not that great. You can also view and delete the videos from the camera but that's about all. If you are looking to do any editing then you will need to import the video into an editing software package. You will need an SD memory card to record on to otherwise you will get about 30 seconds on the camera inbuilt memory. I am using an 8 Gb card and that gives more than enough recording time. As I said before the camera does have A/V output cables in the box. There are port on the side A/V out, micro HDMI out, and 5V DC if you want to run the camera off the mains power. I have only used the A/V out and play back was fine on my TV however I thing to get the best you would be better off using the HDMI output. The ports are covered by rubber covers that fit right into the side off the camera. It also has a screw on the bottom that fits fine on any standard tripod. On to the video, I only use D to record (720p) it looks great when used outside in sunlight, however when I am recording indoors using electric light the footage can look a little grainy. To be honest this is sold as a youtube camera and if that's all you are using it for then you will not be disappointd. The video is saved as .mov which can be directly uploaded to you tube that is what I do. All in all for you tube its fine, however the fact that it does not have movable screen means it is had to record yourself without a tripod
I'm a typical man in that i absolutely love my gadgets but unfortunately me and technology don't really mix very well so when I was looking for a video camera I knew I wanted one of the new generation of point and click cameras. After a bit of research I had almost decided to plump for the Flip pure digital ultra HD which was 130 pounds. Just before I was about to buy it I received an email from Amazon with some product suggestions and seen the Kodak zx1 was reduced from 149 to 49.99 pounds. I couldn't believe this price and thought it seemed like a complete bargain for a HD video camera so i bought it straight away in case the item sold out like they are want to do on Amazon.
When my package arrived i was pleasantly surprised by the camera it is slightly bigger than a mobile phone so it is easy to just put in your pocket. It didn't look cheap in the slightest with brushed metal and rubber buttons. I got the one with a red trim and it looks really funky and much more expensive than its 49.99 pounds.
Kodak says that thanks to It's casing being metal and rubber this makes it weather proof, i have used it in the rain and everything was fine but i would still be nervous of using it if the weather was really bad.
It really is a point and shoot camera, out the box the camera comes with 2 AA rechargeable batteries and it takes a SDHC memory card to store your videos. The camera itself has a tiny internal memory not worth even mentioning so you need to buy the memory card but this is a good thing as the Flip for instance only comes with a maximum of 8GB internal memory and you can't use a memory card so you are stuck with it whereas with the Kodak you can get a 32GB card and there is nothing stopping you from using more than one.
Although the Kodak doesn't come with a memory card it does come with a battery charger, usb lead and a HDMI cable for connecting the camera to your HD television so you can watch your videos on your big screen TV instead of just your laptop. This really is a good bonus as iv found out since mi purchased my camera that you normally have to buy these cables yourself.
Once you put in the batteries and memory card you are ready to go. Turn the camera on and press the record button and there you have it it's as easy as that. On the 60fps setting the video quality is excellent with rich colour and every detail vivid and lifelike. There are some other buttons and features on the Kodak which are not obvious what they are for which makes for a few minutes of fiddling to find out which buttons do what but this really doesn't take long and even the most technophobic people out there will be able to figure it out within a few minutes of filming.
The camera is also able to shoot still photos but at 3mp it will never replace your digital camera, the still pictures it takes are similar in quality to those taken on a mobile phone but slightly better. Not great for those special moments but a good addition for taking spur of the moment photos.
Now for the problems with the camera, it does suffer from some shake if you don't keep it completely steady in your hand and the sound on it is not the greatest I've ever heard. The zoom is rubbish but for a small point and shoot camera you are never going to get a great zoom.
There is also what i consider to be a pretty big flaw in that it doesn't tell you when you are running out of memory on your card it just stops filming which could cause problems for someone who has forgot to put their videos on their computer and they may miss something they wanted to film.
Putting the videos on your computer is a complete breeze. Just connect the camera to your computer and install the software built into the Kodak and you can edit your videos by trimming them, adding music or joining them together. It's really simple to do and then you can also upload your videos direct to youtube so you can share them with family and friends.
I think this camera is absolutely fantastic. For 49.99 pounds you are getting a great little HD video camera that looks brilliant and performs really good. It's never going to be as good as a high end video camera but then again it's not designed to be it's a fun little gadget that is ideal for putting in your pocket so you can take it everywhere with you and capture all those moments you always wish you could. I hope my review helps if you are looking for a point and shoot camera and i can definitely recommend the Kodak zx1 to you, there may be other slightly better point and shoots on the market but not for this bargain price.
Firstly, I have to say that although I do own a few digital cameras I am in no why an expert in figuring what makes them tick. I may be able to take a picture which is good enough to see what the lens was aiming at but if you asked me how the camera actually managed to snap that image then I'd be as confused as a baboon on the Krypton Factor.
But, I do want to tell the world about a certain little camera which I have recently had the pleasure of using due to, luckily for me, an unfortunate incident which happened to my work colleague. (may I wish him a speedy recovery)
Anyway, due to his work load and the fact he was unable to complete a very important project he asked me to carry on where he had left off, giving me his documentation and this rather tasty looking camera, which at first I was a little bit confused at what it actually was.
I know I must have looked a little more confused than I meant to as he was soon explaining about how the camera works rather than what work he needed finishing off, but after a few minutes of what he called 'intense tuition' I was confident that the camera and I would soon be close friends indeed, a lot closer than the task he wanted me to complete would do.
So, with the files under one arm and the camera in my jacket pocket I was away on a favour for a work colleague and a close friend, (one in the same person).
** Brief specifications for the Kodak Zx1
* 1.6Mp video camera
* 3Mp still camera (JPEG)
* 2 inch LCD screen
* 2 x digital zoom
* Automatic white balance exposure
* MOV, AAC LC video file format support
* Ni-MH rechargeable batteries (which are included)
* 128 MB internal memory
* SD/SDHC card capability
* Size: 50.1x20x107mm;
* Weight: 140g (approx)
* Built in microphone, (although no external microphone socket)
* Internal speaker
** IN CONCLUSION...
Firstly may I say that as my colleague is still not able to use this camera due to him still being a little... 'off colour', shall we say, I am still in possession of this little beauty, now using it for my own 'projects' after finishing his, much to his satisfaction may I add. So, I have had a little more experience using this than I would have, therefore I feel I can give a good enough verdict about a camera as seen through the eyes of an amateur photographer.
Anyway, when I initially used this I was a little sceptical about the quality of the images it would produce, basically because I needed to take images that would be presentable and clear. But as my friend had already started using this for his 'project' I could only assume that he was happy with me continuing to do so.
So when I began actually using it, once I had mastered the tricky buttons, a was amazed by the cracking results it achieved.
Once I had taken the required footage I found it simple to put the information onto my PC, via the HDSD card rather than using the micro USB cable, and once on the PC I was quite amazed at the quality of the shots taken.
The video footage was crystal clear, as were the images, although some shots were a little grainy when taken in low light, but most were good enough to go onto the finished projects creating some rather remarkable footage, although the camera was only the spawn needed to create the finished project, but a good finish needs a good start.
It is such a compact video/still camera, being just slightly bigger than a 'oldish' style mobile phone, it is so easy to actually carry around, almost like having a second, if slightly larger mobile in your jacket pocket which you use as just a camera.
The one I am using is a nice black colour with a few red additions, mainly the buttons which do look like something from a 'Startrek' control panel, but I do believe it also comes in red with a few black additions.
Speaking of the control buttons, they may look a bit 'out there' and I did find them a bit tricky at first, with them being almost level on the surface, feeling like tiny rubber stoppers under your finger as you press them, but after a few goes I was soon pressing the right buttons quicker than whippet on a hot tin roof.
It does have a bit of a 'small' internal memory, being 128MB, but as you can slot a few GBs of extra memory via an SD or HDSD card into it this lack of in built memory is not that disappointing.
The viewing screen may be a little on the small size, 50mm (2 inch), but the image it shows is as clear as day, giving you a cracking view of what the lens is aiming at.
I do know, and so does everyone really, there are so many video cameras on the market these days, some a little cheaper than this and several more expensive than this, but for the price of this pocket size camera you will certainly feel that you have netted a bargain.
The prices average around the £130- £150 region, but for this you apparently get camera, cables, a mains charger, a pair of NiMH rechargeable batteries, a wrist strap and a carry pouch. (I say 'apparently' as this is what I was given when I borrowed the camera).
** Other information... which I can not personally verify
There is in built software, namely the Arcsoft MedialImpression, but as I never used this I just would not like to comment on it.
It does claim to be water resistant but as I never had to use it in the rain I can not comment on that either.
But remember, water resistant is not the same as water proof so don't be going swimming with it.
** Be warned...
You do need to buy a SD/HDSD card to get the most out of this camera as the internal 128MB of memory is pretty weak indeed and can only store a small amount of video footage and still images.
In all, a brilliant little pocket size camera which will help with keeping those precious moments alive forever.