As people share more of their lives on social media, sports and active hobbies continue to grow in interest. Many people want to film themselves doing more extreme activities or simply share their experience with the world. However, sometimes a phone isn't the most convenient tool to use when filming more active videos. This is where mini, or pocket, camcorders such as the Kodak Playsport zx5 have provided a solution.
Mini camcorders provide convenience and comfort, allowing you to record without having to lug filming equipment around. They also cost a lot less to buy than traditional camcorders and are very easy to operate. One of these camcorders is the Kodak Playsport Zx5.
Kodak PlaySport Zx5
The Kodak PlaySport Zx5 is a small Internet pocket camcorder used to record more active hobbies. It typically sells for around $85. It is a great, reasonably priced option for a mini camcorder. It has many features and advantages that puts it ahead of other mini camcorders on the market, and its own set of drawbacks. By looking at its specs, pricing, and comparison with other pocket camcorders that are available, you can decide whether the Kodak Playsport Zx5 is the camcorder for you.
The Kodak Playsport Zx5 is small and comes in different colors, weighing in at 4.5 pounds with a 2.0 inch LCD screen and encased in mildly rubberized soft-touch plastic. It has two lockable doors with rubber seals inside them on the side of the camera. The memory slots and ports are both held into place by switches that lock into place. Most of the buttons are found on the front of the camcorder and include a pad for scrolling and selecting footage or a photo, a settings/menu button, a share button, an editing button, and a delete button.
Compared to previous generations, the Kodak Playsport Zx5 is shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof. This makes it much more rugged and tough than its predecessors. It can stand a fall from a height of 1.5 meters and is waterproof up to a depth of 3 meters. While not recommended for extreme sports, these specs make it ideal to withstand most non-extreme leisure activities.
Because of the improved toughness of the Kodak Playsport Zx5, the battery is not removable, which means you will have to replace the entire camcorder if it becomes dysfunctional. If it does so once the warranty expires, you will have to buy another one.
The Kodak Playsport Zx5 incorporates a 5MPixel sensor with a 1/3.2 inch CMOS, which can negatively affect its low light sensitivity. It has three recording modes: 1080p full HD at 30 frames per second, 720p at 30 or 60 frames per second, and WVGA at 30 frames per second. WVGA is a widescreen version of VGA, offering a resolution of 848 x 420 pixels. You can also take images at 5.3M pixels as well.
Because it is a pocket camcorder, the Kodak Playsport Zx5 only comes with digital 4x zoom, which causes a drop in quality when it is engaged. There are several digital effects available, such as '70s films, high saturation, sepia, and Black and White. It includes an underwater correction filter that compensates for color shifts when filming underwater. Though it does have image stabilization, it is digital and not as effective as versions found on larger camcorders.
It also has microphone gain control, allowing you to compensate for very quiet or loud audio. You can also configure the LCD brightness and anti-glare system. There is also a macro mode in the menu system that allows you to focus down to 10cm underwater instead of 13cm underwater. However, there is no backlight compensation to counteract the effects of shooting against a bright background. The white balance is also a little off when filming in Full HD mode, giving a slight yellow tinge to footage shot in bright sunlight.
Software and Apps
The Kodak Playsport Zx5 comes with 128MB of built-in memory space; however, most of this is taken up by the pre-installed apps, leaving only 20MB of memory for actual video storage. This means that you will need to get an SD card for more serious filming. Because it only accepts SDHC, you get a maximum of 32MB of external storage, which amounts to about 13 hours of filming at the top quality of 1080p resolution.
It requires a cable to connect it to a computer, giving you two apps to choose from once connected. With the share button on the front of the camcorder, you can share videos and photos to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr via email, and share still photos via Kodak PULSE display gallery. Once you connect the camcorder to your computer, the videos and pictures will automatically upload to the social media account that you chose. You can also tag your uploads on Twitter, Yandex, Orkut, and KAIXIN001.
Kodak has a special version of Arcsoft's Media Impression that allows you to edit your clips before you upload them, and it installs automatically when you first connect your camcorder to a PC. Both apps, Kodak PULSE and Arcsoft Media Impression, are PC only and don't include Mac support. This is common with many pocket Internet camcorders, and this camcorder even has some on-camera editing options available.
The Kodak Playsport Zx5 typically sells on its own for around $85 on Amazon, making it fall into the mid-range price level when compared with camcorders on the market. Most other retailers, such as eBay and Newegg, sell it for several hundred dollars more in a bundle with other accessories such as SD cards, USB cables, and power adapters.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
No products found.
Ease of Use:
All buttons are on the front. It is small and compact and easy to use.
Waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, with two editing apps includd.
Includes a limited warranty with purchase of the camcorder.
The Samsung W190 is a small mini camcorder with a 2.3" LCD screen and a 1/3.2" BSI CMOS. It is very compact and lightweight, weighing less than a pound, and is known for its durability. It is waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, and records in Full HD 1920 x 1080 at 30 or 25 frames per second or HD 1280 x 720 at 30 or 25 frames per second. It has a fixed lens with 3x zoom and can also capture still photos at 5 Megapixels. It comes with a mini-HDMI port, allowing you to hook it up to the TV for HD viewing.
It has a decent battery life of 1 to 1 1/2 hours recording in full HD. It comes with auto-focus, auto-shutter, auto white balance, and a built-in microphone. It also has a built-in charging port, making charging it easier. It is usually sold in a bundle with accessories, so though it costs more than the average mini camcorder, it turns out to be a good bargain.
Much like the Kodak Playsport Zx5, the Samsung W190 comes with limited storage due to pre-installed apps and only records up to 30 minutes of footage as-is, so it requires the purchase of an SD card for greater external storage and recording time. It also does not record well in low light.
Ease of Use:
Most buttons on the front for easy access; very light weight
Waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, but has problems with buttons and ports working properly.
The camcorder comes with a one-year warranty.
The Veho VCC-003 mini camcorder has a unique design that allows it to be a truly hands-free camera. It does not have a screen only a lens on the front that has a 2MP CMOS, which means it weighs only 50 grams and measures just 2.17" long. It is encased in a thumb-sized metal alloy casing. This makes it perfect to use for extreme sports when coupled with the extreme sports mounting kit, something that other mini camcorders cannot claim. The on and off switch and the slot for the microSD card can be found on the side.
It comes with a 260 mAh lith-ion rechargeable battery and gets an average of 120 minutes of recording time, which is a good length of time for mini camcorders. Recharging only takes 30-45 minutes. It can record 640 x 480 resolution at 20 to 25 frames per second, with a 72-degree angle. However, it does not record well in low light. The camcorder is compatible with microSD cards up to 8GB.
Because it records in AVI format, you can burn, edit, and share your clips easily. You can also easily connect to your computer via micro-USB to upload your pictures, use it as a webcam, and even charge it, which makes it completely portable. In the box, you get a 2GB microSD Card, spring mounting clip, USB cable, carrying pouch, neck chain, users manual, and webcam software. There are also various mounting kits and accessories available for purchase on the Veho MUVI website, such as a waterproof case and a portable charger.
Ease of Use:
Very few buttons, so there's not a lot of options. Compact with micro-USB, which makes it great for sports.
Great battery life, easy computer connection, but not much storage.
This camcorder includes a one-year warranty.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a mini camcorder that is rugged, offers beautiful high definition, has superior storage capabilities, and is a reasonable price, then the Kodak Playsport Zx5 just might be the one for you. When we compare this mini camcorder to other pocket camcorders on the market, we give the Kodak Playsport Zx5 4.5 out of 5 stars.