June 6, 2011
- Portable and rugged
- Easy to use
- Very good image/video quality
- Non-removable battery
- No flash/video light
The Kodak PlaySport Zx5 is a rugged, portable mini camcorder that can record 1080p high-definition quality video and take 5-megapixel images. It has very good video quality and is easy to use, but it doesn't have a flash or light.
The Kodak PlaySport Zx5 measures 2.3 x 4.4 x 0.7-inches (whd) and weighs just over 4 ounces. It's definitely small enough to fit into a pocket or small purse, which is really great for on-the-go shooting needs. The body of the device is plastic, but it feels quite sturdy. The backside is slightly textured, so it won't slip out of your hands accidentally.
According to Kodak, it is waterproof for up to 9.8 feet and is shockproof (up to a 5 foot drop). We didn't test out these claims, but we're confident it can handle some rugged handling, but not too extreme.
The back of the Kodak PlaySport Zx5 has a navigation pad and only five buttons to make things really simplistic. It has a dedicated record button, playback buttons, delete button and a share button. Above these buttons on the back, there's a 2-inch LCD with a 154k dot resolution. The screen is pretty easily seen even in direct sunlight and has good quality.
On the left-side, there's a door that hides a micro-HDMI and micro-USB port. There's no built-in USB port on the door, so you'll always have to have a USB cable cable handy to connect it to a computer. Kodak does not include a mini-HDMI cable in the package, but for $6.50 in shipping costs, they'll send you one after you register the device on their Web site. The right-side covers an SD card slot to supplement the stingy 200MB of internal memory.
On the top, there's a power button and that's it. There's no flash or video light, which is fairly disappointing. The bottom does have a tripod mount, but it's plastic so heavy use might cause wear and tear on it.
The Kodak PlaySport Zx5 has a 5-megapixel resolution for still images and a 4x digital zoom and the video camera aspect of it can record videos at a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080-pixels (1080p HD) in H.264 format. There's also electronic image stabilization and the lens has a fixed focal length.
In subjective tests, the quality of video from the Kodak PlaySport Zx5 is very good, but not as good as a dedicated video camera, but that's to be expected. This type of mini camcorder is really great for taking on vacation or places where the camera might be bumped around. At 1080p HD resolution (the default is 720p HD), videos looked quite good, but a little bit soft for 1080p resolution. Sometimes the camera has issues with focusing, but overall it does a decent job.
Image quality with the digital camera feature is good enough for casual use and for some small size prints.
The rechargeable battery isn't removable, so that might be an issue for some. The rated battery life is 120 minutes while recording 720p video. Average recharge time is about 4 hours.
The included ArcSoft MediaImpression software is included on the Kodak PlaySport Zx5's internal memory, which installs onto whatever computer you plug the device into. Once it's installed, you can share images and videos to social media networks and social video sites with only a few clicks. There's also a basic editor that can modify images/videos as well as some light styling too.