Kodak PlaySport Zx5


A waterproof camcorder from Kodak

Kodak’s newest model, the Kodak PlaySport Zx5, is the company’s second-generation waterproof full HD camcorder. It is also the first device to sport the autofocus option. Is the gadget any good? Find out from the following review.

Very resistant at shocks

First of all, the Kodak PlaySport Zx5 is shockproof, dustproof and waterproof. During our test we dropped it from a distance of 2 meters and it didn’t break into a million pieces; we took it underwater at a depth of 3 meters and it didn’t die. With measurements such as 4.4″ x 2.3″ x 0.7″ and a weight of 125g, the camera recorder is almost the same size and weight as its predecessor. Because the device is shockproof, dustproof and waterproof, you can’t remove the battery any more. This means that users will have to get a new product if the one they bought runs out of warranty or gets damaged.

Simple but effective design

In terms of design, the PlaySport Zx5 looks simple and the colors it comes in are black, white and red. The gadget had a rubbery texture, so we didn’t encounter any problem while holding it. The back sports five controls and a direction pad; each of the respective buttons has an icon which makes looking for certain setting – Settings, Playback, Camera, Camcorder and Delete modes – a very easy operation. The top houses the Power key. The rear sports a 2.0″ LCD screen with 145.000 dots; that is rather unimpressive, especially when compared to other devices in the same category.

Just 4x digital zoom

As mentioned in the beginning of our review, the Kodak Zx5 is the first to feature an autofocus lens instead of the fixed focus one found on the other HD camcorders. This translated into the gadget’s ability to re-focus and switch modes automatically; subjects always appeared in focus and clear whatever the distance from them to the device. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t introduced an optical zoom or optical image stabilization to this model.
When it comes to features, the camcorder we tested boasted some nice digital effects; some of them: Black and White, High Saturation, ‘70s Film and Sepia. As a con, the 4x digital zoom is a drop in quality from previous products. There is also an underwater correction filter and this one did a good job of compensating for the color shift we noticed when we used the device underwater. Other features are Face Detection, mic gain control and macro mode. On the downside, there’s no backlight compensation option.

Good overall performance

In the overall performance department, the Kodak PlaySport Zx5 did well. We were able to record content in HD 720p at 30 or 60 frames per second or at 1080p at 30 frames per second. The format used is MP4. The camcorder could also take 5.3-megapixels photos. When the light was good, the device snapped decent pictures which didn’t have that much noise.
In terms of connectivity, the gadget sports a micro-HDMI port but no HDMI or USB connectors; you will need to register on the company’s website and get them for free if you want to connect the device to a PC, laptop or HDTV. The Kodak Zx5 offers 2 apps with which you can either edit videos before uploading them or upload content and share it on YouTube, Facebook and the like. The product’s capacity can be extended to 32GB.

Review conclusion

To sum it up the test and review conclusions, the Kodak PlaySport Zx5 is a worthy buy. It is a rugged, durable and good camcorder.

Technical specifications

Sensor TypeCMOS
Maximum5 Million (s) pixels
Optical Zoom0
Digital zoom4
Sensor1 Sensor
Depth in mm0
Recording MediaInternal Flash Memory
Type CamcorderCandy Bar
Height in mm110
Lowest Focal Length in mm0
Wireless InterfaceNot
Digital InputsYes
Focal Length in mm0
Port IEEE-1394Not
USB PortYes
LCD Screen Size2
LCD Monitor Resolution in Pixel0
ResolutionFull HD
Shutter Speed fastest in Second0
Shutter Speed slowest in Second0
Maximum Aperture Tele5.5
Maximum Aperture Wide5.5
Sensor Size1/3.2 “
Type of Memory Stick0
Type of SD Card0
HD Recording Format0
Photo Mode Resolution Width in Pixel0
Photo Mode Resolution Height in Pixel0
Image StabilizerStabilizer Electronic
Capacity in GB0