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Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera – Red (2nd Generation)

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera - Red  (2nd Generation)

If you’re going to live with no limits, you need a pocket video camera that can deliver the goods in full 1080p HD. The Kodak PlaySport Video Camera is up for the challenge. We built it to take on the most extreme lifestyles with an insanely tough design – we’re talking shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof to a depth of 10 feet. And built-in image stabilization smoothes out even the roughest ride. Whether you’re carving up the mountain or pulling stunts in the skate park, the PlaySport is up for anything. And with a touch of the Share button, shocking your social network couldn’t be simpler. Show the world why you’re so Kodak. We dare you.

  • Shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof up to 10 ft
  • Kodak’s Share button lets you choose your favorite sharing destination, e-mail address, or Kodak Pulse Display
  • Full 1080p HD videos and 5 MP HD stills, with auto focus
  • Get sharper videos and less blur thanks to built-in digital image stabilization
  • On-camera editing

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What customers say about Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera – Red (2nd Generation)?

  1. 1,075 of 1,094 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Good camera overall, a bit grainy when shooting indoors., March 17, 2011

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    Customer Video Review Length:: 1:50 Mins

    The Kodak PlaySport Zx3 (the older model) was a pretty good camcorder (better than most in this category), so I was thrilled when I found out there was a new model coming out. However, Kodak made some changes that I was really disappointed about:

    When it comes to video quality one of the most important things to look at is the size of the sensor. The (new) Zx5 has a 1/3.2 sensor which is smaller than the (old) Zx3 with a 1/2.5 sensor. Basically, bigger is better when it comes to sensor size. Smaller sensors result in more “noise” which will affect the image quality. This is especially a problem in low-light situations. (I think the video quality is good in bright light situations, but it is a bit grainy in low light.)
    Now I don’t expect too much from a $179 camcorder, but the older model which came out at $149 (and is now even cheaper), has a bigger sensor (with the same CMOS type and 5 MP size). What’s up with that? Newer models are supposed to get better, not worse!

    The other significant change is that the Zx5 has an integrated battery. Yes, that means it’s non-removable. Which means that you can no longer keep spare batteries for “just in case”… and you know the battery always runs out at the worst possible moment. And, even worse, if the battery malfunctions/dies the camera is useless and you have to send it to Kodak for them to replace the battery ($$). And besides, what’s the point of making a camera that is capable of recording up to TEN hours (on a 32GB card) when a single battery charge can’t last even close to that?

    If you can get past those two BIG negatives then you might want to read about the GOOD changes:

    —-Macro mode has been added. (7 – 17 cm). This is a really great feature.
    —-Focus range: Zx5 is ~4 inches to infinity, while the older Zx3 is ~39 inches to infinity.
    —-camera is now shockproof. (Good for those of us who drop things. I am guilty of that.)
    —-Special “Cool Capture Effects” added. This is really great for all you creative types.
    —-sharing videos online is a bit easier with this model. (“3-step sharing”)
    —-records in MP4 format. The older model recorded in the MOV format. MP4 format is easier to work with in most video editing software.

    The other positives about this camera (but these are not new features):
    —-Waterproof (up to 10 feet)… but being able to record in macro under water is new.
    —-Image stabilization is pretty good for a pocket camera.
    —-Face detection ability
    —-Can record up to 10 hours if you get a 32 GB card
    —-Small and comfortable to hold on to.

    Comparing to Flip and Sony:
    I also considered buying the Flip UltraHD, but its image sensor is even smaller. It is 1/4.5. The Sony Bloggie was a good contender with its sensor being 1/2.5, and it takes better quality still photos, but it’s not waterproof and it also has the internal battery issue. You’re not going to find a perfect, pocket sized camera with all the features you want, and all for under $200. So, essentially, you have to decide which features are most important to you, and which features you are going to sacrifice.

    Overall, this is a pretty good camcorder and is filled with tons of good features, but I think it’s really too bad that Kodak made those changes with the sensor and the battery. Otherwise, this really would have been an awesome little camcorder. Despite those 2 big negatives, I bought this camera anyway (instead of the Zx3). (I really wanted the macro mode and mp4 format). If most of your filming will be in low-light situations I wouldn’t recommend this camera. It’s good if most of your filming will be outdoors or in bright light.

    If you do decide to get this camcorder, or any camcorder that uses SD/SDHC cards for that matter, be sure you get a fast card (a Class 6 or higher). A slow card can cause problems when recording.

    Also, the HDMI cable is not included with the Zx5. They will send you one if you pay shipping & handling ($6.50). The other problem that people may not know of is that if you happen to own the Zx3 and already have an HDMI cable and think you can use it on this camera then think again. You’re out of luck. The Zx5 uses a smaller cable. It uses the micro HDMI cable (type D).

    I did a lot of research before buying this camera and still had a hard time choosing. Hopefully this review will be helpful to you.

    (((I had to compress the uploaded video because of Amazon’s file size limitation. The original is better quality.)))


    ~~~Update 3-24-11:
    I don’t feel this camera is as bad as what some of the negative reviews imply. Sure, I shot some video that was horrible and really grainy, but I was in really low-light and I was moving too fast. I got much better results…

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  2. 315 of 326 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    2nd Generation PlaySport, March 14, 2011

    Kodak Playsport Zx5, is the more durable, weatherproof replacement for the first generation playsport, the Zx3, this one offers some new features better than the Zx3, yet leaves some features that i yearn they should have left on the Zx5.

    I am happy with the waterproof feature, its perfect for any summer holiday with your friends or family. However, dont drop it while your swimming because if it sinks deeper than 10 Ft., the pressure will force water through the seals (always use the included lanyard). Also, dont use it on normal beaches as the water usually isnt clear enough to be able to record anything, recording in swimming pools however, is entirely different. The clarity of a pool makes for some interesting recordings underwater that you dont usually see with regular camcorders like the Flip mino.

    The anti-glare feature is a nice touch, especially on the beach, its a software that artificially reduces the glare from your screen, but it does not effect the recording one bit, just the screen.

    The menu is pretty cryptic, no words, just alot of symbols which i am fine with, you are gonna read the instructions anyways, and most of the symbols are pretty self explanatory, the only real problem with this is that new people you let borrow the recorder might be a bit confused.

    Now, what does Kodak Zx5 offers to substitute the previous model?

    The first feature, sharing button system is created to simplify the video or image sharing process to popular social networks. With its new share button applied on the video camera, I just press a button and the video will be uploaded automatically. But to make it work, it has to be plugged into a computer with the software isntalled. Kodak has also added some new popular social network sites like Flickr, KODAK Gallery, and ORKUT.

    Second, it has macro mode, which enables me to shoot and focus small objects. This is an interesting feature and in my opinion this is a great main additional feature offered by Kodak. Great for recording small objects such as bugs or items. On recorders without macro, smaller items would just be blurred out of focus if the camera got too close.

    third, I can play out my creativity with its four capture effects. Theres black and white, sepia, bright colors and even the 70s film style. With this new feature, you can edit and trim your video with any style effects on the unit itself.

    fourth, the battery is not swappable unlike the zx3, so if you like carrying multiple batteries around for convenience, that’s not possible. That sucks because with the zx3 the battery isnt all to expensive and you would carry around one or two extra ones in your bag for backup. For the Zx5, the battery has to be charged again until you can use it which will take a couple hours. For one charge, recording in 720p 64 FPS, i managed 137 minuutes which isnt all to bad, but that means when i go out for travel, i will need to bring the charger and charge at night, a bit of an annoyance, however, i am used to apple products being like this, and i have a usb charger in my car so its not a deal breaker for me.

    last, all the recorded video files are in .mp4 format instead of the previous .mov format, .mp4 is much more compatible with more programs and easier to edit (as i was so generously reminded by another reviewer). All the files are stored on the HC (high capacity) SD card, i have a 32 GB card in it right now so i can hold up to 10 hours of recording, not bad.

    Don’t be surprised if HDMI cables and other related accessories arnt there as you will have to pay S&H for kodak to ship one to you.

    The other thing I found is, besides with its waterproof condition, Kodak announces this new model will be shockproof and dustproof too. The previous generation playsport only offered waterproofing up to 10 ft, but i guess if its waterproof, naturally, it should be dust proof too right?

    Overall, this is a great combination of HD recording filled with editing, social networking, and weatherproofing features.

    I bought these to help my little brother record his golf swing, i use the 720 64 FPS setting, which helps address parts of his swing that he is doing incorrectly, its no high speed camera, but its nice that such an affordable camcorder will suffice. I can pause at certain parts, and the swing will clearly stop with only little blur, 32 FPS cameras would skip some portions of the swing as there are not enough shots per second to capture many nuances of a fast golf swing.


    * Shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof up to 10 ft
    * Kodak’s Share button lets you choose your favorite sharing destination, e-mail address, or Kodak Pulse Display
    * Full 1080p HD videos and 5 MP HD stills, with auto focus
    * Get sharper videos and less blur thanks to built-in digital image stabilization
    * On-camera…

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  3. 130 of 136 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    What is the zx5 like, April 1, 2011
    Amazon Customer (uk) –

    i own the zx3. so when kodak said they where bringing out another waterproof camera with macro i couldnt wait to see what it was like.
    it is alot like all the other kodak camcorders. it records in the following:
    WVGA, 720p 30 and 60 FPS, 1080p
    it also has a 5 megapixel camera option on it.
    it has 4 extra colour effects which are good if the mood strikes.
    normal, High Saturation, 70’s film, Black and white and Sepia
    it also has the glare shield which the zx3 has. the difference with the zx5 is it has a sensor which change’s the screen automaticaly. i have tried it and it works very well.
    i found the low light to be better than the zx3. the 60fps low light was really good.
    it has an internal battery which some people dont like. i thought it would be a problem to but after having the zx5 for nearly a week i havent even noticed the internal battery.
    you can record 2 hours and 35 mins in 720p at 30fps. which is better than the zx3.
    you can edit the video on the camera its self and then press the share button to upload it on to facebook, youtube and other sites. you also have the arcsoft software that comes with the camera.
    the zx5 has water correction which i would ashume works the same as the H20 setting on the zx3. the underwater video is a lot better than the zx3. it is very clear and the autofocus works very well underwater.
    here is some underwater tests using both cameras:

    some people have said about the zx5 having bad audio. i have had a lot of pocket HD camcorders and some of them had bad sound others have had really good sound. to me the sound is ok. i would admit that the zx3 has slightly better sound but to me the zx5’s sound is ok.
    here is a sound test which was done. i dont think the sound is that bad.


    kodak have said that the zx3 will be discountinued soon. which means that the zx5 will take its place. i think that the zx5 has a lot to offer. the zx3 has some huge shoes to fill but it also has had its issues to.
    the only issues i have found so far are that there is a background noise when using the camera underwater. also sometimes when you move the camera infront of the sun you get a bronze flash on the screen. some times the autofocus tries to focus behind you when there is nothing there. its not as bad as the sony bloggie cm5 but it is there.
    i do like the zx5 and i have really enjoyed using it. i dont find the sound an issue and having used the zx5 for nearly a week i havent had any problems with the internal battey.
    at the end of the day you have to make up your mind what you want and what camcorder fits those needs.
    here are some pros and cons for the zx3 and zx5:
    ZX3 Pros:

    Cheaper. better sound. removable battery.


    soon to be discontinued. zoom has problem. low light is grainy. some have green pixels in low light. low light not so good. records 1 hour and 20mins per charge

    ZX5 Pros:

    has macro. has auto focus. better underwater video capture. battery records 2 and a half hours per charge. zoom is better. video quality is better. has special colour effects. low light is better. its dust proof, water proof and shock proof.


    slight background noise when underwater. bronze flash sometimes on sunny days. autofocus can sometimes jump. which means it goes out of focus for a couple of seconds.

    so there you go. i really like my zx5 and i think i will be using it alot more than the old zx3. i hope this has helped.
    for more videos and reviews check out Chrisc74 on youtube.


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