Kodak Playsport Zx5 – True Full HD in a Shockproof Case

Kodak was not first out of the gate in the pocket camcorder market. For a long time they lagged behind Flip. Since they've introduced the Playsport Zx5, they're clearly leaving them far behind, though.

But forget about comparisons for now. The Kodak Zx5 is a superb camcorder / digital camera all by itself. Many of the features carried over from the Playsport Zx3 demonstrate that, and the new features only seal the conclusion.

Like its older brother, the Zx5 is a small, lightweight unit. It measures a very modest 4.4 "high x 2.3" wide x 0.7 "thick and weighs a mere 125 g (less than 1/3 of a pound).

The Playsport Zx5 is waterproof. Shoot in the rain, take it in your swimming pool, or dive under the surf down and never fear. It can shoot fine down to 10 feet for up to 2 hours. Even divers rarely stay down longer than that and fading deeper down would require special lighting.

Luckily, the Zx5 is far more than just a repeat of an earlier fine model. It's a definite advance.

Sharing video and photos on social media sites is easier than ever. A simple three-step process starting with a simple button push puts your video (or photos) on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, or some other popular sites. Or, select an email account, the Kodak Gallery or Pulse Display.

Shooting in full 1080p is now a realistic choice, too. Older models technically offered that feature, but beyond 720p it was often iffy. The Zx5 delivers. Plug this model into your HDTV using the HDMI cable and that will become obvious at once.

You can save a little space by selecting the 720p setting. Or, if you want to record high-speed action, choose the 720p / 60 fps setting. The video still looks great. For the truly space-thrift, there's a WVGA setting. However, thanks to inexpensive, large SD cards you will not need it. Even at 1080p, the Playsport Zx5 will hold up to 10 hours of material on a 32 GB SDHC card.

The high quality 5MP digital camera onboard means you will not need to carry along a separate still camera, either. A gentle tap switches it to 16: 9 ratio, letting you create true widescreen HD photos. In these days of 10MP cameras that may not sound like much, but without you crop a small image area and magnify it considerably, you'll never see the difference.

Built-in digital image stabilization ensures that both stills and video will be nice and sharp under normal circumstances. For that extra bit of stability it's easy to use the Zx5's tripod mount. Smart face tracking technology tells the camera a face is in the frame and automatically selects the proper focus and exposure.