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Customer Review

319 of 330 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Generation PlaySport, March 14, 2011
This review is from: Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera - Black (2nd Generation) (Camera)
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 editing
* HD720 at 32 or 64 FPS
* HD1080 at 32 FPS
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2011 4:05:07 AM PDT
Z. Zhang says:
Thanks! i was going to buy the old zx-3 model, but your review persuaded me to get this one, i have accounts on many social sites and its nice to be able to upload videos automatically onto all of them

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2011 5:50:24 AM PDT
Mike says:
I am too contemplating buying this camera over Zx3.
There are another 2 things according to the specs. One positive and one negative.
Positive: You can shoot in MP4 format instead of MOV as ZX3 does. MP4 is easier to work with, more editing software available, smaller in size than MOV therefore easier to upload.
Negative: The battery pack is not removable.You can not swap batteries like in Zx3. Once the battery is dead, you have to wait for 6-8 hours to charge it. That will be a major deal breaker for many.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2011 6:39:12 PM PDT
Robert Cozzi says:
I have the Zx3 and it does a great job above water--below water you have problems for 2 reasons (1) The water must be VERY clear to get a good shot, and (2) you can't get close to smaller fish or other items, like coral, because the Zx3 will NOT focus close up. I didn't actually know about the 10 or 20 inch minimum distance of the older Zx3 until my recent trip where I shot a lot of underwater video and learned about it after the fact. :(

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2011 6:29:36 PM PDT
WMWM says:
yeah, but hey, you can still film in the swimming pool! :)

dont feel to bad, even with the zx5, underwater filming is only just mediocre since there are many things you have to consider like lighting, filters, and the constant changing of focus due to movement of fish and the camera

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2011 8:16:53 AM PDT
Valerie says:
I just used my zx5 for the first time on Saturday and I was expecting the first charge to take 4-5 hours like the instructions said, however it only took 2 1/2 hours! And when it died (which it seemed like it lasted awhile) I charged it again and it was only about 2 1/2 hours again. So both times I've charged the camera, it hasn't taken nearly as long to charge as I anticipated.

Posted on Sep 15, 2011 7:50:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 16, 2011 12:59:11 AM PDT
G. B. says:
missing some hard numbers on the battery.

i just got mine. did a full charge overnight, and then recorded the entire day, never playing with the menu.

around 100 minutes mark it showed the red battery on the top corner. another 35min until it shutdown.

on maximum quality, that ate almost 50% of my 16gb card. (7.6gb)

If you ever plant to use it underwater, spend another hundred and get a dmc-ts2. This one is not a underwater camera by any stretch of imagination. 3m is just to use in the pool or not get it damaged it it fall in the sea while using at the beach...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2012 9:55:54 AM PDT
J. Baker says:
Can you charge the unit while recording?

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 2:29:57 PM PDT
I've owned this camera since xmas 2011 and loved it just today 4/14/2014 it will not power up , plug in the charger usb and wall no blinking light, bad battery? and no one can fix it? what a great idea from a company that has been involved in pictures since almost the beginning of time. PS tried reset and that did not work either.
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