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Customer Review

188 of 195 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kodak Zx3 is an utter delight and totally heavenly., April 27, 2010
This review is from: Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera (Purple) (Electronics)
Over Christmas, my wife decided to award my awesomeness by getting me a Zi6. I loved this camera like a fat kid likes cake and took it with me everywhere that I went. Suddenly, my daughter was living her own personal Truman Show and everyone on my Facebook friends list was subject to video after video that I'd shot just about anywhere that we were of her being cute.

Not even a half a year had passed before I was totally devoted to the idea of the Zi6 but still wanting something with a little more horsepower under the hood (Image Stabilization, Facial Detection, Backlight Suppression). I was planning to go with the Zi8 but then I found this little bad boy. The Zx3 is essentially like the dashing, more adventurous midget version of the Zi8. It has the Zi8's guts but in a pint sized, water-proof body.

Pros:

1. Its freaking waterproof! In my opinion, this is almost 100% necessary with a camera that you carry around with you all the time. I'm often too stupid to come in out of the rain so the mere fact that this camera can take the moisture makes it a perfect fit for me.

2. Facial Detection, it works! The camera does an outstanding job of metering from whoever's grill that I happen to be getting all up in while using it. There's a noticeable lag when panning from the shadows to some sun-worshiping hippy but it's not that much. Maybe 1/3 of a second.

3. The image stabilization keeps my shots steady even when I'm jogging behind my 4 year old little girl as she goes from one place to the other being totally riot. It's digital instead of optical so it isn't perfect but it's still a far cry better than the Zi6. It¡¦s definitely a welcome upgrade as my footage no longer looks quite so much like every scene in Cloverfield.

4. I don't use the backlight suppression as much as I thought that I would (mostly don't need it) but its nice having it there.

5. I personally think that the low light performance of this camera is quite crunk! I've read lots of other reviews with people complaining about it but these folks probably complain that they don't get a side of caviar whenever they order a drive through happy meal. It's a pocket-sized camera. In my opinion, the Zx3 has the best low light resolution that you're going to find without upgrading to anything larger and more financially damaging to your checking account.

Cons

1. The thing runs on a proprietary battery so, unlike the Zi6 there's no more relying on AA's and Viagra to keep me going all day long. Kodak says that you'll get 90 minutes out of a full charge but they're lying to you like a bunch of dirty liars. Expect an hour without previewing.

2. Oddly, the 1080p recording mode doesn't make that much of a difference. The Zi6 maxed out at 720p and definitely got a worse picture than this Zx3 but that's mainly due to the internal processing differences between to two devices. It's not really a complaint, I guess. I've just found that 720p at 60fps is just as good or better than 1080p at 30fps.

3. This camera's lack of a macro mode makes it impossible for me to film my fungal infections to email to my doctor for diagnosis.

4. No case was provided! :( WTF Kodak? My Zi6 came with a case. True, it wasn't a very good case but it was there and I loved it! This one doesn't have one. I'm currently using one of my kid's unmatched socks to keep the screen and lens from getting scratched while it's in my pocket. Why does Kodak want me to be so ghetto?

5. The codec records in the .mov file format. This format is big and really annoying to edit in as it eats up processing power and makes your computer stupid. Know going into this that you're going to have to convert your files into a more manageable format before splicing together the next Citizen Kane.

All in all, I'd say that the Zx3 is pretty much the most amazing thing that I've owned ever since my wife got me my Zi6. The better image quality alone makes it worth the $150 that I paid for it but it's also waterproof! My wife didn't know that before I dropped it into my koi pond. The look on her face alone was priceless and worth every dollar spent.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 29, 2010 8:50:31 PM PDT
C. Sharer says:
This is the funniest review I've read all week! (and I've been reading altogether too many camcorder reviews while fretting over this decision). We have been so torn between the zi8 and the playsport - I am glad to know that you think the playsport works well enough under low light and that the internal mic was decent. We want a flash camera to capture our 3 yr old twins, and I think that the rugged water safe feature is more important for us right now than any loss in features. Ok...I'm done agonizing. Playsport it is. Thanks for the laugh out loud, informative review : )

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2010 10:49:36 PM PDT
T. Konzem says:
I also enjoyed your review. I get mine tommorrow I was holding out for the blue one. I am not looking forward to the editing part. How difficult is it to transfer the video onto a dvd? I gave up with my old camcorder and bought a recordable dvd player, maybe this will work again.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2010 5:34:09 AM PDT
HIROHITO99 says:
Thanks!

I have not tried to transfer onto DVD yet although I've heard that it's hit or miss with the software that's provided. I'd recommend getting a 3rd party editor. It'll be a little extra money but I think that you'll find the advanced options to be worth the money. Personally I prefer Sony's HD editor @ $50 although I also have Cyberlinks Powerdirector @ $80 and although it has less bells and whistles it is a lot easier to use.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2010 5:34:38 AM PDT
HIROHITO99 says:
Thanks!

I hope you have as much fun with yours as I have had with mine.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2010 12:22:47 PM PDT
Andrew T says:
If you just want to put MOV files on a DVD then I'd recommend "DVD Flick" at http://www.dvdflick.net as it works well on MOV files and is no cost! I found it after a lot of searching and it worked great for me!

Posted on Jul 19, 2010 7:03:07 AM PDT
Schelmy says:
Wonderful Review LOL!!!!

Posted on Aug 14, 2010 6:14:13 PM PDT
Erick says:
Dude. I was pretty much sold on this camera from the other reviews. But this one cinched the deal just because of the good belly laugh's I got out of it. You are hilarious. I think I want you to write my eulogy. Thanks for the good laugh and the great review.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010 11:54:26 AM PDT
Jerry Kokich says:
Thanks for such a fun and informative review!

Posted on Nov 27, 2010 11:48:46 PM PST
D. Shaffer says:
"Why does Kodak want me to be so ghetto?" PRICELESS! LMAO! Great review, THANKS for the info, ordered one for my bf for Christmas!

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 4:36:26 PM PST
Thanks for the review and the laugh!
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