Kodak Playsport Zx5 Review



  • Waterproof to 3m
  • Withstands drop from 1.5m
  • Full HD shooting


  • No built-in memory
  • Fixed battery
  • No backlight compensation setting

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £129.99
  • 1/3.2in CMOS sensor with 5Mpixels
  • 4x digital zoom
  • 2in LCD
  • SDHC memory card slot
  • Waterproof to 3m, dustproof, survives drop of 1.5m

Kodak brought waterproof Full HD video shooting to a new low price with its Playsport Zx3. But whilst this model looked pretty rugged, Kodak gave no guarantee of its ability to withstand rough treatment. Enter the Zx5; rated dustproof and shockproof, as well as waterproof.

The dust rating complies with IEC 60529 IP6X, and shock proofing with MIL-STD-810F, meaning that the Zx5 can withstand a fall from a height of 1.5m. The waterproofing specification hasn’t changed, with Kodak still quoting a maximum depth of 3m, although this is now stated as being compliant with the IEC 60529 IPX8 standard.

Inside, the Zx5 has a slightly different specification to the earlier version. Both incorporate 5MPixel sensors, but the Zx5’s CMOS one is a slightly smaller 1/3.2in version, where the Zx3’s is 1/2.5in. This does have implications for low light sensitivity, and Kodak doesn’t mention any back-side illumination technology to compensate. The same range of recording modes are on offer. The top option is 1080p Full HD captured at 30 frames/sec, but you can also grab 720p at 30 or 60 frames/sec, and WVGA at 30 frames/sec. The latter is a widescreen version of VGA, with a resolution of 848 x 480 pixels. You can take still images at 5.3Mpixels, too.

Kodak Playsport Zx5

The Zx5 does come with 128MB of memory on board, but the lion’s share of this is already earmarked for the built-in software (of which more later), leaving a miserly 20MB for video – enough merely to check the camcorder is working. So you will need to call on the SD memory card slot. This only supports SDHC, not the latest SDXC format. So capacity maxes out at 32GB. This will be enough for around 13 hours of footage at the top 1080p quality setting.

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