Although the Zx5 has a slightly smaller sensor than the Zx3, video quality isn’t noticeably different. In Full HD mode, there’s plenty of detail, but white balance is a little off, with a mildly yellow tinge to footage shot in bright sunlight. The results are still good for a camcorder in this class, however, comparing well to similarly priced Flip models. Low-light performance is decent, too. The image is a little dark, but there’s not much sign of noise, and there’s a good level of detail. Sharpness is some way behind more expensive pocket Internet models such as Sony’s Bloggie Touch MHS-TS20K, but this is again a commendable performance.
Although the Zx5 is still essentially a pocket Internet model, the constraints of waterproofing have prevented the usual addition of a full-sized USB plug. So you will need to bring the cable with you to connect the camcorder to a computer. When you do, there are two apps available. The Share button on the camera lets you choose to upload to Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, via email and (in the case of still images) your Kodak PULSE Display gallery. The uploads then proceed automatically when you connect the camcorder to your computer. You can also tag your uploads on Twitter, Orkut, Yandex and KAIXIN001, although the actual choices depend on the region in which you bought the camcorder.
If you want to edit your clips prior to upload, there’s also a special Kodak version of Arcsoft’s Media Impression, which installs automatically when you connect the device to a PC. This provides facilities to trim your clips; add a voice-over, pictures and music; grab stills from video, and then upload to your favourite sharing site. Both apps, as with so many pocket Internet camcorders, are PC only, with no Mac support. However, there’s also a limited amount of on-camera footage editing available. You can trim the in and out points of clips, and grab a still frame as a separate photo.
The Kodak Playsport Zx3 was already great value for a waterproof pocket Internet camcorder. The Zx5 is around £30 more than the current price for the Zx3, and although it doesn’t add much in the way of extra features, the improved shock rating makes it even more dependable for outdoor activities. The Zx5 can’t quite compete with its predecessor’s sub-£100 price, but we’d still recommend it if you want a camcorder you can take with you anywhere, come rain, shine or a rough ride.
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