The Kodak Zx1 is the latest pocket video camera from Kodak and sports HD 720 H.264 video capture as well as still JPEGs. It’s drop dead easy to use, very much like the Flip camera but perhaps slightly less intuitive. It takes a few minutes to figure out how to get in and out of different modes and one of our testers accidentally deleted a day’s worth of footage when they were trying to scroll through to find content to display on the TV.
We like the build quality of the Zx1. It feels more expensive than it is. It has nice rubberized covers for the various slots and connectors and is very beach friendly. Outdoor footage shot at 30fps looked fine for basic home video. We had a very windy day at the beach and were pleasantly surprised by the audio quality. We were expecting more noise. Color and saturation are okay and the results almost have a cheap film camera look.
The package the Zx1 comes in borders on misleading. The picture of the SD card on the package could easily fool some consumers into thinking it’s included in the package. It’s not and the onboard memory is useless. Luckily, our friends at SanDisk have sent us a variety of SD cards to test. We recommend at least an 8GB card so you can shoot several hours worry free. Since the Kodak Zx1 uses standard AA batteries it’s easy to reload for extra long days or when you’re on vacation. Kodak does include batteries and a recharger in the box. The recharger is big and cumbersome and not our favorite. We much prefer a flat style recharger that sits flush on the wall. This one is top heavy and literally fell out of a couple of sockets we used.
The Zx1 is priced at $149, right smack dab in the middle of the portable flash cam market. It’s sleeker and feels better made than the Flip camera but the video isn’t any better. Also, keep in mind, all of these tiny little cameras use tiny little lenses. Just because they capture “HD Quality” footage doesn’t mean it even approaches what you’ll find with professional gear. However, the convenience and the instant on experience make it all worthwhile. Because the truth is you’d never drag that big camera to the beach anyway.
So go with what you like. All these cameras in the $100-$200 range are pretty darn good considering the price. The Kodak Zx1 just happens to be one of the better looking and better feeling pocket cams. If a splash friendly design is important to you this unit definitely deserves a closer look.
Visit Kodak for more information.