Kodak Playsport ZX5 Review

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B004FLL5B8″ alt=”Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera – Aqua (2nd Generation) NEWEST MODEL” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41uZdYF17kL.jpg” align=”left” width=”291″ height=”500″]This is an in depth review of the Kodak Playsport ZX5 HD waterproof pocket video camera. This is the next generation of Kodak ZX camera range. This camera is marketed as a go anywhere do anything kind of camera. It is waterproof, shockproof and even dustproof. (The ZX3 was not dustproof).

The 3 Proofs: Waterproof, Dustproof and Shockproof

This tough little camera can withstand being ten feet under water and will keep working for up to two hours. It even has a “underwater white balance mode” so that underwater photos will look real.

The rugged design of the case protects the camera from mud, sand, dust or anything that can cause ordinary cameras to not operate correctly.

The ZX5 can take a fall from up to five feet high and still work as if it was never dropped. This is good for the active photographer.

Easy Three Step Sharing

With the social media craze today it is imperative that our camera be able to share without hassle.

1. There is a SHARE button to press while the camera is in review mode.

2. How do you want to share? Direct to a website like Facebook, YouTube, Kodak Gallery, Twitter, FLICKR, ORKUT, etc. or via email or Kodak Pulse Display. (The ZX3 had this capability, but the ZX5 makes it so much easier!

3. Just connect the camera to the computer. You can also use a memory card.

That was easy!

Choice of Resolutions

You can choose what works best for the situation, so many to choose from:

  • WVGA – this is a scaled down memory saving option for when you want to save small files to be uploaded for website use.
  • 720p at 30 fps – this operates for normal recording but yet in high definition
  • 720p at 60 fps – this is perfect for fast action (recording a sporting event) and grants great playback in slow motion.
  • 1080p – An HDMI cable is included so this optimal playback on an HDTV won’t miss a thing.

Focus on the Lens

These are how the lens works: 5.5 mm, 35 mm equivalent. 36 mm with still capture, WVGA and 720p. 48 mm with 1080p.

The lens has a 4 times digital zoom. The image stabilization is digital too with a 2 inch display. The camera can store 128 MB with its internal memory. It has an SD/SDHC card expansion slot that will hold up to a 32GB card.

Focus modes are in normal and macro. This is a huge upgrade from the ZX3 which had no macro-focus ability. So get right up to a flower and shoot a tiny ladybug with absolutely clear detail.

The focus range reaches:

  • 0.09 to 0.22m with macro underwater
  • 0.13m to infinity with auto underwater
  • 0.07 to 0.17 m with macro
  • 0.1m to infinity with auto

Easy Editing On-Camera

You don’t have to wait to upload to trim the video, you can do it right when you shoot the video and even save it as a new one. You can also create a still image with the camera’s video editing features.

When creating videos and photos you can choose from these really cool effects:

  • Black and white
  • High saturation to make bold and bright colors
  • Sepia
  • Make a 70’s style film with muted colors which gives it a retro look by keeping it a little grainy with a slight greenish cast.
  • The file format is in MPEG-4, AAC LC, JPEG/EXIF v 2.21.

There is a built-in digital image stabilization so you can receive the clearest images possible. Smart face tracking technology helps to capture people in the best light, because it locks in and focuses on faces.

The Arcsoft Software Perks

With the Arcsoft Media Impression Software you can trim and edit the videos. You can also pull out still images from the videos, so capturing the perfect shot is now so easy. Add voiceovers and create a professional video. Can also add in music and other photos to create neat mashups.

Kodak Playsport ZX5 Goodies

You get the camera and a user guide. Plus an adapter with cable for charging the battery. A nice wrist strap keeps it secured on the wrist. Also comes with Arcsoft Media Impression Software for Kodak and the Kodak Share Button App – on-camera PC only. The optional HDMI cable can be acquired for free when you register the Playsport, pay only shipping and handling.

The camera is manufactured in 2011 or later.

Technical: System Requirements

If you run Windows you need to have Windows XP SP2, Vista Windows 7 or newer. The browser needs to be Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.

If you run a Macintosh you need to have a Macintosh 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 or higher and the browser needs to be Safari 1.1 or newer.

The recommended hardware:

  • USB port – needs to be a 1.1 or higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Pentium 4, 1.4 GHz processor or better
  • Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz processor or better for use with HD video
  • 1 GB of RAM and at least 64 MB video RAM
  • 300 MB hard drive disk space available
  • 1024×768 display resolution


There is so much more about the Kodak Playsport ZX5 camera that is impossible to contain on just one page. The camera is affordably priced, rugged built for the active photographer, even takes video and pictures underwater. It stands up to a good degree of roughness with the tough built case. Kodak is a good brand that has produced many great cameras for years. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and a photographer, this camera will serve you well.

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