Fri, 24 Apr 2009 Kodak Zx1 review
Weather-resistant addition to the HD pocket camcorder realm
- Manufacturer: Kodak
- Pros: Very reasonable priced, colour-oversaturation problems resolved, looks great and feels great in the hand.
- Cons: Flip Video MinoHD is a better HD pocket camcorder but is more costly, weak microphone.
- Min specs: CCD: CMOS x 1/4.5in; 1.6Mp; 3Mp stills, JPEG; fixed focus lens; Focal Length: 4.1mm; Aperture: f/2.8; Digital Zoom: 2x; Exposure/Balance: White Balance: auto; 2in LCD; SD/SDHC card expansion slot; Supported Video File Formats: H.264 (MOV), AAC LC; Video Resolution: VGA: 640×480; Built-in Microphone; Speaker; Video Out: 1 x AV; USB Ports: 1 x USB 2.0; Input Ports: DC In; Output Ports: 1 x HDMI; Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries included; 50.1x20x107mm; 0.09kg
- Price: £121 including VAT.
- Star rating:
2x digital zoom
The Kodak Zx1 also performed better in low light than the Zi6; that said, footage wasn't as smooth, and a bit choppier than our best low-light performer, Pure Digital's Flip Video MinoHD.
When its 2x digital zoom is zoomed out to its widest potential, the Kodak Zx1 is also in line with most other pocket camcorders. It offers the same wide-angle lens as the Zi6 and rivals such as the Flip MinoHD.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference when compared with the Zi6 - and with every other pocket camcorder - is the Kodak Zx1's weak microphone. The Kodak Zi6 has a great on-board microphone - the best we've heard in terms of volume and clarity - but the Zx1's microphone is at the bottom of the pack.
It had trouble picking up softer sounds in our standardised audio testing, perhaps because the mic is now on the top of the Kodak Zx1, rather than on the front of the device.
The Kodak Zx1 looks great and feels great in the hand; it kind of resembles a Nokia candy-bar phone on human growth hormones. It's far less bulky than the Kodak Zi6, with a hard plastic front and a slick, brushed-metal back.
Under its 2in LCD screen, which handled all lighting conditions well, are control buttons cut out of the metal: a record button in the centre, a four-way directional pad to control its 2x digital zoom and frame-rate options, and four dedicated buttons for deleting clips, starting and stopping playback, and jumping back into recording mode.
Helping its looks are its various colour schemes: you can buy the Kodak Zx1 in red, blue, pink, yellow, or black.
What's more, you can also swap out the Kodak Zx1's faceplate with a second designer battery cover included with the camcorder. Also in the box are a nice offering of accessories: an HDMI cable, a USB cable for offloading your clips to a computer, a plug-in battery charger (with two rechargeable AA Ni-MH batteries), a wrist strap, and a soft carrying pouch.