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Kodak Zx1 Blue Pocket Video Camera with 2.4

Kodak Zx1 Blue Pocket Video Camera with 2.4" LCD, 16:9 Aspect Ratio

BY KODAK #89 in Camcorders

3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.50 / 5 based on 2 Reviews

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Kodak Zx1 Blue Pocket Video Camera with 2.4
Kodak Zx1 Blue Pocket Video Camera with 2.4" LCD, 16:9 Aspect Ratio
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REVIEWS
Dom S.
Plainwell, MI
3 reviews
I bought the Zx1 to take along on motorcyle trips. I installed a camera mount on my motorcyle for on the road video. Here are some of the good and bad points.

The good:
1.Easy to carry.
2.Uses AA batteries or AA rechargeable batteries.Easy to find.
3.Different choises of recording quality. VGA,HD30, or HD60. Will also
take still photos.
4.Uses a standerd SD or SD HC card. Cheap and easy to find in stores.
5.USB connection to the computer.
6.Videos I have taken are pretty good quality.
7.I can actually operate this thing while on the move on my motorcycle
without crashing. It is simple to operate.
8.Pretty rugged.
9.Fast bootup and quick to record time.
The Bad:
1.Eats batteries like a thirsty camel.Bring spares.
2.Video has no image stabilization. You need a steady hand or a tripod.
Bring Dramamine if you are watching video where the camera is moved
quickly.
3.Include SD cards and batteries in the final price for comparison with
other cameras.
4.Records in Quicktime. Yuk for us WMV users.
5.Operating symbols on the back are cryptic till you get used to them.
Don't press the wrong (small) button like I did or you will delete
your videos.
6.Software is OK (it's comes with the camera)but good editing and maybe
format converting software may be a consideration.
7.I was not real fond of the software being pre-loaded on the camera and
installing itself when the camera was hooked up to the computer.I would
prefer it came on a disk. This way I would have more control when new
operating systems came out.
Overall it is a fun camera to use. It is very portable and pretty durable.
HD60 videos were pretty clear. Good outdoor camera. Poor low light camera.
I think I would wait on buying one if I did it over. It reminds me of the first digital camers that needed a few generations to develope. Still, it is an impressive device for being so compact. It is a shame it's been discontinued.
Sally A.
76 reviews
For the 40 dollar current sale price being asked, it would be hard to beat the Kodak Zx1. First, that's darn cheap for any kind of decent video camera. Second, this thing appears to be well made and has a very nice case, simple controls, is very easy to use (Look, Ma, no menus!), and has a very nice feel in the hand due to the textured, case material (so you won't always be dropping it). The controls are back-lit and easy to see in the dark and you can even control it just by feel as there are raised ridges between the areas you press - overall an excellently designed and engineered video camera.

I had mine up and recording in just a few minutes. There's no manual, just a quick start guide and that's really all you need. This thing is very simple to use. I picked it up and figured it out just fooling around. (If anyone needs help, post in comments and I'll try to help. I figured out most everything, I think.) It is pretty basic, not a lot of "special" features, but you know what? Most people never use 'em anyway, so getting simple, straight-forward operation is fine by me.

This thing is a steal at the current price. Once I have time to run some more video quality tests I will come back and update this review, but I wanted to get this up for anyone considering this while the deal is still good. I'm tempted to buy another one at this price!

2012-06-15 Update: I did some video tests and the quality was good. There are a few color moire issues with patterned surfaces, and the lens is pretty good but not excellent, though fine for this price. Overall, the quality is great for the casual videos this is meant for and very acceptable. About as good or better than other similar cameras in this price range. A pleasant surprise was the still image quality. Very decent for this type of device. After seeing the test videos, I came back and bought another one. At this price, it is a superb value.

The case is weather/water resistant. I would not submerge it, but for use in light rain, at the beach or a pool, it should be fine. It seems fairly well sealed to me.

It has a triPod mount thread on the bottom (just a tiny bit off center from the lens). The LCD display seems fine. The size is a bit thicker than some, but that, plus the textured case material, actually make it easier to handle.

It comes with an HDMI cable, an A/V cable (mono-audio and composite video), and a USB cable; a battery charger and 2 Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, a draw-string bag, and even an extra back plate (black). That stuff alone is worth 15-20 bucks or so. Heck...I'm thinking of buying a couple more as gifts!

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Some more notes...it uses widely available standard AA size Ni-MH rechargable batteries. I'm getting reasonable life from them. I have lots of these type batteries on hand (they're fairly cheap now) so no problems there. Also, this is meant to be used outdoors in good light and it's fine there. Inside, like most other video cameras of this type, the quality will suffer (visible noise due to heightened gain applied to sensor - very common). I'm familiar with this and so my expectations were realistic.

A NOTE ON BATTERY LIFE: This vidcam does drain batteries quickly in a sense. I have seen this before (early digital SLR's sometimes had this issue). For short clips (5 minutes or less) no problems, but if you record longer clips, the batteries will "appear" to drain to empty. Really, it is just a voltage drop. The camera uses a cheap voltage sensor to measure battery life (vs. more expensive and more accurate amp/current circuit). If you turn off the camera and let the batteries "rest" for a minute or two, voila, they will have miraculously come back life. Because this vidcam was designed for short, outdoor, action clips, I guess the engineers thought this acceptable. But it may confuse some. If you use regular batteries, don't throw them away if they appear depleted according to the camera battery gauge. Same with rechargeables, you don't need to recharge, you can let them "rest" many times before recharging.

Note that if you shoot short clips (< 5 minutes) at a time and have a minute or two between shots, you'll never even see this issue.

The zoom is jerky and best used for framing before shooting rather than "zooming in" live. Again, my expectations are realistic, having used many video cams of this type, and so not a big deal to me. Overall the Zx1 works very well, is very easy to use, takes decent quality videos and still shots, is attractive, well designed, and best of all -- fun!
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2012-06-20 update: I ended up buying four of these before the sale ended. Now back to $65-$130 prices. With fantastic ease of use, weather-proofing, illuminated controls, good build quality, decent video quality, passable audio, decent stills, and all the included accessories, this was a true bargain. The HD 60 fps mode is good for outdoor action videos.

Great pocket-cam. Great gift item. Would be a good choice for kids, too.
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