The Kodak Playsport ZX3 is a pocket camcorder that can take videos and photos underwater. Its small profile allows you to bring it anywhere, while its Full HD capability ensures that you take the best possible video.
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The ZX3 is mostly made of hard plastic, has rubberised grips for easy handling, and feels very solid. As it is designed to be used underwater, Kodak made sure that the buttons, doors and screen are watertight.
Up front, users can find the 2-inch LCD display, five-way navigation key, Liveview/LCD Glare Shield button, Review Mode button, Delete button, and Settings button. Users can find the lens, microphone, video recording light, and IR receiver at the back of the device. The battery compartment, SD/SDHC card slot, AV out, HDMI out, and USB port are located on the sides, protected by watertight covers.
A user only needs to press the Record/OK button in order to take a photo or begin recording. However, one needs to press the left/right button on the direction pad in order to switch between the camera and camcorder mode. The unit is able to take four different video resolutions – WVGA, HD720p, HD720p/60fps, and 1080p, and can take 5-megapixel stills.
The Liveview/LCD Glare Shield button is able to help a user see the screen under bright conditions by changing it into high brightness or black and white mode (will not affect the video taken), the Review button displays all the images or videos taken, the Delete button removes the image/video stored on the memory card, while the Settings button displays the menu.
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On the settings menu, users can adjust the date and time, the video output, brightness, volume, microphone gain, H20 (Underwater) mode, LCD glare shield, Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), face detection, and allows a user to format the SD card.
Before using the pocket camcorder underwater, it is important to take note that it does not float. The manual has issued a warning saying: “Caution: The camera does not float. To prevent it from sinking, secure it with the strap. To keep the camera waterproof, tightly close all doors.”
The ZX3 was able to take good videos both in land and underwater just so long as the environment is well-lit. Colours looked crisp and there were minimal signs of digital artifacts. Images taken on the ZX3 were sufficient, but cannot be used for large prints (which is understandable). In terms of being able to shield the unit from water, the watertight compartments prevented our memory card, ports, and battery from getting wet.
Those who are planning to use this unit for more than an hour and a half should think of purchasing an extra battery as the ZX3 only lasted about 80 minutes. It takes about 120 minutes to fully charge the device.
Transferring the images/videos is a snap and can be done via its USB port and edited using the Arcsoft software. As the unit comes with a HDMI cable, we were also able to share our videos on a Full HD TV.
The Kodak Playsport ZX3 is available now in Abyss (black) for $249.