Kodak Playsport Zx5 vs Kodak Playsport Zx3: A Great Pocket Camcorder Just Got Better

When it was first released, the Kodak Playsport Zx3 was an exceptional pocket camcorder, and it still is. But the new Playsport Zx5 improves it several steps.

Both models are water resistant. Take one to the mountains or to India during the monsoon season. Grab one in the backyard pool or under the waves at the beach. Either will work well up to 10 feet deep for up to two hours.

But being outdoors means more than playing in the water, right? You go to the mountains and forests, along the trail and many other dusty places. So Kodak also made the Zx5’s case dustproof.

The Zx3 can support a certain amount; the Zx5 does it better. Take the Playsport Zx5 to a motocross event. Travel through the wild nature of Borneo. Rest easy, knowing that sand or even fine dust won’t obstruct your work. Barring an active sandstorm in the Sahara, which would scratch the lens, you are well protected.

Both Playsport models are shockproof too, to a degree. Both are designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use well. However, that point is further out for the Zx5. Kodak doesn’t give a number for the Zx3, but real-world tests show it to be robust. The Zx5 is advertised to withstand drops of up to five feet.

But is that statement a good one? Aside from its honest reputation, Kodak is not eager to recapture many units that cannot deliver on that promise. First-hand evidence confirms this too. Repeated drops scratched the case here and there, but the unit continued to perform well.

But is five foot drop protection really enough? It just so happens that this is the distance from which most users are likely to let a pocket camcorder escape, especially when wet. So yeah, that’s pretty good protection.

However, there are many other ways the Kodak Zx5 surpasses the already excellent features of the Zx3 than a more robust case design.

Uploading photos and videos to social networking sites was easy before. Now even the most technophobic can do it with ease. Press a button, choose your option: Facebook, YouTube, a friend’s email address, whatever, and upload.

One drawback of the Playsport Zx3 was the absence of a macro focus capability. The Zx5 added that, filling a huge void. Focus a few inches to shoot flowers, faces, whatever you want. That greatly amplifies the places you can use your pocket camcorder.

If you’re trying to decide between a full-size camcorder, the Kodak Zx5 has something you’ll love: a 1080p setting that actually offers Full HD quality. The lenses are so good on a pocket camcorder that some full-size units have other bells and whistles, but few will notice the difference.

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