02.Colour & Noise Performance
03.Motion & Sharpness Performance
04.Low Light Performance
05.Compression & Media
08.Handling & Use
09.Playback & Connectivity
Playback & Connectivity Summary
• Can view thumbnails full screen or as thumbnails
• Playback controls are confusing and hard to use
• Excellent rubber covers guard DC, AV/USB, and HDMI ports
• Comes with an HDMI cable (a rare treat for any camcorder)
• Compatible with a DC charger and remote control, but ships with neither
|The playback controls are not intuitive.|
To enter Playback mode and view your clips/photos, there is a clear playback button as part of the main controls. The bizarre icon above the playback button is supposed to be a video camera—we think. Press that button when you're in playback mode and you'll be brought back to record mode.
When you are in playback mode, pressing the playback button will allow you to cycle between three different playback views. The first is a full screen view, which shows the first frame of the clip. There is also a regular thumbnail view, followed by a strange calendar-like view, which groups the thumbnails by date in an odd tree-like diagram.
|Clips can be viewed in one of three display methods|
Playback controls are mapped to the d-pad, with left and right serving to fast-forward, rewind, and skip from one clip to the next. Up and down on the d-pad will adjust the playback volume. Pushing the centre Record button during playback will play and pause your video. Fast-forward and rewind have several different speed settings: 2x, 4x, 8x, and 16x. Though Kodak also advertises a slow motion playback at 1/2x, 1/4x, 1/8x, and 1/16x, we simply couldn't find any way to make it work. If you pause during playback, you can cycle through individual frames, but an actual slow-motion playback was beyond our ken.
One final complaint about the confusing playback control system: the delete function is strangely unintuitive. Even if you figure out that the quaint icon in the upper-left is a trash can, you still have to push up and select the check-mark to delete a clip. Deleting multiple clips is even more confusing. We suppose it's good that deleting isn't too easy—no one wants to delete clips accidentally—but it's just one more minor struggle for beginning users to cope with.
|Deleting a clip is strangely unintuitive.|
The Kodak Zx1 offers slim pickings in the connectivity department. Like most of the ultra-compacts that have been released recently, the primary connections are the HDMI output and USB port. The camcorder ships with a Mini HDMI cable so that you can connect the Zx1 to a high definition television. (The inclusion of an HDMI cable is a rare treat for any camcorder.)
If your TV lacks HDMI outputs or if you want to use regular composite AV cables, there is a small proprietary USB port as well. The connection may look like the micro-USB port on some cell phones, but you can't use a standard micro USB cable. This is a proprietary Kodak connection and it'll only work with the USB and AV cables that ship with the camcorder. That's a bit disappointing, since cables are easily lost and—in this case—not easily replaced.
The third port nestled under the thick rubber cover is a input. The Zx1 does not ship with a power charger, but you can purchase an optional charger if you'd rather plug in the camcorder than use the wall-mounted battery charger.
|Power port, a proprietary USB/AV port, and the HDMI output
all reside under a snug rubber cover.
In addition to the USB, DC, and AV connections, there is an SD/SDHC card slot. This is the primary recording media for the Zx1. You can purchase as many cards as you want (up to 32GB each) and have plenty of recording time.
|Record videos and photos to removable SD/SDHC memory cards.|
All the ports are enclosed by the same thick, rubber covers. They fit snugly over the connections and seem like they would do an excellent job of keeping out dirt and water. This makes the Zx1 a much more rugged option than its competitors.
|Kodak Zx1||Sony MHS-PM1||Flip UltraHD||Kodak Zi6|
|AV (Composite, RCA)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Audio Input (3.5mm)||No||No||No||No|
|LANC (Wired Remote)||No||No||No||No|
|Card Slot||SD/SDHC||Memory Stick PRO Duo||No||SD/SDHC|
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