Pros Same exact camera as the Zi8, minus the external mic jack and macro mode.
Waterproof to 3M
Very good quality videos, tested 720p/60fps on 42" TV and it looks great.
Cons EIS too wimpy for my shaky hands.
Low light videos are bad(but so are any other pocket camcorder's)
Summary This product is nearly perfect considering the price and quality. People need to understand what they are buying and stop giving bad ratings and nitpicking a 150 dollar camcorder. The Zi8 was so well received last year, and this is the exact same image sensor, only the camera is cheaper because there is no external mic jack and also no macro mode. But this will take the EXACT same quality video as the Zi8. I was one day away from picking up a Zi8 for a trip to the Grand Canyon next month - and came across a post mentioning the Zx3. So I looked it up and was glad it did. I saved a few bucks and alos got a more rugged camera.
All in all, you have to understand what you are buying - a pocket camcorder that takes very good qaulity video - better than your cell phone camera, and it is easier to carry around than a conventional camcorder. Great buy at 150.00, I got an 8GB memory card from Amazon for only 15 bucks. The only hangup is the EIS - I have shaky hands and sometimes it does come across in the videos. Hopefully a firmware fix will come out soon. This thing goes from being off to recording in about 3 seconds so it's going to catch whatever you are wanting to without you being stuck waiting for it to power on.
The quality is excellent for what it is. It will not disappoint. I own a DSLR camera, and the last thing I want is two bulky pieces of equipment to lug around on vacation. This is great and if you are not a professional, this will catch those memorable moments and they will look great when you reminisce for years to come.
Pros Got a Playsort in May. 720p 60/fps is the mode to use for great looking video. Even performs well in low light. Comes with all the cables you'll ever need. Super easy to use, good battery life even with the EIS turned on.
Cons What do you expect for $149? Digital zoom, but still not bad if you're subtle. Proprietary USB port a bit of a drag. Wind noise can be an issue. Would be nice if it came with a memory card but it doesn. Would have also liked a case.
Summary I got the Playsport with a bundle deal of an 8GB class 6 mem card from Amazon for $139. Added extra battery/charger, case, 2 mini Gorilla-type tripods, and the wireless remote. A local TV station has already used some video I shot of a house fire just around the corner from where I live. It was getting dark and I shot it in 720p/60 fps. If you're making a spec trailer or something, or just a hobbyist, great little camcorder. I plan to mount it on sailboats to get action footage of the cockpit during races, and to use it kayaking out on Cape Cod this summer. People think I'm holding an iPhone or something, usually. Not only does Kodak give you all the cables you'll ever need, the thing boots up in about 1 second and is shooting as soon as you hit the button. I did have to RMA 1st one I got, there were a few dead(white) pixels in the middle of the sensor apparently, since I watched the video on several different monitors and the artifact was there on all of them. However, Amazon sent out the replacement about an hour after I went online to process the return. This is NOT an indestructible camera. It's waterproof. To 10 ft. So, would be great to take on your snorkeling trip in Hawaii, etc., or to a shallow beach. I think Kodak really hit a homerun with this. If I wasn't going to use it outdoors/on the water, I'd have gotten the Zi8 for the external mic input and some fancier features. But the Playsport is a winner in my book, and I'm a cranky geek and hard to impress.
Pros Great Images. Solid build quality. Usable under water. Multiple video formats - 1920x1080x30, 1280x720x60, 1280x720x30, 720x480x30. Decent sound quality.
Cons No optical zoom. Dead pixels in three out of four units.
Summary I had a Flip Ultra HD which shoots at one setting, 1280x720x30 frames per second. I wanted the 60 frames per second rate (for smoother motion) and the underwater feature of the Kodak Playsport. The Kodak Playsport image is much crisper than the Flip, has better contrast and better color accuracy in low light. The low light sensitivity is very good compared to the Flip. The Playsport feels solid and rugged in the hand, but it is a bit more complicated to use than the simple, one setting Flip. The Kodak has a 5 megapixel still image setting, something the Flip can't do at all. Stills shot in bright light are incredible, with crisp, clear distortion free image quality right out to the four corners. There is no visible chromatic aberration (color fringing around objects). Even my Nikon SLR's kit lens had some of this, but the Kodak doesn't.I would have given this 5 stars if not for the defective imaging sensors.
Shooting at the 1080 resolution produces a very sharp image, but at 30 frames per second, it has a staccato look to it when objects move. The image stabilizer works, but very minimally. Shooting video at the 720-60 frame mode yields less sharpness, but the motion is very smooth. On the DVD you make from this camcorder, you won't see the sharpness advantage of the 1080 mode, because DVD's are only 480 anyway. But you will see the smoother motion of the 60 frame rate, so I recommend shooting at 1280x720x60 mode. For some reason, this also provides a more wide angle view which is desirable for scenic outdoor shots and tight indoor spaces.
The weak link is the lack of an optical zoom lens. if you zoom digitally, you lose sharpness. You might as well capture the full wide image and zoom in during post production on your PC or Mac. The view screen is very hard to see outdoors in sunlight, an even indoors it looks chalky and dim. It's just the viewfinder that looks that way. The recorded images are fantastic. They exceed the quality of the new Sony SD camcorders by quite a bit, and those cost double what the Kodak costs.
The real disappointment comes in the lack of quality control for the imaging chips. The first Playsport I bought had a dead pixel, which shows up as a fixed white spot on the image. Not wanting to return it until I had another unit, I bought a second Playsport before returning the first one. I went through three more units that all head dead pixels, one unit having as many as five of them. Kodak finally sent a replacement, but it was a refurbished unit that had scratches and scuffs on the view screen and on the back of the camera. There was a smudge print on the inside of the lens where obviously a technician touched it while working on it. It can not be cleaned without completely dis-assembling the camcorder. My fear is the waterproof seal would be compromised by disassembling the unit.
In short, the design, build quality and image quality far exceed what you'd expect for 150 dollars. It's even better than many standard big name 300 dollar camcorders. Unfortunately, the quality control of the imaging device and the Kodak customer service fall short. I appreciate their fast service, but they never solved the problem. Sending me a refurbished unit in place of my brand new one day old camcorder is something I find unacceptable unless they also refund the difference in value of a new unit verses a used one. Rick Bennette
Updated on Sep 1, 2010
Pros The image quality is very good. The product feels very solid in your hand and the navigation is easy. Has a very good field of view also. The camera would be great..if...See Cons
Cons The only con I have about this cam is that I have now had two of them and they have both had hot pixels. Easy way to see if your Kodak has it...Shoot a black background or just in a dark room...you see hot white spots in the picture, you got them.
Summary Don't know if the store I got them at maybe had a bad shipment, but it is pretty sorry quality for two to have the same problem. Usually a camera might develop one after a year or so, but each one had at least 4 right out of the box. Back to the store they go. So if you don't mind hot pixels, then I would highly recommend you get the camera.
Pros Price, Full 1080, Waterproof
Cons Poor video quality if not on tripod. 5 MP still images very soft
Summary Compared to other products in this segement this is probably the best device. However if you plan to use this in "active" environments that will require you to move around a lot while shooting this may not be the device for you. Any movement of the camcorder causes the image to pixelate until the camera returns to a semi stationary position.