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Old Jan 27, 2011, 9:05 PM   #171
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does the playsport have an electronic shutter for the still photos?
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Old Mar 5, 2011, 3:07 PM   #172
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I'd like to bring your attention to this site:

ConsumerSearch.com

I have found it very useful as they claim to be reviewing the reviews.
That is survey the available reviews and come to some consensus.
This what I would logically do - if I had all the resource and time to do it.....

Anyway I just checked their updated review of HD Camcorders
and the pick for the best pocket HD camcorder was:

Kodak Playsport Zx3 (link to their review)

There is also more in their Full Report page on Compact HD camcorders
where there is also comment on the Kodak Zi8 (link) which also gets a short review.

There's a lot more detail in the full report on how and why they picked what they picked
with references to the reviews which they rate.

Hope that was helpful -
I have high regard for ConsumerSearch.com
since they do survey, rate the reviews -
then seem to come to reasonable consensus of what has been published -
like I said what I would do if I could.....
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 10:00 PM   #173
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My "like new" Kodak Playsport Zx3 arrived today from Amazon Warehouse deals - $89 - other than the box showing wear - and some plastic bags had been opened, the item did look brand new.

Put the battery in and charged it with the charge adapter via the USB cable - there is no other AC adapter connector - the Zx3 will work on AC power this way. To connect the USB cable requires the connector door to be open - so obviously not waterproof when using AC power.

Once battery was fully charged I put it through a long recording test -
to check my sample
1) battery duration/capacity (from full charge)
2) memory used for recording
3) limits/maximum file size.

I kind of achieved 2 out of three.

Recording with 720p/30fps -
at about 1hr 05m, the Zx3 stopped -
I thought at first the battery had run out - but it had not -
the 4Gb SDHC card (class 10) was full.

This was unexpected as my Zi8 got about 1hr 38mins on a full charge, at the same 720p/30fps - used only 2.086Gb total - (there were two files 2Gb (for 1hr 34mins) and "continuation" at 86Mb for 4mins - so there is a limit of 2Gb file-size for the Zi8 (due to I think the FAT32 format of the SDHC card))

Zi8 2.086Gb total for 1h 38m, was only just over half the 4Gb SDHC card.

Yet the Zx3 filled the 4Gb SDHC card at only 1h 05m.

So I ran Bitrate Viewer:

Zx3 720p/30fps - first file -

this file took up nearly all the space on the 4Gb SDHC -
but not quite - so this is the Zx3 max file-size limit.
3.665Gb for 1h 04.5m = ~ 0.95 Mb/s

there was a "continuation" file -

69.774Mb for 1min 11sec = 0.98 Mb/s

So the average rate on the Zx3 @ 720p/30fps is just under 1Mb/s.

Compared with Zi8 - battery lasted 1h 38min from full charge -
720p/30fps Zi8

This is the first file showing the maximum files size at about 2Gb (contrast with ZX3 at nearly 4Gb)
notice the much higher bitrate at the beginning then it drops down to an average rate just under 3Mbits/sec
2Gb for 1h 34min = ~0.355Mb/sec (@ 720p/30fps)

continuation file -

note the graphs show higher because the Zi8 is using vbr and this continuation file does not have the initial high bitrate (it's in the first big file) and only has the lowered bitrate averaging at about - 2.8Mbits/s
81.732Mb for 3m 51s = ~0.354 Mb/sec

So the Zi8 seems a lot more efficient in storing its videos -

see post #3 in thread - Sticky: Kodak Playsport Zx3 Reviews RoundUp

comparison of the bit-rates of the Playsport Zx3 and the Zi8.

YouTube - 2010 07 29, Zi8 vs zx3

The poster of that video claims the Zx3 uses constant bit-rate (cbr)
- whereas the Zi8 uses variable bit-rate (vbr)
and thought the Zi8 clips looked better, even at the lower bitrates -
to be fair one member here did not agree -
see the other posts in that Zx3 Reviews RoundUp thread.


Other Zx3 video resolutions/framerates -

720p/60fps -

874.93Mb for 10m 4secs = 1.45 Mb/s

1080p/30fps -

872.86Mb for 10min 2sec = 1.45Mb/sec

So for both 720p/60fps and 1080p the rate is about 1.45Mb/sec from my single test.

Note: for the last 2 tests I used an old 2Gb PQI mini SD card in its adapter and in tests it is barely class 4 with write speeds depending on file sizes hovering around 4Mb/sec - the tests went fine.

Waterproof - is one of the major selling points of the Zx3 - and I did not want to just accept the advertising - and test my sample for myself.

I used a bowl of water - only about 4" deep checked all the doors on the Zx3 were clean on the rubber gaskets, and properly clicked shut - turn the Zx3 on record and put it in the bowl of water for over 12 minutes
(I recorded this event - very boring - with the Zi8 - just in case the Zx3 leaked and then I could see when it happened).

As it was the Zx3 passed the test fine - it was still recording after an over 12 min submersion - I turned it off and back on and recorded another few secs, it continued to work fine (the boring clips from the Zx3 underwater and afterward looked fine).

I was careful to make sure the Zx3 was properly dried on the outside - before attempting to open any doors - so water would not get in that way.

The doors were fine and the insides were dry - showing the Zx3 survived my little ad-hoc test - now I have confidence that my sample will survive in the rain. Have to wait for later in the Summer to try it out in the swimming pool for greater depths and operation underwater.

All in all the Kodak Playsport Zx3 is a good little camcorder that lives up to its adverts - I got it mainly because it is waterproof.

I was a little disappointed that it uses up memory so much more quickly than the already excellent Zi8 - I haven't yet had time to do more comprehensive comparison between the Zx3 and Zi8 - but the Zi8 clips do not look any worse than the Zx3 for its nearly 3 times larger file sizes -
see the video linked above to compare.

Last edited by UnknownVT; Mar 9, 2011 at 10:04 PM.
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Old Mar 16, 2011, 12:16 PM   #174
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Default User Review pt.2

I thought from my one long test that the max file size was 3.665Gb -
However I also ran a Zx3 test at Wvga -
Zx3 used a similar strategy of filling up to a max file size then used a "continuation" file -
BUT the max file size was different from that at 720p/30fps.

Zx3 Wvga (854x480)

The max file size at wvga = 2.718Gb for ~1h 16m = ~0.6 Mb/s

"continuation" file wvga -

1.018Gb (filling up the remainder of the 4Gb SDHC card) for ~ 28.5m = ~0.6 Mb/s
(note my Zx3 battery still had capacity after the 4Gb card ran out of space -
that's after ~1h 44m)

This is not absolutely conclusive,
and I have not done the equivalent long tests on 1080p or 720p/60fps -
but it seems that the Zx3 fills up to a certain max file size
which may be dependent on the video resolution used
(since the max file sizes for 720p/30fps is different from the wvga)
- then will use a "continuation" file -
I do not know the max limits of the "continuation" file -
but it seems a sensible guess that it will be similar to the respective first max'ed out file sizes.

I now have an 8Gb SDHC - and did some more Zx3 battery endurance tests -
I used 720p/30fps because that is what I normally shoot at.

Time I managed was 1h 48m compared to my Zi8's 1h 38m -
but those were two different samples of the Kodak KLIC-7004 battery supplied with the camcorders.

So I used the battery from the Zi8 in the Zx3 from full charge to shutdown that sample lasted 1h 44m - so now we can compare Zx3 managed about 6 mins more on the same battery as the Zi8 or just over 6% more time.

In the course of these battery runtime tests I also got a number of maximum sized first files - and they were 3.666 and 3.667Gb with time length 1:04:34 to 1:04:36.

So from this the Zx3 is about 10% better in using its battery over the Zi8 - but takes up almost 3x the storage for the same video.

At 720p/30fps Zi8 I can get about 3 hours on a single 4Gb -
whereas on the Zx3 1h 06m on the same 4Gb
an 8Gb card will only hold 2h 12m.

Last edited by UnknownVT; Mar 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 1:47 AM   #175
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I purchased my Zx3 in September on the way to Mazatlan Mexico,and put it through the surf test in which it passed remarkably well. I also wadefish and surf the Texas coastal area and it stays in my pocket all the time and never failed....until last week! I had it on my car charger, as I always do before a water trip, I turned it on prior to exiting my vehicle and checked battery status which was 100%. Placed in a protective sleeve, and put in console of boat. I nice sunrise was being had and I wanted a quick shot...dead as a door nail. Placed on charger...still dead...any ideas. No apparent leaks, and this camera has never been dropped i promise as I am the only user. It usually is in an over sized case and padded. Any other reports like this? I would think if the battery is bad the camera would still work on AC charger. No, yes, maybe? Thanks MM
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 3:46 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montman View Post
I purchased my Zx3 in September on the way to Mazatlan Mexico,and put it through the surf test in which it passed remarkably well. I also wadefish and surf the Texas coastal area and it stays in my pocket all the time and never failed....until last week! I had it on my car charger, as I always do before a water trip, I turned it on prior to exiting my vehicle and checked battery status which was 100%. Placed in a protective sleeve, and put in console of boat. I nice sunrise was being had and I wanted a quick shot...dead as a door nail. Placed on charger...still dead...any ideas. No apparent leaks, and this camera has never been dropped i promise as I am the only user. It usually is in an over sized case and padded. Any other reports like this? I would think if the battery is bad the camera would still work on AC charger. No, yes, maybe? Thanks MM

Battery is in, Turn On cam, does it go on? Answer NO.

Battery must be in cam to operate, with All Kodaks.

Replace battert, cam will work.

Battery lost a Cel or damaged, these batterries will die unexpectingly.

WIll demostrate if needed
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 11:56 AM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishycomics View Post
Battery must be in cam to operate, with All Kodaks.
My PlaySport Zx3 (FW 1.12) does work without the battery in place -
using the supplied AC adapter through the mini USB port.

So maybe the Zx3 can be tested this way?
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 12:16 PM   #178
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Sorry reword it the battery must be in cam to properly charge If it is not in it will Blink. and if in will not light up the on/off

I take it back I tend to forget and make errors, there's one.

my hat off to ya
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 12:39 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by fishycomics View Post
Sorry reword it the battery must be in cam to properly charge If it is not in it will Blink. and if in will not light up the on/off
Not a problem you are being very helpful - the info about the battery going kaput is useful - so it could bring the whole cam down even when on AC charger - so the trick since it will work without battery in place is to remove the battery and try with ac to see if it still works -


Hopefully the cam still works -
then just buy another (2) batteries -
always have a spare for exactly these sorts of situations -

They are now really cheap at places like Amazon, just search there on Kodak KLIC-7004 - (choose department = camera batteries, and sort price low to high) buy the cheapest with good reviews = $3.62 each shipped! haggle with vendor to combine shipping - then maybe even cheaper?.....

See: for kd-klic 7004 kodak zi8 batt

Last edited by UnknownVT; Apr 19, 2011 at 12:42 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 2:12 PM   #180
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correts Hope Motman gets a batt and sees if its the fix
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