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Old Mar 9, 2011, 2:12 PM   #1
NX3
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Default Kodak Playsport Zx3 - What speed SDHC Card ?

Hi,

I've not owned a hybrid camera for a while but think I'm going to get the Zx3. I'm trying to find out at what speed it writes 720p/60 so I know what class sdhc card to get. Its not it the manual and I can't find it online, does anyone have the info handy ? Also at 720p/60 on a 16gb card, how long a video could I get (ignoring battery life) ?

Many Thanks
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 2:35 PM   #2
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I've purchased an Adata 8GB Class 6 which should be plenty good. Price range is anywhere between $12 - 15 (Check Amazon) I also have a Zx3, have a 2 min video at 720P 60fps that is about 200MB, based on that about 1 hr 20 worth of video.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 3:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NX3 View Post
the Zx3. I'm trying to find out at what speed it writes 720p/60 so I know what class sdhc card to get. Its not it the manual and I can't find it online, does anyone have the info handy ? Also at 720p/60 on a 16gb card, how long a video could I get (ignoring battery life) ?
I have literally just got my Zx3 and about to do a duration test and am charging up the battery
- I probably can let you know from my tests in a few hours' time.

However using the Kodak page:
KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera Zx3
right at the bottom of the page it says"
" 1Record about 20 min per 1 GB at 720p HD at 30 fps. Actual results may vary."

So a (gu)estimate based on that info -
taking 720p/60fps as twice that at 30fps - 10min/1Gb
so a 16Gb SDHC ought to be able to record at 720p/60fps for about 160mins = 2h 40min.

10min/1Gb = 0.1Gb/min = 100Mb/min =
1.67 Mb/sec.

This theoretically means that a Class 2 SDHC would probably work -

Clicking on the Accessories tab on that Kodak Zx3 page - the cards they recommend for the Zx3 were mostly Class 4 (although the 16Gb SDHC was Class 6 "100x".)

So I would suggest Class 4 is safer -
in any case I think that Class 6 cards are now pretty reasonably priced
and even the fastest rating Class 10 cards are only a few $$ more.

I would just buy a class 6 or 10 -
and any report I give for the recording rate would simply be moot.

Hope that helps somewhat.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 3:51 PM   #4
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Thanks. At those rate as you say I don't need to worry too much. I'm temped to get a Samsung 16gb SDHC extreme as they are pretty tough water proof (if the door opens by accident footage might survive). In the UK they are pretty cheap on Amazon and speed rating is class 6 plus, so somewhere between a 6 and 10 which is more than enough.

16gb is plenty time wise as well....many thanks.
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Old Mar 9, 2011, 8:05 PM   #5
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Thanks. At those rate as you say I don't need to worry too much. I'm temped to get a Samsung 16gb SDHC extreme as they are pretty tough water proof (if the door opens by accident footage might survive). In the UK they are pretty cheap on Amazon and speed rating is class 6 plus, so somewhere between a 6 and 10 which is more than enough.
That Samsung SDHC looks real good -
however in the USA the 16Gb Transcend SDHC are
US$25.49 for the class 6, and
US$27.44 class 10 shipped
(Amazon US prices)

Anyway since it really now just academic -
but for completeness I did slightly over 10min clips on the Zx3 at 720p/60fps and 1080p/30fps
these were the results using Bitrate Viewer:

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 this test 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 - which shows that class 4 cards are probably OK.

FWIW I did a long test at 720p/30fps to try to find the run time per charge for the battery - it stopped after 1h 5min - I thought the battery only lasted that long - but actually ran out of SD space, as I used a 4Gb SDHC (class 10)

720p/30fps Zx3 -

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 4.5m = ~ 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 my Zi8 battery which 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 video poster claims the Zx3 uses constant bit-rate (cbr)
- whereas the Zi8 uses variable bit-rate (vbr) and he 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.
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Old Mar 10, 2011, 11:50 AM   #6
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Thankyou for a very complete answer. I've ordered the Zx3, 16gb Samsung and Amazon UK have an offer on a free case at the moment. The Transcendare good cards, I got one before, bit cheaper in the UK but I liked the Samsung for being a 'tough' model.

The only thing I've realised is I can't get hold of the FE-12 fisheye lens in time for my trip next week. Kodak sell a version but with next day delivery its 45 in sterling, $72 US ! Dealextreme is $16.75.... nothing on ebay local, all hong kong with long shipping times.
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Old Mar 12, 2011, 7:51 AM   #7
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Hi Everyone,

Can anyone tell me, what's the longer video clip time the ZX3 can do? Are there any limits on file size, like 2 GB or 4GB for each video file?

Best regards
Paulo Correia
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Old Mar 12, 2011, 10:01 AM   #8
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Today in regions 30 minutes 3.86 gig. so ifI do the 2 hr test two things happen

battery dies and file saves. no way do you get on battery more than 1hr hd average.
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Old Mar 12, 2011, 10:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulo.iap View Post
Can anyone tell me, what's the longer video clip time the ZX3 can do? Are there any limits on file size, like 2 GB or 4GB for each video file?
For 720p/30fps it's just under 4Gb maximum file size
then there will be a "continuation" file -
in other words the Zx3 will continuously record -
just into another file -
please see post #5 above:
" FWIW I did a long test at 720p/30fps ...
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 4.5m = ~ 0.95 Mb/s ...
there was a "continuation" file - ...
69.774Mb for 1min 11sec = 0.98 Mb/s
"

My current biggest SDHC is only 4Gb (I have larger on order) -
so that was the limit of the 4Gb SDHC card.

As far as I know the Zx3 will record continuously on AC power until it runs out of SDHC space - the current max spec'd size is 32Gb - which means in theory it should record for just under 10 hours @ 720p/30fps (as the adverts boast) - putting the recording in separate files up to the max file size.
(from my ad-hoc tests above in Post #5 - both 1080p/30fps and 720p/60fps seem to use about ~1.45Mb/sec so a 32Gb SDHC could record just over 6 hours)
- if one uses AC power - the battery would have long run out!

I thought from my one 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.

When my 8Gb SDHC card arrives I may run another long test
(it's for the battery capacity/duration)
which might reveal the max capacity of the "continuation" file -
but that may be well past the battery duration limit -
that test has to be on AC power.

Last edited by UnknownVT; Mar 12, 2011 at 11:07 AM.
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