First Look: Kodak Zx1 and Flip UltraHD
Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:02 PM
I just received two Zx1's from Kodak's site. They are impressive at their price. You are correct that the image is noisy in low light and the zoom stutters. Fast motion looks blurry and it is a challenge to hold the camera reasonably steady. I attached a small Gorillapod which acts like a handle as well as being usable as a tripod to help steady the shots.
I like that I can remove an SDHC card and use a card reader to upload to the computer. I also like that it is designed to be water and dust resistant. Kodak includes a draw-string pouch for the camera and a differently styled face plate which are unexpected add-ons.
I took a Zx1 to my bowling league and panned around the bowling alley which had bright light over the lanes and dim light in the seating area. The camera adjusted to the drastically different lighting quick enough.
This camera is really fun and easy to use so it means I'll be much more likely to shoot videos. People smiled when I pointed the camera in their direction rather than running away when they see me holding a camcorder. I'm taking the Zx1's to Disneyland in a couple weeks and leaving my DV camcorder at home.
Posted 29 April 2009 - 10:18 PM
That's true, but that shot was an example of low-light performance. Indoors under normal daylight, the Zx1 has the bluer tone. (I'll include example shots that demonstrate this when I post my review of the Zx1.) This example shows the grainier image of the Zx1.
Posted 30 April 2009 - 04:18 PM
My early testing also leads me to believe there may be many advantages to shooting at the 60 fps mode. I hope Chris tests this as well.
Posted 15 May 2009 - 04:53 AM
I have both Flip Mino HD and the Kodak Zx1's .... Flip has much better video and audio quality, Zx1 is just no competition.
So why then did I buy 6 no Zx1's instead of the Flip?
Well, they are for use by school students, and...
1) The touch sensitive buttons on the flip are just to sensitive.... just passing your finger over the back of the camera will have buttons being activated...
2) The Flip only has the flip-out USB connection. Sounds a great idea, no cables, but after connecting to MacBook Pro once this way, I won't do it again... the camera is too heavy and vulnerable to be hanging off the USB port... so I now use a short USB extension cable. But this is still a single point of failure, break this and you are stuffed. So not really suitable for use with Primary School students. The Kodak has mini USB and mini HDMI ports and you get the cables.
3) Import times into iMovie HD (06).... are painful with HD content from both cameras, taking at least double realtime. But the Kodak has a VGA setting, which can be used when having to use this old version of iMovie. Both cameras work much better with iMovie 08/09 and import times are then much shorter than realtime. So. if going for one these cameras, upgrading iMovie is really worth it.
For personal use, I will use the Flip, but for kids/students the Kodak.
If the Flip also had a mini USB port, I would have gone with that for school use and solved the iMovie HD problem by adding a step into the movie capture stage. As you can view the movies in Quicktime and only import the clips that you really need... thus saving lots of time. In fact, if you have Quicktime Pro you can save even more time by doing a rough edit on larger clips as well.