The flow of pocket video cameras reaching the PC Authority offices has turned into a torrent of late - the main force behind which has been HD recording. Kodak is on to its second generation of HD devices with the follow-up to the Zi6, the Zx1.
Kodak has certainly spruced up the design. The Zx1 is more pocketable than its predecessor, even if it can't match the competition.
We're not enamoured of the Zx1's control panel either. Rather than distinct buttons, the switches are flush with the camera's brushed-aluminium finish fascia, with embossed rubber icons. They feel and look horrid.
Other less-than-stellar aspects include the lack of a pop-out, integrated USB plug (you have to use a micro USB cable), only 128MB of integrated memory (you can add more via the Zx1's SDHC slot), and the onboard ArcSoft MediaImpression software, which we're not big fans of.
The Zx1 does have some advantages over the competition. The first is weatherproofing: the Zx1 has been tested to the IP43 standard, so it should be safe to take out on a sandy beach or in a light shower.
The second is the range of accessories in the box. With the Zx1 you get HDMI and composite cables, a mains charger, a pair of rechargeable NiMH batteries, a pouch and wrist strap.
But video quality brings it back to earth with a bump. There's a 60fps mode for those with computers that can handle it, and performance is competent. In outdoor shots colours were vibrant and footage looked detailed and punchy, but indoors in low light it faded away, with noise a problem and colours seriously over-saturated.
So, although it's reasonably priced, we won't be recommending the Kodak Zx1. Its low-light performance isn't good enough, which, added to a series of other irritations, makes this pocket camera an also-ran that's only worth buying if you need the weatherproofing.