In a head-to head fight between the Kodak Playsport Zx5 and The Flip MinoHD there really is no contest. The Zx5 is the clear winner hands down. True, the MinoHD is a good pocket camcorder, even by today’s standards. But Flip just hasn’t kept up with the competition. Here’s why…
Despite being a 3rd generation model, the MinoHD still provides only 720p recording. The record speed is 60 fps (frames per second), so the video quality is quite good to be sure. But the new Zx5 offers both 30 fps and 60 fps 720p recording – along with genuinely high-quality Full HD (1080p). For the truly space conscious, there’s even a WVGA setting. Inexpensive 32 GB SDHC cards make it unnecessary, though, except in emergencies.
Making the situation worse, the Flip MinoHD has no expansion slot. About 2 minutes of video takes 170 megabytes of space. The internal flash is rated at 8 GB (actual storage a bit less, of course). By comparison, the Zx5 can store up to 32 GB on an SDHC card before having to upload or delete. It offers 128 MB of internal space, too.
How much does that matter in real life? Well, even at the 1080p setting, the Playsport Zx5 holds 10 hours of video. Picture yourself on vacation in the mountains or on some tropical isle. Many locations have Internet access, but these pocket camcorders are not wireless. Record some wild stuff and you’ve got to make sure you can get a wired connection. Not good if your model holds only two hours of your masterpieces, like the Flip.
There’s another feature the MinoHD lacks: a digital still camera. If you connect to your PC or Mac, you can pull single frames from your video. Unfortunately, the quality is not as good as a still and who wants to make that extra effort, anyway? The Zx5 sports a stellar 5MP camera. Not as noiseless as top-notic digital SLRs, for sure. But as good or better than your average smartphone, certainly.
The Flip is truly simple to operate. Uploading to YouTube or Facebook is idiot-proof. Now, the Kodak Playsport is too. Connect the Zx5 to your PC, press the button and select your location. Up they go to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and many more, including any email address you want.
The MinoHD offers a compact, lightweight case – just 3.94″ high x 1.97″ wide x 0.63″ thick and only 4.1 ounces. But the Zx5 is only slightly larger and heavier – 4.4″ high x 2.3″ wide x 0.7″ thick and 4.4 ounces. Not much difference. Better still, the Zx5’s case is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof.