Robust camcorder..advice?

amytomsam

Standard Member
We are a family of 5. We are off to Florida in April and want to take a camcorder with us to video our 'holiday of a lifetime'. I've been looking but this whole area is a minefield and wondered if I could at least get a product recommendation I could go from there. The bit I'm really struggliing with is the water resistance/proofyness of a camera...(I can get a Flip Ultra water proof case)...do any other brands do such things?

Here are our must haves:
1. Needs to be water resistant/proof as will be used in water parks and taken skiing
2. Needs to take stills.
3. Budget £200 max
4. Idiot proof...kids need to use.
5. Needs to record lots and need infrequent battery changes.

Looked at the Flip Ultra but batteries only last an hour and can only record 2 hours....how can I record more, do I need to look at an HD camcorder (and up my budget?)or should I just buy loads of SD cards and rechargeable batteries?

Any ideas? or am I asking for the moon on a stick?
 

carps2000

Novice Member
hi amytomsam

How about the Kodak Zx1?

1. Needs to be water resistant/proof as will be used in water parks and taken skiing it's water resistant
2. Needs to take stills. it has a still picture function but you'd be much better off with a dedicated unit
3. Budget £200 max £79 on Amazon
4. Idiot proof...kids need to use. there are about 4 buttons
5. Needs to record lots and need infrequent battery changes. uses AA batteries so easy to take some extras with you

I do work for Kodak, so best I make that clear, but it's a great camera and an absolute steal at the current price.

I guess if it's a holiday of a lifetime then upping the budget might help. As always you get what you pay for, but the Zx1 is seriously good value at the current price
 

amytomsam

Standard Member
Ohh...amliking the Playsport....
Will only a Kodak 32gb memory stsick fit or can I buy a universal SD card?
 

carps2000

Novice Member
I know, playsport would have been perfect but it launches about 2 weeks after you leave...

You can use any SD or SDHC card in them.

When in April are you going? Maybe it might be possible to get one of the earliest ones
 

amytomsam

Standard Member
We go on 5th April...Amazon.co.uk has a delivery date on this item of 2 to 5 weeks....Kodak's website says March, but no when in March.
Should I preorder or is it cutting it too fine?
 

carps2000

Novice Member
first stocks arrive in the UK mid April so unfortunately you wouldn't get it in time if you pre-order it. (I'll get our website changed, thanks for pointing that out.)


You could always get a Zx1 for video and a digital camera for stills. You could do it comfortably within your budget
 

carps2000

Novice Member
sorry I meant the Playsport isn't available until May.

Good choice on the Zx1 yellow though. Let me know your thoughts when it turns up!
 

amytomsam

Standard Member
Just bought the Zx1 bundle from the Kodak shop with a 16GB SD high speed memory card all for £148.96....£1.04 under my total budget! I really wanted the Playsport but Hey Ho! Bummer....still, consoloing myself with the fact that I probably won't be suba diving so would have little use to take it to 10m depths!
Got a rechargeable battery unit, a rugged case and the unit for £108 odd...the SD card was £39.99 all with free delivery.
Might have been able to save £10 or £15 if I'd shoppped about a bit but can't be bothered...any probs it'll all be from one place.
I'll take my Olympus digital camera for stills...there's life in that old dog yet anyway.
Thanks for your help guys....
 

amytomsam

Standard Member
Just an update...
whilst on our holiday of a lifetime, the Kodak 16GB SD card failed and we 'lost' all of our photos and videos.
Upon my return to the UK, Kodak were frustratingly unhelpful to the point of being almost impossible to get hold of (I refuse to ring an 0870 number and be routed to a call centre at premium rates) Even when I did manage to talk (on a UK based landline) to someone they then routed me BACK to the call centre in South Africa.
Upshot is, that it took me nearly 2 weeks to isolate the fault and identify (MYSELF!) that it was the SD card that was at fault (having spent £10 in packaging and postage to pointlessly return the entire unit and card to Kodak!)
I managed to recover the JPEG images using a recovery tool online published by the maker of the SD card (Lexar)...but I am still trying to see if anyone I know who is more computery than me can do anything with the MOV files! no thanks to Kodak.
Kodak customer service is attrocious and they make it impossible for you to talk to anyone in the UK.
I shall not be buying another Kodak in the future and my original intention of purchasing everything from their online store so that it would be centralised if it all went wrong, has proven to be horribly inaccurate.
void Kodak customer contact (services) at all costs.......it sucks.
 

carps2000

Novice Member
Hi,

I'm really sorry you've had problems. I don't work on the technical side of things, but I'm more than happy to speak to the right person for you and see if there's anything that can be done to recover the files.

If you want to PM me some details, I'll do what I can to help.

Thanks
Martin
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Kodak customer service is attrocious and they make it impossible for you to talk to anyone in the UK.
Hmm.... Think I'll cross Kodak off my list of possible suppliers then. Thanks for the heads up!

Also confirms the validity of some advice I received recently: Better to buy 4x 4GB cards, rather than 1 x 16GB. At least then you can only lose 1/4 of your stuff, in the event of a card failure!

Hope you manage to get your .MOV files back somehow!!
 

The Nightingale

Standard Member
I'd not really considered that Rogs - very useful tip there.

It's awful when something goes horribly wrong and you lose stuff through no fault of your own - my computer died a while back and I lost a whole raft of work which luckily I had most of from my backup discs.

I have my one camcorder so I don't need to buy another, Kodak or otherwise - but I do have a couple of Lexar cards and I'm wondering now whether I can rely on them or not?
 

DpM

Well-known Member
My brothers father in law deleted stuff from his memory card in his zx1 by mistake. He was going to find out if he could pay a company to get them back, ill try and find out how he got on and let you know.
 

carps2000

Novice Member
Hi,

I've spoken to Lexar for you and they have suggested some software that might help recover the files. Is this something you'd like me look into? They have said they'd be happy to try the recovery for you (you'd obviously need to send the card) or I can probably look at getting the sorfware to you for you to try.

Like I said, I'm really sorry you've had these issues, but I will try to help you sort it - I feel bad as I made the original recommendation!

Let me know what's best for you either on this post or via PM.

Thanks
Martin
 

amytomsam

Standard Member
Thanks for your offer Martin. It was very kind and appreciated, I don't blame you...I just think Kodak should rethink it's customer service approach as a corporation to its customers. It is truly shocking!
I have, today, managed to recover the video .MOV files, not 100% but good enough, using a free version of a MAC utility. I'm reasoonably positive if I'd paid the $100 they wanted for the full version I could have recovered the files 100% but what I've got is way better than nothing!!
I managed to get the JPEGS recovered too using the Lexar recovery download you mentioned having rung Lexar direct. They were really helpful by the way! and the recovery tool is free! My photos are fine.
What is really frustrating is that the technical guy from Kodak who was based in SOUTH AFRICA!! who eventually rang me back actually told me he was "100% sure I had lost all my data" and that he "would be extremely surprised if I managed to get anything back." Good job I am tenacious eh?

Bottom line is don't give up, it's taken me two months but I now have my files and have spent a lovely afternoon (if not a bit jittery on the sound in places!) crying like a baby whilst watching my precious family videos I thought might be irrecoverable.
 

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