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Kodak delivers compact, rugged mini camcorder

The Zx1 brings weather resistance to HD straight-to-Web recording.

Kodak Zx1
The Zx1 is smaller and more rugged than its older brother, the Zi6. Kodak

Showing it's serious about the mini camcorder market, Kodak rolls out a sibling model for its nice, but somewhat clunky, Zi6, the smaller and weather resistant (IP43 certified) Zx1. It's 30 percent smaller than the Zi6, but the trade-off is a smaller 2-inch LCD.

In many ways it's the same, however. It uses the same sensor, but a different image processor, to shoot its 60 frames per second 720p video, and also offers a VGA mode and still-capture mode. Kodak says it's tweaked the low-light performance, improved the exposure, and decreased lag time for stills. And good news: unlike the Zi6, the Zx1 lets you delete all, format the memory card, and turn off the sound. Those capabilities will be available in a firmware upgrade for the Zi6. Yay!

Kodak Zx1
The Zx1 has a smaller LCD than the Zi6. Kodak

Unlike other HD models, the Kodak Xx1 supports HDMI and even bundles a cable. It lacks onboard memory, and the SD card is optional, though it ships with AA NiMH batteries and a charger. Unlike the Zi6, but as has become standard for the category, the software comes built into the device. It uses the same H.264 codec as the Zi6, so the files are Mac compatible, but the software isn't.

The Zx1 also comes in more colors than just the black and pink of the Zi6--it adds blue, red, and yellow. It's slated to ship in early April for $149.95.