Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) Pocket Video Camera Review

Kodak PlaySport

The Kodak Playsport is Kodak’s latest pocket video camera. With many new features added since its predecessor the Zx3, Kodak are aiming to compete with the likes of Sony’s Bloggie and JVC’s GC-WP10. But is it worth buying? Read on to find out.

Kodak PlaySportKey Specs For The Kodak Playsport

Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Display Size: 2”
Built-in Memory: 128MB
Battery Life: 2 hours
Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.9 x 6.1

The Kodak Playsport : The Pros

HD Video: The Playsport offers full HD video playback. This means that you can record your own home videos in up to 1080p resolution, reaching true HD standard. It’s also possible to record in 720p resolution at both 30fps (30 frames per second – the standard recording frame-rate) and 60fps. Having the higher frame-rate option allows you to record smoother footage, as well as to capture faster-moving objects with greater clarity.

Durability: For users who like record at more adventurous locations, such as the beach, the Playsport is a great device. It has three key features that help make it ideal in more active environments: it’s waterproof, it’s shock-resistant and it’s dust-proof.

* Waterproof: This device truly is water-proof. It’s capable of being taken up to 10 feet, or 3 meters, under water. This makes it great if you like to go snorkeling or want to record your kids playing in the sea. The Playsport also automatically compensates for color distortion under water, making sure that your images aren’t unusually blue!
* Shock-resistant: the tough build of the Playsport means it’s able to take falls of up to 5 feet, making it ideal for outdoor use.
* Dust-proof: If you want to record things at a race track or at the beach, you’d usually have to worry about exposing your video camera to dust. However, the Playsport is dust-proof, meaning that this need no longer be a concern.

Easy To Use: Some devices can be a little complex and take some time getting used to. One advantage of the Kodak Playsport is its simple interface and reduced features. The Playsport uses one-button recording, and allows users to switch easily back and forth between video and still image modes.

Screen: The screen quality is good, giving clear and bright pictures that can be seen even in fairly bright conditions. However, you really need to view the screen straight-on, as when viewed at an angle screen visibility suffers.

Image Stabilization: The Playsport’s image stabilization is very effective in all but the toughest conditions. This means that even with a shaky grip you should get steady footage on playback. Just don’t expect it to handle an off-road car ride perfectly!

Sharing Features: This feature feels like a bit of a gimmick, but might be of use to some. A built-in “share” button allows you to mark videos and photos which you’d like to upload to social media sites like Facebook.

Kodak Playsport Video Review

Kodak PlaySportThe Kodak Playsport: The Cons

Video: Although the Playsport is able to record HD resolutions, when played back on full HD TVs the image quality is lacking. Colors are a bit washed-out and the image isn’t as sharp as you’d expect. Where the Playsport really suffers is in dark conditions. Playback appears grainy, and often lacks sharpness. Even slowing down the speed at which you move the camera to try and compensate for this doesn’t help much.

Sound: As is true with many pocket video cameras, the Playsport doesn’t handle sound very well. The recorded sound quality is poor due to the limitations of built-in microphones, but it also suffers from a couple more unusual sound problems. First is a quiet hiss that runs through all footage. Whilst this is usually drowned out by other noises in the recording, during quieter scenes the sound becomes obvious. Second is the sound interference that occurs as a result of buttons pressed while recording.

Memory: There is no built-in memory on the Playsport. This means that you’ll have to spend extra money on buying an SD or SDHC card before you can get any use out of it.

Freezing: Many users have reported that the device freezes during use. To resume use, the device must first be reset using a pin or paperclip. Other faults are also sometimes reported, including failure of the waterproof casing.

No HDMI Cable Included: The Playsport doesn’t come with an HDMI cable in the box. In order to obtain an HDMI cable for the Playsport you have to send off for one. Kodak sends these out for free, but you can’t help but wonder why there isn’t a cable included in the first place.

Battery Not User-Replaceable: Unlike the previous version of the Playsport, the Zx5 battery can’t be replaced at home. If the battery fails, you have to send the device back to Kodak for a replacement to be installed. Obviously this costs money, and takes time.

Is The Kodak Playsport Worth Buying?

Despite the bad points, the Playsport is pretty good value for money. If you don’t need to use it in low light conditions, and don’t mind that the image quality isn’t up to the standard you’d expect from an HD recording device, then the simple and robust design makes a good choice for home video recording.

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera – Black (2nd Generation)
publisher: Eastman Kodak Company
EAN: 0041771515249
sales rank: 87

If you’re going to live with no limits, you need a pocket video camera that can deliver the goods in full 1080p HD. The Kodak PlaySport Video Camera is up for the challenge. We built it to take on the most extreme lifestyles with an insanely tough design – we’re talking shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof to a depth of 10 feet. And built-in image stabilization smoothes out even the roughest ride. Whether you’re carving up the mountain or pulling stunts in the skate park, the PlaySport is up for anything. And with a touch of the Share button, shocking your social network couldn’t be simpler. Show the world why you’re so Kodak. We dare you.
Kodak PlaySport


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