Kodak Playsport Pocket Camcorder Review

| July 15, 2010 | 3 Comments

Kodak Playsport

Kodak has long been known for making photographic film and accessories, but since the digital camera has taken over the world of amateur photography, Kodak has been forced to change along with the rest of the industry. Digital cameras these days are getting smaller and lighter, and the pictures they take are getting better and better. Bigger, faster memory cards allow us to take hundreds of pictures at a time.

Golf instruction has also changed with the times, making use of lighter and cheaper video cameras to capture golf swings in greater detail. It used to be very impractical to video tape your golf swing on the course. Camcorders weighed several pounds and took up too much space. As a sign of just how far this motion capture technology has come, Kodak has introduced the Playsport pocket Camcorder.

Billed as a light weight, portable pocket camcorder for active lifestyles, it has many features that are sure to turn heads, especially in a package this small and light. We had the pleasure of having a few weeks to “play” with the Playsport, and we think Kodak has a solid offering on its hands. We won’t go into a real technical review of every feature, as there are many good reviews out there on gadget sites that you can get that info from. We wanted to give the basics and tell you about how this camera performs for our readers – golfers!


Notable Features:

1080p, 720p (30fps or 60fps), VGA, 5MP Still photos

Bright 2″ LCD Screen

Waterproof to 3 meters

Design and Build:

Kodak PlaysportThe Playsport pocket camcorder is built solid and feels like it. The thing is about the same size as my iPhone with case, which makes it easy to slip into a pocket or golf bag. More specifically, it measures 4.4 x 2.3 x 0.8 inches and weights about 5 ounces, including the battery and memory card. It has rounded edges and a rubberized backing, along with the controls on the front and 2″ LCD screen. The controls also feel solid and feedback is good. The bottom features a tripod mount, which comes in handy for golfers at the range to video tape their swings. Being waterproof, the side doors accessing the battery and cable slots were tight fitting. On one side below the power button are the mini-HDMI port, USB and AV jacks. The other side allows access to the SD/SDHC card slot and removable battery.

The Playsport camcorder is light and easy to hold. The buttons are easy to reach and laid out well to allow easy operation without looking. The only caveat I had with the design is one that is almost unavoidable in a camera of this size. The lens sits flush with the body of the camera, and as such can be prone to the odd stray finger. The lens being relatively unprotected may lead to fingerprints or scratches, so one must be at least a little careful. Overall, this camera feels very solid, and it should be able to withstand a fair amount of jostling. We kept the camera in a golf cart cup holder for several rounds and it has no scratches or marks to speak of as a result.

Operation:

Kodak PlaysportWhile the Kodak Playsport offers full 1080p HD video, don’t let this mislead you into throwing your expensive HD camcorder away just yet. With such a small image sensor and lens, you are likely to be disappointed with the video quality at 1080p. Keeping in mind that this camera costs less than 1/10th the price of a high-end HD camcorder, we aren’t complaining. Besides, most golfers will want to use this camera in the 720p setting at 60 frames per second, to capture the fast moving golf swing. 60fps does a great job at slowing down the golf club during a frame by frame analysis of the golf swing. I shot almost exclusively in this mode, although I took the opportunity to shoot some still shots as well. The five megapixel stills are adequate, but clearly this camera isn’t designed to shoot still photos. Five megapixels is far below the standard these days, and the fixed focus lens isn’t ideal for still photography. Overall the video taken with this pocket camcorder is on par with the other pocket cams I’ve tried lately. Let’s face it – if you want top notch video quality, you’ll have to pay a top notch price.

Another great feature of this camera is the fact that it’s waterproof to about ten feet. This took away the fear factor for us having it in the golf cart with drinks everywhere and a possibility of rain in the forecast. In fact, we had planned on shooting a swing tip on how to escape from a water hazard with this camera, but we haven’t mustered up the courage yet! If we get a bit more time with it, you’ll get that video very soon. Most golfers play on the weekend, and you don’t get to choose the weather, so it’s nice to know this camera won’t turn into a pile of burnt silicon chips if you drop it in the Gatorade or it gets rained on. Being that it’s waterproof, don’t expect the sound to be great out of this camera, like most other pocket cams.


Overall Impressions:

Kodak PlaysportGolfers will love the Kodak Playsport Pocket Camcorder for filming their swings, or capturing that special shot of your buddies in the bunker. It’s light enough to be carried anywhere you go, and tough enough to not have to worry about treating it like a fragile electronic doo-dad. The image quality at 720p and 60fps was very good for a pocket cam, and it’s fast enough to slow down a golf swing to the point of being able to see the golf club frame by frame. It’s even waterproof, which means you can use it anywhere near the water without fear of getting it wet. For anyone that wants a portable camcorder that’s easy to use, produces good video quality and is tough enough to last, the Kodak Playsport is a winner.

Key Features Enhance Golf Experience

The KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera’s high-performance features provide great value to golfers looking to improve their game, including:

  • Video action print – Included in the built-in software. With the click of a mouse, any swing can automatically be turned into a 9-up video action print showing start-to-finish snapshots that are great for analysis and comparison.
  • Easy playback and upload – Playback on your HDTV television with included HDMI cable, or upload to YouTube and Facebook with the included USB cable and built-in software.
  • Slow-motion playback speeds – A variety of playback speeds, plus frame-by-frame stop action to allow golfers (and their coaches) to analyze every swing movement.
  • Five image capture modes – From 5MP stills to full 1080p HD video, including 720p/60 fps which is ideal for capturing golf swings and other high-speed action.
  • Electronic image-stabilization – Helps you get sharper videos and less blur.
  • Made for rugged outdoor use – Has an LCD Glare Shield feature and is waterproof up to 10 feet.

Perhaps the best feature of this camera is the low price tag of $150. If that weren’t enough of a motivating factor for golfers,Callaway Golf is partnering with Kodak to offer this camera for free with the purchase of a qualifying driver from Callaway!

Free Kodak Playsport Video Camera with Purchase of Select Callaway Drivers

Callaway Golf Promotion with KODAK PLAYSPORT Still Underway
Kodak and Callaway are jointly offering golf fans a special promotion this summer – purchase one of five highly-acclaimed new Callaway Drivers before July 31 and receive the new KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera for free. The KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera is specifically designed for consumers with active lifestyles, allowing them to capture full 1080p HD video with the touch of a button.

To be eligible to receive the new KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera, consumers must purchase one of the following Callaway Drivers before July 31; the Diablo Edge , Diablo Edge Tour , CALLAWAY FT-iZ , CALLAWAY FT-iZ Tour , FT TOUR ,or CALLAWAY Lady FT-iZ Driver . The MSRP of the KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera is $149.95. Promotional details are described below.

Callaway Promotional Details
Mail in gift with purchase applies only to new 2010 FT-iZ, FT-iZ I-MIX, FT-iZ Tour, FT Tour, Diablo Edge Tour, Diablo Edge Drivers (excludes FT-9 and FT-9 I-MIX) purchased between April 16, 2010 and July 31, 2010 from a participating authorized U.S. Retailer. Claim forms must be postmarked by July 15, 2010 and received by July 25, 2010. Proof of Purchase required. Allow 8-10 weeks for delivery. Void where prohibited. While supplies last. Ages 18 and over. Maximum 2 per household during promotional period.

Playsport camera photos courtesy of crunchgear.com and digitalcamerareview.com

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Comments (3)

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  1. Jason says:

    I use this extensively with my club level players and my tour players. It’s fantastic. Knock on wood I haven’t had any issues with it. I bought the higher quality memory card. It plugs directly into my 55′ flat screen for easy viewing. I recommended it to one of my juniors and he loves it. They can upload they’re swings to their youtube channel from whatever event they’re at and I can have a look see to make sure everything is okay and if they have issues I can send them the recommendations via facebook, twitter, text, blackberry messenger or video chat through skype. It’s great.

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