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Wow, how times have changed.
The first camcorder I bought, about 20 years ago, cost me a whopping £400 and was only a very basic model. When I was considering a new camcorder, I was shocked at the huge range of camcorders that offer superior featurs at tiny prices. I was very lucky to be able to bag this rather smart Kodak Playsport waterproof HD camcorder for a measly £79 from Amazon.
I was in the market for a new camcorder, because I felt that my previous one was out of date. My old camcorder works fine, but takes the old 8mm tapes. I wanted something light and portable that would enable me to upload videos straight onto my computer for editing, or straight onto sites like Youtube, which would have been a bit fiddly with my old model.
What really attracted me to the Playsport was the price. I couldn't believe that I could get something so good for such a cheap price tag. According to the Amazon website, the camcorder boasts:
Waterproof to 3m deep, Shockproof to 1.5m, and dustproof. Designed to take video anywhere.
Full HD 1080p, 720p, WVGA recording modes plus 5MP stills with auto-focus and face detection.
World's only cameras with 3-step sharing, allowing simultaneous upload to YouTube, Facebook, email and others.
On-camera editing features let you trim video directly on the 2-inch LCD without a computer.
Record up to 10 hours of HD video with the expandable SD/SDHC card slot.
Amazon had lots of glowing reviews about the product, as well as a short demo video, so I was happy to buy it. I also had to purchase an SD card to go with it. The camcorder has a small internal memory, but for serious video footage, you need an SD card to store your films. I bought an 8gb card, which allowed for about 2 hours of video (more if you don't use HD), or 6000 still photos. I would say that 8gb is the minimum sized card you should go for, and I will probably invest in a 32GB card next time.
I like the fact that the camcorder is portable. My old camcorder had a big chunky bag and lots of kit, but this little product is roughly the size of a smartphone and can easily be popped into a bag or a pocket for on the go. It comes with a handy wriststrap.
Filming is really easy and simple. in fact, the camcorder has very few buttons for you to think about, making it so simple that even a child could use it. The power button is located on the top of the camcorder, and the once powered up, you can use one of the five function buttons:
Camera/video: This button allows you to toggle between video mode or still photo mode. The camera takes 5mp photos. Basic, but sufficient when out and about.
Play: This allows you to playback your videos from a selection in the menu.
Delete: Allows you to delete a video or photo.
Settings: Allows the user to do things like in camera edits, change the visual effects, alter the sounds and LED and alter the resolution. It also allows you to change the language and date and time settings.
There is also a large grey button which is the record button, or you can use this button to take still photos. The directional controls surrounding this button let the user navigate menus and zoom in and out when taking photos and videos.
You can configure the camera to upload video straight to facebook or youtube wirelessly via the special red "share" button. |This is a great feature, which many users will find useful.
The camera is an ideal size to be held in the palm of the hand and it can be held comfortably for a good length of time as it is lightweight.
The video quality is excellent. there is a HDMI cable supplied with the camera to allow you to plug it straight into a HD ready TV. There is also a USB cable supplied, which can be used to charge the camera. I have had the camera several months and have not yet needed to charge the battery, so the battery life is very good, which is vital when you are on a big day out or a holiday.
The camera is available in different colours, but mine is black. All of the ports are neatly hidden away at the side of the camera behind sliders, which allow the camera to be made completely watertight when filming underwater or in bad weather.
The camera is hardwearing and dustproof and shockproof. I am happy to let the kids play with it without worrying that it will get broken. it is a solid little piece of kit and very durable and long lasting.
In conclusion, I am more than happy with my Playsport from Kodak. It seems that good things really do come in small packages, and if you are looking for a lightweight family camcorder to record precious moments simply and easily, then this is the camera for you.
I bought this in June 2011 and have used it loads ever since. It is such a good little video camera, being small, robust, waterproof and easy to use. We had our friends one (which is identical to ours) in the swimming pool with us, that's right, IN the swimming pool, for underwater larking about, no issues with it afterwards.
The buttons are self explanatory and the menus are easy to navigate. It has an SD card slot which means you can change and upgrade its capacity quickly and easily. The battery life is very good (one charge can easily last a couple of months when using for short recordings here and there). It comes with all the leads you will need, including USB lead which plugs directly into the charging plug (for mains or laptop charging) and HDMI lead. The HDMI lead enables you to plug the camera directly into your TV and watch back your videos instantly without having to upload and burn the files to DVD. With the ever declining cost of SD cards, it is almost easier to just label and keep them and watch back via the camera whenever you want. If you do want to upload and edit your videos on a PC, the camera comes with an editing program which is fully capable of doing this. One thing to be aware of though is that your PC needs to have enough processing power to deal with the file sizes. (I had to buy a new laptop to do this)
My only criticisms would be that it does not come with a case and that the supposed HD quality is not as good as I'd expected when shown on a 40" TV. For the price though, I can't really complain. There has been one fault in that after about three months, the battery failed. (I wrote to Kodak and they replaced it free of charge no quibble)
Overall I cannot fault it for the money and recommend it to anyone.
I bought this camcorder from Amazon with £115 two weeks ago for trip to Greece. I think this is the best full HD camera in the market at the moment! The selling point is definitely the waterproof (up to 10 ft) feature, which is great for holiday and underwater photography is a whole new world to explore! The downside is definitely not having optical/digital zoom, but I don't really zoom in all that much (as the handshake would be emphasised too, not good for the viewers) so that's fine with me. The camera adjusts exposure and does the autofocus swiftly and smoothly, and the video quality is great (white balance is good, no visible distortion) even underwater. You can select 1080p 30fps, 720p 60fps, 720p 30 fps, WVGA or a 5MP still camera. The battery lasts about 1-1.5 hour if you keep recording the whole time. I'm happy with the resolution of the 2" monitor and the noise treatment when shooting in dark situations. There's a glare shield and face recognition function, which are perfect for outings with friends. Good ergonomic design, slim and light weighed, this is a good camera to carry around if you love watersports and being outdoor in general!