written by: Vincent Frogameni•edited by: Shawn S. Lealos•updated: 6/29/2011
The Kodak Playfull video camera is one of the smallest pocket cameras hitting the market to date. Find out if this cameras small and sleek style is actually worth the money!
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The Kodak Playfull video camera receives its name because of its compact design and stylish look. This camera is not the first pocket camcorder to hit the market, but is it one of the best released to date? Kodak has finally released an affordable, easy to use, and extremely compact video camera for the first time in their company’s history. Coming in at $149.95, find out if the Kodak Playfull video camera is worth the price tag.
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Compact camcorders rarely ever have any features to speak about, and that is the same case with the Kodak Playfull. Its small and sleek design is for people who just want to shoot a short video; this camera is not for people that are photography buffs. There is a playback feature on the Playfull, but it is dismal compared to every other camera on the market because of the tiny screen the camera is equipped with.
The camera shoots HD video and takes HD pictures as well. When a picture is taken users are able to zoom in and view their pictures (even though the screen is so small so there is no point to zoom). With videos users will be able to fast forward, rewind, pause, and adjust the volume directly from the D-Pad. Other than these simple features the Playfull really has nothing new and innovative about it.
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Is being the smallest camera on the market an excellent idea? No, and it is not at all by any means necessary. The camera praises itself for how small it is, but even watching a video that you may have just recorded can be a nuisance on such a small screen. The frame of the camera is 1.6" x 3.9" x 0.6", which is the smallest available camera being sold to the public at the moment.
There is a microphone which is located directly on the front of the camera. The microphone is extremely small, and by no means has even sub-par sound quality. A USB drive is located on the top of the camera under a little piece of plastic. The Playfull was made with a very slippery textured material, which makes the camera prone to slipping out of your hands during use. However Kodak decided that it would be best to add small grips on the side of the camera to gain a better grip, even though this still does not help very much.
All of the controls lie on the back of the camera. There is a D-Pad, which does not click and I found to be pretty annoying, and a share button located directly beneath it. The share button is actually a good feature, which allows users to tag each picture or video to be uploaded to their social networking sites next time the camera is plugged into the computer.
The Screen takes up about one-third of the of the cameras space on the back (which is not much at all). There is a tripod plug, inferred port, and a speaker located on the bottom of the camera. The inferred port may be used in the future as a port for a camera remote. On the left and right side there are two flaps that are hiding the SD Card slot, HDMI out, Charging, and Reset buttons.
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Recent compact cameras, such as the Flip, have had better picture quality than Kodak's camera. When you take this camera indoors it does not perform that well because of a lack of lighting. The camera really shines when it is taken outdoors because of the natural sunlight. The videos come out much more crisp and clear when shot outdoors, although sometimes the colors will become dulled down a bit and the video will become a little jittery at times.
Surprisingly for a pocket camcorder, the Playfull can shoot videos in 1080p at a steady rate of 30 frames per second. If you decide to take the video in a lesser quality, such as 720p, the camera will shoot all video between 30-60 fps. When I was using the camera I noticed that I actually enjoyed using the camera to shoot video in 720p. Although the quality is not the best, it makes the video much more fluent and seems better to watch.
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My final verdict would have to be that the Kodak Playfull was not by all means the best pocket camcorder to hit the market. Kodak tried to cash in on having the smallest camera available, but it happens to be that it is not a good feature at all. Having such a small screen makes it almost unbearable to even watch a video, and you almost have to squint to even see a picture. Personally I would say save the money, or even find an old Flip Camcorder if you can.