Kodak Playfull review: Kodak Playfull

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Typical Price: $199.00
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Built-in USB connector. Stylish and compact.

The Bad Tiny LCD screen. No autofocus.

The Bottom Line Provided top-notch video quality isn't your priority, the Playfull will suit most users looking for HD video in a pocket camcorder — with "pocket" being the operative term, as the Playfull is miniature.

7.8 Overall

Design and features

Should you be considering giving up smoking when researching pocket camcorders, the Kodak Playfull may make it rather hard to kick the habit. Shaped like a small, sleek box which may or may not contain sticks of nicotine, the Playfull is rather attractive. Its slender size and feather-light weight (95g) belies its internal specs, being able to capture full HD 1080p video and still images at 5 megapixels. It's available in blue, silver or purple to match the aforementioned pocket in which it may reside.

There's a modicum of internal storage (20.3MB), though it can also take SD/SDHC cards and all buttons and flaps sit flush with the side panel that wraps around the device. You get a built-in USB connector at the top, as well as a proprietary AV out and micro HDMI. Like most other pocket camcorders, the lens of the Playfull is fixed in focal length and aperture, with no autofocus, so forget about shooting close-ups. It comes with digital image stabilisation, but no flash or video light.

The Playfull's screen is absolutely tiny, and at 1.5 inches you may be squinting more often than gazing in astonishment, but it does the job. Controls are very simple, with a single round button under the screen acting as a record button, and the panel surrounding it can be pressed to change between still/video recording, playback, deleting or accessing the settings menu.

There are several video effects that can be applied including high saturation, '70s film, black-and-white and sepia. The sharing settings work the same as on the other recent Kodak pocket camcorder we've tested, the PlaySport Zx5 . Please click through to the review to read how the social sharing features work.

Video quality

The Playfull suffers the same noticeable judder as found on the Zx5 when panning quickly (at full 1080p). Colours are bright and vibrant, but as is the case on most pocket camcorders, the Playfull blows out highlights in bright and contrasty areas.

Sound is decent, with some wind noise picked up but not enough to seriously affect the audio quality. The Playfull comes with built-in editing features to trim videos without needing to transfer them to a computer, though this is also an option. Stills can also be extracted from the video at selected intervals.

Conclusion

The Playfull produces good HD video and still images. Provided you don't mind its tiny screen and mini form factor, the Playfull is definitely worth its AU$200 price.

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