With its large sensor, the Playsport promises reasonably good image quality for the price, although we’ve come to expect this from pocket Internet camcorders. In good lighting, there is a slight sign of grain, and some softness of detail, but nothing too detrimental, and detail is beyond 720p competitors. Performance in poor illumination is also very creditable, with colour remaining faithful in quite low light, and only a small amount of extra grain. Overall, the Playsport can’t quite compete with the best in this class, Sony’s Bloggie Touch and JVC’s PICSIO GC-FM2, but its video quality is extremely good for the price.
Unlike virtually all camcorders of this type, the Playsport’s USB 2 plug isn’t built in, with a separate cable supplied in the box instead. But it still has software integrated, in the shape of Arcsoft’s Media Impression. This installs when you first hook the camcorder up to you computer, and the USB connection is also used for recharging.
Media Impression can trim videos, combine them into a sequence with transitions, add titles, captions and a voiceover. But no video filters are available to improve the look of your footage. When you’re finished, Media Impression can share the end product on Twitter and Facebook as well as the ubiquitous YouTube, and Vimeo. So its capabilities are somewhere in the middle of the pack. However, if you own a Mac you will only be able to access the files on the storage card.
If you just want to watch your footage on a TV, there’s a mini HDMI port available and a cable supplied in the box. Alternatively, a 2.5mm microjack provides connectivity for mono RCA audio and composite video, again with the requisite cable supplied.
The Kodak Playsport doesn’t break any particular new ground. However, at just shy of £90 it provides quite a lot for your money, offering both 1080p and underwater shooting. Panasonic’s HM-TA1 is currently the best deal of all, Sony’s Bloggie Touch has some unique abilities, and JVC’s PICSIO GC-FM2 offers the most features in this class. But the Playsport would be perfect for capturing beach or river activities at a very affordable price, making it well worth considering if your needs are more outdoor oriented.
Score in detail