Kodak PlayFull review

Pocket-sized digital camcorder at a bargain price!
Photo of Kodak PlayFull
£105 street price

Rarely has a camcorder be as aptly named as the Kodak PlayFull. For a start, this mini Full HD video camera comes in four funky shades of silver, purple, blue and black and it’s about the size and weight of a small digital dictaphone (42x100x16mm, weighing just 95g), so it can be slipped very easily into a handbag, pocket or shirt.

Although it’s not actually waterproof, there are a number of rubber seals around the outside which are very handy when protecting from accidental spillage or collision. A quick tour reveals a power button, a micro USB 2.0 (which can be used for AV-out and charging), a tripod adaptor, an HDMI out next to an SD card slot, and finally a separate USB connector that folds out from the top and can be plugged directly into your PC or Mac to transfer your videos and stills directly using the built-in software.

Instant uploading to social networks
Operating the PlayFull is simple – just turn on the power, point at your subject using the 1.5in colour LCD to preview your shots, then press the large round button on the front to record.

Filters can be used to make it easier to view the display in bright sunlight, and you can switch to one of five fun effects (black and white, sepia, 70s film, high saturation or normal), making use too of the 4x digital zoom.

Around the record button, you’ll find touch controls for quick switch mode (to change to 5-megapixel stills), tools, playback and delete. beneath these is the now-famous Share button. which allows you to instantly upload your video masterpieces to the social network of your choice.

A certain amount of editing (such as trimming) is possible in-camera, and there’s even a tiny speaker to listen back to your mono recordings.

Storing your high-def video
If you insert the maximum size of SD card supported – 32GB – you can record up to 10 hours of 720p HD video at 30 fps (ideal for Facebook et al.), or you can opt for 1080p HD, 720p at 60 fps (great for sports and beach action), or WVGA. We were generally very impressed with the colour, sharpness and texture of the videos, helped by the camera’s built-in digital image stabilisation system and face recognition.

Our only gripe was having to use the edges of the record button to navigate menus, which we found awkward and cumbersome.

Company: Kodak

Contact: Kodak on 01442 261122

Positives
  • Good-quality HD recordings.
Negative
  • Awkward menu control.

Verdict

As it's now possible to buy this funky little camcorder online for around £105, Kodak has got a winner on its hands. The range of HD video recordings you can capture and immediately upload is great - although the menu controls could do with some improvement.