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on May 7, 2010
I just wanted to point out to readers of these reviews that the battery IS replaceable.
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on July 1, 2010
I recently got to use this camcorder for an extended period of time on vacation. While the film and audio quality are amazing (especially for such a little package), the battery is extremely disappointing. After 30 mins of consecutive filming, the battery was almost completely drained. That is really upsetting when you're on vacation and filming a parade, especially when the memory card I got for it holds over 8 hours of video. Other than the battery not being able to last longer than 45 mins total, it's a great camera and would be perfect for doing short films to capture those special moments.
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I have not owned this long - yes, as usual a product shipped in the US a while before Canadians were allowed to buy it - but it is a mighty impressive package so far. It is a little short of perfect, but is definitely worth the price tag.

The positives:
- Although not heavy, it has a solid feel and the rubberized surface makes for a sure grip in the wet
- It is smaller than you expect. Genuinely pocket-sized
- The software is easy to use and simple to set up. They have put some thought into the balance between simplicity and functionality
- It happily runs in HD, although is better at 720p than full HD 1080p
- Most importantly, it is a full underwater camera, with a blue filter mode to balance the colours underwater

The negatives:
- Although it takes still pictures, and in good quality, you have to navigate throught he menu to do it. Simple point and snap would have been better
- 1080p quality is not so good. But at 720p and 60fps it is great. If full HD matters to you, then you need a better and much more expensive camcorder
- Low-light quality is poor, it struggles with balance
- The battery is not removable, so no fast swapping with a spare battery
- The front of the device is white, irrespective of the model colour. I'd prefer a single colour both sides

The negatives highlight an important point - this is a pocket-sized, easy-to-use, waterproof camcorder. It isn't intended to be everything to everyone, just a highly practical cam for the active outdoors.

As a robust first camcorder it is great. For many people it will be a second camcorder which can take the shocks, and the water, of outdoor family fun.

The pricing is very well pitched - while it does have some negatives in HD and low-light, it is a great pocket camcorder for the money, and will be your first-choice device on a daily basis.

Four stars - but much nearer to five than three!
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on July 8, 2010
I discovered independently from Harry and Sami's reviews on this site regarding the same issue on this product, that it had small black shadowy spots (top,right of center & just below mid center of the LCD).

After use for stills and videos, and after going on a trip using it extensively especially in video mode, I noticed the spots on video recorded against a lighter colored background. I cleaned the LCD and lens just in case, but in vain. After thinking MY product had a problem, I returned it with the intention to get a replacement (as the product promises so,so much and I wanted one badly !), but the other 2 tested from the same retailer exhibited the same spots in the shop,and after going to a different retailer and screening that one before purchase....well, the same thing.

There was no option in my mind but to return the product and buy something else - I upgraded to a top of the range stills-and-video-combo (unfortunately at a higher price!). Personally I knew where the spots were and my eyes would follow it on everything I recorded, so that was that for me.

I can only advise people to inspect any product they buy from wherever, no matter what electronics they buy. Give it a proper self-test in all modes a.s.a.p and decide whether a product works for you or not. Good luck !
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on June 26, 2010
Mine has the same dark spot in the lower right coner. I was just about to make a video of it on a white surface and all of a sudden it dissapeared! I don't know what the heck is going on with these units. Just turned it back on and the dark spots are back argh, made a video of it and I caught it dissapearing! Please visit it at: [...] It's a little hard to tell on u-tube but its there. I'm going to send the video to kodak and see what responce I get... meanwhile I'll have to pack this up and send it back. I have 3 canon dslrs and this is my first experience with Kodak, it may or may not be my last, when this unit is working correctly it's awesome...
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on January 17, 2012
I got this HD video camera last year before going on vacation. I did plenty of recording with it during that time (60+ gb's worth of videos over 2 weeks). Here are the main reasons (imo) why someone should get this camera over any of the other hd cams out there (and that includes the Go Pro series, the Flip, and others like it).

1. Price. I paid $114 +tax (w/free shipping) when it was on sale last year. I have seen it as low as $99 +tax since then.

2. The ability of the Playsport to record HD videos at 720p/60 frames a second (it can also do 1080/30 frames), but at 720p/60 you'll get buttery smooth videos. The other HD cams I mentioned are only able to do upto 720p at 30 frames a second (which the Playsport can also do), but at that setting you will sometimes get a stuttered video look during fast pans. The 720p/60 setting does take up more memory on the SDHC card, but it's worth it once you see the video quality on a big screen tv.

3. The ability to change the battery when it gets low/depleted. I bought 2 extra batters with a charger from ebay for under $15. This allowed me to go all day (sometimes 2 days) without the need to put the camera into charge mode (which would mean I'd have to wait about an hour or so before the battery was recharged before I could use it again... like you'd have to do with those other HD cameras). Note: A fully charged battery will give you between 45-60 minutes of recording time depending if you use the zoom or not. I would highly suggest that you not use the zoom, because the video quality does suffer as you zoom in/out.

4. It has mini HDMI and USB ports on it so it makes it easier to hook the camera up to an HD tv or computer for file playback and/or transfers.

5. It takes SDHC cards (and not built in memory like some cameras do). Just make sure you buy a 6x speed card (or faster) for the best recording/playback results.

One word of warning though... you have to make sure the rubber seals on the doors are free from any dirt/dust/hairs. If you don't make sure they are clean, you may run the risk of water getting in to the case as you use it under water.

I would also suggest that user get a cut to fit screen protection film, because the screen on the playsport can scratch easily.

The only negative I came across during use, was the water/mic problem that some other users have mentioned. Since the mic has a small piece of plastic over it to help protect it, that same piece of plastic helps keep water next to the mic even when you pull the camera out of the water. I found that I would have to blow on that area to help clear the water out. Not doing so could result in a "muddy" sound when the camera comes out of the water while recording video. Under water was no problems though. I finally solved that water/mic issue by putting a bit of scotch tape over the mic opening. The tape helped keep the water out during shallow dives, and allowed the mic to do it's job in and out of the water while the camera was recording video. :)

As for the max depth rating (10 feet as stated from Kodak), I was able to get down to 25 feet. Please note that at that depth, the buttons on the camera did not work very well (it was probbaly due to the water pressure the camera was under).

My final verdict: The Playsport is an affordable HD video camera that (imo) easily out classes other HD video camera in it's price range. Check out youtube video for video quality.

PS. I also bought a fish-eye lens for the Playsport ($15 from ebay). It works great. Just make sure you buy the 180 degree version (not the 170).
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on June 29, 2010
Other than an under-water microphone problem I had (which ended up a quick replacement by Amazon) this camera was, as I expected, great in quality and design. It's slim body lets you carry it around easily or strap it around your waist or chest while bicycling, snowboarding, swimming, etc using some creativity. I only wish it came with some sort of strap and ring designed specially for this.

I used an 8Gb Class 10 Panasonic SD card ($60 at the Blacks) and the camera gives me an approximate of how much I can film on each mode (cool eh?!):

Mode | Duration

WVGA = 3:31 h
HD 720p = 2:12 h
HD 720p [60] = 1:31 h
HD 1080p = 1:31 h

As default I film on the WVGA mode and I'm quite satisfied with the quality. Where I need I switch it to the 1080p and film shorter clips.

Hope it was helpful
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on May 28, 2010
In this new market of small, casual camcorders, this product has proven excellent. It is a solid camera and does a fine job of creating casual video in dark and light environemtns. As a camcorder that you would carry with you in all recreational environments, it's great. It is very easy to use, it's sturdy, and practical for the pocket or the purse.
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on January 7, 2011
I purchased this camera, mainly on the basis of good reviews for image quality and performance. Overall I am happy with that aspect of the camera, and have no issues with video quality. I should note that I had to return my first playsport because all video shot with it had a very green, ugly hue. Kodak suggested that I return that camera. It seemed to be a problem with white balance getting stuck (?). New camera can sometimes show a greenish image for less than a second when it starts up, then quickly adjusts exposure and white balance.

- great video quality
- waterproof and reasonably tough
- ships with HDMI cable
- Uses common SDHC cards
- batteries are inexpensive

- very slow, annoying startup; screen turns on instantly, but takes almost 10 seconds before camera is responsive. During startup camera buffers button presses, so if you hit the record button multiple times before the camera is ready, it will start recording, then stop, or fly through a bunch of menus, etc. Quite annoying. Same happens with the power button, and I frequently end up cycling on and off to finally get it turn on. Trick is to have patience, and wait for a complete startup. I often will push one menu button, and once the menu pops up, I know the camera is ready to go. I also just leave it on a lot of the time.
- quirky charging. Doesn't always charge with a low battery, or when connected to the PC.
- some quality issues with the product, first camera had to be returned
- Kodak MediaImpressions is brutal:
- uploads to youtube are slow, and most often fail
- basic editing capabilities are ok, but very limited
- software is slow, and crashes occasionally. Often hangs or complains when closing
- tagging is very limited
- importing videos is easy, but few options for organizing (can only opt to put in folder by day TRANSFERRED, not shot)
- quirky, and not as easy for total newbies to use
- did I mention slow?

So overall, I more or like the hardware. If they could lockout some of the buttons during startup it would be ideal, say ALL the buttons except the record button, and lock that out once it is pressed. The software is not near as nice a Flip's, so I find myself regretting the purchase because I need a very simple straight, forward workflow for say my wife to be able to use this camera. I also find myself in the position of having to spend some more money on a decent 3rd party video editor.

**Update May 30/11** My second playsport has stopped working. This time it's the record button that does not work anymore. Pretty disappointed. Of course Kodak will replace it with a refurb, but i have little confidence that the replacement will last long, not to mention I will be without a camera for a couple of months while I wait for the replacement.
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on September 21, 2010
This is not a bad little camera, especially for the price. I doubt it will replace my Canon HV30 for more serious shooting but I paid about 6 times as much for the HV30 so the comparison is not really a fair one. That said, the PlaySport is far more compact and quite capable of recording decent video even in shallow water. All in all it's a good little backup unit and well worth the cost. You should probably buy a case as well to protect the lens when the camera isn't in use since no cover is provided. I grabbed a decent one at Winner's for about $10 that fits perfectly.

Strengths: Reasonable cost
Takes good sharp video given plenty of light and a steady hand
Compact (roughly the size of an iPhone)
Uses inexpensive recording media

Gripes: Still photos only on par with those my iPhone takes
1080p video has a choppy look unless the camera is held quite still or panned VERY slowly
Sound pick-up is poor unless recorded quite close to the subject

Amazon's delivery services were good and all of the items I ordered(camera, SD card, and extra battery) arrived within the estimated time frame and in good condition.

Post Script: Several months after purchasing this unit it developed a leak while I was vacationing in Hawaii. Although the shots were all ruined, Kodak replaced the camera with a refurbished one without any fuss. The replacement camera is still working perfectly.
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