Kodak PlayFull Ze1 review


A handheld camcorder from Kodak: PlayFull Ze1

The latest handheld camcorder launched by Kodak is small, simple and has a a lot of features able to make the file sharing more fast and with ease. You can put your saved files on the web with just a few clicks, directly from the PlayFull Ze1 menu.

The expectations before test

This year Kodak decided to launches a compact pocket camcorder able to capture movies in 1080p full HD and images at 5 megapixel maximum resolution. The new gadget was called PlayFull Ze1. This new camera has included a dedicated button for file sharing and a built-in USB port. This camcorder uses SD memory cards to save the captured files. But, which is the quality of the images ? Is this camera a good choice and has a good autonomy ? Let’s see the test and the review. 🙂

The reality

kodak-playfull-ze1At the first sight the new Kodak offers a pleasant surprise. In the box of the gadget we’ve find not just a micro USB cable and an audio / video composite cable. In the same box we’ve found an AC adapter (to connect into the USB cable) and a dedicated micro HDMI cable. Apparently this can be a problem with the RCA cable provided because on the audio part, it is able to provide you just mono sound.
The access to the connectors of PlayFull Ze1 is made through two small doors. One of them offers tha access to the micro USB connector. The other door provide the access to the integrated microphone, the SD memory card reader and the HDMI port. The micro USB port can be used to charge the camcorder and as audio / video analog connector.

On the other side of the camcorder is the LCD display with not very generous dimensions, just 3.1 x 2.4 cm. In the same place you can find it the navigation controls and four function buttons (to control with ease the photo, deletion, configuration and video playback). The latest button is dedicated to sharing of the files on the Internet or on the social media websites.

Video recording in four formats

If you want to fully charge the battery you must know that the charging time is about 3 hours. A bad point is that after about 1,5 hours, the charger and the camcorder are very hot. This can be a problematic point in time…
The memory of Kodak Ze1 is very limited in its default configuration. The internal memory it’s flash based and has just 128 MB, with just about 20 MB are available for images. It’s clear that for our test we must use an SD or SDHC memory card. A good point is that the camera is able to ignore the natural limit of 4 GB for the FAT32 files. In fact, this gadget stop for a second the recording, it save the file, and continues with another one. The videos are captured in four available formats. The first of them is the Full HD one, at 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). Other available recording modes are the HD files at 720p (1280 x 720 pixels), 720p at 60 fps and WVGA (848 x 480 pixels). The images captured have a single resolution available: 5MP or 3072 x 1728 pixels. We’ve tested the camera with a 4GB memory card and this was enough to capture about 43 minutes of full HD videos.

Different image quality

If you want to use the PlayFull Ze1 to capture outdoors images, you must know that the quality of the image is good, both for the videos and video. The image stabilization is not very efficient and is better to try to not move in the time of using. If you need to take images a the interior, the image quality will disappoint you. In the tests provided for this review, the results was very weak in all the images captured inside. If you don’t have enough light, this camera will not provide you satisfactory images.
The camera lacks at the optical zoom chapter because the Ze1 camera has no optical zoom included. You can use it the 4x digital zoom but this one is not so efficient. An interesting feature is the capability to cut different parts of videos and to save it separately.

MediaImpression technology

This camcorder has included on the internal memory, the kit for installation of the MediaImpression software, produced by ArcSoft, and a utility software able to allow you to share the files with just a button push. It’s enough to press the “Share” button and the PlayFull Ze1 will do the rest. The files are automatically transfered in your computer or are shared on the different websites, like FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr.
MediaImpression is able to display with ease the multimedia files. You can share your files with the other Internet users, with just few clicks. The software is able to convert the captured files in other formats, compatible with the other camcorders producers.

Review conclusions

After the test provided for this review, we have a conclusion for you. At about 150 euros selling price, the new Kodak PlayFull is a easy to use camera, with small dimensions and low weight. The image quality is good if you use it on the good light conditions. The battery life is good, too and the provided software is able to make your life better. The only question is regarding the excess of the heat from the time of charging.

Technical specifications

Sensor TypeCMOS
Max5 Million (s) pixels
Optical Zoom0
Digital Zoom4
Recording MediaFlash Memory
Sensor1 Sensor
Depth in mm17.8
Type CamcorderCandy Bar
Wireless InterfaceNo
Digital InputsYes
Height in mm99
Lowest Focal Length in mm0
Focal Length in mm0
LCD Screen Size1.5
Firewire IEEE-1394No
USB portYes
Resolution in Pixel0
Maximum Aperture Tele0
Maximum Aperture Wide0
ResolutionFull HD
Shutter Speed Fastest in Second0
Shutter Speed slowest in Second0
Sensor Size1/3.2 “
Type of Memory Stick0
Type of SD Card0
HD Video Format0
Photo Resolution Width in Pixels0
Photo Resolution Height in Pixel in0
Image StabilizerElectronic Stabilizer
Capacity in GB0