The Zi8 is one of the best pocket camcorders around, but maybe the biggest. The Playsport takes the Zi8's guts—including its 1080p video, 5MP still photo sensor—and crams them into a small, waterproof shell. And? It's cheaper.
Like the Zi8, the Playsport shoots 1080p video at 30fps, as well as 720p at 30 or 60fps. Video is stabilized—which works fairly well to reduce image shimmering in the Zi8—and displayed on a 2.0-inch LCD. Storage comes by way of SDHC, while power draws from a rechargable Li-Ion battery. Basically, it is the Zi8, except it's noticeably more compact, and it'll shoot video up to 10 feet underwater.
It's one of the first seriously rugged pocket cams on the market, but it won't be the last—as cellphone cameras and regular point-and-shoots start to take better video, dedicated pocket cams will have to do something special to justify their existence. Hence, the swimming. The Playsport will go on sale in April, for $150.
KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera Features:[Gizmodo via Kodak]
• Waterproof up to 10 ft. (3 m)
• Full 1080p HD video capture at 30 fps
• Electronic image stabilization
• Brilliant 2.0' color LCD display
• Capture 5 MP HD stills (16:9)
• Edit and upload to the Web with built-in software and included USB cable
• Smart face tracking technology
• Incredible low-light performance
• Expandable SD/SDHC Card slot for memory cards up to 32 GB, that can record up to 10 hours of HD video**
• Li-Ion rechargeable battery with in-camera charging
• HDMI cable output (HDMI cable included)
• Remote control compatible (remote control sold separately)
• MAC and PC compatible
The KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera will be available in Abyss (black), Wave Crash (blue) and Adrenaline Rush (purple) for US $149.95 MSRP beginning in April 2010 at major retailers including Best Buy and Amazon.com, as well as Kodak.com. The KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera is also now available for pre-orders on Amazon.com.
*Colors and availability may vary by region
A range of accessories are available for the KODAK PLAYSPORT Video Camera, including:
• KODAK SDHC Memory Cards, available in 4, 8 and 16 GB customized for optimal video capture
• KODAK Adventure Mount for helmet, handlebars and more
• KODAK Flexi-Tripods
• KODAK Cases, Camera Bags and Neck Straps
• Remote control
• KODAK Li-Ion Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery KLIC-7004
• Battery charger options including KODAK Li-Ion Universal Battery Charger K7600-C, KODAK Solar Charger KS100-C+2, KODAK Portable Charger KP100-C+2