Kodak’s PlayTouch joins an exclusive band of pocket camcorders like the new Sony Bloggie and the JVC Picsio clan to boast touchscreen operation. But while these ticklish moves grab the limelight, this pocket shooter also comes packed with a welter of other top features: 1080p HD video recording quality, macro mode, face recognition, image stabilization and handy onboard editing software.
Fire it up and on the 3in capacitive touchscreen you’ll find on-screen keys to navigate the occasionally confusing menu options and settings. The buttons themselves are generously sized and easy to prod, but annoyingly take up valuable real estate on the lovely anti-glare display. As a result, your preview video occupies only a small fraction of the display area.
The PlayTouch sports touch focus for honing in on a particular area or subject with an easily activated macro mode for shooting close-ups. This enables you to prowl in as close as 15cm and although this might not seem so fantastic, it’s better than most pocket shooters we’ve handled.
Full HD video
Video is shot in full 1080p HD with image stabilisation and built-in face recognition, making short work of turning a chaotic kids party into a cinematic masterpiece. Vibrant and smooth playback makes you look like a pro, although if audio is important to you, it’s best to invest in an external mic – the built-in setup makes everything sound like it was recorded in a tumble-dryer full of loose change.
The 720p at 60fps shooting mode should be ideal for capturing fast-moving sports and wildlife – a higher framerate helps increase the definition of each frame and cut down on the shearing effect caused by the progressive CMOS sensors. However, dailies are a tad disappointing, with a lack of strong contrast and saturation resulting in less than dramatic footage.
The onboard software features some handy tricks. As well as being able to grab stills from the movies you shoot, you can perform basic editing techniques and queue up files to be uploaded to sites like Facebook, Flickr and YouTube as soon as you connect the device to your computer.
The PlayTouch’s feature lineup is certainly impressive and while it shoots great Full HD video it's not without its shortcomings in other departments. That said, it’s certainly worth a look if you’re in the market for a 1080p-shooting pocket camcorder.