Customer Review

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
338 of 351 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kodak PlayTouch vs. Zi8, October 6, 2010
This review is from: Kodak PlayTouch Video Camera (Black) (Camera)
I bought the PlayTouch and spent a few days comparing it to a borrowed Zi8. I shot a couple of hours of footage in different situations and at different resolutions with the two mounted side-by-side. I thought a quick comparison of the two might be useful for others that are looking at the PlayTouch.

There were certainly some improvements in the PlayTouch over the Zi8:
* The device itself is smaller and sleeker. I think it looks a bit better than the older model.
* The low-light performance is better on the PlayTouch. Neither camera is great in low-light, but the PlayTouch would get a picture in a dark room when the Zi8 would only record black.
* The PlayTouch had a much wider angle lens. My kids always seem to come close when the camera comes out, and the wider angle of the PlayTouch was much better in these situations.
* MP4 file format (vs. MOV on the Zi8). The MP4 files from the PlayTouch played back much easier on my Windows machine than the equivalent MOV files from the Zi8. MP4 and MOV are just the container for the h.264 video inside, but for some reason everything works better in Windows with MP4. My editing software (Sony Vegas) chokes on the .MOVs created by the zi8, but works wonderfully with MP4s. Obviously QuickTime rocks if you're on a Mac.
* The PlayTouch has some nifty "effects" for your video. I don't think you'd ever use them in real life, but they're fun to play with for a few minutes and maybe kids would like them.

There were a few key ares in which the PlayTouch lost out to the Zi8:
* The video on the PlayTouch had WAY too much contrast. In a normal outdoor shot with the sun overhead and some light shadows from trees, half of the frame was blown out from the sun while the shadowy parts looked completely black. The Zi8 handled these situations with aplomb.
* The user interface on the PlayTouch was much slower and less responsive than the Zi8. Everything, from the menus to the time to start recording after pressing the button, felt much more sluggish on the PlayTouch.
* The video displayed on the screen while recording is tiny and lagged by about 1/2 a second. You'd think with a bigger screen, the video displayed while recording would be bigger, but you'd be wrong (The PlayTouch does display the video bigger on playback in landscape mode, though). The Zi8 video display didn't lag at all.
* The video on the PlayTouch didn't look as good as the Zi8 at any resolution. I don't know if it's due to a lower bitrate or something else in the compression, but the video from the PlayTouch had a lot more blocking and jaggy artifacts.
* In anything but bright light, the PlayTouch video was extremely noisy. Much worse than the Zi8.
* The PlayTouch seemed to heat up when recording 1080p video. It didn't get burning hot, but it was hot enough to cause me some concern.
* The PlayTouch crashed occasionally requiring a reset.
* Battery life was around 1 hour 5 minutes on the PlayTouch, while it was about 1 hour 30 minutes on the Zi8.

To me it was no question: I returned the PlayTouch and bought a Zi8. Perhaps some of the shortcomings of the PlayTouch can be fixed in future firmware updates, but the fundamental image quality problems cannot be fixed in firmware -- they are intrinsic to the CMOS sensor Kodak chose to put in the PlayTouch. I could overlook the crummy user interface for the low light improvement, wider angle lens, and MP4 container format, but the serious step down in video quality makes it impossible for me to the consider the PlayTouch.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Nov 9, 2010 1:00:33 PM PST
Hi IdleGravity- Thanks so much for the feedback, I've forwarded it to the PlayTouch Team. We did just update the firmware to 1.18 and it addresses these issues. Thx for going with Kodak.

Thx,
Beth
 
 
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Tracked by 10 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 19, 2010 12:22:56 AM PDT
Fixup says:
Simply rename the suffix "*.mov" to "*.mp4", the MOV files from Zi8 and Zx3 will play smoothly on Windows.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2010 8:44:50 AM PDT
idlegravity says:
That's interesting -- I hadn't tried simply renaming the file. I've been using FFMPEG to change the container without re-encoding the audio and video (e.g. "ffmpeg -i input.MOV -f mp4 -vcodec copy -acodec copy output.mp4").

A comment by the manufacturer   (What's this?)
Posted on Nov 9, 2010 1:00:33 PM PST
Hi IdleGravity- Thanks so much for the feedback, I've forwarded it to the PlayTouch Team. We did just update the firmware to 1.18 and it addresses these issues. Thx for going with Kodak.

Thx,
Beth

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 5:48:55 PM PST
Kodak's PlayTouch is also known as the Zi10, which is more advanced and feature-rich compared to the Zi8.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2010 12:59:43 AM PST
idlegravity says:
Here's the description of firmware v1.18 from Kodak's website:

"This version improves accuracy of Recording Time Remaining on the LCD; improves microphone response; reduces incidence of the camera 'freezing' or 'locking up.' "

So no changes with respect to video quality... too bad.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2010 8:32:08 AM PST
J. Clark says:
Beth: Has the latest firmware update solved the issues mentioned in the reviews? Nobody has said one way or the other.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2010 8:35:20 AM PST
In our tests, yes the update addresses the sound, any freezing of the UI, and the blurriness caused by the macro switch. We've gotten feedback from customers that 1.18 fixes these issues.

thx for the question!
Beth

____

Beth LaPierre
Chief Listener @Kodak

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2010 9:09:07 AM PST
idlegravity says:
According to the Kodak's website, the latest firmware addresses "audio performance," "PC Connectivity," and "Camera Stability" (i.e. the freezing up).

It doesn't sound like any of the most fundamental problems of the Zi10 (the horrendous video quality) have been addressed thus far. The video quality is probably more a characteristic of the optics and sensor, so I wouldn't hold out much hope of improvement in future firmware updates.

If I ever come across an updated PlayTouch in the wild, I'll happily update my review to reflect any improvements.

Posted on Dec 7, 2010 1:56:54 PM PST
nexuspeer says:
Thanks for the great review!
Does this camera have the Zi8 problem (which I encountered):
the picture is pre-zoomed too close, even in the least zoom mode.
I cannot get the whole wall of the room for example, while with other cameras I can.
I have to be very far away from object (more than usual) to get them in the picture the way i want.
Does thi camera (Zi10) has the same issue?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2010 2:37:52 PM PST
idlegravity says:
That's one of the things that was best about the Zi10 -- the lens was a much wider angle (or more "zoomed out") than the Zi8.
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