Kodak Playfull ZE2 review

A low-risk option for water-based stills or video

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  • Easy to use, even with gloves
  • Affordable watersports camera


  • 1MP still images lack detail
  • Digital zoom degrades image

Shooting stills or video footage doesn't get any easier than using the Kodak Playfull as just about everything is fully automated. You just press the large record button, which falls conveniently under your thumb when the camera is held upright like a mobile phone, and you're off.

Although images can't be uploaded while you're out and about, the Share button tags images (via email, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Kodak Gallery and so on) so when the camera is next connected to the computer they are shared. The options are inputted via the computer when the camera is first set up, so it's all very straightforward.

The camera comes with an in-built USB cable concealed within a secret section and the computer software is stored on the camera, so it all installs automatically when connected.

Its price and waterproof credentials (down to 3m) mean the Playfull is designed for shooting video and stills where you wouldn't want to take a serious camera, but at 1MP the images are only suitable for viewing on the computer.

The 1280x720 pixel video footage is only reasonable for a camera of this type and price, but the sound quality is impressive. With no flash, this isn't the camera to take on nights out and to parties. But images taken in good light are acceptable, with decent colour.

However, light smudging of complex patterns and details is noticeable even at normal viewing sizes, and we recommend leaving the digital zoom control alone.

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Head of Testing, Cameras

Angela (Twitter, Google+, website) is head of testing for Future's photography portfolio, writing and overseeing reviews of photographic equipment for Digital Camera, Photography Week, PhotoPlus, NPhoto and Practical Photoshop as well as TechRadar's cameras channel. Angela has a degree in photography and multimedia and prior to joining Future in October 2010 was Amateur Photographer magazine's technical editor.