Kodak PlayFull Ze1 Camcorder Review
Low Light Performance
Low Light Sensitivity
Just like the PlaySport Zx5 before it, the Kodak PlayFull Ze1 did a stellar job in our low light sensitivity test. The camcorder needed just 4 lux of light—which is a very low amount—to record an image that would be considered "acceptable for broadcast" (a measurement of 50 IRE on a waveform monitor). More on how we test low light sensitivity.
Many times, we see ultracompact camcorders do better than expensive, high-end models in this test, but that doesn't mean these cheap, little models are better in low light overall. The ultracopmact models benefit from low light modes that we can't turn off. These modes boost low light performance, but they degrade image quality. So, in effect, you get an image that is bright enough, but doesn't look all that great. Either way, compared to the other camcorders in its class, this is a top-notch result for the PlayFull camcorder.
Low Light Noise
The PlayFull Ze1 averaged 0.74% noise in our low light test. This is a positive score for the camcorder, and it represents a slightly lower noise level than the PlaySport Zx5. Both the GE DV1 and the Sony Bloggie Touch had better noise scores, but the PlayFull's numbers are still good for an ultracompact model. More on how we test low light noise.
Few ultracompact camcorders are capable of producing great images in low light, so the PlayFull's murky, blurred video in this test wasn't all that surprising. Of the models we compared it to, only the Sony MHS-TS10's video looked better in low light.
Low Light Color
Because the PlayFull didn't have as much of a problem with white balance in low light, the camcorder ended up with a much better color accuracy score in this test than it did in our bright light color accuracy test. Again, the PlayFull put up numbers similar to the Kodak PlaySport Zx5—a color error of 5.48 and a saturation level of 85%. These numbers are decent for an ultracompact camcorder, as they rank better than the GE DV1's performance, and very similar to the Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS10. More on how we test low light color.
We like the PlayFull's vivid colors in low light, but the camcorder's image did appear rather blurred (particularly in comparison to the Sony Bloggie Touch). Overall, its low light image looked extremely similar to that of the Kodak PlaySport Zx5, which makes sense because the color accuracy and saturation numbers for the two models were in the same range.