While Sony's new Bloggie Touch
provides the template for how simple and easy a touchscreen camcorder could really be, Kodak's similarly well built and attractive PlayTouch
provides a stark contrast, with a modicum of simplicity on the surface, but a megaton of functionality to uncover. The PlayTouch isn't as pick-up-and go as the Bloggie, but the basic touchscreen controls can be quickly mastered. What sets the PlayTouch apart are the in-depth features like an external microphone jack (complete with gain control), video effects (like black & white and sepia modes), and the particularly ambitious video editor. You can only trim shots and extract stills from that latter mode, but paired with the newer generation EasyShare functionality that lets you pre-assign photos and videos for upload to YouTube and Facebook, among other services, you can almost completely avoid using your computer as anything but a dumb pipe to the internet.
The PlayTouch really isn't a "gift it to your grandma" sort of camcorder; even with a $230 pricetag you still have to bring your own SD card, there's no built-in storage, and most of the higher end functionalities like the external audio jack will be lost on the general populace. Still, if you're looking for a pocket camcorder that is more than just a dumb pocket camcorder, Kodak seems to be continuing the niche it carved out for itself originally with the Zi8
Kodak PlayTouch preview
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