Gear Review: GoPro vs. Kodak PlaySport

One ups-man-ship is a normal part of a friendly, angling relationship.
It’s purely unintentional, but no doubt a dynamic that fishing buddies must work together to overcome.
For Christmas I bought myself a Kodak PlaySport HD video pocket camera to enhance the documentation of trout trips in California and summer trips to Alaska for salmon and halibut. Being I am a teacher my budget for a new toy was limited, so I went with the Kodak because it was on sale for $100.
I added the bundle option which included a floating wrist attachment, tripod, 16 gigabyte memory card, and remote control for around $130.
It shoots great underwater video, nice stills and is resistant to shock as I have dropped it numerous times on rocks even though it has only been on a baker’s dozen fishing trips so far. The red record light is a little small, so there needs to be a bit of trust when it comes to using the remote.
For $130, the Kodak PlaySport is a great choice for the angler looking for a little more fun with preserving memories.
Then came my buddy Kurt and the GoPro. The GoPro is for the serious recorder, or the amateur with disposable income. The GoPro is a wide-angle camera that is made water proof by available encasements. The camera is a cube, so while the PlaySport can slide into any pocket, the GoPro is meant for mounting. The difference in quality between the two is evident, but you would expect that from a camera that costs $300. When shooting release shots, the GoPro provided a few more feet underwater than that of the PlaySport.
There are a few models: the GoPro Hero 2 Professional, Hero Original and the Hero 960. The LCD interface is pretty easy-to-use, and the quality of video is good, almost to a fault. Because the camera shoots with such high resolution, Kurt was unable to upload the videos to his lap top, which is only five years old. The videos worked fine on my computer, but considerations like upload-ability are important because they can add to the already potentially steep cost.
As far as stills, the GoPro can shoot in .5 second bursts which open up photographical opportunities.
In closing, the Kodak PlaySport is an accessible entry option for people who desire to take nice underwater stills and video for movie or YouTube posts. The Playsport is plenty capable of fulfilling these needs, and still leaves you with $200 of gas money. That said, the GoPro really is really cool. The quality is better, but again, the price of not only the camera but the accessories adds up. If you are serious about your video making, and have the money, then the GoPro Hero is the one for you. If you are casual and curious, then the PlaySport might just be the smart play.

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