Kevin and I ordered two ZX3 PlaySport 1080 HD video cameras (~$120) in order to bring you the very best of our exploits in fishing here on Fishgator. The basic facts: It is waterproof, durable, takes 1080 HD video and 5mp still images. They arrived last Friday. I’ll let Kevin speak for himself, but after taking it out kayak fishing in sub-freezing temperatures and getting it covered in fish slime, I am VERY happy with its performance. In fact, I believe it to be an ideal camera for kayak fishing, and especially for catch, photograph, and release purposes. Here’s what I like about it the most:
-It’s easy to turn on and fast powering up. Push the power button, two seconds later the lcd is fully on, click, and you’re recording video or taking stills of your most recent catch. One of my pet peeves about handheld electronic gadgets including many digital cameras is having to press and hold a button, then wait for what seems like an eternity before I am able to use the device. Not so with the Kodak PlaySport.
-Ergonomics and simplicity of use are way better than a traditionally configured cameras in my opinion. The Kodak PlaySport is constructed very well and is small, but with big buttons. There aren’t a lot of exposure options, but what options there are are intuitive and very quick to change and the camera handles both bright and low light conditions very well. The button to start or stop recording is prominent and easy to find even in the dark and with wet hands. It is also very easy to switch between taking videos at different resolutions, and still images. Kayak anglers often take photos or videos while holding a fish or paddle in one hand and the camera in the other. The Kodak ZX3 PlaySport is VERY easy to use at most any hand held angle.
-Remote (accessory costs ~$13). We don’t have our remotes yet, but I can’t wait to get one so I can have my camera fixed in place and shoot videos or pics without having to clamber all over my kayak to set the timer on my camera.
-Low cost. If I were to lose the PlaySport overboard, I won’t cry too much (like I did when I lost my Canon D10 last year…).
I used the $330 Canon D10 for over a year, and to be honest, It took so-so images and not very good video. It was also very awkward to use and change settings. I’ve also used the Fujifilm Finepix Z33WP (~$180) and I think it takes just as good of images and video as the Canon D10 for nearly half the price. Unfortunately, the buttons are small on the Z33WP and not terribly conducive to being fiddled with by fish-slime covered wet hands.
I’m not bothered by the difference in rated waterproof depth – 10ft for the Kodak PlaySport vs. up to 30ft in the Canon D10. I’m not going deep diving with my fishing camera. I guess it’s become apparent to me that I need a camera to take fast pics of fish and good video at times to share online and I will probably never print out any photos I take with my kayak fishing camera.
After only having the Kodak PlaySport for a few days, my enthusiastic review here must be taken as initial impressions. However, barring any unforeseen problems, I believe it is ideally suited for kayak anglers who practice catch, photo, and release fishing and need a rugged waterproof camera that is fast and simple to use. The Kodak ZX3 PlaySport will definitely help to minimize the time fish are out of the water while being photographed.