Capture those special moments

Seigo Saito
2011 Bassmaster Classic champ Kevin VanDam

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and it's time to be thinking about what kind of cool outdoor stuff you want to put on your Christmas wish list.

Of course, there are the obvious items, like new rods, reels or tackleboxes. And don't forget to add lures — they make great stocking stuffers!

But one item that may get overlooked that I've found to be an invaluable, nifty gadget is my Kodak Playsport camera. It's a sponsor of mine that I've found to be very beneficial to my fishing and hunting.

I realize most anglers already carry digital cameras or can rely on their cell phones for capturing that photo of their next trophy fish before it's released.

But the Playsport is more than that. It's a video camera and a still camera packaged in a handheld unit about the size of a small cell phone.

Think about the possibilities!

I carry mine when fishing with the kids or my buddies to capture video of them hooking and landing fish. It also comes in handy when pre-fishing those lakes during the drawdown period. I can shoot images of the shallow cover and structure and review them when the lake is at full pool.

And, during hunting season, I carry it with me in the deer stand to videotape deer I pass up or to show my friends some of the cool things that happen in the woods. Instead of simply telling friends about the big deer I saw, I can show them the video to prove it.

The camera is waterproof down to 10 feet and built to handle the rugged outdoor environment. It's even got a 4X zoom feature for capturing those scenes that are farther away. It has image stabilization built into it, which eliminates a lot of the blur you get from "camera shake" in some videotapings.

It comes with a small tripod that is handy in the boat. When hunting, I'll hang it on a branch in the tree stand.

The Playsport operates on a rechargeable battery and has full 1080HD recording as well as 5-megapixel still photo capabilities. It offers 128 MB of internal memory but also has a SD/SDHC card expansion slot for up to 32 gigs.

The camera has a 2-inch back screen for viewing, and video can be downloaded on PC or Mac computers. It sells for $149.99 at Bass Pro Shops.

Kodak also offers the Playsport "bundle" that includes the camera, remote control, extra battery, special software, wrist strap, a 4-gig high speed SDHC card, camouflage hard case and more. It sells for $249.99.

The Playsport may not put more fish in the boat, but it gives you a lot of options for catching those special moments. The fact it's designed to handle the outdoors and works well for everyday use makes it even more practical.

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