First Review: HD Shooting With Samsung Camcorder

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The new HD camcorder from Samsung takes the stress out of recording with its great form factor, simple operation, and easy video transfer and viewing. Just remember to stock up on high capacity memory cards when going on long vacations to make the most out of this device.


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The Samsung VP-HMX20C is small, compact, and light, making it one of those devices that you can bring along without having to think twice. While the package comes with a carrying pouch that protects your camcorder from scratches, it does not protect the camcorder from bumps – so take care!

The unit fits perfectly in our hand, with us having easy access to the record button, power switch, zoom lever, photo button, and mode button. In addition, the hand grip can be swivelled, allowing a user to shoot in almost any angle.

Samsung placed 8GB of storage on the camcorder, which roughly equates to 71 minutes of HD recording. If that is not enough, you can always chuck in an SDHC or MMC+Plus card that can give you up to 284 minutes of HD recording (using a 32GB card). It also comes with a 2.7-inch LCD touch panel, offers 1080/25p shooting, 10x optical zoom, and comes with features like image stabilisation and face detection.

 


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The unit will be ready to go after charging for about 100 minutes. It takes about three seconds for it to power up, but is ready to record as soon as it loads because the camcorder automatically starts in movie mode. There are three recording modes to choose from: Slow motion (records at 250/300fps), SD (576/50p), and HD mode (1080/50i or 1080/25p). The unit comes with five different scene modes (Night, Sports, Portrait, Spotlight, Beach/Snow), five white balance modes (Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Custom WB), five digital effects (Black and White, Sepia, Negative, Cosmetic, Cinema Tone), and other supplementary functions like Anti-shake, Focus mode, Tele Macro, Timer, and Face Detect.

Pressing the mode button takes you to the Photo mode. The maximum resolution that the camera can take is 8-megapixels (interpolated 3264×2448), but can be adjusted to a lower setting accordingly (2880×2160, 2304×1728, 2048×1536, 1440×1080, 640×480). ISO can also be adjusted (Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200), in addition to the White Balance and Focus modes. The built-in flash automatically turns on in poor lighting conditions, which helps light up a subject any time of the day.

After recording movies and images, users can press the mode button and go to the Playback mode to view recorded footages. The unit can play all videos, show the most recent photos and videos, edit playlist (according to shooting mode), delete or protect footages, and can even edit footages on the fly.

 


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Our overall experience with the camcorder was good. The handheld controls were strategically placed, the touchscreen is fairly responsive, and the GUI was easy to navigate. Video quality was good, providing us with clear and crisp footages in HD. Photos taken were vivid and did not have a lot of noise, although there were times where the camera took overexposed photos.

The docking cradle included in the bundle makes it easy for a user to share photos and videos. It allows HD footages to be displayed to any HDTV via HDMI/component port, or be transferred straight to any computer via USB. Samsung has also added a Cyberlink DVD Suite to the package for added HD editing.

Overall, the Samsung HMX20C is a brilliant camcorder that you can count on. It is easy to use, can record in HD, and fits in almost any bag. An RRP of $1,299 makes the deal even sweeter, although you would probably use the extra cash to purchase a high capacity card.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

Samsung VP-HMX20C Product Specifications:

Signal Type: PAL
Storage Media: Flash Memory (8GB)

Image sensor:
Sensor type: CMOS
Sensor size: 1/1.8″
No. of pixels: 6.4M

Lens:
F Value: F1.8 – 2.5
Optical Zoom: 10x
Digital Zoom: 100x
Filter Diameter: 49mm
Type: HD Lens

Display:
Device Type: Touch LCD
Size: 2.7-inch
No. of Pixels: 230k

Video Recording Feature:
Recording Format: H.264
Recording Resolution: 1920 x 1080i (50i/25p), SD: 720 x 576
Recording Quality: Super Fine/Fine/Normal
Image Stabiliser: Yes
Auto Focus: Yes
Manual Focus: Yes

Still Imaging Feature:
Format: JPEG
Resolution: 3264×2448 (8M interpolation), 2304×1728 (4M), 3M, 1.5M, 340k
Quality: Super Fine
Recordable Media: Flash Memory

Interface:
PC: USB
Video: Composite, S-Video, Component, HDMI
Memory Card: SDHC, MMC+

Dimensions: 66.0 x 67.2 x 139.0mm
Weight: 456g

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Samsung VP-HMX20C | $1299 |  | www.samsung.com.au

For: Small; Light; Easy to use; Can shoot in HD; Memory card can be used
Against: 8GB is a little too small; Some overexposures in photos
Conclusion: A handy camcorder from Samsung that you can take anywhere.

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