The VP-HMX10C is the first High Definition digital camcorder to be released by Samsung. Touted to be very user friendly due to an intuitive touch screen interface, it comes with 8GB built-in flash memory, 10x optical and 20x digital zoom capabilities. After all the buzz surrounding it, we naturally had to see what lies beneath its sleek and sophisticated black exterior.
With its compact size and svelte frame, Samsung's first sortie into the HD camcorder arena weighs a mere 310g. The handy weight encourages users to lug it around everywhere, ready to capture the best and most candid moments. It sits snugly in the palm of your right hand, with a 150 degrees swivel hand grip that allows filming at extreme angles while having every function button easily accessible at the same time. The left hand controls the 2.7-inch touch screen interface, zoom and record functions.
Unlike some HD camcorders in the market, the HMX10C lacks a manual control ring, but fortunately the controls are simple enough. The lens is protected by a mechanical cover controlled by a slider switch. There are two controls for zooming in and out, one rocker on the top which is built for your right hand and a two way button for the left.
Two record keys dominate the camcorder as well for the same purpose. The mode button located right in the middle controls three functions, namely the video, camera and play selections. A small green LED lights up when the camcorder is charging. Other ports include a microphone, HDMI, a photo shutter button, brightness plug, USB, an iCHECK switch which supplies status information and the Easy.Q push button.
It takes around three seconds to start up; after which it is generally point and shoot. The controls on the LCD are via two onscreen icons, 'Menu' and 'Play'. Navigation is intuitive and touch responses are sensitive. To aid beginners, the Samsung HMX10C has five default settings to choose from: sports, portrait, spotlight, beach & snow and auto. The camcorder also captures still images to JPEG, which is an added bonus.
A pretty cool feature that we thought worthy of mention is the ability of the camcorder to record at 50 frames per second. In addition, the Electronic Image Stabilization should ensure the consumer get clean and crisp images and videos every time. Color rendering and saturation is excellent, turning out natural looking images. Consumers also get to choose how they want to capture every moment in a range of modes, between High Definition to Economy.
A few things to note if you are seriously considering the Samsung VP-HMX10C. The video quality can be the deal-breaker if you're a serious user. We encountered some noise and blurriness around the edges. The battery life lasted for 1.5 hours shooting from a full charge for normal HD standard quality. So if you're contemplating a long road trip with the HMX10C, do bring along an extra battery.
Equipped with Samsung's advanced flash memory technology, jammed together with expandable memory and going for S$1399, the Samsung VP-HMX10C is a keeper. Despite some minor caveats, the HD camcorder still boosts HD capabilities and goes without the need for external storage. It also has a decent battery life and is quick to startup. For the amateur and beginner film maker amongst you, it's a good camcorder to start with.