Samsung HMX-R10 HD review: Samsung HMX-R10 HD

Samsung may not be a well-known brand of camcorders in the US like Canon, Sony, Panasonic and JVC, but at least they are trying to differentiate their product line. HMX-R10 is a perfect example. It’s compact and reasonably priced for a full HD camcorder (although its 1080p video results aren’t as good as its other resolution options). It also has a ton of imaging features and, in an effort to make use more comfortable, Samsung has tilted the R10’s lens at 25 degrees to relieve the strain on your wrists. If you can make adjustments to shoot like this, it works well; however, Samsung has made a number of other design options without hitting its mark. Ultimately, the R10 is at its best as a point-and-shoot camcorder, a step up from that pocket camcorder, but not as likely as prosumer model.

Main specifications Samsung HMX-R10
Price (MSRP) $ 499.99
Size (WHD) 1.5×2.2×5 inch
Weight (with battery and vehicle) 9.3 perfumes
Storage capacity, type Nobody; SD / SDHC
Resolution, sensor size, type 1 / 2.3 inch 9 megapixel CMOS
LCD size, resolution LCD touch screen 2.7 inch, 230K dots
Lens (zoom, aperture, focus) 5x, f3.5-16, 76.4-382mm (35mm equivalent)
Minimum illumination 15 lux
File format (video, audio) H.264 MPEG-4 (.MP4), stereo ACC
Resolution (video / photo) 1,920×1,080 (60i or 30p) / 3,456×2,592
Record time at the highest quality 6 minutes per 1GB (approx.)
Image stabilization type Electronic
Battery type, rated life (continuous) Lithium ion rechargeable, 1 hour 30 minutes

The R10 definitely has an eye-catching design. The capsule body – available in silver and black versions – is thin enough to fit in a large pocket or pocket. Lenses are immediately noticed differently. Tilted up 25 degrees, the camera is used with your wrists straight instead of being tilted back. It provides more natural positioning for video and photo capture, but if you are familiar with traditional camera positioning, it will take some time to adjust. The right edge is bent so that your palms fit into the body. There is no traditional wrist strap on the R10, just a wrist strap. This is probably due to the angled lens, but regardless, it makes holding the camera less secure due to the rather slippery body material. You will definitely want to use a wrist strap and shoot with both hands (left hand on the left edge of the screen) as much as possible.

As for its controls, they are both good and bad. At the top is the shutter button for the photo and that’s all. Moving to the back is the Mode button to switch between stills or video, the vertical zoom knob for the modest 5x optical zoom, and the record button. (Beneath these controls is a panel covered with Mini-HDMI, DC in and exclusive USB / AV jacks.) While the larger hands should have no problem using the things. Smaller ones will probably have a harder time reaching them and keeping a secure, steady grip while recording. Especially when using the zoom, it needs to be moved to the top. (By the way, the image stabilization feature of the HMX-R10 is electronic only. In my tests it didn’t seem to work well.)

Flip open the 2.7-inch touchscreen and you’ll get a second zoom and zoom controller (needed if you hold your hand over the R10) as well as a Q.Menu button that lets you program up to four among your most frequently used shooting features (focus, white balance, resolution, exposure, etc.) for quick changes. In the LCD compartment are three other buttons: power, Easy Q and display / iCheck. When the camcorder turns on, the show / iCheck button turns on or off information on the screen; however, when the R10 is off, this button gives you a meter of remaining battery life and storage capacity. Easy Q is Samsung’s simplified auto mode with little access to adjustments.

The touchscreen is used to change settings, including manual adjustments to focus, shutter speed and aperture if you choose to do so. Unfortunately, the screen doesn’t respond the fastest, so you can try making these changes. Also, there is no option to calibrate the touchscreen. On the other hand, however, you have a touch focus option that lets you focus the camera on the right person or object with a simple touch.

On the bottom of the camcorder is the battery compartment and memory card. Samsung doesn’t have internal storage, so you’ll need to provide an SD / SDHC card. Also, because the compartment is obstructed, there is no chance to grab a larger, longer lifespan battery. Luckily, its battery life is great for its type, but you might still want to invest in a backup package. There is a built-in flash on the front of the camcorder; however, it cannot be used as a video light. There are no accessory shoes nor a jack for adding an external microphone or headphone. This shouldn’t be too surprising but just something to keep in mind if you are in need of them. Surprisingly there is absolutely no lens protection. The R10 comes with a protective case to tuck it all in, but just to put it in your pocket you’ll have to be very careful not to scratch the lens.

Featured Samsung HMX-R10
Input / Output Without / Mini-HDMI, USB / AV
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Custom
Scene mode Auto, Night, Sports, Portrait, Spotlight, Beach / Snow, Food, Candle
Focus Auto, Manual, Touch, Macro
Color effects Black & White, Sepia, Cosmetics, Negative
Lens cap (automatic or manual) nobody
Video light / flash No / Yes
Shoe accessories Are not

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