The last time I used or even owned a camcorder was back in the mid-90s. They were always too big and transferring video was only something a pro did unless you were just copying to a VHS tape. It wasn’t worth the time or the effort. My, have times changed. As with most technology, things get smaller and easier to use. Such is the case of the Samsung SC-HMX10C 720p camcorder. I’ve used it extensively over the last few months to bring all of you videos from CES, Macworld, CeBIT and any other video I’ve posted on CG.
The HMX10C is capable of recording video in HD (720p) or SD and has 8GB of built-in storage. The flip out 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD makes navigating through the menus a breeze. The zoom, menu and record buttons are also placed on the side of the LCD for added convenience. On the body of the camcorder where the LCD usually rests you’ll find an HDMI port as well as Component/AV/S and USB port. You’ll also find an LCD brightness switch and display off/on button.
External controls are easily manipulated unless you’re sans thumbs, which would cause a problem. The power button, record, mode, easy, zoom and photo switches are well placed. The one feature that I really, really like is the swiveling handle. It makes recording easier and causes less fatigue.
There are five scene modes: Auto, Sports, Portrait, Spotlight and Beach/Snow. I typically used the Auto mode and achieved desirable results in all situations. Other features that can be manipulated include: WB, Exposure, Anti-Shake, Digital Effects (sepia, negative, etc.), Focus, Shutter, Tele, Macro, varying degrees of Quality (Super Fine HD, Fine HD, Normal HD, SD and Economy SD), Wind Cut, Back Light, Fader, and Digital Zoom. There are also a ton of variables for the 1.56-megapixel camera, but they’re nothing special or out of the ordinary.
When reviewing recorded videos, you can take screen shots in case you want to incriminate someone or you just like the pretty flowers. Transferring video to my MBP was simple and headache free. Drag and drop via USB and you’re good to go depending on your choice of video editing tools. Battery life was fairly good at a little over an hour for HD recording and closer to 1.5 to 2 hours for SD video.
Flash memory on the camcorder is its biggest asset. The addition of an SD slot that supports SDHC cards is also an added plus. I don’t think I ever came close to filling up the 8GB of internal memory, but having an SD card just made me feel more comfortable. However, what I didn’t like was that I couldn’t transfer files from the internal memory to the external card. I can do that on my Helio Ocean — just don’t understand why I can’t do it on the camcorder. But that’s just about the only downfall the HMX10C has as far as I can tell.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the HMX10C and it’s made our time at shows far more enjoyable and much easier to cover. Photos are fine for most things, but having video is 10x better, right? The MSRP is around $750, but you can find it for much cheaper than that by doing a quick search on the Net.