Samsung VP-HMX10 review

£332
Price when reviewed
Samsung has made a laudable attempt to improve upon the standard camcorder silhouette here, but has unfortunately missed the mark. While the design and finish of the trademark Samsung glossy black body is very stylish, the true innovation is the camera’s swivelling panel that allows you to hold the camera at almost any angle while keeping your hand firmly in the strap. This looks like a good idea, but in practice the VP-HMX10 is hard to use in anything other than the standard orientation.

There are other niggles too: the switch for the built-in light is buried deep under several layers of menus while the switch to open the lens cover is manual and difficult to reach.

Ignoring these misguided design features, the rest of the camera is very well laid out. The menu is driven by the touch-sensitive screen and works exceedingly well, loading up pages of options incredibly quickly and with a pleasing animation effect.

At a price of just £289, it’s also one of the more affordable models in this Labs, and represents good value too, offering a lot more for your money than its closest price rival, the £234 Sanyo VPC-HD700. This model’s 10x optical zoom is double that of the VPC-HD700’s 5x zoom and it adds 8GB of internal storage, where the HD700 has none.

The results of the image tests were good too, although the Samsung failed to impress in any one particular area. Its 1,280 x 720 resolution isn’t as high as the more expensive cameras such as the Panasonic and the Sanyo VPC-HD1000, which is forgivable considering the cost, but the image quality also lacks the same clarity, quality of image stabilisation and colour accuracy in bad light conditions.

In this respect the VP-HMX10 shares the problems common to the other budget cameras on test; spend more and you’ll get far better image quality.

However, for shooting in well-lit conditions, the better zoom and 8GB of internal storage make it a better budget option than either the Sony or Sanyo’s VPC-CG9 and VPC-HD700.

Specifications

Camcorder HD standard 720p
Camcorder maximum video resolution 1280 x 720
Camera megapixel rating 1.5MP
Camcorder recording format AVCHD
Accessory shoe? no
Camera optical zoom range 10.0x
Camera optical image stabilisation no
Electronic image stabilisation? yes
Screen size 2.7in
Touchscreen yes
Viewfinder? no
Built-in flash? no
Light? yes
Number of sensors 1

Audio

Internal mic type Stereo
External mic socket? yes
Quoted battery life 90mins

Dimensions

Dimensions width 61
Dimensions depth 120
Dimensions height 66
Dimensions 61 x 120 x 66mm (WDH)
Weight 354g

Storage

Integrated memory 8GB
Camcorder internal storage type Flash memory
Memory card support SD/SDHC Card, MMC+

Outputs

Composite video output? yes
Component video output? yes

Accessories

Remote control? yes
Dock? yes

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