Samsung VP-HMX10 review
A good price for an HD camcorder, but poor design makes it an awkward device to use one-handed.
Review Date: 25 Apr 2008
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: (£381 inc VAT)
The term high definition has become accepted by the mass market, at least when it comes to TVs. But in the world of camcorders, HD has still been very expensive until just recently.
Camcorders such as the hybrid Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD700, are bringing HD recording into the realms of the affordable and, at the low end at least, flash memory increasingly appears to be the recording medium of choice.
Samsung's HMX10 is the latest HD camera to fit this mould, and is notable principally for its low price. It costs just £324, yet the spec list is by no means basic - this camera has a 10x optical zoom, and 720p recording on a single 1/4.5in CCD.
Image stabilisation is, however, electronic rather than optical, so it's not as effective as the system on the Panasonic HDC-SD9. There's also no accessory shoe, though you do get a socket for an external microphone.
We had few complaints with image quality. It's quite noisy in low light conditions - hardly surprising given its relatively high light sensitivity rating of 15 lux - and colours are a bit washed out, but in general the standard settings worked well to produce HD footage. Hook it up to large screen TV via its HDMI port and you won't be disappointed with the results.
We were more concerned with the HMX10's usability and ergonomic design. The touchscreen works well for basic operations, but we don't like the fact that the LED light switch is buried under several layers of menus. There are basic editing tools that allow you to trim and join clips together, but annoyingly you can only join two clips at once.
The round barrel of the HMX10 is also an irritation. Though the hand grip innovatively rotates, there's no single position where one-handed operation is comfortable.
You always seem to have to cramp your thumb across to reach the record button, and the rounded profile means the camera wobbles unless you grip it with your fingers. The integrated shutter cover switch is also inconveniently placed by the hand strap.
This puts a dent in our otherwise good opinion of the HMX10. It's cheap, and produces decent results for the money, but its awkward ergonomics prevent us from wholeheartedly recommending it.
Author: Jonathan Bray
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Spotify now free on tablets and smartphones
- Nokia's Android smartphone "due next year"
- MPs push for tighter laws against online spying
- Should Microsoft make Windows 8 free?
- Canonical finds first partner for Ubuntu Touch smartphones
- Dell's Chromebook 11 for schools starts at £190
- Leap Motion: we can't fix "broken" Windows 8
- Surveillance panic could lead to restrictive data laws
- CyanogenMod offers encrypted text messages
- Play it again: Berlin's Computer Game Museum
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- Best tablet PCs to buy in 2013
- Closer to reality: photorealism in computer graphics
- Windows 8.1: Top 10 advanced features
- Securing the Internet of Things
- Internet of Things: five unlikely hacking risks
- Life behind the wall: censorship in China
- 42 best Android apps
- 3D museums that never close
- 29 best Windows 8.1 apps
- Bring an old PC up to speed
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do
- Leap Motion and the battle against UI stagnation
- How to build a really bad network
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW