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Make desirable camcorder MX10 !

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Make desirable camcorder MX10 ! Powered By Docstoc
					http://www.thinkcomputers.org/index.php?x=reviews&id=778

1. Reviewed: Article by: Michael Kwan Product was submitted by: Samsung Canada

Introduction
Digital cameras revolutionized the consumer photography scene and it seems that we are currently undergoing a similar revolution in the arena of digital videos. Up until now, most digital camcorders have been too expensive for the average consumer. With products like the Samsung SC-MX10 Flash Memory Camcorder, it just got a heck of a lot easier for Joe Public to transform into the next Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese. Oh, I guess you should have some movie-making talent before you can make that leap.

Key Features
The Samsung SC-MX10 may be an entry-level camcorder designed for the fashion-conscious consumer, but it does come with a decent feature set that will make video recording an absolute pleasure. Among some of the highlights on the feature list and spec sheet are the following. - Starts up in just three seconds - Compact and lightweight - Stylish design with high gloss black finish - Hidden, removable battery - 150 degree swivel hand grip - Designed for the Internet with MPEG video encoding - Memory card slot accepts MMC, SD, SDHC formats - Included Cyberlink software package

Specifications
- 34x optical zoom - 1200x digital zoom - Schneider lens with F 1.6-4.3 - 2.7-inch widescreen color LCD - Maximum recording resolution: 720 x 480 pixels - Auto focus

1/5

- Auto white balance - Built-in image stabilization - ADPCM audio format at 22050Hz sampling rate - Dimension: 60.0mm x 62.5mm x 121.0mm - Weight: 280g

What's in the Box
Aside from the Samsung SC-MX10 camcorder itself, inside the box you will find an audio-video cable (composite and S-Video) for connecting the camcorder to your TV, a USB cable, AC wall adapter, user manual, installation CDs, battery, and a protective camera bag.

It would have been nice of the AV cable had the option to output the video via a component connection, especially since the SC-MX10 is capable of recording at 480p. The protective camera bag is little more than just a pouch, so don't expect it do very much protecting. Realistically, it just makes it easier to transport the camcorder around.

Design and Interface
This compact camcorder is very pleasing to the eye. A good portion of the body has a matte silver finish, but the flip-out LCD display and the front portion of the camcorder has Samsung's signature piano black finish. The LCD display can rotate a full 270 degrees, ensuring that you can have a very comfortable angle no matter what vantage point you are using for your video. Further to this comfort level, the provided hand grip can also rotate 150 degrees. If you're the type of person who enjoys making videos from a worm's eye view, for example, this swiveling hand grip can come in very handy. Conveniently located next to where your thumb would rest from the hand grip are the power slider and the "record" button. Next to this is a small mode button and the EasyQ button. The mode button, which is used to switch between recording and playback mode, is a little awkward to press. I would have preferred a more proper button for this purpose. At the top of the camcorder is a rocker that controls the 34x optical zoom.

2/5

The menu is accessed by using the button next to the LCD display. Below the menu button is a five way navigator, which can also be used to control the optical zoom function, as well as a second record button. This second button is handy for when you have the hand grip in a position that makes the primary button hard to access. The menu itself is very straightforward. After hitting the menu button, you move left and right to go through the various options, and then you go up and down to adjust the settings to your liking. Among the customization options are the video resolution, anti-shake feature, white balance, and digital effects.

Video Quality
Considering that the SC-MX10 can be had for less than $300, I didn't exactly go in with the highest of hopes. In this way, I was reasonably pleased with the results that this camcorder provided. Although it is not capable of doing anything in high definition, you can crank the settings up to superfine and 480p widescreen resolution. For the purposes of sharing videos on YouTube or for watching on an SDTV television, this camcorder works just fine. It's DVD quality. The anti-shake feature makes for a very fluid recording experience. The resulting video can look very organic, but it can take a little getting used to, because the anti-shake essentially slows down your movements to minimize shaking. I should also note that the video came out somewhat grainy sometimes, especially under less than ideal lighting conditions. Standard indoor lighting in the evening is particularly disappointing. Videos are saved onto a memory card that you insert into the bottom of the camcorder. Videos are encoded using a proprietary codec by Samsung, so you will need to install the codec and the drivers on your computer before the videos are playable. Even after doing so, I found the videos failed to play in VLC (I only got the audio), but they worked in Windows Media Player.

3/5

The Samsung MX10 records the videos in MPEG-4 format, so assuming that the codecs are in place, you shouldn't have much trouble uploading them to YouTube and similar websites. It takes about 2GB of memory to record one hour of video, assuming you have it cranked up to the highest settings. You get about four times as much recording time if you bring it down to the lowest settings (normal quality, 352x240p resolution). Unfortunately, the provided 850mAh lithium-ion battery lasts about 120 minutes under normal usage, so you wouldn't be able to get four hours between charges anyways.

Conclusion
At under $300 (I found it on Amazon for about $215), the Samsung SC-MX10 Flash Memory Camcorder could be a very decent choice for the average consumer who wants an affordable digital video solution. There is no optical viewfinder, so you'll need to make use of the 2.7-inch widescreen LCD for just about everything. I like the aesthetics and form factor of the MX10, and the menu interface is reasonably intuitive. On the downside, you won't find any internal memory and the battery life could be a little better. It's also unfortunate that this camcorder is not capable of doing anything in high definition, especially when some other competitors are able to offer this functionality for not that much more money. It's also too bad that there is no option to take still photos. In the end, Samsung has produced a reasonably useful camcorder, but it's far from anything to write home about. It's OK for what it is. Overall ThinkComputers give the Samsung SC-MX10 Digital Camcorder a 7 out of 10 score.

Pros:
- Very affordable price point - Comfortable form factor and size

4/5

- Image stabilization is incredibly fluid - Video quality is decent - 34x optical zoom

Cons:
- Mode button is awkward to press - Proprietary video codec - Video can be grainy - No option for high-definition video - No internal memory

5/5


				
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posted:11/18/2008
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