Samsung HMX-H300 review


An update for Samsung HMX-H200

Samsung have announced their HMX-H300 camcorder during this year’s CES in Las Vegas. It is an update to their H200 models of last year. The Korean company wants to help its worldwide customers capture images and share them with loved ones with an easy to use camera that will also give outstanding quality. Does it actually do that? We took this product for a test and here is our review.

Good specifications

First things first, here are the specifications for the newest Samsung camcorder: 56 x 49 x 119mm, 280g, 5-megapixel CMOS, 30x optical zoom, 3-inch touchscreen LCD (230k dots), OIS duo, USB 2.0 port, HDMI, AV output, SD Memory Card, Flash card, 1080i/480i/720p, 1 x Samsung BP210R Li-ion rechargeable battery – 2100 mAh (included), Samsung Intelli Studio 2.0 (CD-ROM user manual) and digital still camera.

Similar design

Samsung-HMX-H300When we first looked at Samsung’s HMX-H200 models from last year and the new HMX-H300, we noticed that the design is somewhat similar. Different are the screen (improved from 2.7 inches to 3.0 inches), the 30x optical zoom lenses and the built-in USB charging.
This is a small, very light and slender gadget. But don’t be fooled by that: it is a solid device nonetheless. The userface is intuitive in test; this makes the camcorder easy to use by everybody. Also, you will find that holding the device in your hand is very easy and it all feels very comfortable.

Very good LCD display

The LCD touchscreen is bright and clear. Colors look good and text is easy to read. We were able to quickly access all menus, features and settings with it, because it’s an easy to use device.

The camera is by far the best feature of the Samsung HMX-H300 camcorder. Our test performed for this review showed that the advanced OIS Duo included with this gadget works very well; this OIS Duo is an Upgraded Optical Image Stabilization system. With its help users are able to obtain stable and steady footage especially when their hands start to shake as a cause of a happy event. The fact that the new Samsung model features the ability to shoot 1080/60i and 720/60p video translates into great picture quality: everything looks bright and clear.

BSI – backside illuminated technology

The HMX-H300 has a ¼-inch CMOS sensor and it is an impressive tool; this is because it comes with the BSI – or backside illuminated – technology. This is twice as sensitive as a normal CMOS sensor; it makes shots taken in bad light look good and it also reduces noise and image distortion.
Samsung’s newest camcorder records full HD videos in 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and regular HD in 1280 x 720 pixel resolution in the standard H.264 video format. All is done very easy; you can then edit videos with whatever editing app you like.

30x optical zoom

The latest HMX-H300 comes with autofocus, auto and manual white balance, backlight compensation, auto shutter and manual shutter speeds starting from 1/60 and reaching 1/10.000. All these options help you get the best videos. With the 30x optical zoom Schneider Kreuznach Varioplan HD lens we were able to record videos in greater definition than with other devices: it delivers great close-ups of subjects standing at a great distance. Recording still images is another possibility: the camcorder goes up to 2.944 x 1656-pixel resolution in the JPEG format.

Face detection included

The Face Detection function is also excellent: it keeps in focus up to 6 faces you may wish to shoot; for example, at a concert. There’s a Smart Auto option that selects the right shooting mode depending on the following factors: subject, brightness and color. And that’s not all this camcorder does: the Record Pause function lets you pause the recording process before resuming it in the same file. This saves a lot of time when you edit content afterwards.
Then there’s the HD Time-Lapse Recording Special Fact: this setting enabled us to create a video file that had the ability to speed up the passage of time. How was it done? Still frames were taken at preset interval and then rearranged in sequential order. The battery life is three hours.

Review conclusions

And now we come to the end of our review of the Samsung HMX-H300. We can easily say that this is one of the best camcorders out there: it’s easy to use, excellent, fun and durable.

Technical specifications

Media:Memory Card
Maximum pixel CMOS (in millions):2:24
High Definition:Yes
Optical zoom (magnification):30 x
Digital Zoom:300 x
Image Stabilizer:Yes
Hard Drive Capacity (GB):Without
HDMI Output:Yes
LCD Screen Size (inches):3
Photo Mode:Yes
Memory Card:SD / SDHC
Dimensions (W x H x D in cm):49.5 x 5.66 x 11.97
Weight (kg):0.3