The Good Comfortable, compact design; 34x zoom lens; 16GB internal memory; good audio quality; relatively easy to operate.
The Bad Slow autofocus performance; long zoom lens lacks optical image stabilization.
The Bottom Line The Samsung SMX-F34 is a serviceable inexpensive standard-definition camcorder, but the money goes more to storage and the megazoom lens than to video quality.
Aside from design, what separates pocket minicamcorders like the Flip from camcorders like the Samsung SMX-F34 is not video quality, but optical zoom and storage capacity. The F34 features 16GB of internal memory as well as an SDHC card slot for storage expansion. It also has a 34x zoom lens and a feature set that includes manual shooting controls, which you definitely won't find on ultracompact YouTube camcorders. Unfortunately, the video quality really isn't any different; the F34 delivers pretty standard, standard-definition video.
The soda-can shape of the F34 is very comfortable to use, and since the hand strap is mounted across the middle, there's little body roll should you release your grip. Plus, it has Samsung's swivel-grip feature allowing you to quickly change from underhand to overhand shooting without removing your hand from the strap. The body, which is available in black, silver, blue, and red versions, is almost entirely plastic, but doesn't feel cheap.
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