When our intrepid mobile phone Craver went to Mobile World Congress last month, he took with him a plethora of lightweight gadgets for staying connected on the go. The crisp image quality of the Samsung VP-HMX10 camcorder so impressed the phone wonk that the camcorder wonk is taking it for a spin.
The first thing to impress us was the size and weight of the camcorder. It's ideal for jetting off overseas because it's so light, and it's darn compact, too. Small size isn't everything, but this mini marvel records in 1,280x720-pixel high-definition resolution. Footage is recorded in H.264 format. You can also drop to 720x480-pixel standard definition to save memory, or if you haven't got an HDTV yet.
A 10x optical zoom takes care of filming over longer distances. It boasts electronic image stabilisation plus automatic and manual focus. The 1.56-megapixel CMOS sensor isn't ideal for taking stills, but you can't have everything.
Just because it's small doesn't mean it lacks extra details. These include a built-in lens cover, mic socket and a full-sized HDMI cable socket. You also get an LED video light to keep things illuminated. When filming outdoors, a 'wind cut plus' sound enhancement feature filters out the wind, keeping sound clear. We could do with one of those at Crave Towers to keep the chill wind off the Thames from cutting through us. But we digress.
The Samsung VP-HMX10 is available online now for around £350. Click through the links to see what other goodies this reasonably-priced shooter has to offer. -Rich Trenholm
Update: Read our full Samsung VP-HMX10 review.
Flip out the twisty screen and reveal a 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD touchscreen. Menus are quick and easy to navigate, but when we see a touchscreen slider -- like the one that controls manual exposure -- we want to be able to slide it, not tap at either end to move it. We'll decide how we feel about the touchscreen in our full review, heading your way soon.
Video is recorded to a SDHC or MMC+ memory card. This Kingston 16GB SDHC card will store 180 minutes of HD footage, while a 4GB card will only manage 45 minutes at 12Mbps. Not exactly a long holiday, and maybe not even a wedding, but it would stretch to bootlegging a Steven Seagal concert -- if you weren't worried about him kicking your head in.