Samsung HMX-Q10 takes the iPhone approach to buttons, handy for lefties

Like Gillian McKeith staggering out of the jungle, Crave has left behind the cocoon of Christmas holidays to bring you news of the Samsung HMX-Q10 camcorder from CES.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Happy new year, Craveaholics! Like a Chilean miner emerging from subterranean exile, Crave has left the Christmas holiday cocoon, donned trousers for the first time in a week, and set to work bringing you the hottest gadgets from Las Vegas techstravaganza CES -- starting with the wallet and southpaw-friendly Samsung HMX-Q10 camcorder.

The sleek Q10 shoots 1080i or 720p high-definition video with a backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor. It snaps 4.9-megapixel still photos. Optical image stabilisation (OIS) keeps the 10x f1.8 zoom free of blur from shaky hands.

The camcorder makes its own mind up about settings in Smart Auto scene recognition mode, which has a dekko at the brightness, motion, colour and subject, choosing appropriate settings. Face detection spots up to six people in the frame, while other options include time lapse and black and white video.

Like the house at the end of your road being stripped of its cornucopia of Christmas lights in the cold light of January, the Q10 has been shorn of external clutter. You control the camcorder by tapping the 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD touchscreen. On the screen you can tweak options like exposure, backlighting, self-timer and C.Nite low light option. You can also pause while recording so you end up with one file even if you need to start and stop filming, cutting down on fiddly merging and editing of short clips.

The only physical controls are the record and zoom controls on the back of the camcorder, and an iPhone-style single home button next to the screen.

The lack of buttons and knobs means that the Q10 can be used by lefties too. Simply flip the camcorder over to your left hand, and the Switch Grip G-magnetic sensor inside the Q10 flips what you see on the screen, so it's always the right way up, even for southpaws.

Samsung reckons you'll get just under two hours of continuous recording out of the battery, which handily charges via USB. There's an HDMI socket built-in for hi-def viewing on your hi-def television, and video is recorded to SDHC or SD card.

Samsung reckons the simple and easy-to-use HMX-Q10 will be "affordable" -- there's no UK price yet but it'll cost the Yanks a tenner shy of £200. The Q10 is set to hit UK shelves in March.