Samsung SMX-K40 and SMX-K44: When is an HD camcorder not an HD camcorder?

The Samsung SMX-K40 and SMX-K44 camcorders were announced today, but we wouldn't believe a word of it if we were you

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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To round out Samsung's day of new cameras, the SMX-K40 and SMX-K44 are here to join the mini UX10 on the camcorder shelves.

Don't be fooled by the sleek looks however: these camcorders whisper all kinds of seductive promises, but like the Spanish waiter who marries you then legs it with his new passport and your favourite nail technician, they're full of lies.

The K-cams claim to be high definition, but in fact they shoot 720x480-pixel video. That's standard definition any way you slice it. The camcorders do upscale the footage to high definition when you play it back on your Samsung telly, but that's cheating, in our book.

The K40 loads up with SD or SDHC cards. The K44, pictured above, packs a 16GB solid-state drive, which allows for just under ten and a half hours of recording. It's going to be more robust than a hard drive because of the lack of moving parts, so you can drop it and the solid state memory is likely to cope just fine. The lens might not be too happy though, so it's best avoided.

Both cameras boast a 52x optical zoom, although emblazoned on the side is a legend reading 65x intelli-zoom, referring to the digital zoom. Honestly, can we believe a word these camcorders say?

They're telling the truth about optical image stabilisation though, as well as in-camera editing, one-touch YouTube upload and animated playback thumbnails. Pricing for the K40 and K44 -- if that is indeed their real names -- will be confirmed closer to the August release date.