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147 of 151 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
I purchased this camcorder to upgrade my old standard def mini DV camcorder. Picture quality is decent and the 52x optical zoom is very nice. I returned this camcorder because the autofocus was just too indecisive when videotaping my sons flag football games. It was constantly refocusing and this is worse when zooming. Color reproduction is below average and it really struggles to deal with all shades of red. I ended up buying the Samsung H300 which you can find for about $50 more. It can shoot in 1080i, 720p or even standard definition and is better in every way.
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126 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
This is LR, the bunny who lives beside my driveway. This was WITHOUT anti-shake enabled (OBviously!), which I have since enabled and it is PRETTY darn good. As soon as LR reappears and I have camera in hand I will take another clip WITH anti-shake and post it for comparison.

Overall, this is a pretty good value. Its performance is better than expected, FAR better than the samsung Dual View camera I had that almost turned me against Samsung. The size is nice, it has a decent pic as long as its bright enough, and the anti-shake and a few other "me too" features on this cam are much better than comparable features I have used on competitors equipment.

I take a lot of still pics, and for that reason really was looking for a camera that also took at least 720p (actually PREFERABLY 720p) video as well, but every one I tried had timer limits on how long they could record video. I want to be able to film until the card fills up or the battery dies (which, incidentally, seems also better than I expected). This does the job.

You cant expect miracles for $200, but its better than anything else I have seen in this price range. If you arent ready to drop $400 on a Canon, then this is probably the best next step down for the money. Four stars. Faith in Samsung renewed!
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88 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2012
My local wall-mart was selling this at a deal of $150.00, just a little below standard price. It seemed like a decent deal, and I was in desperate need for a good camcorder.

The zoom is excellent, however it does take a few moments to focus. The focus quality lags a bit, but once steadied the image is crystal. I haven't had any problems with the color red. The still photos are better then my digital camera.

I haven't had the opportunity to test it out on my Television yet, but I plan to.

One of the things I did dislike while purchasing this camera, is it didn't tell you what format it recorded in. I searched the entire how to do manual before purchasing. In case you were wondering, it records in MP4, which is perfect for the project I'm working on.

Overall great quality. It's very light. It can zoom very well (oh optical zoom, how I love your clarity). It records on SD (make sure you get class ten for best quality). The controls are also very simple.

This camcorder does not have any light, so no midnight adventures for me, and no it cannot record in the dark.

Other qualities:
built in shutter
plays background music
easy to use
Plugs directly into TV
Smart Auto feature
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I didn't purchase this camera for any particular purpose. I just wanted something decent that I could use to capture life's random moments. After over a month of use, here are my pros and cons:


- The camera is simple to set up and use. I was recording video within 5 minutes of opening the box.

- It is super compact and looks nice.

- Price is great.


- Video quality is decent, but is no better (and probably worse) than most modern smart phone cameras. If you are looking for really great video, this camera isn't for you. Also, the still picture feature is worthless.

- The auto focus feature is annoying. It takes a few seconds for the focus to adjust any time you move the camera, so unless you are recording one thing sitting still, the picture is constantly going from blurry to focused.

- The 52x optical zoom sounds cool, but the camera needs to be perfectly still to fully utilize it. If you are holding the camera, zooming any more than halfway makes the picture shake so much that the video is unwatchable. You definitely need to have the camera on a tripod or some sort of stationary surface if you want to use full zoom. Supposedly, the camera has an anti-shake feature, but I notice no difference with anti-shake turned on.

- The battery life is terrible. I can only get about 30-45 minutes of recording in before the battery dies.


If the auto focus feature was smoother, the anti-shake feature actually worked, and the battery life was better, this would be a 4-5 star camera. As it stands, however, I am disappointed with my purchase. I hate the saying "You get what you pay for", but in this case, its true. Its a cheap camera that operates like a cheap camera. I would recommend buying something else.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
I was mostly okay with this camcorder until I tried working with my videos.

If you record anything longer than 20 minutes the video is broken into 20 minute (maximum) sections, with gaps between the content. If you use editing software to put the items together there is definitely a gap in information between writing the first file and starting the second. The camcorder should either do this in a "gapless" fashion -- as it is saving the first file start the second one; or not break the videos into smaller pieces (I am recording rehearsals of a 1 1/2 hour play, and having gaps in the dialog and action is not good).

I do not recommend this camera. In addition, Samsung's tech support is not very good on this issue.

In addition, when I requested from Samsung the option for a refund, I was told that since the product is "working as designed", I could not get a refund on this device. I will never purchase an item from Samsung again.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2013
I purchased this camcorder based on the very positive reviews. Functionally I like the camcorder very much, but technically I was disappointed.

I've worked with dozens of different video formats over the years and expected a basic camcorder to utilize a basic output file. But the MP4 video produced by this camcorder is actually based on a proprietary codec. Several of my analysis tools indicated it was H.264 in an MP4 container, others said it was a Sony codec similar to those used on Apple products. It's essentially a mobile phone codec being used on a camcorder.

Bottom line: I have codecs of all types installed and can view and edit video from just about any source using several different apps (Media Player Classic, Windows Media Player, others) and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate.

But I couldn't open the Samsung MP4 video files on my WinXP systems. I'm told that Win7 can handle the format natively, but I've not confirmed this.

The IntelliStudio app that came with the camcorder could open the files, as could the camcorder of course, and convert them to other formats. But the converted video would stutter and fail and lost substantial quality in the process.

Others report no problems using the VLC media player, but playback for me was terrible - stuttering, halting, lots of noise and artifacts.

I finally tried AnyVideoConverter, an open source bulk conversion app that, after installing FFDShow and other codec packs, finally accepted the Samsung video and output standard AVI files that I can view and edit.

The bulk conversion feature is critical since each press of the "pause" button while recording closes the current video file. So taping a sports event will often result in dozens of short videos and they all need to be converted to a format that Pinnacle Studio can handle for editing.

So I found a solution that worked by dumping the data files to PC then bulk converting them overnight (it takes a while...) to an editable format.

I'm happy overall, but very disappointed that Samsung used a poorly supported proprietary format for the video. If I wasn't comfortable with video playback issues and understood codecs I would be at a loss as to how I could edit the video from the camcorder on my PC.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
I don't know, maybe it's the price point, but I was shocked at how bad the sound was. It was distant and muffled. You could hardly hear the person in front of the camera, and it sounded like you were listening to a stereo with just the sub-woofer on when the person taking the video talked.

I called Samsung to see if there was some sound setting and was very disappointed by their service. The guy I talked to asked me to take the SD card out and do a recording with the internal memory. This camcorder has no internal memory and won't record without a card. As we were working on it (20+ minutes into the call), I asked him where the mic was located -- he told me (by telling me what page it was on the ONLINE manual), then asked, "is there anything else I can help you with?" Um, yeah, the sound quality issue that we haven't resolved? That might be a good starting point....

The final straw was when he referred me to another site to send the camcorder in to have it looked at. When I asked him why I had to start the entire process over on another site instead of him setting that up for me, he said, "I can do it on your behalf." I know service calls are an expense, but when you cut corners by making the customer go to another site instead of having the service rep setup the return, it's penny pinching that makes me question Samsung's commitment tocustomer service.

At this point I was used to 15 minute delays, but it took this guy 35 minutes to setup the shipping to the service department. I was on with them for well over an hour -- most of that time receiving "sorry for the delay" messages.

My wife and I have a Samsung TV, just bought this Samsung camcorder, and were thinking about buying two Samsung Galaxy III phones. I'm returning the camcorder (bought a Canon for twice the price), and we're thinking seriously about not buying the phones -- ALL because of the worthless customer service. Samsung just went from a brand I like to one I think I dislike.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2012
I can't say I have ever had an issue w/ any Samsung product I have purchased. My big screen TV, Blue-ray player, Phone, components in my PC, etc., all Samsung, all have worked as expected. Plus they have stood up to the test of time. So, I did not hesitate much when I checked out this Camcorder. I did worry since it was priced so low, something had to be wrong.

*Works exactly as described. Nothing too fancy, I am sure there are better w/ more features, but can't gripe about any shortcomings I did not pay for.

*Very intuitive. I barely glanced at the Manual, and I was still up and running in no time.

*The on-board software made it easy to transfer video to my PC, again with out guessing or running in to problems.

*Video quality is good. Probably not outstanding, but decent enough, with sharp images and natural color.

*Zoom is all but rendered useless after it hits about mid-way point. Even with image stabilizer enacted, there is just too much shake to shoot video that wont make you seasick. Keeping zoom at or below mid-point keeps things steady, and I found that range to be fine for most occasions anyways.

*It would be nice if it auto-focused a bit smoother, tho it was still acceptable to me.

*The on-board software works well. However, any decent Photo Studio software will be a better choice in creating a good home movie. That was what I had expected anyways, so in my opinion, this technically is only a "CON" if the built in software is all you have to work with.

Bottom Line: A very recommended purchase at this price point.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2012
This is a great camcorder. You can carry it around anywhere and shoot stills or videos fast then watch them on a monitor or you tv. You will need a tripod for the zoom as the least trimble will shake the screen.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2012
For me, I had to choose between this camera and the Sony Handycam DCR-SX45. I initially ended up purchasing the former. At first, despite the flimsy feel it had, I was fairly content with my purchase, it was after all an HD camcorder which the Sony brand one was not. However I quickly discovered what other people meant when they talked about "wonky focusing." It takes forever to focus on moving subjects and sometimes even stationary subjects. The picture quality is pretty good but without being able to focus properly it's next to useless. I tried switching to manual focus but its only controlled via the LCD screen buttons + joystick control. You basically push the stick to the right to focus far away and push it to the left for nearby. It's incredibly slow and it's easy to over-focus right into a blurry image again. I miss the good old days when camcorders had a completely manual focus where you could adjust the ring around the lens itself. Also, the steady cam feature is no good after zooming in halfway. It's incredibly shaky. Now, I'm a hobbyist video editor and have used my fair share of cameras. I usually manage to steady my hands to a certain point where the image is just steady enough to be acceptable, however this camera does not even allow for that. Part of the reason could be how incredibly light it is, which is actually not necessarily a good thing for a camcorder. When I used it with my tripod it was great but most of what I do is freehand so it still wasn't acceptable. Anyway, I really got the sense that for the same amount of money I could instead get a much more reliable SD camera rather than a half-assed HD one. I ended up returning this hunk of junk and ordered the Sony DCR-SX45. I haven't actually received it yet but I will review it once it arrives. I did manage to compare the build of the two cameras side by side at my local Walmart and the Sony one is much better built.

I'll also mention that I tried hooking up another, older, Mini DV camera to this one in the hopes of getting it to record video from another source. This is something I've always been able to do with Sony camcorders but this one apparently is only good for video out, not video in.

Hope this information helps.
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