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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Price:$319.89+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on June 14, 2008
I'm covering this camcorder in more detail on youtube with user "rofthorax", that's my account.

I purchased this for about 179 dollars from Sams Club, and have had nothing but fun with it ever since. I've only had it for five days, but in this time I've connected via Firewire to my PC with an old Firewire IEEE 1394 card that had been collecting dust for almost a decade. Purchased a Firewire cable from Radio Shack, and have had a flawless integration between this camcorder and Ubuntu Linux (Free OS) Kino video editor(FreeVideo Capture and Editor utility, comparable to Movie Maker on XP). I was expecting to have a lot of trouble and looking around for drivers, but it worked the first time without a hitch.

Some of the things I can do with this camera and Kino:
1. capture video to DV on the computer via firewire at ~3MB/sec, good enough for video editing.
2. control the DV cam via firewire with Kino, fast forward, rewind, step reverse/forward, shuttle controls, stop, pause, etc..
3. Even when I'm playing videos I've captured to the computer, on the computer, the video playback is shown on the DV Camera's LCD screen (not quite as flawless, a bit of skip, but not bad considering I wasn't expecting this kind of integration).
4. Can use Samsung SC-D382 camera to record video to the computer's hard drive via firewire, by-passing the tape.

I can't tell you how exciting that is.. Especially to do it on Ubuntu, I've been boycotting Microsoft products after having problems with a laptop that prevented me from obtaining drivers for XP.. I switched to Ubuntu, and have be desperate for video editing capabilities for months, and have finally found a work flow for doing it.

Samsung SC-D382 -> Kino -> Blender ..

Blender's sequence editor is capable of processing DV directly, and the sequence editor plugins are written in C, easily compileable with GCC in Ubuntu. Also Blender was the program used to make the animation "Big Buck Bunny", a completely open sourced movie that utilizes blender.

Anyhow, I've been able to do quality video work using Kino to captrue video from the SC-D382 and using blender to edit and render it to a format I can upload to youtube.. I've been able to dump hour long videos onto youtube using compressed OGG files ("oggconvert"), so now with this DV camera, I can do quality 16-bit audio with full-res NTSC video, not HD, but what do you expect to get for 180 dollars? Besides HD is a resource hog, and NTSC is sufficient for downsampling to Youtube.

The video is interlaced, so I have to find a way to merge the fields into 30fps full frame non-interlaced somehow.. Downsampling interlaced video produces larger files than downsampling non-interlaced video.

An hour of video from this camcorder produces about 10GB file, so if you are on XP, make sure you have a NTFS drive to store to, FAT32 can't use files larger than 4GB. Linux has plenty of file systems, JFS and XFS are ones that are commonly used for video work. I'm using EXT3 currently, because I'm working in "/var/tmp". I haven't experienced any dropped frames..

As for the Camcorder, the only problem I have is the joystick on the LCD preview screen is a bit tough to operate, but you should be able to figure-out the camera without a manual.. The Manual looks like it was made for an Idiot.. So if you are one, best use the manual. I was up and working with this one in 5 minutes.. The Firewire was plug-and-play.

Only stumbling block is I had to run Kino as root to get it to talk to the Camera, but that was like 3 minutes on google searching for help and a small leap of faith.

The camera permits you to change white balance and perform some effects in record mode.. You have stop recording to switch Digital Image Stabilization mode off and on. Zoom exceeds my 10x zoom Olympus SP-510UZ, and permits me to zoom and auto-focus and do all the things a video camera should, while recording. My Olympus doesn't permit me to zoom while recording Audio (don't ask me why, Olympus is probably trying to protect their camcorder line from their digital camera line, Olympus even reduced the audio quality to 8Khz with 8-bit sound, which really sucks).

I was thinking about getting the 18x Optical Zoom version of my digital camera, and was torn between getting that for 260 dollars, anbd getting a DV Camera.. And I'm sooooo glad I went with this..

Note, Tapes are best for archival! DVD's are easily destroyed, tapes have greater surface area and greater longevity than DVD's (which have been said to have a 5 to 20 year lifespan, depending on the manufacturer). Best to get Tape based camcorder than DVD or Hard Disk.. Hard Disks can crash and DVD's are easily ruined. The draw back to tapes is ease of access, its linear, and to transfer to the computer requires a re-recording.. But you could easily waste that much time performing a video render from a non-linear video editor like Adobe Premiere on Windows or Kino/Blender on Ubuntu. What's one more hour? You think you are that busy? Besides on Windows you could waste more time in other ways.. I've not missed windows one bit, switching to Ubuntu.. When stuff is supported on linux, it works flawlessly and without compromise, but
finding the software is the big toughy.

The Camcorder, has two modes, record and play. It's easily turned on and
off, menu button on top left, always accessible, video effects modes like "art (polarization), mirror, mosaic, sepia, negative", pre-set color balance and the typical white balance mode. 12-bit and 16-bit audio modes, mono and stereo audio (not sure if the mic is a stereo mic). Tapes carry about an hour. Twice the storage of a dual layer mini-dvd, and about the same size.. Rewriteable tapes, zero quality loss between uses, it seems.. White LED fore-lite, for lighting a night recording.. Your battery will last about 30 minutes if you use the LED Light.. If you don't, the battery will for an hour. Button to toggle extra on-screen details, record button accessible on LCD screen and on back of camcorder, accessible by thumb.. Button on top permits you to take pictures. Zoom is controllable by LCD flip-out pivotable screen and standard toggle on the top of the camera. Comes with AC Adapter, L-ion battery is charged when not in use.. Can be used without battery.. Can be used as a camera for recording to computer, via firewire, without a tape (or battery).

Plug behind battery looks like an HDMI plug, but not sure..
1313 comments| 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 30, 2009
Beware! Do not buy Samsung SC-D382 if you want to use it to play tapes that you recorded on another camera! The Samsung will not do the job. Video is jumpy and the audio screeches. Samsung acknowledges this, but they stick it in a little note back on page 44 of their manual: "We recommend that you use this camcorder to play back any [sic] tapes recorded on this camcorder. Playing back a tape recorded in other equipment may produce mosaic shaped distortion." Sneaky! A call to Samsung quickly confirmed this. Samsung should have been much more clear about this limitation, especially since they have rolled out this product at the end of the mini DV cycle.
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on September 10, 2008
Cheers to the reviewer that got this camera to work on Linux. I could not get it to work with iMovie and Samsung support told me why.

This was the cheapest camera available at the time and when it arrived it seemed as though it fit the bill. The zoom was good and the picture in the camera was about what I would expect. It could do better in Low Light compared to other camcorders that I have had. It searched focus a lot and did not do very well with color and was very grainy but again - I did not expect much.

However, there were a few glaring problems - the video output of the camera when you plug it into the TV was greenish for low light but acceptable for brightly light subjects.

But the worst, it does not seem to use industry standards for DV out and will not work with Apple iMovie. A piece of my transcript with the Samsung rep:

{me}:I know what codecs are, but which one does this camera need? what is it's video format?
{support}: It uses AVI format and when the files are using AVI format it can be run and viewable .
{me}: hmmm. ok
{me}: any idea how I could use it with a Mac?
{support}: I am sorry to inform you that our cameras are not compatiable with mac and you can use it with other operating system, and our engineers are working on it to make it compatiable.
{me}: ok thanks.

Also there is a 16x9 record mode (by default) but (after some discussion):
{support}: You can set the 16:9 mode only in camera mode.
{me}: ok - so 16x9 playback does not exist?
{support}: It will be exist only in camera mode.
{me}: ok

back to the store with this one.
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on January 2, 2016
I have received the camcoder and it was functioning well. Unfortunately for those buying this just because they want to save their old tape like mine, I am using JVC cam previously and i tried to play on this camcorder, the results is image distorted with pixelation and the speed is little bit faster. i would like to sell this for those who want to record new tape will have no problem at all.
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on October 11, 2008
I just bought this camera and it works on my MacBook.
You need a firewire cable to import your movie into
iMovie 06 and everything is fine. For the money it
is OK. I do stop action animation so that is why I bought it.
(I have not tried it yet in iMovie 08, so I don't know if it
imports into that.) You can download iMovie 06 for free if you
have iMovie 08 from the Apple site.
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on October 16, 2013
I bought this camera to transfer old MiniDV tapes to PC and for the great price. I didn't notice the complaints from a few reviewers saying that the camera had playback issues on their tapes.

Well, I've tried the camera and tested several tapes so far and no problems with playback on the viewfinder or while transferring to PC. The only issue I did have was that Adobe Premiere's on screen controls didn't communicate with the camera, but there is a remote control included with the camera (I bought mine used and the seller included it).

My old camera was a Sony primarily, two of them, a Canon and maybe another model or two I have used from friends that I don't recall.

Just a quick note that if you have USB to Firewire cable it will not work with this Camcorder and you need a mini Firewire to Firewire to connect to a PC.

If you are willing to take the risk, this is a great deal, the camera is very small and easy to handle. Nice physical design if you are actually planning on using it for filming.
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on April 21, 2009
This is a pretty good camera for planning out shots for an independent film. However, I wouldn't recommend it for youtube or home videography use because the image is very dark and grainy. Like I said, the only real use for this low quality camera is planning out shots that will be filmed with a much better camera later on.
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on April 20, 2011
This is a disposable camera. After having it for more than a year, I can say the following:

a) Autofocus is bad. It tends to lose the focus of the subject very easily. You can control the focus manually, but that is a hassle. Every time the camera loses focus, the quickest way to restore it is to zoom a little, then pan out.

b) Batery life was dreadful. When new, the battery allows for more than 70 minutes of shooting. In less than a year the battery life became something like 35 minutes of shooting. Probably the battery degradation was caused by the heat generated by it while using the camera.

c) The mechanism isn't very reliable. Sometimes you have to try several times in order to make the camera accept a tape.

d) It produces nice video at full daylight.

e) The integrated LED light is not very useful.

Really, this is a so so product.
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on September 17, 2008
I love the size of the product...small compact...great price! I highly recommend for everyday videotaping.
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on March 2, 2009
A well priced and well functioning camcorder, but with prices of HD Camcorders rapidly falling, the latter might be a better long term choice. SZ
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