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on April 13, 2010
I want to preface this review with a comment. If you are expecting that this camera is going to put out High Definition quality videos and be amazing in low light situations, then you're looking at the wrong camera. In fact, MOST cameras will have difficulties in low light situations. The camera was not designed for HD, obviously, so that expectation should go out the window.

Overall, the camera is great. Purchased for $165 from Amazon's website at the end of March 2010. The camera has excellent zoom and picks up sound very well. The reason that the camera was purchased was to capture golf shots between friends. It's very lightweight and easily fits within the compartments of our golf carts/bags. It's still a bit big to fit into my pants to the point where I feel comfortable taking a golf shot. Don't get me wrong, it is still small and CAN fit into your pant pockets. I just don't like the feel of it when I take golf shots.

I had considered purchasing the Flip HD and Kodak zi8 (which I do have) and must say that though the form factors on the handheld camcorders is better from a size standpoint, you simply can't beat the benefits of this camera.

For those of you who are concerned about the battery life, let me assure you that the 4.5 hrs of battery life is definitely real. I tested it today since I was skeptical about it as well. This 'concern' came about because the battery indicator light is not designed well and appears to drain faster than it really does. At one point, there were zero bars on the indicator but the camera continued taking video for an additional 45 minutes.
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on March 4, 2011
I like it. I took my time in looking around for a camcorder. I was looking for something under 100 bucks. But they all had so-so reviews, and not all the features I wanted so I upped my criteria. 100-150 range. OK. Looked at many models. I always like this camera from seeing it on another site. But the reviews there were so-so, and here a little better. But not much, but I liked this camera, it has an awesome zoom function! So, I went to you tube dot com, and looked at Samsung F40 test videos. WOW! Sold me. One guy is on one side of a lake, on the other shore about 1/4 mile+ you can only see trees and a dark area between trees and shore. He zooms in, and in, and in, and soon you see a white object, then a green object, and a little closer....it is his young son throwing rocks in the lake, or river, his wife is sitting up against the bank under the trees, but you can make her out easily. Then he Zooms back out to normal. You can't see anything but trees and shore. AWESOME DEMONSTRATION!!!
I did my own test on a Fir tree 1/4 mile away, you can see the top like it is across the street, almost as good as a pair of Binoculars! At high mag is very difficult to stay on target!!! Especially in 65 power digital zoom. Not all features work with all the other features, or modes. Digital Zoom does not work with Anti-shake on, and some others. A tripod REALLY HELPS!!!!
This camera accepts SDHC cards, I got a 16gb card, translates to 10.5 hours of video in the TV Normal mode, has 5 modes, TV Superfine, TV fine, TV Normal, Web Fine, Web Normal, Web is 640x480 vga, The others are 720x480 Normal DVD size. An 8gb card is 5hr 21min in TV normal, plenty for my purpose, so I will use the 16gb for movies in my multi media player. Will hold 6271 pictures at High Def. 1696 x 960. Widescreen 16:9. and 9999 at 848x480. Also has 4:3 mode.
THIS IS NOT AN HD VIDEO CAMCORDER! It is 720x480 Which is normal DVD quality. Good enough for my purpose. However has Hi res 2mp still pics.
Camera has dozens of features, both automatic and manual. Slide show, with music, etc... settings galore and too numerous to mention here. See the specifications above, or go to the Samsung website.
Very happy with the deal, I got it before the price went up! $121.00

ADDED March 21, 2011...
On the 20th, I did a Martial Arts Seminar. With an 8gb Mini SD card in an adapter. 321min available. I used 7gb of the 7.7gb free, (I had a few pictures on it already.) I had 47 minutes left of video unused. I recorded 4.566666 hours! I had it plugged into the wall, I thought it would be OK, generally the light goes on and stays green when plugged in, but it was orange at the end of the seminar. When I checked my battery this morning to view my video, the battery indicator was not showing a bar. So I don't know what happened there, maybe I left it on and it went into sleep mode or something, I was so tired, I just don't know. Fortunately, I got everything, and it worked out just fine. I used it on a tripod, and did not use any zoom, or special features.
One thing about editing. The camera only does video clips up to 2gb. Because of the FAT 32 Format. When that limit is reached it starts a new file. Well, when your card is full, you cannot use the COMBINE function. So you have to download to the computer and probably convert to MPG and then edit and combine. Nothing I was not already doing. I use TMPGenc DVD Author 3. It accepts MP4 files and will auto-convert to VOB for your DVD. You can also edit clips from within the program, then burn.
Definitely get a CLASS 6 or better card. It took quite a while to transfer files to the computer. Class 4 would take even longer, and you can forget Class 2!!!
So, this camera is a good one. It did a great job for not being HD. I got nice, clear video, and it picked up the sound even when I was 10+ feet away.
My considered opinion.
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on November 15, 2010
I've only had this camera for about a week. I ordered this camera for making vlogs and such. I was really excited to get it so I could get working on my little project. I was happy with what I recieved ^_^

The positive things about this camera is the video quality is great and so it the sound quality! You can hear so much! The zoom factor is AWESOME! I was surprised by how close it could look at something far away! I did a little close up bird watching and I didn't even need binoculars! :D I recently made a little film and put it on youtube and I was very happy with the results! People who watched it also liked it a lot! You could actually see and hear things clearly!

The drawbacks about this camera is that the photo quality is okay. A little blurry and not as detailed as the video quality. But this camera was mostly designed for video footage recording, in my opinion. Another drawback is the reaction time between pressing buttons. When you press the record button, it takes it a couple of seconds to start recording. It also does the same thing when flipping through the menu. The last drawback for me is the movie editing software that comes on the camera. It has a lot of cool little features...but trying to manually organize and switch scene orders is complicated. I haven't even figured it out yet. If I started making and editing a movie I recorded and wanted to put a scene somewhere else or delete the scene, I deleted it and started making one similar to it, but it would always bring up the old DELETED scene. It kinda got on my nerves, so I just used Windows Movie Maker.

All in all, it's a good little camera for a good price. I'm happy with it.

-Samantha-
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on March 27, 2011
It's a pretty good camera. I bought a Sony Handycam, and it cost twice as much, but also sucked twice as much as any camera I've ever had.

This SAMSUNG Camrcoder, i was told by the Samsung Help line, is adjustable, in the FOV, but that was a lie. That's the only disappointment. Sometimes a green dot appears on my recordings, but all & all, it's a good camera. Nice FOV, better than my $1000 HD canon camera's. And i shoots OK at night. It sucks I cant adjust the focus manually, while recording, but auto focus works ok... SOMETIMES.

But it's defiantely worth the money. I havent used the TIME LAPSE feature yet, but am looking forward to that.
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on September 11, 2010
I got this because my Sony DCR-TRV480 Digital8 Handycam Camcorder w/20x Optical Zoom went on the fritz (gummed up heads). The Handycam had great video quality (tho not HD) and great video effects but since it uses tapes transferring to the computer is a nightmare experience compared to using a memory card and the mechanical parts inevitably get gummed up or break.

I needed a quick replacement before a family vacation, didn't want to spend a lot of money, and realized for most of my video (family events, etc.) the quality doesn't have to be super good and the fact that increasing quality was going to decrease storage capacity. I chose the Samsung F40 over others in its price range because of the long battery life, great optical zoom, and storage capacity - I can get about 4.5 hours of the highest quality video on one 16 GB card and the battery life was probably between 3-4 hours. It's probably about 1/2 the size of my Sony and fairly durable so taking it with you is pretty easy and fits into your pocket. Quality of video is OK - outside shots are good, inside not as good but acceptable. Still pictures are really not very good but having the ability to take stills is a plus. One downside also is that for some reason there are 2 usb ports - one proprietary (or non-typical) charger connection and one USB data port (usually I would expect only 1 standard usb port serving both a data and a charger function). My Sony was definitely much better in terms of picture quality but what you sacrifice in picture quality you make up somewhat in the price, battery life and storage capacity, and the fact that there are no more tapes!

One other thing to mention - the lens cap is manual - you have to use your finger to flick it up and down. My guess is that this is for battery life reasons - flipping the cover up and down automatically when the camera turns on most likely is a big drain so in exchange for this you pick up batter life which in my opinion is a good tradeoff. After only a couple of days however my cap has gotten stuck - and now I have to wiggle it up and down to get it to work. My guess is that I got dirt or sand in the mechanism so I'm hoping eventually it will work out.
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on March 3, 2014
I have owned this thing for two or three years now, and it seems durable. I have been coast to coast with it two or three times and it always holds up well. The camcorder is good for the price, but the quality is not all that hot. The battery life is great though!

The video quality is good but not great. This is probably due to being a 480i camera, not an HD camera. Still, it looks lower quality than other 480i cameras that I use. This is the primary drawback in my opinion.

Also, you need a class10 card to record or it will shut off after about five minutes. I used a class8 card to begin with and after about five minutes of recording, it would stop recording. I finally figured out that the only thing this camera likes are class10 cards. Pricey for the quality of video you get out of the unit.

Beyond those issues, this is a good camera. If you are looking for something decent to use without breaking the bank, this camera may be what you want.
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on November 30, 2010
This camera does have a lot of good things about it: zoom, battery life, size, ease of use.

But it has one MAJOR drawback, very poor video quality. I have tried numerous settings but all of them take very poor quality video - even the smart auto setting. It is probably acceptable quality for your computer, uploading to the internet, that sort of thing. But if you want to take home movies and burn them to DVD for family members, this camera will not create good quality video - it is probably lower quality than an old late 80's VHS camcorder can produce. My old video camera, which is about 8 years old and not HD, takes MUCH BETTER quality video.

The focus on this camera is horrible. Almost all videos are out of focus, grainy, lines in them, etc.

If this camera could focus and take good video, it would be the best camera I've ever owned, because you can zoom into far away objects, the battery lasts a long time, the camera is very small and light weight, and pretty darn easy to use. One thing it lacks is an eye piece, so if you shoot outdoors in the sun you may have trouble seeing the screen.
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on December 15, 2010
This is a great recorder -- easy to use, great zoom capability. BUT it is only compatible with very specific SDHC memory cards: Panasonic, Toshiba, and SanDisk. OTHER CARDS MAY CAUSE THE CAMCORDER NOT TO WORK PROPERLY!! I ordered this item with the Kingston 4GB SDHC card that popped up as "customers often buy this item together with..." on the Amazon website because this model has no internal memory at all. The recording function did not work -- it would delay stop and start, stop recording right in the middle of what I was filming even though the red 'recording' dot was still on, and I repeatedly got an error message to reduce my resolution because the card was too slow. Only by going into the owners manual on the CD that comes with the camera was I able to determine that the card needed to be SD-HC (very important) and that only certain brands were compatible. This information was not part of the Amazon description and it should be.
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on September 26, 2011
I saw this camera here and i decided to buy it based on the reviews given. I made a bit of a mistake. I have had this camcorder for about a year now and I can say it doesnt live up to my expectations. On the package you get the f40 in, it says the battery life lasts up to 4 hours. this is not at all accurate. the first week i got this and fully charged it, I realized that it wasnt doing the 4 hours. I did a time lapse recording thinking it would record at least 2 hours on my 10 gb SDHC card. After about an hour and a half, it said it was on low battery so i decided to turn it off. i havnt used it for more than a hour on a charge ever since. It does ok in low light conditions but there is much to be desired. The mic is decent and usable but it could be a lot better. the LCD screen gets wobbly after about a month of use but that doesnt affect the performance. the zoom is quite nice but it has a hard time focusing when zoomed in.
Pros:
good time lapse feature
easy upload to your computer (facebook, twitter, youtube)
decent lense
comfortable hand strap
OK video quality (420p resolution)
Cons:
grainy video in low light conditions
low battery life
wobbly LCD screen
does not allow you to attach a mic

despite the 3 stars i gave this camcorder, it is a good deal for the money. I personally did not like it, but for the price - i recommend buying it
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on December 31, 2010
this camera has all the qualities you'd be looking for if your a novice,
but if you want any depth to what your buying,i don't recommend this.

the camera is piss poor in low light, so pour id say its unusable.
the mic works good in loud environments, but if there's any quiet, the mic then gives off to much static noise to be any good. the quality of the image is mediocre at best, with a low resolution and the zoom if far to shaky thanks to a lack of image stabilization, but if you have a tri pod then the zoom is great, one more thing: when you press the record button the camera takes about 5 seconds to realize you pressed it, so if you find things like that annoying or you want any speed to your production, don't buy this. its super slow, the pictures are horrid as well

i don't recommend this camera to anyone but a novice.
if your a filmmaker looking for a decent camcorder then i recommend getting a zi8, much cheaper and much better in video and mic, plus its HD, and has some depth thanks to accessories,
but if your someone wanting to record a family event, then i still don't think you should get something like this.
Its simply not well put together.
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