Samsung HMX-H300BP review

Fair video quality and good low-light performance make this a reasonable camcorder, but the HMX-Q10 is better value overall

Our Rating 
3/5
Price when reviewed 
230
inc VAT

Page 1 of 3Samsung HMX-H300BP review

Specifications

1/4in CMOS sensor, 1,920x1,080/50i, 1,280x720/50p, 720x576/50p, 30.0x zoom, 280g

Last month we saw the Samsung HMX-Q10 budget camcorder, which could be used in either hand thanks to a clever inverting LCD screen and had impressive low-light performance. The HMX-G300BP doesn't have the fancy ambidextrous features, but has the same-sized sensor and a useful 30x optical zoom instead of the Q10's 10x.

The HMX-H300BP has a 1/4in CMOS sensor, which is a reasonable size for a budget camcorder. This is the same size sensor as in the superb Panasonic HDC-SD90 and is significantly larger than the 1/6in sensor in Panasonic's £280 HDC-SD80. It's also a back-illuminated sensor, where the sensor's wiring is moved to the back of the sensor so doesn't stop any light reaching the sensor's surface.

Samsung HMX-H300BP back

This kind of sensor should cause footage to have less noise, and the camcorder is certainly impressive in low light; there is noise, but it's not excessive and footage is smooth and surprisingly detailed. Video taken indoors was reasonable; fairly soft with a small amount of noise, but still much better than the HDC-SD80's over-processed oil painting look. Outdoor shots showed a reasonable amount of detail, but again we found the footage rather soft. Overall quality is still reasonable for an inexpensive camcorder; to get much better video you'll have to find an extra £140 for Panasonic's HDC-SD90.

Samsung HMX-H300BP left

The HMX-H300BP's video quality was almost identical to the Samsung HMX-Q10's, but we found the larger zoom came in handy. While the Q10's small zoom range means you have to use quality-destroying digital zoom to get in really close, the HMX-H300BP's 30x zoom is big enough for almost all purposes. There's also has a digital zoom, but this is disabled by default; we'd recommend leaving it turned off.

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