Samsung VP-HMX10 review
The VP-HMX10 is the cheapest HD camcorder in the group.
It looks almost identical to the standard-definition VP-MX10 and has the same body shape and clever twisting handle, but comes with a built-in lens cover, plus a touch-screen LCD for navigating the menus.
The VP-HMX10 has a 1/4.5in CMOS sensor. On the highest quality setting it records video at a resolution of 1,280x720 pixels at 12Mbit/s. This doesn't compare well on paper with most of the HD camcorders here, which can record at 1,920x1,080 pixels and at higher bit rates. However, the VP-HMX10 does capture an impressive 50 full frames per second.
The higher resolution certainly showed up plenty of detail in objects around our office. However, it suffered in comparison with the HDC-SD9's better detail, lower noise and more vibrant colours. Even the better standard-definition camcorders, such as Panasonic's NV-GS330 and Canon's DC50, produced superior results with more clearly defined edges and more vibrant colours. The VP-HMX10's results looked a little drab by comparison.
You can take respectable photos of up to 3 megapixels, but there's only an LED lamp and no flash. Video and photos are recorded to either an SDHC or MMC+ memory card. The battery's one hour and 18 minutes running time wasn't terribly impressive, and its internal slot means you can't fit a bigger one.
The touch-screen LCD works well enough, but it isn't as well designed as the Sony's and you may occasionally choose the wrong option by accident. Opening the LCD reveals a flap, beneath which is an HDMI port for easy connection to an HD TV. There are also component, S-video and AV outputs. A microphone input is supplied, though there's no shoe for mounting a microphone.
At first glance the VP-HMX10 looks good value, as it's over £100 cheaper than Panasonic's high-definition HDC-SD9. But resolution isn't everything when it comes to video quality, and you'll get better results from the standard-definition NV-GS330.
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