Samsung HMX-Q10 review
1/4in CMOS sensor, 1,920x1,080/50i, 1,280x720/50p, 720x480/50p, 10.0x zoom, 215g
The Q10 is a budget camcorder which is designed to be held in either hand - unlike most designs, which are impossible to use left-handed. The hand strap is just a thick rubbery band with an adjustable sliding buckle; it's very neat and when retracted it sits neatly in a recess on the side of the camcorder.
If you turn the camcorder upside down and place the strap around your left hand, the Q10 flips the image to compensate. It's just as comfortable to hold this way round and the circular zoom thumb control works fine either way up. It's not just useful for left-handed users; being able to record with your off-hand is very useful when your other hand is occupied, such as when you're eating a burger or hanging off a cliff. The built in lens cap is operated manually by a switch on the side, as you'd expect at this price.
To use it in your left hand, simply turn the camcorder over
There's no power switch - you turn the camcorder on and off by folding the LCD display in and out. There are very few buttons on the camcorder; just the big record button on the back and a home button by the 2.7in LCD that brings up the main touchscreen menu.
The touchscreen menus are a mixed bag. Simple options are clearly presented, but as you get into the settings menus, navigation becomes more difficult. Basic manual controls are provided - you can change white balance and adjust the exposure and focus manually - although adjusting these settings on the touchscreen is fiddly and anyone seriously interested in such manual video recording adjustments should look elsewhere.
The touchscreen menu is simple to use
There's not an awful lot in the video settings section, and we imagine the vast majority of users will stick with the default 1080i setting. You can't adjust the quality - the bitrate is a reasonable 17.2mbit/s, which equates to 125 minutes of playback from a 16GB SDHC card. The SD card and the 1,250mAh battery sit under a flap on the bottom (top if you're left-handed) of the camcorder. You'll get 105 minutes of continuous recording time from the supplied battery, so a second battery is probably a good idea, as in practice you'll get around half this amount in day-to-day use.