Samsung HMX-U20 Ultra-Compact Full-HD Camcorder, Not as good as I expected

Yes, you need a steady hand for all video recording. Just because you stink at taking video doesn’t mean it’s the camera’s fault. Videographers all over spend lots of money on stabilizing equipment for the already skilled hands and already top of the line cameras. This camcorder takes great video, especially in proper lighting. Outside video has amazing rich detail and the time lapse feature is incredible.

After a few days of usage i feel that its an ok product with scope for improvement. I bought it for its hd capability and the time-lapse mode. The clicking sound in the audio is of the autofocus mechanism (typical of point & shoot cameras) which goes away if the focus is not changing. Day time performance is pretty good. The built in s/w (no installation needed) for viewing things on a pc is also good.

‘bought this as a christmas gift for my brother as i have had one for 2 yrs and enjoy it for what it is. Not a $800 consumer hd camera. Takes great video and we both mainly use it for time lapse. Some people complain about the lens noise when zooming and auto focusing. Some people are hard to please and again it is less than $100. Small and easy to carry in a shirt pocket.

Key specs for Samsung HMX-U20 Ultra-Compact Full-HD Camcorder (Black):

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  • Full HD Recording
  • Built-in USB Arm
  • 3x optical zoom for still photos, and 3.6x digital intelli zoom for video (no optical)

Comments from buyers

“Awesome Camera, i love it.
, A convenient, cell phone sized HD FunCam
, Good Camera

I pre-ordered this camera back in april because of it’s superior specs and features unheard of at this price level. It looked to have a better cmos optical sensor that would pick up more light and work better in low-light situations, 3x optical zoom (a first for this type of camera), hdmi, rechargeable batter, stereo sound, 1080p, high-mega pixel camera for singles, plus it was brand-new technology, everything looked good. Well, i received mine today, and i’m not really impressed. I have tested out every function the device has, and most of it fails. Like the video quality on this thing is very poor or average, especially the photographs. When recording in doors the video is really noisy and grainy, and needs good lighting otherwise you can’t see anything. Outdoor video quality was pretty good, though. The device is also advertised as taking 10mpixel (or 14mpixel in some places) pictures, but it actually only has a 7. 8mpixel sensor and the setting to take 10mpixel pictures is resized/upscaled from 7. But forget taking pictures with it because it takes like 4-5 seconds after you press the button for the picture to be taken, and during that time it records motion and blurs everything together. The hardware appearance and design is pretty good, it’s very small and sleek, and is very simple to operate. The pc software is junk, it’s very plain and lacks a lot of functionality and configuration options, and is poorly designed. Whoever wrote the english documentation and designed the menus on both the firmware and pc software also had very improper grammar and there’s obvious mistakes everywhere, very unprofessional and unpolished looking. I’d look elsewhere because this camera is very low quality, and judging by the way samsung supports their devices once they hit the market, they don’t update the software or firmware at all so there’s no hope of any of the problems ever being fixed.

Here is the pictures i took under different kind of condition-[. All are shut in smart/auto mode and there is not much night view cause it doesn’t work well without enough lighting. I don’t expect 170usd could have a professional sharp quality. But this one is compact and light, easy to carry on.

I purchased this may 28th, on sale for $170. I did not purchase a memory card as i had a 2 gig sd card at home and wasn’t sure that i would be keeping this camera. I charged the battery, put in my memory card and went out in the yard and shot some video and some still photos. I hooked up the camera to my 50 inch plasma tv with the included composite video cable and looked at the photos, which were really great quality and detail. I was pleasantly surprised that they were the equal of my olympus 10 mega pixel digital still camera. Next i looked at the video that i shot at 1080p and heard this clicking noise throughout the video. My commentary was recorded just fine but the clicking was a deal breaker. The video quality was also not what i expected for the 1080 p setting. I loaded the cd into my pc and started to read the manual.

This camera takes awesome pictures even in low light and it doesn’t even have a flash, overall very impressed, the so called clicking sound other users are hearing with the zoom, is very faint and usually wouldn’t bother someone like me, it is an awesome camera, the picture is not only good quality but the picture isn’t jumpy when moving or glitchy, i even dropped it on my floor once while recording and the picture still held a nice steady clear shot. Its smaller then the sony flip and fits well in my hand, its got a nice curved shape to it that makes it very comfortable to hold, the sound quality isnt the best but it is pretty good, i would most definitely buy another of these should i manage to break this one.

This item is very stylish and pocket sized but i never got a chance to use it because i didn’t have a memory card and it’s not compatible with macs.

I suffered from the flip’s limited storage (8gb) and short battery life. So, i switched to the samsung hmx-20 for the following reasons:1) sdhc support: i have a couple of 16gb cards that i take with me when traveling; a computer is not needed. 3) can be charged with bundled electric charger or when plugged to usb. Cons:1) poor low-light performance.

I love this when you use it for video,its so hdpicture quality is normal very good quality,but video is amazing,i like it alotand for the price its amazing you can’t go wrong,i recommend it.

I bought this camera mainly for work. I didn’t need it for it’s still shot capability. I mainly needed it for it’s high definition video quality, and it’s compact size. I was using my ‘blackberry’ video camera before, but the quality was horrible. With the samsung hmx-u20, huge improvement. Excellent video, and great sound. If you plan on using the samsung hmx-u20 for photo’s, i hope you have a very steady hand, or use a tripod. Although, if you take still photos while filming at the same time, the photos come out pretty good.

I am surprised by the early negative reviews. I never owned a pocket hd cam before (like the flip mino, creative vado, or kodak zi6) though i’ve seen them compared online (tekzilla), so when i pre-ordered this camera i had a good idea of what i would be getting. I’ve had it for 3 days now and it is exactly what i expected it to be for the price and size. It is not a replacement for larger, heavier higher-end digital slrs or camcorders with better lenses and imaging chips. It’s a convenient, cell phone sized funcam. The smaller size and lighter weight means it’s harder to keep steady, a reported problem with all the pocket hd cams. Another known problem is they don’t do low light well. This camera is no exception. Pros:i found the 1080/30p video quite good outdoors in daylight, again considering the size of the chip and the quality of the lens you can expect at this price. The smart auto feature does a surprisingly good job of detecting what you’re shooting and adjusting accordingly.

Good product when it was released about a year ago. Compact and convenient for taking on trips. Would be good if it had an external charger to take out the battery and charge (like a digital camera), instead of having to plug it into a usb port to charge.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Samsung HMX-U20 Ultra-Compact Full-HD Camcorder (Black)
4.0 of 5 stars, based on 29 reviews