Samsung SC-HMX20C 8GB High Definition Camcorder – Good HD Camcorder but suffers from several critical issues.

I don’t have much time for this initial report, but let’s set a few things straight:1/ i uses h. 264 format with an mp4 wrapper. 2/ when i look at it on my hd monitor i am astounded by the picture as compared with my xdcam. It’s not the same but i can intercut with it for a number of applications. It seems everyone but samsung has gone to avhcd for the $1000 market. 2/ the swivel grip works really well for running low to the ground. 3/ it has an external mic jack. 4/ it doesn’t have a lanc jack, like all the other non-hdv tape based options. 5/ it works beautifully with my fcp 6.

This camcorder has many interesting features, shoots pretty good video for its price range, has a touch screen interface, and a battery with reasonable shooting time. It is designed primarily for use with a computer, and does all its connections through a docking station. A remote is also included, which is very handy. Included are cables to get usb, rgb component video, s-video, and composite video out of the docking station. There is no firewire connection. This makes it impossible to use it with standalone dvd or dvr recorders if you want the full benefit of the camcorder’s resolution. Not a wise design choice, in my opinion. There are few, if any, consumer level standalone recorders with rgb inputs, which severely limits this camcorder’s use with that gear. I guess the assumption is that everyone uses computers for video these days, which may be a trend, but is certainly not universal by any means. Usb has not been adopted as well as firewire in the video world (at least not yet).

Samsung is well known for devices such as lcd tvs and cell phones. However, not many people know that samsung makes pretty decent digital cameras and camcorders. I came from the country where samsung started and heard about samsung’s optical products. Although they do not have a reputation like canon or sony, samsung comes pretty close to the level of other popular makers of cameras and camcorders. I think the hmx20c from samsung shows a good evidence of this. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this camcorder and started to use the hmx20c more than any other camcorder i have. So, here goes my story for you. First of all, the hmx20c is a very mac-friendly camcorder. The other hd camcorders that i have use avchd codec to record the video, and you might need to do additional jobs to work with imovie. Avchd files recorded in the camcorder need a conversion process to be used by imovie, and it takes up so much space.

Others have gone over this camera in great detail. I used it take both holiday movies and holiday snaps. Then i set up a light tent and took a few picturss of my american art pottery collection. I used a tripod for this project. Passed it around to other family members to try including a 16 year old who produced some passable pictures on his first try. The only problem i had was with the grip. I don’t have a small hand but i have a hard time using the strap and swivel to hold the camera in one hand and press the photo button on the end of the camera with my thumb. I ended up using both hands both for steadiness and comfort. Not yet ready for one handed operation.

It was lightweight, took excellent hd video clips and wonderful pictures under night conditions, easy to dowload to a pc or external hard drive. Only draw back is that the software is not easy to use and requires more than 2gb memory to handle very large clips for hd production. Looking for suggestions in that area.

Mp4 files are osx friendly and viewable instantly in quicktime – we had no problem getting these files into final cut xpress 4 or imovie ’08- i was editing these files within minutes of popping the card out of the cam- photos can be plucked out of the video streams at 8mp (4mp interpolated?)- the menu interface is clean ,intuitive, and performs well- the photos look great, even the ones you capture while viewing video playback- the touchpoint focus can create cool effects- colors and automatic levels seem pretty accurate- quickly change recording to internal or sdhc or mmc- manual controls are simple sliders (wb, exposure, shutter)- 90 minute battery life from a small form battery- shoots in 4 resolutions : 1080p/30p , 1080i/60i, 480p/60p an 300fps slowmotion- you can be in and out of these resolutions in seconds via quickmenus- shooting this puppy is a breeze, we haven’t even looked at the manual yet- nice slideshow with music functions- touchfocus allows you to focus on different objects in the foreground or background- it’s a very small package and feels quite solid for it’s size- quickinfo button displays battery life / memory / resolution even powered off-clips can be split, deleted and combined in camera-the phot slideshow can be accompanied by musiccons- you must have the cradle (included) for charging / hdmi out- manual controls are very simple. . Will be too limiting for hardcore tweakers. That being said, the automatic levels are about as good as you’ll want- no hot shoe- no built in light. Only pop-up flash- photos cannot be cropped or rotated in camera – no red-eye removal tool either- the focus drifted on me a few times- btw, the focus is a little slow- the touchfocus was hit or miss in practice-the battery and sd/mmc slot are behind a trap door, probably not going to be an extended run batterythere’s alot to like about this camerathe easy to use touchscreen does almost everything i need it to do under normal circumstancesplayback in quicktime is smooth and free of some processing artifacts i noticed when using vlc (nightly) to view. Mts files from panasonics and canon’s. And that comes in handy if you shot alot of clips and want to get to previewing them quickly and not waiting an hour for it to load into your editori think i’ve narrowed it down to this camera and the canon hf100. I went to the store and shot some clips with my memory card. Mts file buried in a stream subfolder several layers deep. The samsung has a folder called 100video, click on that and there’s your filesthe canon’s menu is more advanced and offers more options, but it’s also more complexbut if you can live without advanced manual controls and a mini-hotshoe and want to work with a more friendly file, this samsung sc_hmx20c is the camcorder to havethis camcorder works well with a 2. 2ghz macbook with 4gb ram running osx leopard.

  • Good HD Camcorder but suffers from several critical issues.
  • Impressive High Quality HD Video!
  • SC-HMX20C: Fun, Full HD camcorder

Things that i liked:* hd widescreen capture* high-speed >>slow mo capture* remote* touchscreen* 8gb built-in and expansioni found this to be a good consumer level camera. Still pictures are decent, and video will be good for most. The slow mo, high-speed capture is fun, but does so at a much reduced resolution. We used it for a few xmas parties and a piano recital. A promising sign of technologies to come. Be sure you have a computer beefy enough to work with the video. The included software bundle from cyberlink is enough to get you started with the basics. The dock has an hdmi connector for direct connection to your hdtv (hdmi cable not supplied). There were cables included for composite/s-video and component connections.

After returning a different camcorder because of disappointing video quality i researched a bit harder and ended up buying the hmx20. I am very happy with the samsung- videos taken in decent light are gorgeous and sharp, well exposed, and with nice contrast. I haven’t noticed compression artifacts or aliasing. Also, the ability to record progressive frames is important as i look at clips on a computer monitor, and don’t really understand the point of recording interlaced images. On the downside, the electronic image stabilization doesn’t appear to be that good, although i haven’t been able to find a lab-test for this. This means hand-held shots at full zoom are pretty shaky, although handheld videos are fine when you are zoomed out. As the widest angle view is not really wide enough (this seems common for the current crop of camcorders) i will probably pick up a wideangle converter at some point. As other reviews have mentioned, this camera is extremely mac friendly, and video clips can be played in quicktime directly from the sd card. This is very convenient, especially since a number of common editing programs dont run on macs. Look into mpeg streamclip, a free mpeg converter which has been very helpful.

The samsung sc-hmx20c is one of the very few solid state camcorders capable of recording full 1080 progressive video directly into flash memory. It comes with a decent 8gb of built-in memory and an sd/sdhc memory slot. I was able to use a 16gb sdhc card (class 6) with no problems. It is about the size and shape of a standard soft drink can, and weighs a little over 1 lb ready to shoot. The handle on the side is articulated and flips down, which makes it extremely convenient to hold at various heights, such as waist-level for better point-of-view when fiming children. The controls are simple and clearly laid out. The most common controls (movie/still/playback, zoom, power, record) are immediately accessible and conveniently located. A few other simple hard buttons can be found once you open up the flip viewfinder, as well as a usb and av/hd connector behind a little sliding door. Most of the controls and settings are accessible via the touch screen menu, which is a mixed blessing because it inevitably becomes all smudged up pretty quickly. The menus are clearly laid out, however some features are buried too many levels deep or are too cumbersome to use.

I’ve struggled with deciding on a rating for this camera (3 or 4 stars) because there are so many features on this camera to like, and i really want to like it more than i do. Actually, for my purposes, it’s a 4-star camera, but for most, i believe it will only achieve 3-stars, and that’s based on a few simple observations –1) low light (indoor) performance can be very grainy, especially since the light source/flash only works with stills: with this camera, the brighter the shooting environment the better (up to a point). 2) autofocus can be very slow. If you are mounting this camera on a tripod, mainly focusing on details in the distance with very slow, deliberate movements and focal changes, you’ll be fine. This is my main intended use for this camera. However, if you want to use it as a ‘handy-cam,’ you may be disappointed. In filming indoor, close-range action of family members, the lens will take anywhere from 1/2 second to 5 seconds with any significant focal change. The 5-second episodes are where the lens corrects in the wrong direction, goes all the way to the end of that focal length, only to turn around and come back. 3) size of shooting frame: this is not really a ding on this camera but to most hd cameras. If you’re filming at a distance, you’re fine, but for close-ups with people, you may find you’re clipping torsos or heads.

I have been watching mpeg-4 cameras to see if they could become usuable. So far, the stock avchd cameras have provided images that were so compressed all they were good for were shoot and display; editing the video was an utter pain. The artifacting made the contrast too hard, and the standard avchd file was decidedly unstandard with the streams unmuxed and the framerates inconsistent. Lotsa luck trying to get quicktime compliant apps like final cut to deal with the video. The samsung sc-hmx20 delivers something new: an h264 mpeg-4 file that is not so highly compressed (the 1080p files have a 14. 85 mbit/sec bandwidth) and the mpeg wrapper file is fully quicktime compliant so editing is not a problem. The images aren’t perfect (there’s still artifacting and banding where colors and contrasts converge), but its head and shoulders above any other avchd camera. The 1080p image is quite handsome, but sometimes doesn’t handle fast motion so well. The camera claims to shoot in 1080i, but it doesn’t work on the mac so i haven’t been able to check that. It would be terrific if the camera could shoot both 1080p (for resolution) and 720p (for fast motion).

Features of Samsung SC-HMX20C 8GB High Definition Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom

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  • Full HD Camcorder with 1080P Progressive Mode
  • 8GB Built In Memory
  • 6.4M CMOS, 10X zoom
  • Docking Cradle
  • SD-MMC Slot

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I am finally replacing my mini-dv camcorder with a wonderful true hd camcorder. The portability and capacity of sdhc cards makes this medium a more feasible form of media and this camera makes an excellent travel companion. I also have the samsung sc-mx20 which is an excellent entry level camcorder that is great for youtube video and makes a great format for any other online video site like swing academy (for golfers out there). Samsung sc-mx20 flash memory camcorder w/34x optical zoom (black)what is in the box?camcorderdrawstring pouchuser manual cdquick start guidesoftware cd (cyberlink dvd suite: powerdvd 7. 0 for hd)battery packac power adaptormulti-av cablecomponent cableusb cableinfrared remote controlcradlecore filtersto read the actual manual, you will need to load the manual on cd. Most of the functions are explained in the quick start guide. The software suite:hardware requirements (sorry, not mac compatible):microsoft windows xp or vistapentium 4, 3. 2 ghz or greater/amd athlon fx, 2. 6 ghz or highernvidia geforce 7600gt or higher/ati x1600 series or highercyberlink power director is a robust video editing program for a bundled software package. You can adjust photographic settings, add special effects, trim clips, add titles, picture in picture, transitions, etc. I cannot believe software like this accompanies such a great camera. It is more than functional for a casual user, like myself. Cyberlink power dvd is a video player.

I had a chance to own both this samsung sc-hmx20c and canon hf100. Comparing to canon hf100, this samsung unit has:pros:1. 8m pixels still picture recordingcons:1. No optical stabilization which is my biggest complain. It has a electronic stabilization which is totally useless. Hard/slow to focus compared to hf1003. Slow when switching between camcorder/camera/watching mode.

Out of the boxwhat a treat it was to get this camcorder. It comes with a charging stand, which i prefer to just plugging directly into a wall. It took about 1 ½ hours to charge and i have about 90 minutes of recording time on my battery. I have a choice of memory cards, either sdhc or mmcplus — or i could go with the internal memory, which gives me 75 minutes in superfine mode. There have been many a time when i’ve brought my camera or camcorder with me only to find i’ve forgotten to put a memory card in or the memory card is full. The filmed images at night under incandescent light is somewhat grainy, but i haven’t found a camcorder which wasn’t grainy at night.

A friend of mine got this camera and couldn’t recommend it enough so i bought it too. It’s easy and fun to use, and the picture quality is hard to beat. This is probably the best video camera i’ve owned to date.

This is a great camcorder to slip into your pocket or backpack. The super slo-mo feature is great for capturing sports such as golf or tennis.

I’ve only owned the camera a short time (2 weeks. ) so far the picture in day light shots is superb. Vivid color and true hd quality. At night it is a little grainy. In comparison to my old jvc envrino the samsung is much more competent at dark/night video. I like the touchscreen interface. It is not for everyone (i read several reviews before the purchase) i cruise through them menu system with no effort. The software is great for basic video editing and dvd production. I can’t wait to try out the slow-mo, i need to conceive a great project to enjoy this feature.

Full HD Camcorder with 1080P Progressive Mode

I was offered a samsung sc-hmx20c 8gb high definition camcorder with 10x optical zoom via the amazon vine program for review, and it had some intriguing possibilities. Easy-to-understand menu structure, and great video quality. I’m far from a vid expert, so i won’t be able to intelligently detail pros and cons that someone who shoots professionally. But the design lends itself to my son’s expectations perfectly. He rides a fixed gear bike and has competed in a number of alleycat competitions. He’s also quite adept at trick riding, and has often wanted to do some youtube videos. The samsung ergonomic design is perfect for shooting those types of clips. The tubular shape fits perfectly in the palm of the hand for excellent angle control. It can also be held with the hand facing downward to get ground-angle shots with no strain. The view screen swivels for easy viewing as he’s shooting under different conditions.

Like other reviewers have mentioned, this samsung sc-hmx20c camcorder is absolutely excellent for those using mac os x, as it uses. Mp4 files which are natively played by os x with no plugins needed. You can even use the quicklook function of os x leopard to play the files with the space bar. I’ll add some pros/cons to this model so those camcorder hunting get some more infopros:+ quite a small device+ quality is pretty good for 1080p+ also does standard definition video+ menus are very easy to navigate. Most people will not need to consult the manual+ files are easily found on internal storage/memory card and aren’t proprietary, so very easy to get them off onto your computer. + nice little carry pouch included+ battery and memory card easy to access+ external microphone jack (a must for anyone making ‘movies’)+ easy interface for playing back the movies on the camera itself+ you can turn off the blinking ‘recording’ light so people won’t feel as self-conscious. I know that i always shy away when i see that blinking or solid red light on the front of camcorderscons:- low-light recording is, in a word, appalling. Lots of noise present, though to be fair this is very typical for small-sensor camcorders- the ‘record’ button is a little awkwardly placed for my big hands. It’s positioned too close to the hand-strap so my thumb doesn’t enjoy the placement- you can only charge the battery by using the included charging stand base, which is ridiculous really. – you can only connect via hdmi to your tv using the charging stand base and only then if the stand is connected to a power source.

————–general specs—————flash-based design has 8gb of internal memory which allows ~71 minutes of recording time (but you can also use a sdhc memory card if you want)-the camera uses mpeg-4(. Mp4) which is mac osx friendly- shoots in 4 resolutions : 1080p/30p , 1080i/60i, 480p/60p an 300fps slowmotion-10x optical zoomcamcorder sensor resolution- 6. 4 megapixels-continuous still image capture during video recording: up to 5 pictures per second. —————image capture—————image format jpegmax vertical image resolution -1728 pixelsmax horizontal image resolution -3268 pixelsbuilt-in auto flash—————battery life- 1. 5 hours from regular battery—————best thing is this camera is easy to use with macsbecause the canon vixia hf100 was a little difficult to use with mac software.

I will start out by stating that they have released a firmware upgrade (go to the samsung site and search on the model #) that improved (not resolved) my major problem with the camera, the instructions on how to check your firmware release completely didn’t work, so just look at the list of enhancements and it will be clear that you don’t have it. The instructions for installing it were good (although they talk about a file that isn’t there – just ignore that. )i’m a mom, so my primary use for the camera is capturing pictures of the kids. The nature of that means i need to have the camera ready to get video or stills at a moment’s notice. Out of box (pre-firmware), if you were in photo mode, you would have to hit the button twice to get it back into video mode. The big problem is that there was a several second pause getting out of the viewing mode. By the time i got to video, my opportunity was lost. I was about ready to return it. Post-firmware, you can now keep it in video mode and still take photos. (before you could only take photos while actively taking a video.

Samsung sc-hmx20ci’m in no means a professional at using video cameras, nor am i willing to spend the kind of $$$ required for such equipment, but i did want a video camera that would record in hd, not break the bank and still offer plenty of cool features and acceptable performance. I found what i required in this samsung hmx20c. Priced right for what you get at around $600-800, offers good battery life of about 90 minutes and enables you ease to carry by slipping it into your jacket pocket, hold about 2 hours of video in 1080p mode, edit ability through your windows xp, a full 8gb hard drive built in so additional cards will not be necessary unless you plan on being gone away from your computer for more than a day and it offers slow motion if you need it, although not while in hd mode. I’ve used the little samsung for my daughters programs at school inside of a well lit auditorium and outside in good daylight and i was very impressed with its performance. I have not tried it yet indoors in poorly lit areas, but if it performs nearly as good in doors as it does outside, i’ll be content. The optical zoom of 10x is more than plenty adequate. I like samsung products, as i have always had very good luck with their performance and durability. This camera was dropped once while handing it over to my daughter. I was a little worried because it fell about three feet onto concrete, but i was extremely happy to see it worked flawlessly even after the drop with no damage what so ever or even a scratch. I don’t believe you will see this camera in the hands of any professionals, but for using it for basic functions at school, at home or for any family type of get-together, you’ll be completely happy with it.

I purchased this camera used a few days ago, it was basically brand new when i bought it so i don’t feel like any of the issues i experienced are related to its condition. That said i’m happy with the my purchase at least insofar as its intended use. First of all the camera is only slightly larger and heavier than my older standard definition samsung sc-mx20 flash memory camcorder w/34x optical zoom (red) which is rather nice as i’m used to its operation an this camera is very similar. I appreciate the overall control layout and the addition of a touch screen for menu operation is rather handy. Overall if you’ve owned a samsung camcorder in the past, you will feel right at home using this one. The most glaring negatives are the abysmal image stabilization and virtual need for the included dock to connect with either the tv or a pc. As concisely as possible, here are the things i like about this camera:1. Ease of use – as i mentioned earlier i have a standard definition version of this camera and the operations is very similar. With minimal fiddling you can start shooting photos or video immediately. Included camera with flash – an onboard camera with a separate ‘camera’ button makes shooting standard pictures really easy. Touch screen menu – the touch screen menu is easy to use with typical options found in any digital camera. Slow motion option – this camera can record a 300fps slow motion video, the only drawback is a lack of the time lapse feature of the newer samsung h205 full hd camcorder with 32gb internal memory & 20x optical zoom (black)5.

8GB Built In Memory

I’ve ran a small selection process amongst top vendors, and despite the fact i really enjoy samsung as a brand, the camera is very good, extremelly easy to use and very powerful in terms of features.

This has excellent hd quality in a tiny camera. Pros:- very good hd quality for a point and shoot video camera. – small, light, and ergonomic. – easy to show off your videos and photos using my ps3cons:- limited manual controls, wish they exposed shutter and iris controls. Such a good image quality with very little control. – navigating through menus and modes are clunky and slow. Because of its excellent 1080p hd quality, it’s easy to use, light to carry around, and easy to show my videos to friends and family. I like this camera alot as my ‘vacation’ camera.

I should preface this review by saying that i don’t own an hmx20, but i’ve spent a lot of time with one to decide if i should and i wanted to share my experiences. What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that this camcorder is attempting to do a lot of things that just aren’t possible yet in its form-factor. It has some really neat features, but when all is said and done if they aren’t practically useful and its functionality as a video recorder doesn’t do quite the job of its competitors it just isn’t worth buying. Unless you’re thinking about buying the panasonic hdc-sd9 for some reason, i would go with several other cameras before this one. That said, there are some cool things. The slow motion feature is very good and works very well. The problem is that if you’re buying a 1080p camcorder, chances are you actually care about having your video in high definition. The slow motion video’s resolution is less than that of standard definition video, so you can’t really use it for anything practical. If you’re just uploading to youtube or something like that then it’s sufficient, but that’s about it. You can also record at standard definition at a frame rate of 60fps.

I’ve been researching hd camcorders for sometime now and was thrilled to get this one. Of course with everything there is good and bad and i’ll explain it all, there’s a bit to cover. First, the camera is heavier then it looks, which for me is ok because i know that its made with metal parts and not all plastic. Its very sleek looking and compact, smaller then i thought. Its a shiny metallic black which is also a fingerprint magnet. The swivel handle grip is comfortable but i find that holding your hand with your fingers pointing down and using your thumb to control the buttons makes things more stable and comfortable in the long run. The buttons for the most part are placed well, the power button is a two hander but is out of the way so there is no accidental shut off. Wow, its great, works very very well.

I am always cautious about reviewing electronics because i hate to gush about something and then find a flaw later. So far, i’ve found very few flaws with this one. The one major disappointment i have had is with the quality of the still shots. Maybe i am doing something wrong?.I get a lot of fuzz in the pictures. I am not sure if it is ‘noise’ because of the high definition or what, but i don’t seem to have the problem with moving images, only still shots. I am continuing to learn this device and i will come back to update once i have completely mastered it. Aside from that issue, i am thrilled with this as a camcorder. Every little feature you could want, this appears to have. The flip screen that has a touch screen is awesome.

First of all, i do like the black body and the clean sleek design/look of the camera. However, it’s almost a little too simple. If you’re intimidated with lots of buttons, then you’ll be happy with this camera. There’s a large amount of space on the left side of the camera (which becomes hidden when you close the lcd) where they could have added more buttons, but they left it completely empty for a cleaner look. There’s only three buttons there: ‘icheck’ button (when the camera is off, press this to check battery life/storage space. And if you press it when the camera is on, it will hide all the camera info on the screen for a clean view); second button with a lightning arrow toggles between flashes (force flash, red eye, no flash, etc) — when in camera mode only; it’s a useless button when filming videos. I think it would have been better if they saved that button space for something that would be more useful on-the-fly (like a quick touch point focus, considering that’s one of the special features on this camera, button would have been better); they should have just made the camera flash toggle by touch screen. The third button is the ‘easy’ q button, like other consumer cameras seem to have this feature lately where it pretty much does auto everything (focus, exposure, shutter, anti-shake, etc) for you. Not to mention that doesn’t necessarily do all the work for you — the way you want — and could just give you more headaches, so i would avoid it.

Imagine that you’re out on a date with a beautiful lady. Everything’s going great and you’re looking forward to the rest of the evening. And then you find out her name used to be fred. That’s how i feel about this camcorder. The specs make it sound great, but the bottom line is how the pictures come out and that’s where i’ve been disappointed. If you’re outside and have a tripod (or monopod), the pictures are terrific. At hd 1080p, they’re sharp and the colors are great. Take it to your kid’s sports activities or a picnic, bar-b-q or camping trip and you’ll be really happy with the results. The docking/charging station can stay at home and remain plugged into your home theater system.

6.4M CMOS, 10X zoom

Docking Cradle

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Samsung SC-HMX20C 8GB High Definition Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom
Rating
4.7 of 5 stars, based on 31 reviews