Lights, Camera, Action!
You can use the HMX-R10 right out of the box, granted you probably want to give the unit a full charge before using but for the first little bit, I just turned it on and started recording. It powered up right away when I opened up the LCD monitor. Not needing to press the power button is pretty nice.
It was cool to be able to zoom in on things round me with its 5x optical capabilities. I did notice that I have awfully shaky hands; though the HMX-R10 does have an image stabilization feature to help correct that.
Did I mention that with a 16GB SDHC card, it told me I could get roughly 2 hours (120 minutes) of Full HD (1080p) video too? That’s not bad considering the price of memory is pretty good these days.
Does the battery last as long as the recording length? I found that it does, with a fully charged battery you can easily record the full storage space of a 16GB card. Of course, if you lower the resolution you will be able to record to the card for a longer period of time, but the battery will probably need to be charged at some point.
The controls in my hand were comfortable and easy to use. I even tried out using the controls on the LCD monitor without any troubles or awkward moments. It took a few times to get use to holding the camera at the angle you need for a level shot, but with the 25 degree angle that Samsung designed this camcorder for, you will be able to hold the camcorder for longer periods of time without any wrist strain.
On feature I did like was the time-lapse ability. It took me a little bit to understand how it operates, but after a quick read over their online manual I set up the tripod, changed the mode to time-lapse and recorded a couple scenes over a 24-hour period. The outcome was pretty cool as I have always thought time-lapse video was a cool technique. Just be sure to use the supplied AC adapter as the battery will definitely not last during a time-lapse video.
So how else did I go about testing out the Samsung HMX-R10 camcorder? We took it on our trip to Vancouver Island. We spent time away for 2 weeks exploring some of our favorite places and brought the camcorder with us. It definitely didn’t hinder us when we took it to the beach, hiking in the forest or even while driving between our destinations. Putting it back in the included padded cover ensured it never got scratched or marked up as we ventured around.
One feature that some people might find useful is the ability to use the Samsung HMX-R10 to capture stills while recording or to use it as a digital camera itself. All you need to do is switch the camcorder into Photo mode by pressing the button above the record button.
If you want to take advantage of the full photo resolution that HMX-R10 can handle, you do need to be in Photo mode. When you are recording video and want to capture a still moment, the resolution will be at the max of the video resolution that is being recorded, such as 1920×1080.
I could understand the reasoning to include the ability to capture stills on a camcorder, but I personally think they should be two separate devices. Sure, you carry one less device with you, but you do sacrifice quality of the outcome when you start to combine technologies into one product.
Cut, That’s A Wrap!
So what do you do after you have recorded all your video or taken all those photos? The cool feature about the Samsung HMX-R10 is that it has a built-in software suite called Intelli-Studio. You can just plug the camcorder (via USB) into any Windows based computer and up pops the software.
You can easily go through your photos and your video all within one application. You don’t need to load any software, just plug it in and away you go! You can edit both photos and videos, but you do need to off load them before any editing can take place.
Another cool feature of the Intelli-Studio software suite is that you can use it to upload to various online services such as YouTube of even Flickr.
The downside to the Intelli-Studio software is that it does not work on the Mac environment, but then again, don’t Macs have existing photo and video editing software?