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Samsung HMX-H105 Full HD Camcorder Review

Samsung HMX-H105 Full HD Camcorder Review

Great little camcorder that is the perfect fit for all shooters.

The Spy Cam

It's so small, just tiny. Like a secret weapon for 007 himself. It is the new shooter from Samsung, the HMX-H105. Small and sleek with 32GB of Flash memory and full high definition, it is worth a look for novices looking to create better-looking video and start off with a fresh, simple take on their gear.

Can I Get Away with It?

Weighing in at 0.78 lbs., the HMX-H105 is tiny! It's very tiny. How could we have come so far over the years? Remember when a camera would sit on your shoulder, making your spine fold over, as you would grimace in pain... just to shoot that sweet 16... for free!

Knowing all of these past predicaments, Samsung decided to move forward with the HMX-H105 and change the future of how viewfinderless camcorders look and feel by eliminating the static handgrip in favor of a very nice and comfortable swivel handgrip on the right side of the camcorder. There is no viewfinder for shooters to look through, which is due in part to the inclusion of the new swivel hand-strap. The zoom toggle sits on top of the camera, perfectly positioned for a thumb to zoom when the handstrap is adjusted. Directly underneath is the photo button, which sits above the mode options and the HDMI output, USB port, A/V output and DC input. Directly stage right is the big red record button. Opening the LCD turns on the camcorder with another zoom option nestled onto the left side of the screen, resting between the record button and the quick menu button. Unfortunately, the SDHC/battery door sits under the camera, right next to the tripod receptacle. This means that any time users need to change out an SDHC card, they have to remove the camera from the tripod. We found this to be a step back in the wrong direction. But a very nice design overall, a small and very nice-looking camcorder, for sure.

Gimme Some High Spots

With the help of a 1/4.5-inch CMOS sensor and the 10x optical zoom Schneider Kreuznach Verioplan HD lens, the HMX-H105 captures very nice-looking video. The lens itself is a 37mm wide-angle beauty. Utilizing 32GB of Flash memory, rightly marketed as a solid-state drive (SSD), the HMX-H105 can record for up to six hours, which doesn't include the addition of an SD/SDHC card. Capturing video in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, the camera records superfine, fine and normal quality. The resolution can be adjusted from 1080i at 30 frames/sec, 720p at 60 frames/sec and 480p at 60 frames/sec, web and mobile. In 1080i mode, our video test looked very nice and clean.

The touchscreen menu offers many options, including: storage, iSCENE, resolution, white balance, exposure and focus. We found the Food, Candlelight and Indoor settings in the iSCENE option to be especially impressive, accomplishing the task of shooting under certain unique conditions very well. Due to the solid-state drive, the camera made no noise and didn't run nearly as hot as we thought it would.

Samsung knows that not every shooter is built the same - for some a viewfinder may be a necessity and for some it is seen as a hindrance. For the general consumer market, the point-and-shoot shooter is the norm. It is easy to see that this is who the HMX-H105 has been marketed towards, and we think it's a very good fit. The swivel handstrap allows users to make adjustments and customize the camcorder's position to better serve the needs of each shooter. We especially liked how we could hold the camera out in front while zooming with our thumb, since it took a bit of stress off the wrists.

That's a Wrap

The HMX-H105 is a sleek, innovative take on the consumer camcorder world. It is small, intuitive and fun. It gives shooters the option of capturing full HD without the headaches of a professional camera. It's easy, very user-friendly and a welcome addition to the Samsung family.

Tech specs

Recording Media: 32GB internal Flash memory, SD/SDHC card slot
Media Loading Orientation: Bottom
Data Format: MPEG-4
Resolutions and Frame Rates: 480p60, 720p60, 1080i30
Image Sensor: 1/4.1" CMOS, 2.89 million pixels effective

Lens
Interchangeable Lenses: No
f-Stop: f/1.8
Optical Zoom Power: 10x
Focal Length: 3.3-33mm
Filter Diameter: 37mm
Focus Control: Auto/manual (touchscreen)
Shutter Speed: 1/60 - 1/10,000
Image Stabilization: Optical
Internal ND Filter: None

Video Features
Shutter Speed Control: Auto/manual
White Balance Control: Auto/manual/preset
Direct Iris/Gain Control: No
Zebra Stripes: No
Viewfinder: No
LCD Monitor: 2.7", 16:9
HD Focus Assist: No
Face Detect: No
Color Bar Generator: No

Audio Features
Number of Audio Channels Recorded: 2.0
Audio Encoding: AAC
Standard Mic Input: No
VU Meters: No
Level Controls: No
Separate Level Controls for Each Channel: No
Headphone Jack: No
Speaker: Yes

Video Input/Output
Analog Video In: No
Analog Video Out: Composite, component
FireWire In/Out: No
Analog to DV Conversion: N/A
USB (for Video File Transfer): Yes
Other Digital Video Out: HDMI

Miscellaneous
Wireless Remote: Yes
Battery Charging: On camcorder
Form Factor: Standard
Onboard Video Light: No
Battery Type: Li-ion
Accessory Shoe: No

Strengths

  • Adjustable hand strap
  • iSCENE
  • No motor noise
  • Fits into a palm perfectly

Weaknesses

  • SDHC/battery compartment sits on bottom next to tripod head screw receptacle
  • Slow auto focus reaction time

Summary

Great little camcorder that is the perfect fit for all shooters and lets users actually change their own hand position by way of an adjustable strap. Shoots full HD, for up to six hours, and is as tiny as can be!

Tom Skowronski is Videomaker's Associate Editor.

Samsung Consumer Electronics
105 Challenger Rd.
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
www.samsung.com
$600

Tags:  October 2009
Tom
Skowronski
Thu, 10/01/2009 - 12:00am