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Samsung HMX-R10BP review

A fun, versatile and affordable HD camcorder with a design twist


  • Compact and ergonomic
  • Good all-round performance
  • Responsive touchscreen


  • 5x optical zoom too small
  • Poor software interface

This full HD camcorder offers everything a 1920x1080 camcorder should offer, but with an interesting twist.

Picture the scene in the design department: the MD is demanding a camcorder that's got all the usual Full HD goodness, megapixels worth of still imaging, face detection tech AND a touchscreen LCD.

But he wants more – he wants this new camcorder to look and feel different; he wants it to be compact, ergonomic and, well, you heard him, different-looking.

And so here is the Samsung HMX-R10, a camcorder that isn't styled like a traditional palmcorder (think Panasonic's HDC-SD10) or even an upright model (such as the Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000). Samsung has decided on a unique approach that sees the R10's f/3.5 lens tilted upwards by 25 degrees.

Samsung r10

The idea is that this is a more logical design – in terms of how camcorders are held – and it promises to be more comfortable in the long run. And that's just how it works out.

Initially, you feel all at sea, and consequently end up holding the R10 either too high or too low. Once you're accustomed to the tilt, it's easy to shoot with, and the cam also still throws up the chance to record from intriguing angles.

The design crafty-ness doesn't stop there. Samsung has added a second record button and extra zoom controls onto the frame of the 2.7in touchscreen LCD.

Samsung r10

Though they are smallish additions, they're incredibly practical – allowing you easy access to the features, as well as encouraging you to hold the LCD when you're shooting, for added support.

There's a range of HD and SD shooting modes on offer, with the maximum being the tantalising Full HD of 1920x1080, while digital stills can be snapped at 9MP (a further boost up to 12MP is delivered through interpolation).

Samsung r10 card slots

SD CARD: load your memory cards in the port underneath the camera

Your movies and photos can't be captured to an internal memory because there isn't one; instead, the R10 stores to SD and/or SDHC.

Touchscreens are nothing new but they can be hit and miss when it comes to responsiveness – and how smudgy they become. Fortunately, the R10's version is an excellent one. It's easy to use and responds quickly to touch. It's helped by a menu system that's clearly laid out and deceptively simple.