Samsung SC-HMX20C Full HD Camcorder - SC-HMX20C HD Testing and Conclusion

Article Index
Samsung SC-HMX20C Full HD Camcorder
Included Accessories and Specs
SC-HMX20C Menus and Setup
SC-HMX20C Still Camera and SD Testing
SC-HMX20C HD Testing and Conclusion

Testing the Video Camera - High Definition:

Different resolutions are available including 1920x1080i and 1920x1080p.  My current TV does 1920x1080i but we recorded video at both the interlaced and progressive settings for the review.  Because the video is simply H.264 we were able to easily play back the files on our computer using Power DVD or QuickTime.  The images below are frame grabs from the video as it played back.  They have been compressed slightly from the BMP file created by Power DVD but still maintain most of their original quality.

 Outdoor - 1080i
Outdoor - 1080i
(Click for 1920x1080 image)


You can see the interlacing on the edges of the objects in the image as we placed this back on our computer.  For best results on most devices, 1080p is by far the best method to record.

The next screenshot is from 1920x1080p video.  This was taken indoors with some spotty skylights.  The crowd was moving toward me as I was holding the camera over head and going against the flow of humanity.

Indoor - 1080p
Indoor - 1080p
(Click for 1920x1080 image)

 

The image above shows a little more noise than when in better light outside, but the quality of the full HD 1080p video is still very good for a camcorder that comes in under $900.

The last video screenshot is again at 1080p and was also taken inside.

Indoor - 1080p
Indoor - 1080p
(Click for 1920x1080 image)

 

Final Thoughts:

The Samsung SC-HMX20C camcorder was a surprise in more ways than one.  First of all, the camcorder is really quite small yet feels much more solid than I would have thought.  Also it has decent still image camera functions and can double up as your favorite still and video camera to take on your next holiday.  What makes this unit special is that it is one of the least expensive Full HD (1920x1080p) cameras around and manages to do a pretty good job in most situations.  If you are using this camera to record a soccer game outside, the quality is perfect and I managed to get some amazing footage outdoors.

Like most other cameras, quality degrades as you put it in lower light situations and even with the Super C. Nite enabled, recording video in a dark room is horribly grainy.  On the other hand, I took it to a concert and recorded a few songs at Full HD from the opposite end of the stadium.  Video quality was remarkable - for the distance, zoom and low light.

 

Another downside is the 8MB internal memory.  Many other camcorders have 20GB or more and 8GB seems a little weak.  That being said, at Full HD, 8GB will last you as long as the battery does - about 85 minutes.  With that being said, SDHC cards are very cheap and you can add more storage to this unit easily.  I grabbed an 8GB SDHC at Best Buy for $40 during testing.  This adds a lot of life and a simple way to get the images and video off the camera and onto your computer.

Pros:

  • Small Size & Big Features!
  • Full HD Capability 1920x1080p
  • 6.4MP CMOS Sensor
  • Decent Digital Camera with Flash
  • Solid Construction
  • Good Video Image Quality
  • HD Camera That Fits In Your Coat Pocket
  • Flash Storage Can Survive Shaking
  • Touch Screen LCD For Navigation
  • IR Remote Control
  • External Mic Input
  • Supports SDHC Cards For Expansion
  • Nice Lens
  • Sub $900 Full-HD Camera


Cons:

  • Digital Camera Has Noise All But Bright Light Photos
  • Slow Motion Is Time Limited (10 Second Clip at 1/8)
  • Storage Setting Is Globally Internal or External

Even with the long list of "Pros" some of the quality issues of the camera in lower light keep it from being a perfect 10 for the price.  While there are improvements to be made for $900 this is a great camera that will fit the needs of many people.  It comes in as a 9.0 and is a BCCHardware Top Pick.

 BCCRating

 Top Pick

 

I'd like to thank Samsung Canada for sending this camera our way for the review.  It was a good project that netted me hours of HD family video.  If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post it in the forum at the "Comments" link below.