Samsung SCD103 Mini-DV Camcorder - Software, Testing and Conclusion

Article Index
Samsung SCD103 Mini-DV Camcorder
Close Look at the Camera
LCD and Menu
Software, Testing and Conclusion

Software:

To be honest, there isn't a whole lot of software that comes with the camera.  That's not necessarily a bad thing.  Some companies bundle a bunch of useless software that never gets installed.  If you don't have a Sony Memory Stick and are running the latest version of Windows Media Player and DirectX, you'll likely only install the DVC Driver and the DVC Media 5.1 program.  These two pieces of software will allow you to use the USB connector and the USB Streaming feature.  If you're using Windows XP and the Firewire cable, no software will need to be installed at all.

If you plan to take pictures with the built-in digital camera, you may want to install the Photo Editor and the MS (Memory Stick) Formatter.

The USB Streaming feature allows the SCD103 to be used as a web cam.  The quality of the SCD103 stream far exceeds $30 web cams as it should.  Due to the overlay that is used, I was unable to capture a screenshot of the USB Streaming in action, but it would appear in the window below.

Test Results:

We used the SCD103 around home here for over a month and were quite impressed with the quality of the video.  Video taken indoors was brighter than that of my Sony, and video outdoors was as crisp as Mini-DV can be.  Battery life is quite exceptional, as I've used it on and off for over 2 hours, and it still showed a decent charge remaining.

 

Nite-Pix works well and allows you to take video (at limited distance) in full dark.  The video light helps to illuminate under low-light conditions, but drains the battery rather quickly.

Althougth SCD103 is somewhat larger than other Mini-DV cameras, it fits well with hands of all sizes and is comfortable to use.  Weighing in at just over 1lb, it won't tire you arm from extended use. . . If it does, maybe you should put down the twinkie and go get some excercise.

Conclusion:

After using this camera extensively, there is really nothing bad to say about it.  I've got a couple of minor beefs with it, but nothing that could be said is "wrong".  So let's break it down into yeahs and nays

Yeah:

- Clear, crisp Mini-DV.
- Lightweight, "Handy & Easy"
- Good Battery Life.
- USB Streaming + IEEE1394 Firewire.
- WindCut (not perfect, but better than nothing)

Nay:

- Awkward Viewfinder.
- No Firewire Cable.
- Dim LCD.

All in all, I could recommend the SCD103 to just about anyone.  It's simple to use, full of features, and offers great quality with the large lens.  If you want to go Digital Video on the cheap, the SCD103 is definitely a good choice.  It has a couple of minor annoyances, but they are liveable for the price.  Both still pictures and video are shot at 640x480, so video on your TV will look great.

Here's how it really breaks down:

BensCustomCases.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
9/10
Software Pack:
9/10
Stability:
10/10
Features:
10/10
Value:
10/10
Total Score 9.7

 

I'd like to thank Samsung Canada for sending this out for a review.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them in the forum over here.