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When I became pregnant with my first daughter I really wanted to get a camcorder to record and document the life of our new baby but I didn't want anything huge and bulky or overly complicated as technology is not my strong point and I certainly don't want to spend ages reading the manual! When I saw this one it looked perfect for me as it was small enough to put in my bag and simple enough to use. Design and aesthetics- Its a pretty good looking camcorder with its shiny black plastic exterior and compact sleek body it fits perfectly into the palm of your hand and is easy to hold. The lense is angled at 25 degrees upwards so to avoid any pain from wrist hooking as it forces you to hold it at a much more comfortable angle. It took a while to get the hang of how to hold it to film correctly but once you do its certainly a comfortable way to position your wrist. On the side of the camcorder you have a flip out screen that rotates 360 degrees to allow you to see what you are filming from any angle and it easily pulls out and clicks back in. Features and functions- The R10 is the worlds smallest full HD camcorder so you get all the benefits of a clear HD image without the huge bulk of a regular camcorder. It was another factor that really appealed to me when buying the item. The camcorder is capable of 8x zoom which is easily adjusted using a button on the top of the device pulling one way to zoom in and the other to zoom out. Simples! It zooms pretty well and it doesn't affect the image too much or make it too grainy. The camera features face recoginition which I've not used but its a nice feature to have. I really like that it has a rechargeable battery and lasts for up to 80 minutes of film time although I've found that 60 minutes is probably more like it. When charging there is a little light that shines to tell you its working properly. The camcorder has a memory card slot that holds SD cards which means you can easily increase or change the amount of memory. Its easily accessible by sliding up the back section of the camera, this is also where the usb port is located. The software for the camera is integrated so when you plug it into your laptop it automatically downloads which I found so muh easier than having to put a disc in! Ease of use- Like I mentioned before I'm not great with technology but I found it easy to navigate my way around the camcorder. The button to record is pretty obvious as it has a small red circle on and theres a joystick style button to easily navigate the menu to view your video's or delete them etc. I was really impressed with how simple it is to use. Picture and sound quality- For such a small camera the picture quality is fantastic even when viewed on a television screen. I've been really impressed with how clear the images despite me not having the steadiest of hands or the best of camera skills. The sound quality is also pretty good too and its clear enough to tell whats going on or being said. Whats in the box- In the box you get the camcorder, the battery, charger, usb lead, pocket instruction guide and a strap for your wrist to avoid dropping the device. Where and how much- I bought the camera online and paid around £80 for it whilst it was on offer. Currently amazon sell it for around the £100 mark and I'm sure you could pick it up on ebay second hand cheaper if you look. My thoughts- Overall I really liked the camera. Yes past tense as after not using it for all that long the side screen that allows you to see what you are viewing became temperamental and would suddenly stop working or go all fuzzy for no apparent reason even when fully charged which miffed me alot. Granted its not an expensive camera but from such a well known brand you expect it to last. I can still use it when it decides to work but to be honest I've given up as I get frustrated with it so I tend to just film on my ordinary digi cam or phone. I could probably easily get it fixed but its just one of things I need to get round to. Assuming its just a fault with my camera its a great little starter camera perfect to slip in your bag and have on you for whenever the want to film arises. Its great for filming your family and documenting your life in an amateur fashion. Great for a techno no hope like myself and is easy to use I just wish the screen had held up better!
I came across the Samsung R10 by accident when just window shopping in a large retail electrical store. They were selling one without a box, leads or manual etc at a very low price. I have a hobby / business recording show videos and promos and I'm always looking out for video cameras and accessories at good prices to expand my equipment. What drew me to this camera (apart from the very low offer price) was its size. I could see that I could use this camera where a normal, larger camera could not go or be mounted. It's small enough to be considered a mini-cam, but not quite a 'lipstick' cam, but pretty close with the LCD screen shut. I was also looking for something that I could fit in my pocket to take on days out or holiday that would mean having to lug about of over the shoulder case. This is perfect for that. So, what is the camera like?... Well, the picture quality is superb. Although it does have 1080p, I've found the 1080i setting offers the best quality for general recording. The 1080p seems a little jerky for some reason when panning. Others have reported this as well. 1080i is great though and you can set various qualities - standard, fine or super fine. You can set the quality to Standard definition of course, or somewhere in between if you need to. Recording is onto SD card, and I would recommend a 16gb card to ensure you can record an hour and a half or so in 1080 HD. One thing to point out with this camera is that it's designed differently to other camcorders. It has an angled lens design (see photo above this review). This means that you hold it in your hand point the camera at 20 degrees to the ground. This does take getting used to, but is comfortable. The only down side is that because there is not hand strap, you always feel a little worried that you will drop the camera. I bought a cheap wrist strap and this makes thing a lot safer. There is also no camera lens cap - so although Samsung say it has a very durable lens cover, you need to be careful how you store the camera. A small bag is recommend as you don't want to put it into a pocket with keys etc. You have to concentrate when filming as the way to hold the camera invites shake. The steady cam setting helps, but you will more likely hold on to the LCD screen with your other hand to steady the camera. Overall, I will be using this for casual filming where lugging about a bigger camera is a pain or when you really need to travel light on a trip etc. Battery life is ok, but I bought a second battery to put in the case as you'll probably need it for a holiday. Charging is easy, via a power adapter and this camera has super slow-mo and impressive time lapse recording that is useful for those interested in making videos. If you are also looking for a small camera to use for special recording situations, then this is also a good camera - but remember the lens is angled and so you will need to ensure it's pointed correctly. You can't just lay it flat and film what's in front of the camera. It has a decent amount of manual controls such as a very impress focus feature that makes footage look very professional. you can also set manual white balance and exposure which is important for anyone filming videos commercially. Normally, I have to set my camcorder settings to manual to control exposure when filming seriously, but this camera seemed to handle things very well in 'auto' mode with just white balance set manual (in other words, you point it at something white and press 'adjust'. This sets the right colour balance for the room or situation you are recording in. I do this because I edit professional and want colour balance to be matched between multiple cameras I'm using at any one time. You get far better colour balance this way - but only if you aren't just filming on holiday or whatever, auto settings are absolutely fine for that. The R10 is also small enough to be mounted for 'point of view' filming etc. So if you have a need for that, take a look at this camera to see if it's what you are looking for. Bear in mind though that it does not have an eye piece view finder, you need to use the LCD screen, which is a decent size (as large as most other camcorders) considering the camera size. The camera does record however with the LCD screen shut, and has a red light to show you (which can be turned off). You can also rotate the LCD screen and have it fit back into place on the side of the camera. That is useful to see what is being recorded without the LCD screen extended. If you get a really good deal on this camera and need something ultra-compact, consider buying it bearing in mind it's not a 'traditional' camcorder and takes some getting used to. Otherwise - try before you buy to see if it's right for you.