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I have owned this Samsung camcorder for a few years now and upgraded to it from an 8mm tape camcorder.
The Samsung VP-DC171W uses small dvds which are inserted into a dvd holder on its right hand side next to the holding strap.
I used to purchase the Maxwell 60 minute dvd disks which have 30 minutes on each side and are rewriteable. These i found were quite expensive (£15 t £20 pack of 5) and have since started purchasing alternative disks at a local pound shop where they sell 4 for a pound and are half an hour long but not rewriteable. I was finding i was recording on the disks and not transfering them so the cheaper option suits me. Also because i know they are cheaper i use my camcorder a lot more.
The hand strap is adjustable with a velcro strap so you can adjust it to suit your hand size.
The zoom (34x Optical) facility button is also on the top right side near the rear so you can use your thumb to adjust it whilst holding.
The viewing screen is on the left side and folds out showing 2.7" wide LCD screen. This can also be flipped over so you can show the person your filming the image your are seeing.
All of the menu, playback and fade buttons are on the left side next to the viewing screen when opened.
The camcorder has a lens protector cover which when it comes off can be hooked onto the hand strap to avoid dangling down and avoiding your shot.
The battery is removable and situated on the rear of the camcorder. I have found that the battery life runs down quite quickly and you should carry spares if you want to record a lot.
The picture quality ive found is very good for a cheap camcorder and ive had no problems with blurring.
There are facilities in the menu option to use different effects.
Overall i would say this is a small handheld camcorder using small dvd disks and very easy to operate. Im sure there are a lot of functions on it which you wouldnt use but it comes with a comprehensive instruction manual for all you budding Steven Spielburg types.
Handling both dual-layer DVDs and RW discs, you can record directly to disk thus reducing the risk of data loss, there will be lots of storage space and it is convenient; just slip the DVD into your computer or DVD to watch
It has a powerful 34x optical zoom so you can focus on distant objects and still maintain its high quality. Remember that digital zoom will reduce the quality of your shot so if you know you will film distant objects high optical zoom is the way to go.
It is compact, light and portable. It is 800,000 pixels providing a very good image. Excellent with well lit areas but not great image quality in poorly lit areas. Unfortunately battery life is short so carry a charger and some spare batteries.
8 different shutter speeds and image stabilisation are fantastic when filming fast moving objects, also when moving the camera while filming the images will not be blurred. There are nine digital effects: Negative, Art, Black & White, Sepia to name a few. You can use the effects in your recording process or add them later. It also has a built in microphone and wind noise reduction ability.
A TFT monitor (Thin Film Transistor) produces excellent image capture allowing you to make the appropriate adjustments when filming in order to maintain the quality of the images filmed.
DVD-editing function with title and scene functions are very convenient, fun and easy to use. I would reccommend going into a store that stocks it and giving it a try and if you like buy it online from a reputable seller as you will find more bargains.