Samsung HMX-H300 Camcorder Review
Alters the focus distances to make it possible to focus on close-up subjects when using lots of optical zoom.
Displays an overlay of lines on the LCD to assist with framing during recording. Don't worry, the lines won't end up on your recorded footage (they're for display purposes only).
Automatic controls can be used on the HMX-H300 outside of the Smart Auto mode, or you can set the camcorder to Smart Auto if you want to ensure everything is being controlled manually. In the menu system, you can select controls to be set manually on an individual basis. This means, for example, you can use manual focus, but leave everything else to automatic control if you want.
The two most prominent auto controls don't work very well. The autofocus system takes far too long to function, particularly when used in conjunction with optical zoom. The auto exposure is better, but it wasn't always very accurate. At times, we found the camcorder exposing things too dimly in auto mode, and the transition from light to dark settings often gave the H300 difficulty when trying to focus.
In addition to those basic auto controls, the HMX-H300 has seven scene modes (called iScenes), four white balance presets, two low light modes (Normal C. Nite and Super C. Nite), and a 30x optical zoom. This large zoom is quite possibly one of the HMX-H300's most endearing features, as it is a longer zoom than you'll find on most mid-range HD camcorders.
The Samsung HMX-H300 has no external mic input, no headphone jack, and no manual audio level adjustment options. All it has in terms of audio features is a built-in stereo microphone (on the front of the camcorder), and a basic wind cut option that reduces the amount of wind interference captured by the internal mic.
The Samsung HMX-H300 comes with Intelli-Studio software loaded on the camcorder itself. When we say the software is "on the camcorder" this doesn't mean you can use it without the aid of a computer. What it means is that you install the software by connecting the camcorder to a compatible computer (PCs only) instead of inserting a software installation disc. The Intelli-Studio software is the same software that came with the Samsung HMX-H200 last year. For an overview of the software that ships with this and other camcorders, see our article: Video Editing Software For Your CamcorderSamsung-Included-Software.htm.