Samsung HMX-H300 Camcorder Review
The camcorder uses the MPEG-4 codec and the H.264 compression format to record video. This is a similar system to the AVCHD compression used by most other consumer camcorder manufacturers, but the format used on the Samsung is not officially AVCHD compliant.
The Samsung HMX-H300 is a Full HD camcorder, which means it has the ability to record a 1920 x 1080 video image. In Full HD mode, the camcorder uses a 60i frame rate. Unlike most consumer camcorders, the HMX-H300 also has the ability to record 1280 x 720 HD video and 720 x 480 standard definition video (both with 60p frame rates). Most HD camcorders these days, other than Sony models, do not allow for standard definition recording, so this is a key feature for the HMX-H300 and other Samsung camcorders. At each recording resolution, the HMX-H300 offers three quality options: Super Fine, Fine, and Normal. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of various high definition compression types.
There's no internal memory on the HMX-H300, so you must purchase an SD-type memory card to fit into the camcorder's card slot before you can start recording videos or taking pictures with the camcorder. The card slot works with SD or SDHC memory cards, but Samsung does not list SDXC compatibility as a feature of the HMX-H300.
The H300's sibling model, the HMX-H304 is identical to the H300, but contains 16GB of internal memory. Samsung originally announced an HMX-H304 (8GB internal memory) and HMX-H305 (32GB internal memory), but neither of these camcorders appear on Samsung's US website at this time. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of various media types.
Slow Motion Modes
There's no separate photo mode on the HMX-H300, but we actually like that setup. If you want to take photos or adjust photo settings you don't have to switch to a different mode—it can all be performed in the dual video/photo mode (the camcorder's regular shooting mode). To take a photo, you simply press the shutter button down halfway to focus and then all the way down to snap a picture.
There are only two photo resolution options on the H300: 2944 x 1656 (4.9 megapixels) and 1920 x 1080 (2 megapixels). The good news is that neither of these size options are interpolated, as they both fall under the HMX-H300's total pixel count of 5.1 megapixels. Additional photo controls include photo sharpness adjustment (soft, normal, or sharp), a continuous shooting mode, and a 10-second self-timer.