Samsung HMX-W300 Waterproof Camcorder Review
If you're planning to spend less than $200 on a camcorder, you can't get much better than the Samsung HMX-W300. It's easy to use, has a waterproof design, and its image quality is very good for a camcorder of its size and price. The camcorder is not for people who want top-notch image quality, though, nor is it for people who require access to manual controls. This is a simple pocket cam that is great for capturing poolside activities or passing off to your kids during a picnic.
The W300 is also not a huge upgrade over Samsung's previous waterproof ultracompact camcorder, the HMX-W200. Let's be clear, if you own a functioning W200 camcorder, then it is not worth upgrading. The updates Samsung made to the W300 are minimal, although we do respect them. The new camcorder can safely travel six feet deeper underwater, it has a more waterproof button design, and it has a few extra controls (like white balance presets). The W300 isn't a trailblazer in the waterproof camcorder market, but it's the best one we've seen so far this year, and it continues the success that Samsung started with last year's W200.
If you want to spend a little more, say in the $300 - $400 price range, and you care more about underwater photography instead of video, then you should check out our 2012 Waterproof Camera Showdown. These waterproof cameras all outperform the W300 when it comes to still image performance, and many of them offer video modes that are on par with the HMX-W300's capabilities. But you can expect to spend double for a good waterproof camera than you will for the Samsung W300, so you do have to consider cost when you compare these products.