Samsung HMX-W300 Waterproof Camcorder Review
- Waterproofing & Ruggedization
Waterproofing & Ruggedization
Samsung lists the HMX-W300 as both waterproof and shockproof, but the camcorder does have some important depth limitations you need to consider. The 'shockproof' label means you can safely drop the W300 from a height of 6.5 feet (2 meters), which should cover most slips out of your hand during recording, but the design probably isn't durable enough to protect it from a toss across a room.
The waterproof feature allows the camcorder to travel up to 16.4 feet underwater (5 meters) for about an hour, which is actually an improvement over last year's HMX-W200 (10 feet). This makes the W300 a perfect camcorder for snorkeling and pool activities, but you'll probably want something that can handle a deeper plunge if you're checking out coral reefs on a scuba dive. There are plenty of waterproof cameras in the $400 price range that can go more than 30 feet below water without problems—and most of those models have decent video modes as well. You can also buy special waterproof housings for some consumer camcorders, or use an adventure cam like the GoPro, that allow you to go nearly 200 feet below the Earth's surface. That's deep.
But the Samsung HMX-W300 gives you a decent amount of durability and waterproof functionality for its sub-$200 price tag. The design is surprisingly solid for a camcorder that's so cheap, and we appreciate the slight changes Samsung made on the camcorder to make it better-suited for underwater use. We still have a problem with the port covers, however, and we wish they had a secondary locking system to ensure they remain shut at all times. As is the case with all waterproof electronics, you still need to be careful when you use the W300. And when you remove the camcorder from the water, make sure to let it dry out for a while to prevent water from leaking to sensitive areas.