Samsung HMX-W300 Waterproof Camcorder Review
Samsung HMX-W200 Comparison
- Panasonic HX-WA2 Comparison
Panasonic HX-WA2 Comparison
Samsung didn't reinvent the wheel with the HMX-W300, in fact, it barely replaced the tires. The new W300 looks and acts very similar to its predecessor, and if you aren't a camcorder aficionado you probably wouldn't be able to pick out the differences between the two waterproof models. But there are a few differences, and it's our job to point them out.
For starters, the W300 can travel 6.4 feet deeper underwater than the HMX-W200. That's a whole body length we're talking about, so this isn't just an "incremental" improvement. The W300 also has a better button design that keeps water and debris from getting stuck on the back of the camcorder. When we reviewed the W200 last year, we remember coming home from the beach to find lots of sand trapped around the camcorder's buttons. The HMX-W300 takes care of this problem by covering the buttons with a layer of plastic, effectively embedding them beneath the body of the camcorder. The W300 also has a few white balance presets that weren't present on the W200.
That's mostly it when it comes to improvements, though. The W300 performed eerily similar to the W200 in our tests, but that makes sense considering Samsung didn't change the lens or sensor on the new camcorder. So if you want an upgrade in image performance you shouldn't expect the W300 to give you what you desire. The subtle improvements to design, waterproof depth, and white balance controls do make the W300 a better camcorder than its predecessor, though. Consider this a minor upgrade to an already excellent ultracompact camcorder.