I am very pleased with my new Samsung F90 White Camcorder with 2.7″ LCD Screen and HD Video Recording
After a great deal of investigation, I chose this one – and I’m glad I did. It’s inexpensive, very easy to use, and does exactly what I want from a camcorder.
I have filmed scenes from our latest vacation including scenes of the convention we attended as well as some museums we visited and I have taken videos of our granddaughter (who never seems to sit still!).
All of my videos so far have come out perfectly, even those taken under low-light. In fact, I took some video in a restaurant (which featured some entertainment) and, even though the lighting was mixed – relatively low artificial light supplemented by early evening daylight coming through windows in certain places – the video turned out fine.
So did the sound quality. I have found that even though this camcorder has no facility for attaching an external microphone (an added complication that I, and, I think, most ordinary people like myself do not need), the sound its built-in microphone produces is very good.
I have had only rare minimal problems with focus and those under relatively difficult situations. The focus has always corrected itself in a second or two without any effort on my part; I’m sure that most people won’t even notice those occasional lapses. Colors are balanced and excellent. Sharpness is also excellent. Ease of use of the camcorder is exemplary. I generally leave the ‘Smart Auto’ function turned on (the only time I turn it off is when I want to make some adjustments in the Menu; you must disengage ‘Smart Auto’ to access the Menu) and I have had, thus far, no video that I needed to delete due to camcorder problems (my own “videographer” deficiencies being something else!).
It is very lightweight and, after you read the instruction manual (you can download one from Samsung’s site if you want to read it before purchase), you will find the controls to be straightforward. The light weight has an advantage, at least for me, of allowing me to hold the camcorder very steadily during an extended shooting period. I have not had to activate the image stabilization circuit thus far and one of my individual videos was 20 minutes in length! There is only minimal, hardly noticeable, unsteadiness. My wife has been pleased with our videos so far and, take my word for it, she is a severe critic!
We watch our video on a 108″ diagonal (16:9) screen using a video projector and, let me tell you, considering that these are “home movies,” I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Some may wish for ‘full HD’ – 1920×1080 video – but, at least in my opinion, this is unnecessary for ordinary home movies and the files produced by 1080i or 1080P video are much, much larger than the 720P MP4 files produced by this camcorder (I convert the MP4s to MKVs via computer software because I prefer that format). Unless you were doing a side-by-side critical comparison, I doubt that most people could tell the difference.
I bought two accessories for my unit: a Samsung HMX-F80 Camcorder Case Camcorder and Digital Camera Case – Carry Handle & Adjustable Shoulder Strap – Black / Grey – Replacement by Synergy which holds the camcorder and my other accessory perfectly, and a Kapaxen Two Samsung IA-BP210R Replacement Battery Packs + Charger Kit + Bonus Mini Tripod for Select Samsung Camcorders which gives me two spare (larger capacity) batteries and a charger which can function in a car as well as from an AC outlet. Both of these accessories, which I highly recommend to you, are quite inexpensive.
And unless you have some lying about (I did) you’ll need to buy at least one SD memory card; it need not be an elaborate one but it should be a Class 10 type. Actually I recommend that you carry (buy if necessary) two of these cards just in case one were to become corrupted during a vacation or another such situation. I use ordinary 32 GB Class 10 cards.
If Samsung’s Intelli Studio program is incompatible with your computer’s operating system, you merely remove the SD card from the camcorder, plug it into your computer, and copy & paste the videos. This is simple. I have read some comments stating that the included program does not work with Mac; I do not know from personal experience about the veracity of these comments (though I’m sure they’re correct) but I can tell you that it definitely does NOT work with Xubuntu, a GNU/Linux OS, which is the operating system I use. Nonetheless, copying & pasting the videos from the SD card is very easy. Anyone could do this, if desired, with whichever OS one is using, even Windows. Copying & pasting may even be faster than using Samsung’s transfer program.
Battery life with the replacement BP210R batteries is excellent (I have not used the standard BP105 battery); I took well over 45 minutes of video via that BP210R without needing to recharge. After that session, I did recharge the battery (I always do) so I have no idea as to how long it would have actually lasted. As the camcorder was still showing ‘full charge,’ I’m sure it would have been plenty of time. (Of course you have to ask is the camcorder’s power gauge accurate? I don’t know.)
All in all, within its category (and if you do not have grandiose dreams of being the next George Lucas or Steven Spielberg), I can wholeheartedly recommend this excellent camcorder to anyone who wishes to create nice home movies.
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