Getting a grip of Samsung's new ergonomic camcorders

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Samsung's SMX-C14 and SMX-C10 camcorders opt for a horizontal hold over a vertical grip

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May 5, 2009 The unabated miniaturization of technology has seen camcorders quickly shrink from bulky, shoulder-supported behemoths to tiny feature-packed devices that fit in the palm of your hand. Samsung’s latest SMX-C14 and SMX-C10 camcorders reject the pistol grip design that some manufacturers have embraced in favor of a horizontal body with the same shiny Touch of Color (ToC) finish as the company’s latest TVs.

Both camcorders boast Samsung’s Active Angle Lens, which helps reduce wrist and elbow fatigue by allowing consumers to grip the camcorder in a more relaxed manner. Samsung claims the relaxed grip allows the 230,000-dot, swiveling 2.7-inch wide LCD screen to be removed from the shooter's line of sight, allowing you to keep an eye on the subject while recording. Another feature, the Hyper Image Stabilization should come in handy when using the 10x optical zoom offered on both models, while a one-touch “upload” button allows direct uploading of footage to YouTube.

With H.264 compression, users can record more than six hours of footage directly to the SMX-C14’s 16GB built-in memory, which is expandable via an SD/SDHC memory card slot, while the SMX-C10 does away with the internal memory and relies exclusively on an SD/SDHC memory card for recording. Both the SMX-C14 and SMX-C10 claim more than 2 hours 40 minutes of recording time on a single charge from either the supplied AC adapter or being connected to a computer via USB.

A time-lapse recording feature lets you capture one image every one, three, five, 10, 15 or 30 seconds, while animated thumbnails make it easier to find the clip you’re looking for. Basic on-camera editing includes the ability to merge and split video files and, when the cameras are connected to a computer via USB, video can be played and edited without having to install supporting software using the internal intelli-studio program.

The standard resolution of the SMX-C14 and SMX-C10 is 720x480/60i and there is also a 640x480/30p web mode. Still images are captured at 800x600, but increases to 1600x1200 by interpolation. Both models are due for release in July. Prices are not yet available.

Darren Quick

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