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Article by: Steve Blackwell Product was submitted by: Samsung Canada

In the past year or so we've seen Samsung make a jump into making all their camcorders flash based and eliminating the older and less convenient miniDV/miniDVD formats. In that time I've reviewed a few of the models in their lineup and even decided to get myself one to replace an old and failing camcorder of mine. In only a few short models I've seen them really build up this camcorder arsenal into a fairly strong product line - something that will go along great with all the new Samsung photo cameras we'll see emerging this year. Their latest flash camcorder, the R10, looks like something straight out of the future. With a compact body size, silver colour and angled front lens, it jumps out as not following the trend of the other Samsung flash camcorders currently on the market. Let's check it out further and see what it's all about!

In The Box:
(1) R10 Camera (1) Battery (1) Wrist strap (1) Carry pouch (1) AC charge adapter w/AC cable


(1) USB cable (1) Component cable (2) Ferrite cable wraps (1) Manual/warranty package

Signal Type Signal Type NTSC Storage Media Storage Media SD / SDHC slot Image Sensor CMOS Sensor Type 1/2.33'' Sensor Size No. of pixels 5,3 M / 9 M (video / still) Lens F3.5 ~ 3.7 F Value 5x Optical Zoom 100x digital zoom Filter Diameter glass 0.55 mm Full HD lens Type


Device Type touch LCD Size 2.7'' (wide) No. of pixels 230K Device Type No Size No Viewfinder No. of pixels No Light Light No Flash Flash Yes Shoe Shoe No Main Screen Recording Format Video Spec. Recording Resolution Manual Shutter Auto Slow Shutter Mode (LSS) Auto Focus Manual Focus No Yes Yes 15 lux (slow shutter) Auto White Balance Manual Yes auto, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent, tungsten, custom H.264 / MP video HD: 1920 x 1080 @ 60i (SF / N), 1920 x 1080 @ 30p (SF), 1280 x 720 @ 60p (SF) video SD: 720 x 480P @ 60p (SF), VGA @ 30p (SF) 1/60 ~ 1/10000 Yes auto, 1/30, 1/15 EIS Yes Yes

Shutter Speed Image Stabilizer Focus Power Night Capture Video Still Capture Back Light compensation Low Light Sensitivity

Audio Recording Feature Audio Format Sampling Rates No. of Channel PC CODEC Others Speaker Volume Adjust

AAC (stereo) 48 kHz 2 channel PC Decorder Yes PC Encorder Yes Worldwide AV Output No Yes Yes


Built-in Microphone Yes Wind Filter(WindCut Plus) Yes Real Stereo Yes Voice Music Audio Effect Wide Echo Audio Dub No Operation Play/Still Yes Stop Yes FF/FPS Yes REW/RPS Yes Line Recording No Slow Motion Yes Frame Advance Yes Shuttle Search Yes Auto Rewind No Zero Memory No Slide Show Yes Select Yes Protect All Yes Select Yes PB Option All Yes Select Yes Delete All Yes Format

No No No No

Still Image

JPEG 12 M: 4000 x 3000 / interpolation 9 M: 4:3, 3456 x 2592 6 M: 16:9, 3328 x 1872 Resolution 5 M: 4:3, 2592 x 1944 3 M: 4:3, 2048 x 1536 2 M: 16:9, 1920 x 1080 VGA: 640 x 480 Quality super fine Recordable Media SD / SDHC card

USB Yes, USB 2.0 IEEE 1394 No Composite Yes S-Video No Video Component Yes HDMI Yes (ver 1.3 c / Anynet+) Ear Phone Jack No Audio Yes (SDHC) Memory Card Card Slot Memory Application Yes Movie Clip Recording PC


Memory Application

Compatible Card SD / SDHC Built-in Memory No Format Resolution No Yes DPOF PictBridge No No

Motion Picture Streaming PC Camera External Storage Direct Print System

Yes Yes

Power LED Yes Tally Lamp Yes Recharging Indicator Yes Indicator Function key LED Yes AF Assist Lamp No Disc Access Lamp No Yes Tripod Screw No Lens Cover No Charging in working black / silver Color Variation S/W and PC OS Compatible OS Windows Vista / XP OS built-in S / W (Intelli-Studio) Bundle PC S/W 1 No Bundle PC S/W 2 No Bundle PC S/W 3 Ac Adaptor/Charger Yes AC Cord Yes Power Battery Pack Yes Hand Grip Yes Shoulder Strap No Strap Neck Strap No Carrying Case Yes (soft pouch) Case A/V Cable Yes (multi 10 pin) Cable USB Cable Yes (multi 10 pin) Remote Control No Bundle Recordable Media No Others Instruction Book No Pocket Guide Yes (quick guide) Power output (5.0 V, 2.0 A) Power Supply Type LCD off, VF on 3W Power Consumption LCD on, VF off 3W Cell Material li-ion Model No. IA-BH125C Battery Shape Type hidden type Running Time (For This Model) approx. 80 min


Dimension & Weight Dimension 38.3 x 56.8 x 128.2 mm 229 g Weight Other Feature Worldwide AV Output No Yes PB Zoom

Taking a slightly different colour path than the past Samsung flash camcorders I've reviewed, the R10 has an entirely silver body - different from their usual gloss black. If you look close enough at the side where the screen folds out, they've given it a brushed aluminum pattern on top of the plastic. All the writing is etched into the plastic with only the Samsung and HD logos being glued on. If you look long ways down the camera you can see that it's actually quite thin. I'd have to say it's thinner than almost any other 1080 handheld flash cam I've previously used.

A closer look at the body reveals that it's very simple looking when it comes to the buttons. There's only three physical buttons on the outside of the body; photo, mode and record. Beside the record button is the first of two zoom toggles. Open the screen, and inside you'll find a power button, display/iCheck button and EasyQ button. On the frame of the screen is the QMenu button (discussed more later), a second zoom toggle and a second record button. With the R10's main features being operated and programmed via the touch screen there is quite simply no need for a large number of physical buttons.


A small cover on the back edge of the R10 can be opened to reveal the DC charging plug, an AV jack and a built-in HDMI port. It's nice to see the built in HDMI back again, Samsung had done this on their HMX10A but removed the feature from the HMX20C, and now it's back again on the R10.

When you first look at the R10 you are likely to think "something looks really weird at the front of the camera". Well, in a way this is very true. The lens is mounted on a 25 degree upward angle. Want to know why? Hold your hand in the position where you would normally hold a video camera to film something - it isn't perfectly level is it? Since most people hold their video camera's about a foot or so away from their breast bone, the hand itself has roughly a 25 degree downward tilt. To compensate for this, Samsung gave the R10 lens a 25 degree upward tilt. It seems weird at first, but when you actually give it a go, it feels very natural. The lens is actually behind a glass cover on the front of the camera,


which further adds to the slightly unusual look up front. Although this glass is scratch proof and designed to protect the lens itself, I still don't agree with Samsung's idea to not include a lens cap. Although it may not help much with scratch reduction, I still would like a lens cap to keep this glass clean and free of fingerprints.

Unlike some of the past Samsung flash camcorders I've reviewed here, the R10 does not have any internal memory. You must provide memory yourself via SD and SDHC supported cards. Downloading to your computer is made easy by the R10 appearing the same as a USB flash drive would when connected to your computer. The QMenu is essentially a user programmable set of four hotkeys that show up on the touch screen when the button is pressed. This gives you access to any of the camera's critical features and settings with no more than two button presses. For example, my current QMenu has a resolution button, exposure control button, back light button and focus control button. I'd like to note a few changes in this QMenu from older Samsung camera models: it's been cut down to four items instead of the old six and it is now user editable (you never used to be able to change the options in the menu). I must say that I absolutely love the ability to now modify what I have control of in the QMenu but the reduction from six items down to four means that if I'm a power user, I may still have to do a lot of menu navigation for more of my commonly used features. Of course a complete menu can be brought up at any time by using the menu button on the lower corner of the screen.


The R10 is capable of recording both high definition and standard definition movies ranging from VGA (640x480) up to 1080i/p. Audio is recorded in stereo AAC format at 48kHz. Below is a summary of all supported recording modes and the qualities they are available at. Note: SF is super-fine and N is normal when it comes to quality, and I am interleaved and p is progressive when it comes to resolutions. HD: 1920 x 1080 @ 60i (SF / N), 1920 x 1080 @ 30p (SF), 1280 x 720 @ 60p (SF) SD: 720 x 480P @ 60p (SF), VGA @ 30p (SF) Still image capture quality ranges from VGA up to 12 megapixels (interpolated); the camera's native quality is 9.0 megapixels. All photos can only be taken in the super-fine quality setting. There is a flash on the front of the camera that can be set to off, auto, red-eye reduction or fill modes (quite a bit of variety for a camera designed primarily for video!) An outline of all photo quality settings and resolutions is shown below: 12 M: 4000 x 3000 / interpolation 9 M: 4:3, 3456 x 2592 6 M: 16:9, 3328 x 1872 5 M: 4:3, 2592 x 1944 3 M: 4:3, 2048 x 1536 2 M: 16:9, 1920 x 1080 VGA: 640 x 480 Both video and picture modes have face detection. This means the camera will automatically sense the faces in the picture and work extra hard to make sure they all stay in focus.

IntelliStudio is another one of those new features that we're seeing emerge on the R10's design. Embedded on the flash memory inside the R10 is video/photo playback and editing software called IntelliStudio. Much like U3 on USB drives, this program will execute and run directly from the camera on any Windows XP or newer system (sorry Mac users!).


Since the R10 lacks the traditional hand strap to slide your hand into, I did find it somewhat awkward to hold onto at first. The feeling of a hand strap being there also gives me the security that if something were to happen causing me to open my hand while filming that my camera would not simply fall to the ground.

The quality of the video I recorded was superb and I have no complaints from that area of functionality. Keep in mind if you're shooting in high definition that you will need a fairly new computer to be able to play them back due to the super high resolutions (when compared to most computer resolutions). Of course the ability to switch the R10 into standard definition will allow you to use it much the same as any older video cameras - just with the convenience of flash memory instead of tapes! When you're in video mode, the photo button will simply grab a snapshot of the current frame. These are not high quality snapshots though, to attain full image quality you must be in photo mode. When you flip into photo mode, you now get a whole new set of options in the menu and QMenu. I switched the camera over to the highest quality, 12MP, and took a variety of shots with the flash on and the flash off. I placed a few of these shots below for you to check out! Although the pictures appear to have fairly good colour, and in a high resolution, they still do not match up to those from a true digital photo camera. They get grainy very fast and you can almost notice this in the shots before zooming them. This all comes down to how the lens is designed - since it's a video lens designed for 1080 video, a high-quality digital still photo lens is simply not in the same ballpark.


Two down-sized sample pictures from the camera taken at the highest quality setting.

For a price cheaper than most competitors, the Samsung R10 has shown to be a solid 1080 high definition flash camcorder for under $500USD. Alongside the usual camcorder features found on most camcorders in this range, the R10 jumped out to me with its unique 25 degree lens angle and built-in PC editing/playback software. Although I wasn't left too fond of not having a secure hand strap or a lens cover, this will likely be something that won't bother everyone. Pros: Great quality 1080 videos


25 degree lens angle is an innovative idea to reduce wrist strain! Some minor firmware and software improvements over past Samsung flash camcorders stand out IntelliStudio built-in software Photo quality is good and photo mode gives you a variety of options (keep in mind it won't compare to a digital photo-only camera though) Cons: No proper lens cover! No hand strap. This also made using the buttons on the back of the camera extremely hard without crossing my other hand over to operate them.