Samsung HMX-R10 Camcorder Review by Jeremy Stamas Published on Aug 12, 2009 12:30 PM
Introduction The Samsung HMX-R10 doesn't feel or look like an ordinary camcorder. On the surface, it boasts a compact design, rounded edges, and a unique, tilted lens that angles roughly 25-degrees higher than the rest of the camcorder. Inside, it has a huge 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor, Full HD capability, and a 9-megapixel still image capabilityâ€”the same specs as the GZ-X900, the top-line model from JVC. With an MSRP of just $499, the Samsung HMX-R10 is a compelling choice for a mid-range camcorder, and it is one of the most intriguing video/photo hybrid devices we've seen this year.
The Samsung HMX-R10 records video to SD/SDHC memory cards and is currently available in either silver or black.
Unique design; available in silver or black
No lens cap
Color & Noise Performance
Average color accuracy
Noise levels were on the high end
Motion & Sharpness Performance
Very good sharpness for a camcorder of its class.
Captured motion showed significant artifacting
Low Light Performance
Good color accuracy in low light; 30p mode enhanced low light performance
Terrible low light sensitivity, high noise levels
Compression & Media
Included software has a variety of editing options
No internal memory; built-in upload to YouTube is limited
Wide range of controls are offeredâ€”aperture, shutter speed, exposure, noise reduction, etc.
Touchscreen interface is horrible for setting manual controls
ISO control, built-in flash, native 9-megapixel still image capability
Noise levels were a bit high in our testing
Handling & Use
Unique design can be very comfortable for certain shooting styles.
Body is easily scratched; lack of a hand strap makes the camcorder prone to drops
Playback & Connectivity
Lots of playback options; all ports are located in same general area
Proprietary AV-out, Component-out and USB port
Audio & Other Features
Time Lapse Record is useful; slow motion settings are fun
Bad mic placement; no headphone or external mic jack
Lens & Imaging System
There is no lens cover for the HMX-R10.
The HMX-R10 has a very odd lens that is angled 25-degrees higher than the rest of the camcorder's body. This means you must hold the camcorder at a downward angle to get a straight-on shot. This can be useful for certain shooting conditions and if you like to hold the camcorder away from your body or down by your hip. It does make the R10 look pretty funny when it is mounted to a tripod, however. Since the lens angle is higher than the body, the tripod must be tilted down significantly for a straight-ahead shotâ€”giving the appearance that the camcorder is being pointed towards the ground. The lens doesn't have a built-in cover or an external cap, so you have to make sure to clean it regularly to avoid fingerprints and dust. The lens only opens to f/3.5, which isn't very wide for a consumer camcorder. Under the hood, the camcorder is fitted with a huge 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor, which is responsible for the R10's 9-megapixel still image capability. Lens
76.4 - 382mm
Focal Range (35mm equiv.)
Pixel Count (Gross)
f/3.5 - f/3.7
Pixel Count (Effective)
5.3 megapixels (video) 9 megapixels (still)
Lab Tested Wide Angle*
flash for still photos
f/3.5 - f/3.7 5x zoom lens
anchor for wrist strap
mode button mode indicator light
behind this port cover: HDMI, DC power, and a combined USB/ component/ composite output
Left Q.Menu button
secondary zoom control
On-screen display and Easy mode buttons
photo shutter button
The SD/SDHC card slot and battery port are located under this hard plastic port cover
In the Box Samsung HMX-R10
(IA-BH125C) rechargeable battery
software and documentation
component/composite AV cable
This can be useful for certain shooting conditions and if you like to hold the camcorder away from your body or down by your hip.