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Samsung HMX-Q10 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £190
inc VAT

An impressive budget camcorder, especially for those who like to film left-handed


1/4in CMOS sensor, 1,920×1,080/50i, 1,280×720/50p, 720×480/50p, 10.0x zoom, 215g

The Q10 has a respectable sounding 1/4in CMOS sensor, but Samsung lists its effective size at just 1/5.8in, which is significantly smaller. On the plus side it’s a back-illuminated sensor, where the chip’s wiring is behind instead of in front of the photo receptors, so more light can get through. Such sensors have started appearing on mobile phones – Sony’s EXMOR R sensor, as found on some Xperia models, is back-illuminated. However, such sensors tend to have small surface areas, so haven’t become common on camcorders as yet.

Click through to YouTube for a HD version of this video

Image quality is pretty good for a £200 device, with a reasonable amount of detail to images. Despite this, when compared directly to the £300 Canon RF 206’s video, the Q10’s footage lacks contrast and definition, which can make images appear flat and less lifelike. Colours also looked a little washed out, lacking some of the richness we’ve seen on more expensive models. It turned in better than expected footage in low-light conditions, probably thanks to that back-illuminated sensor, and while there’s some obvious noise reduction at work the final effect is still highly watchable.

Samsung advertises the Q10 as having optical image stabilisation, which is surprising at this price. It turned out to be too good to be true in our image stabilisation test – the Q10’s system wasn’t much better than digital-only systems at cutting out the shakes. Still handheld footage is fairly steady, but the image can lag behind your movements.

The Q10 shoots some decent, if not outstanding, video for the money; it’s particularly good at turning out less-than-hideous footage in low lighting. That may sound like faint praise, but at only £200 it’s pretty impressive. Its ambidextrous design also makes it a handy camcorder. It’s more expensive than a Flip-style device, but it does have a 10x zoom and superior video quality.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****


Optical zoom 10.0x
Digital zoom 20x
Sensor 1/4in CMOS
Sensor pixels 5,000,000
Widescreen mode native
LCD screen size 2.7in
Viewfinder type none
Video lamp No
Video recording format H.264
Video recording media SDHC
Sound AAC 48KHz stereo
Video resolutions 1,920×1,080/50i, 1,280×720/50p, 720×480/50p
Maximum image resolution 2,944×1,656
Memory slot SD, SDHC
Mermory supplied none
Flash no


Digital inputs/outputs USB
Analogue inputs/outputs mini HDMI, AV
Other connections charge jack
Battery type 3.7V 1,250mAh Li-ion
Battery life 1h 45m
Battery charging position camcorder
Size 53x44x120mm
Weight 215g

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £190

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