Samsung unveiled two new camcorders at CES early this year, claiming both the world’s smallest as well as the industry’s first SSD-based H-series camcorders at Full HD video. We didn't have the chance to visit Samsung back then, but we redeemed ourselves at PMA 2009.
At the booth, it was hard to miss the "around the world" diorama with robotic stuffed animals in great lighting. Obviously, it was set up with a purpose of having spectators try out the cameras with their newer smart detection technology, together with the new camcorders.
We had our hands-on the HMX-H106 ($999), which has an internal 64Gb SSD drive, together with an SD/SDHC memory card storage slot. It’s very lightweight with a quick boot-up, and the touch-panel display is very vibrant, detailed and, most importantly, it’s responsive. The only problem we experienced was an inability to shift storage from SSD to SDHC memory while trying to get a few video clips. We talked briefly to Alex Nicolaou, and was told to weigh our opinion until the production model arrives. This one is definitely on my watch list for covering shows because of the small physical size, low weight, and ability to record up to 12 hours of H.264 compressed HD footage with the supplied fast-access 64GB SSD. The presence of a low power consumption SSD also enables longer battery life: it only requires 1/8th of the power of a comparable HDD.
Another model, titled the world’s smallest handy Full HD camcorder, packs a 9-megapixel CMOS image sensor with a 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD. The Samsung HMX-R10 ($549) has a unique lens, angled at 25 degrees, which according to Samsung is "a new standard for ergonomics", allowing you to record your subjects while reducing stress on the wrist. This one we didn’t have problem recording a video to an SDHC card, but the optical stabilizer function was either not working or didn’t get turned on like it was supposed too. The display, as well as the recorded movie, exhibited motion blur. Sorry, no point for a sample clip here; we'll have to wait for the review samples to show you that.