While staying over at our house on the way back from Hawaii, Meaghan’s dad showed me a new sports camcorder they had bought for their trip. About the size of a smart phone, it is waterproof to 10 meters, shockproof for a 2 meter fall, and very solidly built; a fine example of Samsung engineering. The 1080p videos they were able to take in Hawaii were enough to convince me that I needed to get one. I love cameras and recording all aspects of life. Smartphones have decent cameras incorporated but they have a slow startup time and I’ve found that even short recordings can really drain the battery. There was definitely room for another device in my life.
The device is very solidly put together.
The camera stores footage on a MicroSD card. I picked up a 16GB class 10 card for $25; enough to store about 2 hours of film at the full resolution of 1080. A flip-out USB connector at the base of the device is used to connect to a computer and to charge the internal battery. Transferring movies is simple enough. Connecting the camera to a computer via the USB port makes it appear as a flash drive. Copy/paste to victory from there. It takes about 1.5 seconds from turning the camera on to being able to record video, which is perfect for two people who have a baby daughter on the way. Kids move quickly and the startup time on my smartphone just wouldn’t cut it.
The rudimentary zoom feature feels a bit tacked on. 1x optical and 3x digital isn’t really all that effective and there is no clear delineation on the display to indicate when the limit of optical zoom has been reached so it’s easy to step into digital zoom unintentionally. I tend to shoot on the widest angle only for that reason. Digital zoom reduces quality very quickly and should be used only when all other options have been exhausted.
The USB connector and MicroSD slot, HDMI port are behind waterproof slide panels.
I spent $160 at Best Buy. Throw in a $25 SD card and you get a solid HD camcorder for under $200. I’m looking forward to capturing many great moments over the coming months and it’s good to know that the W300 is durable enough to take a beating in the ensuing chaos that comes with children.