To quote a popular television theme song: “you take the good, you take the bad, you take’em both and there you have” the Samsung HMX-H300.
The good is an excellent build quality, solid design, 30x optical zoom, and impressive low-light performance.
The bad is mediocre video quality complete with ghosting, a manual lens cover that sometimes doesn’t close all the way, and lousy audio pick up.
The manual picture controls don’t factor in the good or the bad. Yes, having them is a plus, but they are so impractical with the touchscreen controls and lack of on-screen guides, that I can’t see anyone ever using them regularly. Had Samsung added “advanced” features like an external audio jack and automatic lens cover instead of manual focus and exposure controls, the H300 would be a real winner.
As it stands, the H300 is not a bad buy for the family’s first camcorder, owing much of that to its solid build, but only if it’s available on sale. Serious videographers, however, might want to venture further up the price chart for their next device.