Samsung SC-X300L First Impressions Review

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Performance

**Video Performance

**The Samsung SC-X300L features a 1/6' 680K gross pixel CCD for the primary lens. The secondary helmet cam lens is equipped with a 1/4' 320K gross pixel CMOS sensor. 

The main camera comes with a 10x optical zoom lens similar to last year's SC-X210L, a camcorder that struggled to produce clean and crisp video.  The imager, lens and zoom level all appear to be essentially unchanged from the 2006 model, which turned in among the worst performances of the year in our tests. Considering other camcorders on the market for the same price or even cheaper (look at the falling prices of MiniDV) certainly calls this camcorder into question.

The external cam, undoubtedly the big selling point on the X300L edition, yielded an absolutely abysmal picture last year. Despite its portability, you'd be much better off just strapping the main body of the X300 onto your helmet if you ever want to people to make sense of the picture. Barrel distortion, poor focus, and especially poor auto exposure adjustments mean that tricky outdoor shoots with an abundance of light (like skiing) or with lots of light and dark mixing together (biking through the woods on a sunny day) could prove to be a major problem for the lens. There is no indication that this lens has been improved since last year so don't get your hopes up. **

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**Low Light Performance

**Last year's models struggled in low light (and every other performance area) and the time we spent with the SC-X300L in Las Vegas suggests that little has changed.  When shooting the darker recesses of the show floor, the image became hazy, dark, and indistinct. Automatic focus also failed to attain focus accurately when pointed away from bright light.  While all camcorders have trouble making automatic adjustments in low light and low contrast areas, the SC-X300L had an even harder time. Samsung wasn’t able to provide a minimum lux level for this camcorder, but we hope to see an improvement.  Considering the noise and image degradation experienced by the SC-X201L at 60 lux, it would take a massive improvement in low light performance to bring this model in line with similarly priced camcorders. 

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Performance
  2. Format
  3. Tour
  4. Auto / Manual Controls
  5. Still Features
  6. Handling and Use
  7. Audio / Playback / Connectivity
  8. Other Features
  9. Comparisons / Conclusion
  10. Specs/Ratings

What's Your Take?

All Comments
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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