Samsung SMX-C10 Brief Review



  • Active Angle lens
  • 10x optical zoom
  • Image stabilization
  • In-camera intelli-studio video editing
  • One-button sharing
  • Captures to SD/SDHC memory cards
  • Release Date: 2009-06-05
  • Final Grade: 65 3.25 Star Rating: Recommended

Samsung SMX-C10 Review
The Samsung C10 works fine, but it's too far behind the times for your money. <strong>By Liam McCabe</strong>
By , Last updated on: 2/11/2016

This will be short: Simply put, the Samsung SMX-C10 is not worth your money. Samsung make great electronics, and the C10 would've been a great low-cost option a few years ago, but it's way too underpowered and uncomfortable to compete with anything on the market today.

Fuzzy Video

First of all, the C10 records in standard definition. Several high-definition cams go for the same price or a few dollars more. The Flip Ultra HD and Sanyo CG10 come to mind, and the awesome Kodak Zi8 is pretty cheap, too.

Standard-def could be forgivable if the C10 outperformed any of those competitors in any significant way. It does have a 10x optical zoom, compared to the Sanyo's 5x optical and the Kodak's 4x digital zoom, which is a nice touch. But the image stabilization is ineffective, so unless the camera is screwed onto a tripod, the full-zoom shots always turn out as a nausea-inducing, blurry mess. It just seems foolish to invest in aging technology when the the modern version costs the same and comes in a better package.

Awkward Design

Ultra-compact, lightweight camcorders are great. Traditional-grip camcorders are too. Ultra-compact, lightweight, traditional-grip camcorders, however, are hit-or-miss, and the C10 is a big whiff. It's just too cramped to be comfortable. The record button is in a particularly awkward position, so the picture always shakes at the beginning and end of every video, and (again) the image-stabilization doesn't work well enough to compensate for it

The most frustrating design flaw is the skyward-facing lens, angled 25 degrees upward. It feels unnatural to point the lens toward the floor to shoot something straight ahead. It does ease wrist strain during long sessions, but makes it impossible to get a good shot from a table-top or shelf. It's not a worthwhile trade-off.

Skip It

Standard-def, poor image stabilization, awkward design, and no still photography all add up to a resounding Do Not Buy. It's ironic that the most popular product on Camcorder HQ is a standard-def camcorder (the Sony SX40), but here I am telling the world to not buy them. It's just that there are at least a half-dozen HD camcorders with great performance and reasonable price tags, and it doesn't make sense to me why anybody would pay $20 less for a significantly crummier picture. Most digital cameras even have digital video now. Seriously, go HD. The Kodak Zi8 is the king of budget HD camcorders, and the Sanyo CG10 is solid (and ergonomically friendly) option as well. Buy one of them—you won't regret it.

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