Budget camcorders now provide premium features like Full HD shooting mode and optical image stabilization. Samsung widens the specs list by including touchscreen display and Wi-Fi connectivity in the HMX-QF30. QF30 could be the perfect choice for those who are ready to accept average video quality and some minor quirks as long as their camcorder is reasonably priced.
Priced at $280, QF30 naturally falls into the category of budget camcorders. Though the lower price lowers the expectations too, Samsung provided some special features like optical image stabilization and a 20x optical lens in the QF30. The 5 megapixel CMOS sensor is back-illuminated and delivers impressive low-light performance. However, effective pixels are only 1.75MP and the sensor is a small-sized one.
Though QF30 is not pocketable, it is compact-sized and fits well in hand. At less than 6 ounces, it is notably lighter than the others. It is possible to hold the camera in both hands, and it has vertical recording capabilities too. The 2.7 inch display is a resistive touchscreen unit, which offers a menu like the smartphones. Menu screens are swappable and touching any icon opens the corresponding function. Being a resistive one, the display is not very responsive. While the display is not very bright, it provided poor sunlight visibility. Additionally, all the icons make the screen cluttered while shooting videos. It is also not possible to put the camera on a table as it tends to tilt leftwards, the only solution is to make the display facing outside, which looks odd.
The camera offers several modes for recording videos. While the manual mode allows the users to adjust exposure, white balance and focusing settings, it does not provide total control over the device. The smart auto mode is the automatic mode, where the settings are fixed by the camera itself. Filter effects could be added by selecting the Art Film mode, and the Art Time Lapse mode allows time-lapse video recording. Available resolutions include Web/HD(perfect for online purpose), HD280*720) and Full HD(1920*1080). As QF30 is Wi-Fi enabled, along with backing up still images and videos to computer, it is also possible to transfer them to Android and iOS devices, live broadcast them and upload them to Facebook, Picasa and YouTube.
Exterior And Performance
With only a few buttons, the exterior of the camera is simple and elegant. Located on the front, the lens is accompanied by a switch, which opens or closes the lens cover. Record, start-stop, zoom and My Clip buttons are on the back; the DC-in port is protected by a small cover. At the bottom, there are the tripod receptable, memory card and battery slots, and the built-in microphone is on the top. A home button is placed beside the LCD screen, which opens the menu screen. After the opening the LCD, a small speaker, a microUSB port and a HDMI port will be visible. The camcorder supports SD, SDHC, SDXC memory sticks of up to 64GB. Memory cards of at least class 6 are preferred by Samsung.
The recorded video quality is not very impressive. Videos are not smooth and details are not well-covered even in Full HD mode. The camera also has some serious problems with focusing, forcing the users to move slowly and to avoid zooming, which is not quite satisfactory. However, for a budget camcorder, QF30 manages to pass the mark with some unique features.