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Samsung SC-HMX20C 8GB High Definition Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom
List Price: $849.99

Our Price: $849.99

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Product Description

Featuring Full HD and a 1080p mode with 30 frames-per-second recording capability, the SC-HMX20C's flash-based design makes this camcorder compact and easy-to-use. Furthermore, users are able to connect the SC-HMX20C to their laptop or PC via a USB connection and share their home movies with family and friends quickly and easily. For added value and convenience, this multifunctional HD camcorder also delivers among the best still camera functionality within a camcorder on the market - up to 8-megapixel size through pixel-rising technology.The SC-HMX20C's outstanding performance is the result of cutting-edge design coupled with innovative technologies in HD recording. The SC-HMX20C features a 6.4-megapixel CMOS with electronic image stabilization so even action-packed scenes come through with clarity. Featuring an HDMI-CEC (Anynet+) high-quality connection to HDTVs and other devices, consumers can easily control the camcorder through their Samsung HDTV remote while viewing movies - just one more feature that strives to make life easier.With the unique feature of high speed capture and super slow motion playback, the SC-HMX20C allows consumers to record fast motion at 300 frames per second for up to 10 seconds and then drastically slow down the playback of the recording. Perfect for sports fanatics looking to tape and analyze their golf-swing in slow motion, or anyone interested in getting the detail of fast-flying events that otherwise would be undetectable to the human eye; this special function opens up a world to users.

  • Full HD Camcorder with 1080P Progressive Mode
  • 8GB Built In Memory
  • 6.4M CMOS, 10X zoom
  • Docking Cradle
  • SD-MMC Slot

Customer Reviews:

  • Very Good Product
    I've ran a small selection process amongst top vendors, and despite the fact I really enjoy Samsung as a brand, the camera is very good, extremelly easy to use and very powerful in terms of features.

    I'm very happy with it....more info
  • Rating depends upon your intended use for the camera.
    I've struggled with deciding on a rating for this camera (3 or 4 stars) because there are so many features on this camera to like, and I really want to like it more than I do. Actually, for my purposes, it's a 4-star camera, but for most, I believe it will only achieve 3-stars, and that's based on a few simple observations --

    1) Low light (indoor) performance can be very grainy, especially since the light source/flash only works with stills: with this camera, the brighter the shooting environment the better (up to a point).

    2) Autofocus can be very slow. If you are mounting this camera on a tripod, mainly focusing on details in the distance with very slow, deliberate movements and focal changes, you'll be fine. This is my main intended use for this camera. However, if you want to use it as a "handy-cam," you may be disappointed. In filming indoor, close-range action of family members, the lens will take anywhere from 1/2 second to 5 seconds with any significant focal change. The 5-second episodes are where the lens corrects in the wrong direction, goes all the way to the end of that focal length, only to turn around and come back.

    3) Size of shooting frame: this is not really a ding on this camera but to most HD cameras. If you're filming at a distance, you're fine, but for close-ups with people, you may find you're clipping torsos or heads. Keep in mind that at a distance of 6 ft, the size of the 2D plane that you're capturing is roughly 5ft by 1.5ft (~60in x ~34in = 16:9 HD ratio). Thus, for most, the 10x zoom is nice, but a wide-angle addition (say 0.7x) would really be much more helpful.

    4) There is no 720p mode -- only 1080i/p and 480. However, there is a really neat slow-mo feature (in SD only, unfortunately) where one can film a 10 second clip and play it back at 1/5 speed.

    5) The sound quality is quite good, but, probably to avoid operator hand-noise and breathing, they've mounted the mics on the bottom of the unit. This is fine in many situations, but if you're filming while walking, the "clomp clomp clomp" of your footsteps is VERY loud.

    These are the main factors I'd consider crucial in determining if this is the camera for you. For me, it's quite good, with great optics; wonderful picture quality, color, and sharpness (if filmed in good light); tons of features; and a great docking bay that lets me plug it into an HDMI cable directly to my Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ85U 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV.

    Without going into micro-technical detail.... For my purposes -- making HD recordings of concerts (BTW, the external mic input works great), filming students in music lessons with the ability to simply plug in their SDHC card when they start and pulling it out for them to take home when they leave, filming myself for self-critique of my playing, etc., ALL from a tripod, this camera is more than adequate. However, if you're doing a lot of mobile camcording, you might want to consider some of this camera's limitations that I've outlined here. Good luck with your deliberations and product comparisons.......more info
  • A good try, but still needs work
    I should preface this review by saying that I don't own an HMX20, but I've spent a lot of time with one to decide if I should and I wanted to share my experiences. What it comes down to, in my opinion, is that this camcorder is attempting to do a lot of things that just aren't possible yet in its form-factor. It has some really neat features, but when all is said and done if they aren't practically useful and its functionality as a video recorder doesn't do quite the job of its competitors it just isn't worth buying. Unless you're thinking about buying the Panasonic HDC-SD9 for some reason, I would go with several other cameras before this one.

    That said, there are some cool things. The slow motion feature is very good and works very well. The problem is that if you're buying a 1080p camcorder, chances are you actually care about having your video in high definition. The slow motion video's resolution is less than that of standard definition video, so you can't really use it for anything practical. If you're just uploading to YouTube or something like that then it's sufficient, but that's about it. You can also record at standard definition at a frame rate of 60fps. This is a little more acceptable, however you can easily get this frame rate with the less expensive Sanyo HD1000 and you can get it at 720p.

    Speaking of the HD1000, there is one other similarity I'd like to point out. The HD1000 has a very poor image stabilizer and so does the HMX20. They both are really worst of class in that regard. Auto focus on both units is also sluggish and often inaccurate. Both handle low light about the same, which is okay, and take wonderful video in well-lit places (but how many camcorders don't?).

    The HMX20 does have a nice feature for focusing, however. It would be more usable if the camcorder could keep the image still, but nonetheless I liked it a lot. You can use the touch screen to just touch the object you want to focus on and it will. It takes 3-4 seconds to finally get around to doing it, but it's extremely accurate. I'd love to see this implemented in more cameras and camcorders, but with a much faster operation. Canon's VIXIA line has super-quick auto focus units (Instant AF, as they call it) and an excellent optical image stabilizers (OIS). Paired with this feature, Canon would have a very nice line (not that they don't already--I think the VIXIA line is pretty much top of class in most features, and definitely top of class overall). Nonetheless, I think this is something we'll see from Sony first. While their stabilization and autofocus isn't quite as good as Canon's, in my opinion, it's still rather good and at least smoothes out any shaky motion so nobody feels like vomiting after watching your kid waterski for the first time.

    While the HMX20 does record in 1080p, I wouldn't say the quality of the video is really any better than Canon's VIXIA line. While I've messed around with an HF10, an HV20, an HV30 and an HG10, I'm comparing this specifically to the HF100 that I own and love. The video quality is great for a consumer camcorder, even though it's faux-30p/24p. I think it's going to be a couple of years before we start to see proper 1080p. That said, the HMX20 is definitely a world better than Panasonic's HDC-SD9. That's probably because that camera uses three standard definition CCD sensors and pretends they're 1080p, but we're not talking about the HDC-SD9.

    The body of the HMX20 is a bit bigger than I'd expected. Most cameras in its class are a bit smaller, and if you want something that can handle 1080i or 1080p at pocket size, you're really only looking at Sony's HDR-TG1 (although the Sanyo HD1000 is still pretty small and could fit into your pocket uncomfortably). That said, it fits nicely into your hand. It's easy to move. I don't really see how the swivel grip is particularly helpful but I do appreciate that you can adjust the camera to fit you comfortably. It's also pretty good looking on the outside.

    On the inside--which in this case I mean the menu system--it's also pretty attractive. Not only that, it's easy to use. Samsung's organization of features, for the most part, is very straightforward and clear. It's not hard to find 80-90% of what's there and you can change settings really quickly. With that in mind, I can't even begin to understand why they designed the mode switcher the way they did. If you want to switch from video to photo or photo to playback (or playback to video again) you have to press a button. It takes a few seconds and you have to go in linear order, rather than just jumping to the one you want. If the switch were instant it wouldn't be a big deal, but if you're on playback and suddenly need to get a photo you're going to miss it. Six seconds is a long time when something just happens. While I understood that maybe they were a bit rushed with the HMX10, it doesn't really make sense that they didn't change this with the HMX20. They had time and, if they read, must have known that nobody liked the way modes switch. So far I have to favorites for switching. Sanyo doesn't really require it so that's a plus--you can just take photos any time without issue. Sony's HDR-TG1 lets you switch by flicking a button. While I don't prefer this, it's so fast and the button is so comfortable that it's actually kind of fun. If I have to switch modes to take a photo, I'd want to do it the way the HDR-TG1 does it. Unfortunately that camcorder takes relatively poor photos, though I did take a couple today and print them out and it wasn't that bad.

    Photos on the HMX20 are not bad. Once again another company has pushed megapixels over quality and given the HMX20 an 8MP sensor. As a result, pictures are a bit noisier than they ought to be. Nonetheless, it does a decent job for a camcorder. So far I have yet to see a camcorder that can take a picture good enough to warrant using it for that purpose, but if you have a (D)SLR already and don't want a hybrid device for your everyday pictures (so you don't have to also buy a point-and-shoot camera) then this should get the job done all right.

    The HMX20 is an AVCHD camera so it comes with all the drawbacks and benefits of being one. This isn't a review of AVCHD so I won't get into that, but if you're unfamiliar with the pros and cons of the format I'd suggest doing a little research before you decide it's for you--especially if you have a PowerPC Mac (in which case it's almost definitely not for you).

    There isn't a whole lot more to say about it. It's not a bad camcorder and it has some very cool features, but the quality of the video isn't good enough to warrant buying it regardless of how neat they might be. And they're more neat in theory than in practice. The touch focus is a very cool idea but not implemented well enough to use in most situations. The slow motion is wonderful and fun but at too low of a resolution to use alongside the HD video you probably bought the thing for. If you're just planning on using it for its 1080p recording capabilities and its easy-to-use interface and controls, you'll probably be fairly happy with what you get. That said, if you intend to zoom in on anything you better be able to keep yourself stable, at least.

    Overall, my recommendation would be to get something else. I say that not because this camcorder is bad--it isn't--but because there are several other options that are better. I expect Samsung to step it up in a year or two. Hopefully for them, the other companies won't get too far ahead in the same time....more info
  • Compare to the Canon HF100
    I had a chance to own both this Samsung SC-HMX20C and Canon HF100. Comparing to Canon HF100, this Samsung unit has:

    1. 8G internal memory.
    2. 8M pixels still picture recording

    1. No optical stabilization which is my biggest complain. It has a electronic stabilization which is totally useless.
    2. Hard/slow to focus compared to HF100
    3. Slow when switching between Camcorder/Camera/Watching mode.
    5. Slow when zoom in/out.
    6. Bucky.
    7. Pricy. $80 more than HF100.

    In my opinion, this camcorder needs big improvement....more info
  • Very intuitive, Compact, Sleek, Full HD 1080p... but some focusing flaws. No firmware updates?
    Watch Video Here: First of all, I do like the black body and the clean sleek design/look of the camera. However, it's almost a little too simple. If you're intimidated with lots of buttons, then you'll be happy with this camera. There's a large amount of space on the left side of the camera (which becomes hidden when you close the LCD) where they could have added more buttons, but they left it completely empty for a cleaner look. There's only three buttons there: "iCheck" button (when the camera is off, press this to check battery life/storage space. And if you press it when the camera is on, it will hide all the camera info on the screen for a clean view); second button with a lightning arrow toggles between flashes (force flash, red eye, no flash, etc) -- when in camera mode only; it's a useless button when filming videos. I think it would have been better if they saved that button space for something that would be more useful on-the-fly (like a quick Touch Point Focus, considering that's one of the special features on this camera, button would have been better); they should have just made the camera flash toggle by touch screen. The third button is the "Easy" Q button, like other consumer cameras seem to have this feature lately where it pretty much does auto everything (focus, exposure, shutter, anti-shake, etc) for you. Where's the fun in that? Not to mention that doesn't necessarily do all the work for you -- the way you want -- and could just give you more headaches, so I would avoid it.

    I really wish they would have added a button or wheel to let you control the focus. Manual focusing by touch screening, as convenient as touch screens are, touching the arrows left or right to decrease/increase focusing distance creates more of a hassle than convenience. And that's not the only annoying thing...

    ********** FOCUSING PROBLEMS **********

    I know you can't expect much manual controls with consumer cameras, but the manual focus controls on this camera is still not really manual. Manual focuses are pretty much restricted by their PRESETS.

    My biggest complaint, and I believe this is a major flaw restriction, is that you cannot MANUAL FOCUS closer than 10cm -- even if you have Macro enabled. However, if you have Macro Focus enabled while in AUTO Mode, you can focus on objects closer than 10cm. This makes no sense to me.

    Manual is always preferable because when you're trying to film something at a certain distance, you don't want the camera to go out of focus for no apparent reason, which happens a lot with this camera because of the slow auto focusing. You just can't wait for the camera to try to focus every time you pan, especially when filming something extremely close up; so I don't understand why Macro is not allowed in Manual.

    I wish they would just get rid of that preset or at least have a full manual mode where it'll let you increase/decrease the focus by smaller increments.

    So if Samsung is listening, please fix that macro manual restriction flaw, and also remove that preset lock and allow a TRUE manual focus; or the very least, it would be nice to have a Focus Lock while in auto focus mode. I'm sure this can be done with a firmware upgrade. I visited the Samsung firmware page but there was no firmware at all. I don't know why they have to limit the capability because of the software, when the camera is capable. When I contacted Samsung customer service about a firmware upgrade, the response I got was that they don't make firmware for their cameras. What?! Not really what I wanted to hear. Hopefully that's a typical generic customer service response and the real brains at Samsung technical team will release a firmware for us.

    Now, it might sound like sticking to Auto Focus will give you no problems, but that's not really the case. I have to say, and most people agree, the auto focusing on this camera is on the slower side. This is also why it would be nice to have an Auto Focus Lock or a real manual focus because whenever you move the camera a little bit, the camera gets out of focus slightly and tries to figure out the focus again -- and that can get pretty annoying when the auto focusing isn't that fast. I guess Samsung was trying to go with the soft focusing effect, which sometimes work, but most of the time, you would wish the camera would focus faster.


    This camera takes advantage of the touch screen and introduces a feature called the Touch Point/Focus. This is a pretty cool idea when it works, by simply touching the area inside the frame, it will focus on that object; for example, if you want the foreground out of focus and the background focused, then you simply touch the background. This feature can make it possible to do some "rack focus". However, you don't really want to tap too hard, especially if it's on a tripod, because it will cause the camera to shake. To avoid that, I usually just use the tip of my nail and VERY lightly scratch the screen instead of pressing on the screen with my finger.

    Whatever option that you are in and if you hit record, it will instantly disappear the menu/screen and just start recording, so you won't have any menus blocking; this is actually annoying when you still want to have the adjustment options still open. For example, if you go to Touch Point/Focus mode, it'll display the focus frame, but once you hit record, the frame will disappear! The Touch Focus relies on the frame, so without it on the screen, the Touch Focus mode is useless. Therefore, you have to hit record first and then go to menu and select the touch point, which seems kind of ridiculous. It should allow you to be ready to focus before recording -- not afterwards.

    What I like better than the Touch Point is the Slow Motion Mode where it will let you record at 300 frames per second, getting more detail of a water splash, etc. You can see a test video of it that I uploaded. However, it's unfortunate that the resolution is already determined at 448x336 AND you can only record for 10 seconds (the actual output will be 50 seconds). This is fine for YouTube, but I wish it would have at least done actual standard definition resolution. Be aware, the camera will capture less light when shooting at 300 FPS.

    On the LCD flap part, it has a Quick Menu button (allows you to change the Storage, Resolution, White Balance, Focus, Exposure, Shutter. For other things such as Camera Stabilizer (it really doesn't help) or add Digital Effect (Black & White, Sepia, Negative, Cosmetic (supposedly adjusts facial imperfections), Cinema Tone) you have to access it through the touch screen options, on the bottom right corner. Also next to the LCD has an additional forward/back zoom button and record button next to the LCD, which is actually nice. However, sometimes I wish I could just simply control the focusing with those zoom buttons instead.

    Touch screen, menus are very intuitive and easy to navigate. I like how when in playback mode, it will show thumbnails and tabs on the top to switch between HD, SD, and pictures. When connected to the computer, that is how all the folders will be divided separately as well. In playback, I wish it would show a scrollbar (like when in editing mode) and let you skip to wherever you touch on the bar. However, you can fast forward up to 16x.

    If you want to shoot at 640x480 resolution, you have to select 480p and then set the "Quality" to Normal. The default Super Fine/Fine SD quality shoots at 896x504 resolution -- not exactly 480p. Hmm. If you want to add a wider lens, the diameter filter for this camera is 49mm. You can get a step-down ring such as a 49-37, or whatever the diameter size of the other lens is.

    * Full charge battery life is 90 minutes.
    * With 8GB of memory, you can record 71 minutes at 1080/30p HD.
    * Picture resolutions are 3264x2448, 2880x2160, 2304x1728, 2048x1536, 1440x1080, 640x480

    Overall, I am very happy with the quality and it is incredible such a small camera can produce such image quality. It is full HD 1080p, so everything is just incredibly clear and detailed. Of course anything with low lighting won't look as good as a daylight scene, etc; however, this camera does well in low light compared to others. It uses a 1/1.8" CMOS sensor. CMOS is usually noiser than CCD, and also if the sensor size is smaller. In low light or fast motion, it does become apparent. The smaller the sensor size, the deeper the depth of the field will be, which is common in consumer cameras. If you want that nice shallow depth of field look, you'll want a bigger sensor or get an adapter to be able to use 35mm lenses.

    ********** CHECKING THE FIRMWARE **********

    I was trying to figure out how to check the firmware on the camera -- there is no mention of it on the manual -- but there was a brief explanation on the Samsung website; however, it is SOO horribly written, it only makes it confusing and most people will not get it to work or understand what the heck they're talking about. They really need to rewrite that whole explanation.

    Anyway, after trial and error, I finally understood what they were trying to say... here is a better explanation:

    1.) First, you have to be in PLAY MODE (where you see thumbnails of your videos) and then select the MENU (bottom right corner) on the LCD (NOT the Q. Menu); once you're at the menu screen (it should say Play Option, Highlight, Playlist, Delete...)

    2.) then have to HOLD the "PHOTO" button all the way down and "W" (Wide) button (next to the LCD screen, you know when you want to zoom out; not the wide button on the top of the camera) SIMULTANEOUSLY (it doesn't matter which one you press first)

    3.) AND THEN, you press the iCheck button (on the side of the camera) LAST all together.

    For those wondering, this is how Samsung explains it: "Push the i-check button by pressing the wide button to the left.of the LCD screen and the photo button (full shutter)."


    Anyway, now that we can actually check what firmware version we have on our cameras, Samsung should actually release some updates. I'm sure there's a lot of things I didn't cover yet, so if you have any questions, just ask.


    - Sleek look / Camera is compact / size of a coke can
    - Shoots Full HD 1080p
    - Clear, sharp, vibrant colors -- it's HD.
    - QuickTime MPEG4 (.mp4 files) H.264 - more user friendly/common than AVCHD .MTS formats
    - Does pretty decent in low light
    - 2.7" Touch screen (intuitive, very simple navigation)
    - 8GB built-in memory / SD/SDHC Memory Card (no need to capture footage hassle free)
    - Videos/Photos show up nicely on computer in easy to find separate folders/proper formats (no strange extensions/misc files or conversions needed)
    - Picks up sounds really well. (but can also be a con... almost too well that it can pick up your own breathing noise)
    - Swivel grip
    - Copy videos on USB and can be played back smoothly on PlayStation 3 (MPEG4 H.264 15mbps variable bitrate)
    - Easily edit/cut/join videos within the camera
    - 3.5mm microphone jack.
    - Remote control
    - Cradle to charge/connect to PC/output video.

    - Auto-Focusing is a little slow -- needs improvement (seems to "soft focus" a lot)
    - Manual focus is PRESET to certain distances.
    - Can't Macro Focus while in Manual (restricted to 10cm)
    - No manual focus wheel. (adjust by left/right arrows on touch screen)
    - No 24p "film" mode.
    - Can't shoot at 720p
    - SD not 480p - it is 896x504. (No 720x480)
    - No time lapse (even their cheaper models have this feature, so what happened?)
    - Slow-mo 300FPS mode can only record 10 seconds (actual output video will be 50 seconds) and the resolution is restricted to 448x336.
    - Stabilizer just creates more awkward shakes.
    - Widest angle is not wide at all (you'll definitely want to purchase wide angle lens)
    - Must charge battery with the camera (cradle or direct dc). They could have included a stand alone battery charger.
    - Must have AC adapter connected to Cradle, if you want to output to TV from it. (you can't just connect the HDMI cable to it)
    - No actual physical Manual - you have to print the PDF.

    Overall, I currently give this camera a 3 1/2 stars.
    The firmware that I have is v2f1-86.

    ********** UPDATE **********
    If you go to Samsung's website and go to Consumer Products tab (on the top) and then "Camcorders" under "Cameras & Camcorders", the page seems to have an image link that says "HMX20C Firmware" on the left side of the page. The file is "s2f1n087.bin" (so it is obviously an update from 086 that I have on my camera). Clearly, the one quick line "We don't make firmware for our cameras" customer service email was a lie (not to mention unhelpful). However, they do not mention what was updated and the page that explains how to update the firmware states it also requires a .hex file. The download link only has a .bin file! This is quite frustrating. I contacted Samsung about this for better clarification, about a week ago, yet I have not received any response from them. Samsung customer service seems to give false information or just ignore emails - not very good business practice. If you try to use their website form to contact, the drop down menu doesn't even list this model (SC-HMX20C). I guess they don't even bother to fix their website, so a fix/update for a camera is even more out of the question. When a product has a firmware update feature, yet the company doesn't release updates for it or properly explain how to do it, it makes me think twice about buying their products (not to mention their customer service) again. ...more info
  • Just what I had been looking for
    I am always cautious about reviewing electronics because I hate to gush about something and then find a flaw later. So far, I've found very few flaws with this one.

    The one major disappointment I have had is with the quality of the still shots. Maybe I am doing something wrong? I get a lot of fuzz in the pictures. I am not sure if it is "noise" because of the high definition or what, but I don't seem to have the problem with moving images, only still shots. I am continuing to learn this device and I will come back to update once I have completely mastered it.

    Aside from that issue, I am thrilled with this as a camcorder. Every little feature you could want, this appears to have. The flip screen that has a touch screen is awesome! The menus and functions on this camcorder are pretty intuitive. Just from pressing a few buttons, I figured most everything out without having to consult the manual.

    I love that it has a built-in auto open/close lens cap. I love the size of this. It is so small! I have tiny hands and it even feels small to me. Size matters if you've ever had to lug around an older camcorder and had a sore arm all day. This is so lightweight that I can never imagine that happening.

    I've found that using a tripod with this gives the most professional results. I have used this at two functions and burned discs for relatives and they've said it looks professional. Maybe they are partial to me, but I have to agree. I have never shot such crisp moving images as I can with this camcorder. ...more info
  • OSX friendly, easy to use
    -the .mp4 files are OSX friendly and viewable instantly in QuickTime !
    - we had no problem getting these files into Final Cut Xpress 4 or iMovie '08
    - I was editing these files within minutes of popping the card out of the cam
    - Photos can be plucked out of the video streams at 8mp (4mp interpolated?)
    - the menu interface is clean ,intuitive, and performs well
    - the photos look great, even the ones you capture while viewing video playback
    - the TouchPoint focus can create cool effects
    - colors and automatic levels seem pretty accurate
    - quickly change recording to INTERNAL or SDHC or MMC
    - manual controls are simple sliders (WB, Exposure, Shutter)
    - 90 minute battery life from a small form battery
    - shoots in 4 resolutions : 1080p/30p , 1080i/60i, 480p/60p an 300fps SlowMotion
    - you can be in and out of these resolutions in seconds via QuickMenus
    - shooting this puppy is a breeze, we haven't even looked at the manual yet
    - nice Slideshow with music functions
    - TouchFocus allows you to focus on different objects in the foreground or background
    - it's a very small package and feels quite solid for it's size
    - QuickInfo button displays battery life / memory / resolution even powered off
    -clips can be split, deleted and combined IN CAMERA
    -the phot slideshow can be accompanied by music

    - you MUST have the cradle (included) for charging / HDMI out
    - manual controls are very simple ...... will be too limiting for hardcore tweakers
    ........ that being said, the automatic levels are about as good as you'll want
    - no hot shoe
    - no built in light ... only pop-up flash
    - photos cannot be cropped or rotated in camera - no red-eye removal tool either
    - the focus drifted on me a few times
    - btw, the focus is a little SLOW
    - the TouchFocus was hit or miss in practice
    -the battery and SD/MMC slot are behind a trap door, probably not going to be an extended run battery

    there's alot to like about this camera
    the easy to use touchscreen does almost everything I need it to do under normal circumstances
    playback in QUICKTIME is smooth and free of some processing artifacts I noticed when using VLC (nightly) to view .mts files from Panasonics and Canon's ... and that comes in handy if you shot alot of clips and want to get to previewing them quickly and not waiting an hour for it to load into your editor

    I think I've narrowed it down to this camera and the Canon hf100. I went to the store and shot some clips with my memory card. I found the .mts file buried in a STREAM subfolder several layers deep.
    The Samsung has a folder called 100video, click on that and there's your files
    The Canon's menu is more advanced and offers more options, but it's also more complex
    but if you can live without advanced manual controls and a mini-hotshoe and want to work with a more friendly file, this Samsung SC_HMX20C is the camcorder to have

    this camcorder works well with a 2.2ghz Macbook with 4gb RAM running OSX Leopard...more info