Monday, January 2, 2012

My Samsung HMX-W200 Camcorder Part 1

When a very nice person gives you a gift card to a retail electronics store what is a girl supposed to do? Just one little tiny problem. I only buy retail when I have to or need it right away.

Places like Best Buy frustrate me. I don't have one really close to me. I have to make an effort to get to the store. When I get there I am either overly helped on can't find a soul. 

Like I was thinking about buying a USB to Ethernet gizmo. It wasn't there. The Kindle Fire and iPad tablets were in plan sight but some of the alternative Android tablets that I could afford to purchase, not so much.

A retail store can only hold so much stuff. I walked around that store and I was sad. The CD and DVD section were ignored and a lot of that stuff was over priced. I'm still looking for a desktop computer but all I saw were laptops and tablets.

That Kindle Fire was calling my name again. I had to keep repeating the mantra, "Do not buy first generation." Thought about getting a Pandigital e-reader/tablet to play with but then I laid eyes on the Open Box table.

The frugalista in me led me to a happy place.

A lot of Sony's and Samsung cameras and camcorders were on that table. The Samsung was like a little red corvette. There were a lot of models but since I had the gift card and I really didn't want to make another hike to the store I looked a little closer.

Carrying a camcorder everyday in my handbag is rough on a device. I got books, pens, projects and 10 pounds of necessities. Having a water and shock proof device is not such a bad idea. The Samsung HMX W200 was $87 open box and my cost came out to be $37.

This is a commercial for the device:

I didn't know anything about the camcorder in the store. Hence, I have violated Rule 1 - know what you are buying and make sure it meets your needs.

My need at the time was getting the heck out of the store. Making a good purchase and not wasting a gift from a friend. I also had that fear about the gift card scamming that is going on so I just wanted to be done with it.

I bought it. Even though I was still wondering why there were a bunch of returns for this camcorder.

The Unboxing on the Bus

I couldn't wait so I peeped in the box as was heading home. It was just the camcorder and the strap and nothing else. No DVD, manual, A/C plug. I took at look at Sam the Geek's video to see what I was missing.  I have downloaded the manual and I don't need the editing software but I can get it if I want.

Might do that for testing later one.

Class 10 microSD card
What I did discover is that it uses a microSD card. It would like a Class 10 micro-SD card. That could be one reason folks brought it back to the store. I was surprised. It makes sense but I have a bunch of standard size SD cards. I'm not going to easily find a Class 10 microSD card and if I do that is going to cost some bucks. On the quality vendor low end at least $40 and I'm seeing prices up to $75 from no-name brands. Stick with known memory card vendors.

I'll do the testing on a $9 Class 4 microSD but that could serious affect performance. It isn't going to record as fast as a Class 10 card. It could affect the video quality.

Internal Battery
There is an internal battery that is charged via a swing out USB arm, like The Flip (RIP). There is no USB external connection point. You can't have one in a submersible camcorder.

My problem is that I have a desktop computer that sits on the floor. I will have to stack books on the floor so that the camcorder can reach my front USB port. Instead, I hooked it up instead to my Unbuntu Netbook. It charged it just fine but did not recognize it as a storage device.

It is not a deal killer. But when I run out of juice that is it. I can't exchange it with another battery.

Buying Reflection

I really wasn’t going to buy another camcorder in 2011. Very happy with what I have. I could have waited and purchased via the Best Buy web site. There was a tablet that I did like and could have saved up for it.

Truth is, I really had concerns about gift card theft. If I had taken a closer look at the card (it was still in its original package) I would have seen that the security code was covered and thieves would not be able to use it.

I had options. I could have walked out of the store. I could have bough a DVD collection of cable shows I’ve never seen.

The Samsung is a specialty type of camcorder. I’m not going underwater anytime soon but I do put a lot of stress on the objects in my handbag. This is going to be able to withstand that stress. Not a great reason to buy a camcorder but that is mine.

I think this is gonna work for me but I'm learning about my purchase. You should know before you buy but life happens. 

Going to give it a shake out test soon.

Other Posts of Interest
  1. Buying A Point and Share Camcorder
  2. Does Your Memory Card Have Any Class?
  3. Lessons on My Journey

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