Sunday, January 8, 2012

Samsung HMX W200 Mini-Review and Video

As promised, this is my test video and mini review of the Samsung HMX W200. I’ve been using it as a video and still camera and I have to say that I like it a lot. I even like that it is red, I can find it quickly in my handbag.

If you knew how much stuff is in my bag you'd know that was a selling point.


The device turns on quickly and is ready to record in about three seconds. I can quickly switch between photo and video and know which mode I’m in with a quick glance.

On a 4GB microSD card recording at 1080p I have 44 minutes of video. At 720p I can bump that up to 66 minutes. There is no VGA mode. For spontaneous vides that is fine. I have other camcorders for longer recordings.

If you do need to record longer you need to know that the W200 has a non-replaceable battery. One the battery kicks you will need a computer to recharge or an USB A/C plug.

It does have digital image stabilization but I tend to forget to turn it on. It does have a tripod socket at the bottom left of the camcorder.

The camcorder has a F2.2 lens that ain’t to shabby in low light situation.


This is a first for me. The supplied video catalog/editing program Intell-Studio does not totally suck. I should mention that the software is for Windows users only.

The camcorder has the installation software, that is why there was no installation CD. Once you attach it to the computer it will install the software.

You can preview the photos and videos in one place and there are simple photo and editing tools you can use.

If you are a total novice users you might have problems. There is no guide to how to begin. If you have used a program like Windows Live Movie Maker or Windows Movie Maker for XP then you will feel at home. You can use the storyboard mode or switch it to timeline mode.

It is a basic trimmer/editing program.  On a netbook or laptop I think this could work fine IF you have a dual core or higher CPU. You do need a post 2010 computer with some juice to get this to work.

I’m telling you,  your old pokey will have issues with this software. The application does show a message upon opening that states it does need a Core Duo, Athlon X2 or Dual Core processor to operate.

If you know how to access the camcorder as a storage device you can extract the videos and use the software of your choice.

Other Operating System Users

For Linux Ubuntu users – you can actually connect the camcorder to your computer and access the videos. You cannot use the software but if your editing program can read H.264 videos your are good to go. 

My tip for you, and it does seem obvious but I forgot to do it, is turn the camcorder on after you attach it. It will show up as a storage device and then you can retrieve the videos.

For Mac users – Y’all know the drill. Can’t use the Windows software. . Like Linux users attach the camcorder to the computer and copy the photo and video folders to your hard drive. You should have no problems with H.264 videos

Hidden Costs

1. Charging the battery. You will need a USB hub or a port on your computer to safely connect the camcorder. Another option is to get a USB plug to connect the swing out USB arm into the plug and then use a wall socket.

2. If you want to connect the camcorder to a television you will have to purchase a HDMI cable. It does not come with the camcorder.

3. On the box a Class 6 microSD card is recommended. It seems to be okay with a Class 4 card but I wouldn’t go lower than Class 4. Beware of vendors jacking up the cost, you should be able to find a good price for a Class 6 or 10 card for around $20 to $40 from vendors like Amazon, Adorama, B and H Photo, NewEgg or TigerDirect.

I’m not going to take the microSD card out of the camcorder. It is too easy to loose or misplace. I’ll transfer the videos using Windows Explorer after I am sure I have my back up copies.

You might want a microSD card reader but that is another choice and cost to consider.

Bottom Line

The camcorder is dust proof, shockproof to 2m/6ft and should I find myself in a rain storm or a boat I am all set.  The video quality is good and I enjoy using it as opposed to fighting with a device to get it to function.
It isn’t for everybody. It is a specialty type of camcorder.

I wish Samsung had used a standard SD card. That is now a small quibble.

For a day to day camcorder that records quality video even underwater I think it is a keeper.

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  1. Will this camcorder transfer video to a Apple Mac mini 2013 model?

    1. Just took a quick look at the specs of the Mac Mini. I don't see a problem with it accepting the mp4 video from this device. You will not be able to use the supplied Intelli-Studio software; it is Windows only.

      You will be able to use a USB port to connect the camcorder to the computer or get an SD card adapter for the miniSD card.

      iMovie can handle the rest.


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