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Date: Monday October 5th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Samsung Canada
<--SHOP FOR A SAMSUNG SCD103 DIGITAL VIDEO CAMCORDER HERE

 

PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH


In this section I will be walking you around the camcorder and pointing out the features I used as I tested this product out at a couple of weddings and on a couple of small trips to the cottage. I know for a fact that I will not be able to focus on every single minute detail so please keep in mind that I will be touching base on the important factors I deemed necessary and interesting for this review.


If perchance I miss something you may need to know for your specific purposes, please feel free to check out the digital user's manual HERE .


Now seeing the small size of this camcorder, some people new to MiniDV recorders may say "Where can you fit the tape in that small thing?" Well, I to was wondering that until I tried out on this model.




First you flip the unit over and slide the tape eject switch over and the lower compartment will open exposing the tape and the mechanism will automatically slide out and open up exposing the tape. Just replace the tape, close the cassette into the holder to the left and it will automatically drop into the camera body and load up for recording or playback. Very simple and you can have a tape swapped in in about 30 seconds.


Also, in the top photo I wanted to note that this camcorder is capable of taking digital photos and recording MPEG4 movies onto a Memory Stick card that can be inserted into just above the tape eject door. You can also record photos and snapshots onto the DVC tape while recording movies during taping on the cassette.



Moving to the front of the unit, the camcorder comes with a built in video light for recording in lower light conditions that need a little brightening up. At first I thought that it wouldn't do much but when I turned it on around a camp fire I had people squinting their eyes in pain due to its' brightness. It is small, but it throws one heck of a lot of light. Also note that it does load the battery quite heavily so I recommend you only use it sparingly during battery use and full-time if you are hooked up to AC power via the external power supply.



The camcorder lens is protected during transport by the included lens cap that attaches to the hand strap when you are recording. Also noted is that it is easy to access and clean the lens if it becomes dirty. Use a soft cloth with some eye glass cleaner on it and it cleans up very well.



The 18X optical zoom is more than enough for the average home video recorder and if you need a little more you can extend it up to a full 900x digitally but you will lose image quality. For home and outdoor amateur recording you will be very happy with the zoom distance either way.



On the top of the camera are the stereo microphones and just below it is Samsung's Nite Pix night vision setting for low light and night time recording.


Picture taken in pitch black room with zero light.


This by far is one of the best features I have ever used on any camcorder. Remember the covert op movies where you see soldiers wearing night vision where they can see in pitch black and everything is green and visible, well, this is exactly what Nite Pix is. I found it great for recording around a campfire without having to use the built in light. In pitch black you switch it on and everything is viewable and bright just as daylight although it will be green. I can't express into words how much I liked this feature and I personally deem it a very huge bonus on a economically priced model such as the SCD103.

 

 


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