Samsung's waterproof pocket camcorder returns with the HMX-W300, successor to last year's award-winning HMX-W200. Though there aren't many changes from its predecessor, the W300 is still a very good camcorder with a budget-friendly price tag of just $159.
Like most cheap camcorders, the Samsung HMX-W300 was designed to be turned on, pointed at a subject, and used to shoot video without any complications. It can be handled safely 16.4 feet underwater for half an hour, making it perfect for snorkeling or pool activities. It produces a sharp picture with good low-light performance.
The W300 will record full HD 1080p video but also can shoot in 720p. Shooting at 720p will give you lower (though still HD) quality than 1080p, and allows you to fit more video on a memory card. An integrated stereo microphone records audio underwater, although not very clearly. You can also take still photos, but don't expect stellar performance here. It doesn't offer many options to manually control the camera.
If you attempt to record long video clips the camcorder may automatically split your videos up into smaller clips every 16 minutes or so of straight recording. You don't lose any video when a new clip is created; one picks up where the other one leaves off.
It offers very little in the way of editing built in, so you'll have to do all of that on your computer. Hitting the "share" button makes the upload process simpler, but you're still required to connect the camcorder to a computer to complete the upload.
This is a solid performing camcorder overall, and it produces a better video image than its $159 price tag suggests. It isn't for people who want top-notch image quality, though, nor is it for people who require access to manual controls. This is a simple pocket cam that is great for capturing poolside activities or passing off to your kids during a picnic.