The Samsung H300 has dual optical image stabilization for shake free video even at high zoom levels. The 30x optical zoom will get you close to the action from afar and the camera has a 3-inch touchscreen. It records to SD cards and will shoot 4.9MP still shots as well. The camera is available right now for $399.99.
Over the weekend, I was at a wedding and happened to have the H300 camcorder with me. My daughter was a flower girl in the wedding so I took the camera to my seat and recorded the wedding for posterity. When I turned the camera on it started up with no issues at all. The annoying beeps by default needed to be turned off so that the camera would not interfere with the ceremony.
The touchscreen is very easy to navigate and all the settings for the camera are easy to find. If you are the sort that likes to tweak you can manage the settings manually if you choose. I opted for the automatic recording mode. The 3-inch touchscreen is bright and clear. It pulls out of the side of the camera like you expect a camcorder to do. When you close the LCD, the camera goes into sleep mode and when you open the LCD, the camera wakes up very quickly. That is important if you put the camera in sleep mode and then want to record something.
I would say it takes about two seconds from the time you open the LCD to when the camera is ready to record or shoot photos. One thing I didn’t like about the H300 is that you can't shoot video and still shots at the same time. It would be great if you could press the shutter button and shoot a still photo while recording.
Some parts of the church were dark and the H300 was able to pick up clear video with great quality. The 1080p video looks fantastic played on a HDTV or computer screen. The still shots are very nice looking as well. The shutter for still shots is rather slow making it hard to get fast moving subjects in the frame. It also takes a bit longer than I would like to see for the camera to focus. Overall, it works very well and the image stabilization at high zooms is very effective.
The Samsung H300 is a nice camcorder with great video and photo quality that lacks a few features I would like to see at this price point. The quality is certainly there in the video and photos so if you can live without some of the other features this camcorder may make sense for you.
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