Review: Samsung's SC-MX20EL Shoot & Share Memory Camcorder

samsungGeeks.com provided CuteGeek/HardwareGeeks.com with one of their best refurbished camcorders to try and when I received it, this is the first thing that came to mind…it was almost like a commercial, like a man’s voice said this, as angels played their harps in the background…just imagine it… There are moments in our life that come and go, when we wish we could just turn back the hands of time and do things a tad bit differently, maybe change a decision, take back words…

If only…

If only I could go back to the day of my undergraduate graduation. Prior to graduation I struggled and struggled, as I attempted to learn how to use my friend’s Sony camcorder. I twisted and turned, clicked and pressed, cursed and shrugged, switched batteries, mini-discs, charged it again – and yet, nothing. I couldn’t figure out how to use the damn thing.

Now, because of the crap I went through, all I have from my graduation are pictures and tiny snippets of Bill Cosby’s hilarious speech. Thanks – way to make a priceless unforgettable moment in my life just a figment of my imagination.

I don’t give up that easily, trust me, but if I had Samsung’s Shoot & Share Camcorder, I swear I would’ve captured all the moments, even the unnecessary ones I wouldn’t ever want to show anyone.

Geeks.com sent us the camcorder to review and from the moment we opened it we were able to use it effectively. Well, actually, the first time I tried using it my screen was black for a minute or two, before I finally figured out the lens were closed – BUT – it literally is the easiest camcorder I’ve ever used.

The camera is very small, not as small as the Mino Flip but if you start thinking back at the original camcorders, and how big they were, especially their cases, then you’d be equally impressed and surprised at this one’s size. It is a bright red, has a comfortable band/grip that you can adjust to fit your hand, which also swivels. You can go from holding it like a regular camcorder, as if you’re holding a tube of some sort, to looking like you have some sort of weapon.

Unboxing was easy (click here if you want to watch it), and pleasant because I was not bombarded by a ton of wires, and papers and other junk that get in the way, and end up in a pile in my house. The charger did look very similar to one of my cell phones so I confused it quite a bit, but it charged quickly, and surprisingly enough, despite only being $149.99, fairly inexpensive, the battery lasted about 3 hours (woohoooooo!). The screen is also big at 2.7".

The camcorder, like many others, has a plethora of features and modes you can use but the best part of it was the optical zoom, which compared to others was extraordinary. The camcorder does not take still shots, and sometimes gets blurry if you move really quickly while recording but really, the best part, the bang for your buck, comes in the zoom.

The design of the camera is nice and sturdy. The screen is swivelable (I may have just made that word up) so it flips to the front, as well as the back so you can see what you’re recording, regardless of who’s in front of the camera. Although it has two moving parts, the camera feels a lot more expensive than you would imagine. I’ve tried multiple camcorders, ranging from the flip, to my cellphone, to other cameras with that feature but the grip you have on the camera really provides a steady hand when recording which could make all the difference in a home video. I found myself capturing better videos with this camera, precisely due to the control that I had over it.

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Uploading the videos onto your computer is very similar to uploading pictures from your camera so that was a no-brainer. It takes SD cards as its primary form of storage, which does not come included in the package. It is a nice perk though, although most cameras being released now have the same feature, the fact that you won’t have a bunch of mini-discs in your house stacking up is nice.

We captured videos in different lighting, times of day and locations (check out how it did in Miami, or Times Square) - and they all look great. Our YouTube account has all the latest so make sure to check those out as well. My future videos will most likely be captured using the camcorder so also keep that in mind while watching :)

For only $149.99, I think this camcorder is unbeatable. It’s simple to use, captures good video, has better zoom than most, and is very intuitive to use. It comes in nice colors, has a good form factor and lasts a long time. This camera is good for first time users or those that have some editing skills. It also brings a program that helps ‘manage, enhance and share’ your videos.