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Samsung Q20

"Switch Grip" HD camcorder

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  • Samsung Q20

    Front

  • Samsung Q20

    Back

  • Samsung Q20

    Back, 3/4 view, touchscreen display angled outwards

  • Samsung Q20

    Bottom view

  • Samsung Q20

    Front, 3/4 view from right, hand strap expanded for use

  • Samsung Q20

    Front, 3/4 view, right side

  • Samsung Q20

    Front, 3/4 view, touchscreen display angled outwards

  • Samsung Q20

    Front, 3/4 view, touchscreen display closed

  • Samsung Q20

    Front, higher angle

  • Samsung Q20

    Front, straight-on, LCD rotated away

  • Samsung Q20

    Front, straight-on, LCD rotated toward front

  • Samsung Q20

    Left side view

  • Samsung Q20

    Top view, LCD display closed

  • Samsung Q20

    Top view, LCD display open

Item #: 305Q20
 
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Our take on the Samsung Q20

by Woody Sherman
Samsung

Shoot videos for posterity — or posting online

From birthday parties to YouTube™ antics, camcorders let you capture moments you can share with friends and family, or the world at large. Most newer camcorders save your videos to built-in digital memory or a removable memory card. Some models come with a built-in hard disk drive that gives you much more storage. For maximum portability, check out our smaller cams that fit into a pocket or purse. For high-def videos that look awesome on your HDTV, go for a slightly larger model with a better lens and image sensor.

Ready for business

While fully equipped for bringing home colorful, detailed HD video of your granddaughter's first visit to the zoo, or documenting your impressive round at the golf club, the Samsung Q20 camcorder is not out to be all fussy about giving you lots of buttons and controls. All the control you'd expect is still there, but you can start shooting with one touch of a button, and review your shots just by orienting the LCD screen correctly. And because the smart auto functions are so, well, smart, your video will look vibrant and sharp and smooth. So nothing gets in the way of telling your story.

Left-handed compliment

Over ten percent of the world is left-handed, so it's about time someone invented a camcorder that can be rotated 180 degrees to accommodate this unjustly ignored segment of the population. The "switch-grip" feature senses the change in the camcorder's orientation and flips the picture upside down, so everything's just as it was for the right hander in your family. Not only that, the Samsung Q20 shoots in portrait mode as well, so you can take pictures of scenes that have dynamic action along a vertical axis.

Samsung Q20 camcorder

The Samsung Q20 camcorder is designed to help out left-handers and right-handers alike

Creative director

A powerful 20X zoom lens will get you up close to the action as your granddaughter gets face to face with a curious giraffe. The My Clip feature allows you to tag those golden moments on the fly, for easy identification and retrieval later — no more sifting through hours of footage to find that one shot you're looking to send to the rest of the family. And sophisticated time lapse and Art Film modes set your imagination free to explore your new-found creative impulses.

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Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • records high-definition video to optional SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards speed Class 6 and up
    • maximum video resolution: up to 1920 x 1080/60i, in both landscape and portrait orientation
    Features:
    • 1/4" back side illuminated CMOS image sensor for improved detail and low noise
    • 20X optical zoom lens (40X digital zoom)
    • switch grip feature enables you to use the camcorder right- or left-handed by rotating it 180 degrees
    • captures 4.9-megapixel still images in photo mode
    • 2-channel AAC audio from built-in stereo microphone
    • 2.7" WVGA touch-panel LCD
    • OIS Duo+ image stabilization for reduced shakes and shimmies
    • backlight compensation mode for better exposures against brightly lit backgrounds
    • Smart Auto mode identifies your recording situation and optimizes camcorder settings for best results
    • My Clip function allows tagging of desired scenes while recording for easy retrieval later
    • Continuous shot mode allows you to take eight photos in rapid succession over the course of one second
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • micro USB jack for video transfer to a computer
    • micro HDMI output (cable not included) for watching your videos on an HDTV
    • 1-3/4"W x 2-1/16"H x 4-3/4"D
    • weight: 6.35 oz. without battery
    Included Accessories:
    • AC adapter/charger and rechargeable lithium ion battery (BP-125A)
    • micro USB cable
    • user manual CD and quick start guide
    • warranty: 1 year parts and labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    LCD Screen Size (inches) 2.7
    Viewfinder None
    Total Pixel Count 5,100,000
    Effective Pixel Count for Video 1,750,000
    High-Definition Yes
    Aspect Ratio 16:9
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Optical Zoom 20 x
    Digital Zoom 2 x
    Night Imaging No
    Image Stabilization Optical
    Built-in Video Light No
    Built-in Memory None
    Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 120 min
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Effective Pixel Count for Stills 1,750,000
    Built-in Photo Flash No
    Still Image Aspect Ratios 16:9
    Inputs and Outputs
    USB Port USB 2.0 High Speed
    HDMI Output Micro
    Mic Input No
    Dimensions
    Weight With Battery (ounces) ---
    Width (inches) 1-13/16
    Height (inches) 2-1/8
    Depth (inches) 4-3/4
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Image Sensor Warranty 1 Year
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Flash memory camcorder (black)
    • BP125A Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7 V/1250 mAh/4.6 Wh)
    • AA-MA9 AC adapter with 59" DC output cord (DC output: 5V/1.5A)
    • 49" A/V cable (with proprietary connection on one end and 3 RCA plugs (composite video and stereo audio) on the other end)
    • 40" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and a micro USB 2.0 connection on the other end)
    • User Manual on CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Product Registration sheet
    • Safety Precautions sheet

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    General Features
    Video Camcorder Features
    Digital Still Camera Features
    Battery Information
    Connections
    Built-In Editing Software

    General Features

    Full HD Compatible: The Samsung HMX-Q20 high-definition (HD) flash-memory camcorder is capable of recording and playback of Full HD (1920 x 1080/60i) and HD (1280 x 720/60p). In addition, you can record videos in Web/HD format for uploading to various websites.

    1/4" CMOS Image Sensor: The 1/4" CMOS image sensor features 5.1-million total pixels, and 1.75-million effective pixels for recording videos and still images.

    2.7" LCD Touch Screen Monitor: The Q20 has a 2.7" wide-screen LCD touch panel monitor with 230,000 pixels. You can play back and record with a simple touch of your finger. You can also change the recording mode, zoom in/out, and change the resolution by touching the appropriate icons on the LCD. When in the menu or viewing image files, you can scan through the selections with a swiping motion. When the LCD monitor is rotated 180 degrees toward the lens and closed against the camcorder body, the unit switches automatically to the playback mode.

    Recording Formats: The Samsung HMX-Q20 uses advanced H.264 video compression technology. It uses a high compression rate to sharply increase the recordable time with the same size storage. The camcorder also records JPEG still images.

    Recording Media: You can record high-definition video, as well as JPEG still images onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards. The camcorder supports SD cards 1 GB to 2 GB, SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB, and SDXC cards up to 64 GB.

    Note: The camcorder does not include an internal memory, nor does it come with an SD or SDHC card. An optional SD/SDHC card must be obtained prior to recording.

    Lens: The Q20's Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan HD F1.8-F3.9 lens has a 20x optical zoom, and a focal length of 2.6mm-52mm (35mm equivalent: 38.4mm - 768mm). In addition to the 20x optical zoom, the camcorder has a digital zoom factor of 2x to give you a total zoom of 40x.

    One Button Operation: To simplify its operation, the camcorder has a single button for beginning and ending a video recording and shooting a still image. Surrounding the button is a 4-way control for zooming in and out (left and right action) and tagging scenes for the My Clip function (up and down action).

    Switch Grip 2.0: The Switch Grip function allows you to flip the video and monitor orientation for using the camcorder with either hand. When Switch Grip is enabled, the orientation of the recording and the LCD monitor flips 180 degrees when you rotate the camcorder from right hand operation (hand strap on the right) to left hand operation (hand strap on the left). The camcorder stays in right hand orientation when the function is disabled.

    Vertical Grip: In addition to Switch Grip, you can select Vertical HD Recording in the menu, and rotate the camcorder to a vertical position for recording in Portrait orientation. The on-screen icons rotate so they can be viewed in the proper orientation.

    Video Camcorder Features

    Recording Movies: The Samsung HMX-Q20 can record High Definition video at Full HD 1080/60i (1920 x 1080), HD 720/60p (1280 x 720), and Web/HD for videos you can upload to the Internet (up to 10 minutes). Using a 4 GB SDHC card, you can record 30 minutes of video at Full HD, 42 minutes at HD 720, and 40 minutes at Web/HD.

    Recording Modes: You can choose from the following recording modes:

    • Smart Auto: The camcorder automatically detects a scene and adjusts the camcorder settings accordingly. Available scenes include: Night, Backlight, Portrait, White, Landscape, Macro, Blue Sky, Natural Green, and Sunset.
    • Manual: While recording, you can make the following adjustments: White Balance, Exposure Value, Back Light, Focus, Super C.Nite, Self Timer, and Continuous Shooting,
    • Art Film: Gives the recording a professional look by using special effects such as fade in/fade out and digital effects (black & white, sepia, negative, art, noir, western, dazzle, ghost).
    • Art Time Lapse: When recording a time lapse video, you can add effects such as jumping, zooming, panning, zooming + panning, and night.
    • Vertical HD Recording: Videos are recorded in Portrait mode in a vertical position.

    My Clip: The My Clip function lets you tag good scenes while you're recording or viewing  a long video for extracting later. The tagged scenes are saved into a single file, and can be viewed or even combined sequentially later.

    Movie Playback: The HMX-Q20 allows you to playback your recorded videos on the camcorder's LCD monitor. The camcorder offers playback functions such as Play/Pause/Stop, Fast-Forward/Reverse (2x, 4x, 8x), Previous/Next, Frame-by-Frame, and Slow-Playback (1/2x, 1/4x, 1/8x).

    Movie Edit: You can divide a recorded movie into to and easily delete a section you no longer need. Since the edit changes the original movie file, you should create a backup of the original movie if you want to save it.

    Digital Still Camera Features

    Photo Recording: The Samsung HMX-Q20 allows you to record JPEG still images onto an inserted SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. Two image sizes are available: 5.3M (3072 x 1728) and 2M (1920 x 1080). Using a 4 GB SDHC card, you can record approximately 2832 photos at the higher resolution and 4602 at the lower resolution.

    Slide Show: Recorded still images can be played back as a slide show with the following options:

    • Interval: 1 second or 3 seconds
    • Effects: Fade In or Fade Out
    • Music: Background music can be played during the slide show if desired. Up to 20 melodies will play back in shuffle mode if the music function is enabled. Music function can be enabled by shaking the camcorder (Shake It function).

    Playback Zoom: You can magnify the playback photo image from its original size. You can zoom in 1.1x to 8.0x. Once the image is zoomed in, you can pan up/down and left/right of the image.

    Battery Information

    Rechargeable Battery: The Samsung HMX-Q20 is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (BP125A). The battery can provide up to approximately 105 minutes of Full HD recording and 120 minutes of HD recording. It offers 140 minutes of Full HD playback and 160 minutes of HD playback.

    AC Adapter/Charger: The Samsung HMX-Q20 comes supplied with an AC adapter/charger which allows you to operate the camcorder on standard household current and also fully charges the included battery in 2 hours and 40 minutes (95% charge in 2 hours).

    USB Charging: In addition to the AC adapter, the camcorder can be charged while plugged into your computer via the built-in USB plug. USB charging takes approximately 6 hours to complete.

    Auto Power Off: For power saving purposes, the camcorder will automatically turn off it there is no operation for 2 minutes in Standby mode or 5 minutes when in Recording mode.

    Connections

    USB: The Samsung HMX-Q20 features a micro USB port, and a micro-USB-to-Type A USB cable for connecting the camcorder to your computer. You can also charge the battery when the camcorder is connected via USB.

    AV Output: You can view the recorded movie and photo images on your television by connecting the camcorder to your television using the supplied A/V cable. The camcorder is based on the NTSC system, and is not switchable to PAL.

    micro-HDMI: The Samsung HMX-Q20 is equipped with a micro-HDMI (Type D) output for connecting the camcorder to your HDTV via HDMI. (No HDMI cable is included.) The camcorder supports Anynet+, an AV network system that lets you control all connected Samsung AV devices with a Samsung TV remote control.

    Built-In Editing Software

    Intelli-Studio Built-in Software: Editing software is stored inside the camcorder. Connecting the camcorder to a Windows computer via USB runs the editing software application. The application enables playback and editing of the camcorder's recordings on your Windows PC. You can also upload files to social websites, such as YouTube and Flickr. The built-in software is not compatible with a Macintosh computer.

    System Requirement: The internal Intelli-Studio software is compatible with Windows only. Your Windows PC will need to meet the following system requirements to use this software:

    System Requirements Windows Only
    OS Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Vista, or Windows 7
    CPU

    Intel Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz or higher recommended
    AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 2.2 GHz or higher recommended
    (Notebook: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core 2.6 GHz or higher recommended)

    RAM 1 GB and above recommended
    Video Card nVIDIA Geforce 8500GT or higher
    Ati Radeon HD 2600 series or higher
    Display 1024 x 768, 16-bit color or higher
    (1280 x 1024, 32-bit color recommended)
    USB micro USB 2.0
    DirectX DirectX 9.0c or higher
     

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Quick impressions from the Lab

    Comment by Ralph Graves Staff Writer - Creative,

    Lots of shooting options

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 5/10/2012 10:45:00 AM

    The big story with the Q20 is the switch grip. Hold it with your right hand, and all the touch screen controls are oriented properly. Hold it with your left, and the screen reorients itself so that all the controls display properly.

    That's great news if you're left-handed. You can operate a camcorder in a more natural fashion. But this feature can be good however you use it. Although I tend to hold the camera in my right hand, if I want to demonstrate how to do something, or manipulate an object in the shot, I'd rather hold the camcorder with my left hand. And with the Q20, I can do that without any awkwardness.

    I don't have to worry about the shot being "upside down," or have the viewscreen so far out on the left that I can't see what I'm shooting. A handy camcorder whichever hand you use.

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