These days, with all the consolidation of devices that is going on, it is almost a rare sight for people to use specific devices built for certain purposes. Take recording video as an example: you are probably more likely to see someone using a cell phone or even a still image camera to take video than you are to see someone using a ‘dedicated’ video camera. But the old adage of using the right tool for the job still holds true, and arguments can be made that devices created for specific purposes will do a better job than ‘jack-of-all-trades’ gadgets.

If you are prone to make, or use, that argument, then a video camera is an essential tool in creating videos – as opposed to your trusty cell phone handset. And, if you’re looking for a good, compact video camera, looking no further than the Samsung Compact Full HD Memory Camera is probably what you’ll want to do.

It isn’t exactly compact, but it’s small enough to fit comfortably in the user’s hand, with an internal gyro making ambidextrous use not only possible, but even simple. In fact, simplicity is the name of the game here.

The device has minimal controls built into the housing. Flip the viewfinder open, and it powers up. The user will have to open the lens cap manually, which is a bit of a design oversight. Beyond that, it has three controls; a record button, a zoom control and a ‘home’ button set into the viewfinder, next to the screen.

Hitting the home button brings up a host of other options for the user, all controlled via the touch sensitive LCD screen. From varied settings and tweaks through to special effects and even ‘movie style’ modifiers (which will preset the camera to apply a Noir, Western or numerous other ‘feels’ to the final video) the user has tons to play and experiment with here.

Despite its fairly small size, the Compact Full HD Memory Camcorder packs a fair punch. Versatility is increased by the fact that the viewfinder can be flipped around to face forward, and the Schneider Kreuznach lens delivers clear video across a wide variety of lighting conditions. Full HD video is captured by a good quality BSI CMOS sensor, and 20x zoom – of which 10x is optical and 10x is digital – allows for a decent amount of “getting in close”.

The camera saves all recorded video on an SD card, which can get chewed up pretty quickly when used with full HD video quality.

The battery delivers a fair life as well, but there is no reason to not carry spare memory cards and batteries for this device, particularly if you’re going to be doing a lot of filming, or are going to be far from power sources and downloading opportunities.

If you like keeping your video camera a separate device, this one is extremely handy and versatile, not to mention very easy to use. It’s added features give it that little bit of extra oomph to compete against consolidated devices, too. It’s a good tool for the job.

Verdict: A compact and easy-to-use video camera.

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