At this year's PMA, an exhibition of cameras, one striking video camera was the "HMX-R10" developed by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The camera, with a cute compact body made of aluminum alloy, can shoot full HD video (Fig 1).
It will be released in the summer of 2009 at an estimated street price of US$550, which is lower than the prices of made-in-Japan camcorders of the same kind.
The lens of the camera faces upward. And, if you hold it carelessly, people may think you are trying to film up someone's skirt, though I might be the only one who thought that way. ...
Anyway, the proper way of holding the camera is shown in the second picture (Fig 2).
According to a survey of fatigue degree conducted by Samsung, the degree of fatigue caused by holding this camera for three minutes is substantially lower than a camcorder manufactured by a company whose name begins with S (Fig 3).
"We made considerable efforts to make it easy to hold a camera when developing, for example, the SC-HMX20, but this one is much better, isn't it?" the company staffer said.
The buttons of the HMX-R10 seem to be well laid out too (Fig 4). Basically, the camera is operated using the right thumb, and the shutter button for still images is pressed by the right index finger.
There is another point of interest with the HMX-R10: It seems to be equipped with the second-generation ultra high-speed CMOS sensor (pixel pitch: 1.7μm) manufactured by Sony. Though Samsung declined to answer my question, the number of pixels and the optical size of the camera are exactly the same as those of the CMOS sensor.
In the past, Samsung used the first-generation product (pixel pitch: 2.5μm) in the SC-HMX20 (though Samsung did not articulate it).
The user interface on the touch panel and the slow-motion shooting function of the HMX-R10 can be seen in the movie below, which was posted by Samsung.
As described in the video, this camera uses 1080/50i and 720/50p recording formats, which are slightly different from the standard formats. When images are decoded and output in HDMI format, they seem to be converted to 1080/60i, etc. But I could not confirm if that process is actually employed for the camera.