Pros / There are several special effects features, including sepia, noir, black and white, western and negative.
Cons / The lens cover must be opened manually.
Verdict / The Samsung HMX-F90 has a lot of interesting built-in editing filters and takes clear video.
The Samsung HMX-F90 takes relatively crisp video and has unique, fun in-camera editing features to enhance your footage. This camcorder is among the lightest we tested at 7.7 ounces, and while some of our reviewers liked the lightweight feel, others were worried it would break easily. It has a large, square, removable battery located on the back of the camera. The camcorder isn’t waterproof or shockproof, so make sure to keep it safe and dry.
This camcorder can shoot video in up to 1080p resolution, which means you’ll be capturing memories in high definition. Our reviewers watched the footage we took and gave it a C- for overall video quality. It received a B for color balance because outdoor footage of brown bushes appeared rather red on camera. It has a manual lens cover so you’ll need to remember to use the switch on the side of the unit to open it before you hit record. You can also take still photos using a button at the top of the camcorder.
The LCD screen on the HMX-F90 isn’t a touchscreen so you must use a toggle button to navigate. Like all the other camcorders we tested, the LCD screen rotates. Some standard features like image stabilization are included, and you can access filters like sepia, noir, black and white, western and negative. You can even add background music without even having to upload your video to your computer. Like the Nikon KeyMission 80, there is also a time-lapse film option.
The optical zoom lens on this camcorder is the best of any we tested at 52x, beating out the Panasonic HC-W580’s 50x optical zoom. Optical zoom changes the lens inside the camcorder to magnify the image, so it gives much clearer close-up video than digital zoom, which simply crops the digital image. A strong optical zoom is ideal for large sporting events or even arena concerts. It also has 70x intelligent zoom and 130x digital zoom, but the video quality will suffer if you use these.
The HMX-F90 comes with a battery, a wall adapter, USB cord and AV cord. Battery life will vary depending on the resolution you record in. The IA-BP105R battery included with the device we tested takes about two and a half hours to fully charge and will take about an hour and a half of video – more if you're filming in a low resolution. If you get a IA-BP210R battery, it takes about five hours to charge and will take roughly three hours of continuous video, also depending on the resolution you record in. Either way, it’s always safe to carry an extra battery. It’s necessary to take a full-size SD card along as this camcorder doesn’t have any built-in memory.