January 15, 2011

Image flipping Samsung HMX-Q10

A novel feature on Samsung's new $299 HMX-Q10 camcorder would be a useful addition for video journalists (or possibly left-handed shooters). As it has an magnetic sensor, it knows when it is turned upside down, so can automatically flip the picture (and menu controls) over. This means you can have the LCD screen on the other side – most camcorders, especially small ones, have the screen fixed to the left-hand side of the camera. This makes life difficult for any video journalist that wants their interviewee looking right in the picture if they have to stand on the left of the camera.

The Switch Grip technology could also be useful for very low shots, where, for example, you carry it upside down on a monopod, which would otherwise have to be flipped in post. The only physical controls are a record button, zoom ring and single home button beside the 2.7-inch touchscreen, where everything else is controlled. The inexpensive, 1080i or 720p HD consumer camcorder, which will also take 4.9MP stills, is otherwise unremarkable, but the technology could find itself in other camcorders in future.

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