- Support for dual layer discs, easy to use, well built, microphone input, huge zoom
- Poor video quality, poor still image quality
While it has a good range of features, the VP-DC165Wi is let down by poor quality video.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
There are a lot of things going for the Samsung VP-DC165Wi, including Dual Layer recording and a great feature set. The trouble is they just don't make up for the mediocre video quality and dreadful still images from this lower priced model.
For a start, the colour reproduction is disappointing. In anything but perfect lighting conditions the colours looked washed out and dim. Passing cars outfit in garish red were reduced to a maroon hue on our recordings. The glossy green sheen of the grasses growing outside our office looked drab and dull.
Things were even worse in our low light tests taken in a darkened room. Here we shoot brightly coloured bricks and a colour test chart. Both are an explosion of primary colours, but came out looking almost entirely grey. However, some camcorders fail to even pick up any details in this test, so things could have been worse still.
Unfortunately, it's not just the colour that's off. We found the picture generally lacked the sharpness that we have seen on other models, even when using the highest quality settings. Video, while generally smooth, had a soft, blurry look that degraded the image. We also noticed a fair number of compression artifacts creeping into footage, as is common with DVD camcorders.
If things weren't great with the video quality, they were downright awful with still images. The 800 x 600 snaps produced by the VP-DC165Wi look as if they have been created by the camera on a $99 mobile phone. All the problems we saw on the video are present, but in this case they are exacerbated further. You would struggle to even produce a decent 6 x 4in print from these.
All these problems may make the VP-DC165Wi sound a like a terrible camcorder. But, as we have seen with other Samsung units, near enough every other aspect of the camera is well designed and well implemented. If only Samsung could up the quality of the video they'd actually be onto a winner.
The build quality is generally very good, especially for a cut-price model such as this. The camera is easy to hold and lightweight too, though there are a few hard edges. All the vital functions are within easy reach, and there's a convenient shortcut menu for accessing manual options. These options include shutter speed, manual exposure and white balance control. Manual focus can be accessed with a dedicated set of buttons.
These are good inclusions for a lower-priced camcorder, and another great feature is the microphone jack which sits on the rear of the chassis. It's rare to see a microphone jack on a camcorder in this price range, so Samsung's decision to add one is certainly welcome. Other hardware features include the huge 33x optical zoom, which is verging on overkill, and the 2.7in widescreen LCD.
One final feature of note is the VP-DC165Wi's support of different DVD formats. In addition to regular 8cm DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW, the camcorder also supports Dual Layer DVD+R. This doubles the recording time of the DVDs. Considering most DVD camcorders can only manage a rather feeble 20 minutes of recording at their highest settings, the jump to 40 minutes is useful.
Samsung has crafted a capable yet underperforming camcorder with the VP-DC165Wi. On paper, its range of features and support for Dual Layer discs make it a viable contender. In practice, the sub par video and images make it a less than perfect choice.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
- Jump the line for the newest Chromecast features with Google's new preview program
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCEOI - TIBCO DeveloperACT
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagersACT
- CCNetwork Solution Designer/Architect - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- CCSenior Front End DeveloperOther
- FTLinux Unix AdministratorNSW
- CCHadoop DeveloperQLD
- CCService Desk OfficerSA
- FTService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperNSW
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerSA
- CCBusiness Analyst - Finance - CBDNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager | Digital MarketNSW
- CCSenior Front End DeveloperVIC
- CCWindows 365 Engineer - start ASAPNSW
- TPBusiness Systems AnalystQLD
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTOracle IDM R1/R2 Implementation SpecialistNSW
- FTSoftware Implementation ConsultantVIC
- CCDesktop Support EngineerNSW
- CCTechnical Application Specialist (Cerner)QLD
- CCService Desk/Helpdesk ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Technology SpecialistACT
- CCFacilities Coordinator/ Data Centre Coordinator- Multiple RolesVIC
- CCAd Optimisation ManagerVIC