Waterproof, the Samsung W350 can dive as deep as 5m and is tough : it does not fear dust nor sand and is at ease on any outdoor playground, beach, lagoon, river, kayaking, snorkeling… Samsung has designed a protective rubber armor that is also floating. The W350 will not drawn like a stone of it slips out of your hands. Well thought. This orange protective casing reminds me of the LaCie Rugged external hard drives. Samsung will deliver the W350 with two systems to hold it : an armband for filming while running, ridding a horse… you can wear it at your wrist, and a shoulder/back strap that lets you shoot movies with your hands free if you need them…
(if you are looking at waterproof imaging devices, you can read my 2012 waterproof cameras roundup / also see the Sony GW55 waterproof digital camcorder, a much more advanced camcorder featuring a 10x zoom lens)
From an image quality point of view, the Samsung W350 records movies in Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30p thanks to a BSI CMOS sensor (back side illuminated) that should offer a very decent high ISO image quality and has a built-in stereo mic. The videos are compressed in H.264 and can be shared almost instantly thanks to an integrated USB port (don’t need to carry your USB cable around) and a “one touch” Facebook or YouTube button that uploads videos and stills to your accounts once the camcorder is connected to a PC. The W350 has no zoom but a prime lens equivalent to a 48mm, not much of a wide angle lens. To offset this lack of angle of view, it has a rather fast aperture of f/2.2, quite useful for underwater footages where light is always very dim. The camcorder has an Aqua scene mode that will balance the colors according to the extreme values that reign under the sea and boost the ISO sensitivity to get a more steadier image (the camcorder does not have any other image stabilization system than this digital stabilization system). The camcorder will also correct the lens distorsion.
Available in July, the Samsung W350 rugged waterproof camcorder will hit the shelves at a price of $159 / €179.