Waterproof camcorders are increasingly ubiquitous, particularly at the pocket Internet end of the market. After all, if you're buying a camcorder small enough to take anywhere, one of those places you may want to takes it could well involve water, and it might also include sand and the chance of an accidental knock or two. Latest to offer protection from these types of conditions is Samsung. But its W200 offers a few surprises compared to most waterproof "candybar" camcorders we've tested.
Where the Polaroid X720's resilience abilities haven't been certified to particular standards, the Samsung W200 comes with a raft of accreditations. It's shockproof to IPX8 and dustproof to IP5X. The former means the W200 can withstand a drop from 2m, whilst the latter implies it won't let any dust in. Samsung also states the W200 can resist a depth of 3m underwater, although this claim is not backed up by any particular international standard. Nevertheless, although the W200 probably wouldn't cope with deep sea diving or being run over, you can happily use it in other relatively extreme conditions.
To achieve these abilities, the W200 has a lockable door protecting the compartment containing the memory card slot and mini HDMI port, whilst another hides the USB plug. The locking mechanisms here don't appear to be quite as foolproof as the best, double-locked systems out there (primarily on Panasonic's models, such as the HM-TA20), but the switches are very stiff, so you'd have to be pretty unlucky to open them accidentally. As we already mentioned, unlike every other waterproof camcorder we've tested in this genre there's an actual USB plug, rather than a socket. So you won't need to carry a cable to hook the device up to a computer. Intelli-studio Light is built in, which will allow you to edit footage once it has been copied to a desktop computer, but can upload directly to YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, and via email.