All other settings must be found via the menu system. You can toggle the face detection and image stabilisation. The latter is digital, and only mildly effective, but worth having nonetheless. There is a small selection of digital effects, but these are a little more adventurous than the usual fare. Alongside the ubiquitous negative and sepia options are settings to create a fisheye look and vignetting. There’s also backlight compensation available, which will be useful but we wish this was more directly accessible than through the menu. Scene modes are invoked automatically as the camcorder detects conditions, but you’re not given the option to choose these manually. There are no other settings available, not even a basic exposure control.
As we predicted from the sensor specification, the W200’s image quality is its major strength. On paper, the CMOS is similar to those found in premium camcorders. Whilst the tiny lens means performance is merely good in bright conditions, detail and colour are commendable for a camcorder this price. However, low light abilities exceed even what we’ve come to expect from pocket Internet camcorders, which generally do better than their prices would imply. The image remains very bright down to poor levels of illumination, colour fidelity is maintained and there’s little sign of grain. This would be a good capability in any camcorder, but it’s essential in one aimed at shooting in the gloomy depths, and the W200 performs admirably.
In many respects, Samsung’s W200 is just another toughened, waterproof pocket Internet camcorder. But it is equal to the best in its specifications in this area. It also offers the best performance in low light that we’ve seen in any camcorder costing under £100, making it particularly well suited to its intended aquatic shooting task. So, whilst it’s not exactly bursting with features, the W200 is an ideal companion if you want to grab footage during shallow scuba diving or just in difficult conditions where normal camcorders just aren’t tough enough.
Score in detail
Image Quality 9