Samsung has launched a high-definition (HD) video camera that can also snap high-resolution digital photos and take smooth slow-motion video.

The HMX20, which was shown in prototype form at CES in Las Vegas in January, can manage 1080p full high definition (1,920 pixel by 1,080 pixel resolution) and 8-megapixel images. It's also capable of snapping pictures while video is being recorded -- a feature that is becoming popular on cameras but is still not standard.

To frame shots there's a 2.7-inch widescreen monitor that swings out of the side of the camera much like most other camcorders.

A special feature is the 300 frames per second (fps) shooting mode for slow-motion video. Video is usually recorded at 30 fps and becomes jumpy when slowed down, but by recording at 300 fps it can be slowed down by as much as 10 times and still appear smooth.

The camera has a round body and is designed to be easily held in one hand. Its compact size is aided by the lack of a tape or optical storage disc drive. Instead it stores video and images on flash memory. It has 8G bytes of built-in memory and this can be extended with an SD or MMC memory card.

The camera has been announced for South Korea where it will cost 899,000 won (US$857). Launch details for other markets have not been set yet.