5x optical zoom with digital stabilization, great software, low shutter delay, clean image, intuitive user interface
Processing and display is occationally laggy, use a propriatory cable connector, not as slim as the Canon digital elphs.
OK, I am quite a camera snob, I have digital SLR for my serious photo trips with multiple lens costing thousands each. So I will say I am quite a discernking customer as far as cameras are concerned. I have always been using Canon pro, prosumer level gears and have ... Read full review
OK, I am quite a camera snob, I have digital SLR for my serious photo trips with multiple lens costing thousands each. So I will say I am quite a discernking customer as far as cameras are concerned. I have always been using Canon pro, prosumer level gears and have been getting excellent results (no doubt), But for trip with my kid in the park and casual family gathering, who want to deal with a 50 lb photo bag.
My previous Canon Powershot started having some focusing mechanism issues, so I have been looking to replace that little guy. I went to Costco as they have been offering good deals on camera packages (p/s camera with bag, memory card, all 9 yards). The Samsung caught my eye due to its feature set (5x optical zoom, digital stablization and a good sized screen with 640x480 video, and a bunch of SMART features), and the price for the package is 30 to 50 dollars less than the Nikon offering and over 70 dollars less than a low end Canon elph with only 3x zoom. But the demo unit at costco has no battery in it (I wonder if that's by design, as all the Nikon and Canon's had bettries in them). After quite a while comparing features, I tthought I gave the Samsung a try. Since's it's Costco, I have 90 days if I wind up no keeping it.
WHat a surprise it was, the Samsung came out to be an excellent little camera. The first thing I noticed is how clean the images are even under dark conditions, it's much better even than my previous Canon p/s powershot (of course, my canon was over 5 years old). Since I had a chance to play with the Nikon and Panasonic offering at the store, my mental comparison would put the Samsung's image noise at a lower level than both of those units (these two are also small units under $200, but the samsung was a $100 package). The other thing that came as quite a surprise is the fact the the camera has a program mode that allowed quite a bit tweak for anyono who want that (being quite a serious photographer, I surely appreciate the ability to manually set EV compensation, iso, etc, but keep in mind, aperture and shutter timing is not direclty adjustable even under program mode). And the camera software has quick pop up helps directly on screen to easily inform you of the features and the functions of the camera as you press the keys to manuever through the differents parts of the menus system, very easy to use!! The camera is also quite good for a point shoot, having very little shutter lag, and the optical quality of the lens is also quite good. The digital stablization feature is nice, allowing a cleaning shot when at the extreme end of the zoom lens.
Of course, since I am so used to DSLR's response time, this Samsung definitely is slower in processing its images, I am suspecting, there's quite a bit of digital processing behind some of the shooting features (diigital stablization, face recongizaiton, etc), so depends on the mode of shooting being used, the processing delay can be annoying. Also when browsing the pictures, the delays between each picture is also slower than I am used to on a DSLR or even compared to my previous Canon powershot, it's not terrible, but I wouldn't say its snappy. The Canon's DIGIC4 definitely is faster than the Samsung.
The battery is rechargable, and the camera has a propriatory connector (instead of the standard mini-USB), this rubs me the wrong way as I hate carrying special cables around, but since the camera uses SD cards, so I will likely use card readers to get the pictures of the cards, however, keep in mind the battery is also charged using the same propriatory connector. I think all of this is to reduce the size of the camera, I guess I can live with that.
Overall, this camera seems to be quite a steal at the price and has great image quality, it is definitely more feature rick compared to other brands at this price point. I wish it is a bit smaller, but I really like the good sized LCD. A few little quibbles aside, you certainly can do a lot worse than this little Samsung when picking a easy to carry digital camera.