Posts Tagged ‘point-and-shoot’

Samsung SH100 WiFi Compact Camera Review

Samsung SH100: Pocket Camera with Instant Image Sharing
Text and Images by Allison Gibson

First revealed at CES this year, the Samsung SH100 ($199.99 MSRP) compact digital camera offers instant, wireless sharing of images—via email or upload to social networking and photo sharing sites—directly from the device. For a petite pocket camera, this gadget has a far reach. It features a 14-megapixel CCD image sensor, a 5x optical zoom 26mm f/3.3-5.9 Samsung lens, and 720p High Definition video recording (30fps).

Instant Sharing

The most notable feature of the Samsung SH100 is its ability to share and automatically backup captured images instantly and wirelessly, with easy menu options for single or bulk image sharing. By using the camera’s built-in wireless, you can connect to your WiFi network, to other Samsung WiFi cameras, or to an Android-powered Galaxy S smartphone to share your images. The phone can also be used as a remote viewfinder, offering real time preview and control of the shutter release.

The options for sharing include: email, and upload to Facebook, Picasa, YouTube and Photobucket. You can also browse existing photo albums while logged into Facebook, but cannot view walls or post statuses (there’s no qwerty keyboard on the camera).

When I recently met with members of the Samsung team, I nagged them about the fact that the SH100 wasn’t Twitter compatible, given the massive global popularity of the social networking site. Twitter users regularly include images in their tweets and I saw this as a missed opportunity for Samsung. Another obvious missed opportunity for the photo sharing community is Flickr. The good news is, I was told that Twitter and others are being considered for the next generation of the camera, and that adding support for new services is easy now that the technology for sharing is already there there. The fact that the remote viewfinder feature only works with Samsung smartphones seems a little incestuous and excludes users of other smartphones, but I can understand the interest in keeping the technology within the brand.

Design & UI

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With a 3-inch touchscreen LCD that operates in the familiar way of a smartphone, the menus are easy to navigate, if a smidge less graceful in the dragging department than the smartphone that I’m most familiar with—the iPhone 4. The only button on the back of the camera, to the right of the LCD, is a dedicated Home button, which brings you back to the main menu from wherever you happen to be. At the top of the camera, you have the power button, zoom toggle and playback button. Otherwise, everything else is in the digital menu, which certainly helped to keep the camera’s slim profile in check. At 3.66″W x 2.12″H x .74″D, the SH100 is very compact, and also lightweight. Another way they keep the size of the body down is to use MicroSD for memory, rather than the more common SD/SDHC cards.

The thing about these tiny digicams, though, is that they are sometimes too small to stabilize, making them prone to blur from camera shake. And, unfortunately, the SH100 only features “Digital Image Stabilization,” not OIS (optical image stabilization, which stabilizes before the image is converted digitally) to compensate for shakiness. However, one exterior aid is the thumb grip on the back of the camera, which allows the camera to sit more securely in-hand when recording. But even then, especially in low-light conditions, you will need to brace the left side of the camera and turn up the ISO sensitivity to combat blur. I think one way to combat this—externally— in a future generation would be to raise the shutter release, rather than leave it in the recessed position it is in now. As it is now, it requires a lot of pressure to snap a shot, and any extra pressure is bound to cause camera shake.

Creative Touches


Magic Frame: Billboard 1 (click to view full-size image)

One of the many creative features of the SH100 is called Magic Frame Shot, which allows you to layer your photograph into a digital template of your liking, with real time preview of the effects as you shoot. The options include: Wall Art, Album, Ripple, Full Moon, Old Record, Magazine, Sunny Day, Classic TV, Yesterday, Holiday, and two Billboard choices. Options such as image quality, flash and self-timer may still be applied to this effect. As with a regular shot, a Magic Frame Shot can be instantly shared on Facebook or emailed once captured.


Photo Filters: Vignetting, Fish-eye, Miniature; Smart Auto mode (click images to enlarge)

Another built-in creative feature of the SH100 is Photo Filter, which includes a menu of distinct automatic art filters, such as: Miniature (similar to Tilt-Shift or Toy Camera options seen elsewhere), Vignetting (similar to a Pinhole camera effect), Soft Focus, Half Tone, Sketch, Fish-eye, Defog, Classic, Retro, Negative, and two Old Film options. I was pleased to find that the Fish-eye filter is one of the better digital replications of the fish-eye lens effect that I’ve seen to date, after having tested the effect in several other cameras’ art filter lineups—including that of the PENTAX K-x and K-r DSLRs. I only wish the fish-eye images weren’t framed with that black vignette, which sort of looks like an old television set.

Additional creative features include: Scene Modes, Vignetting, Beauty Shot, Movie Filter, Night Shot, Palette Effect and Object Highlight. There is also a built-in Photo Editor. The SH100′s Smart Auto 2.0 for still images and video does the guesswork for you by choosing one of 17 different shooting modes.

Conclusion

While the Samsung SH100 isn’t the first WiFi point-and-shoot, it does offer the most avenues for connecting. Hopefully soon this will be standard fair for pocket cams, with even more options, as instant sharing is the name of the game these days.

Samsung SH100

  • MSRP:
  • $199.99
  • Size/Weight:
  • 3.66”W x 2.12”H x 0.74”D
  • Image Sensor:
  • 14-megapixels, CCD (1/2.33″)
  • Still Recording Format:
  • JPG
  • Memory:
  • Micro SD
  • Display:
  • 3-inch touch LCD
  • Video Recording Mode:
  • 1280×720 (30/15fps); in H.264 format
  • ISO Equivalent:
  • Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
  • Power Source:
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Contact:
  • www.samsung.com/us
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Hands-on with PENTAX Optio RS1500

PENTAX has just announced the Optio RS1500 second generation customizable pocket cam. The 14-megapixel RS1500 features a 3-inch LCD, a wide 4x optical zoom lens (27.5-110mm) and a thin, lightweight body. This cosmetically customizable digital camera features a removable PENTAX-original faceplate system, which allows you to match the camera to your unique personality. Choose from ten pre-designed skins, or “download the PENTAX PERSONAL SKIN DESIGNER Adobe Air-based software from www.pentaximaging.com and use the digital designer to import a photo or digital image and save a skin as a PDF for printing on a color printer.”

When I got a sneak peek, hands-on look at the Optio RS1500 at CES earlier this year, I was impressed by the upgrades made to the interchangeable skin system. Rather than requiring a tool to switch out the faceplate, the new camera makes it as simple as possible to customize the camera. With the new screwless design, the skin is secured by the interchangeable lens ring snap (which comes in your choice of either orange or black), that easily pops on and off when you want to customize your digicam. This struck me as a great gift idea, especially given the camera’s budget price for those specs. The PENTAX Optio RS1500 will be available in April for $149.95. See the full press release from PENTAX below.

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PENTAX Announces Stylish New Optio S1

PENTAX has just announced the chic new Optio S1 digital camera. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at this stylish little number during CES in January, and was very impressed with not only its looks but its specs, as well as my test shots. The UI of the slim S1 was really intuitive, even with most of the controls are tucked inside the digital menu to eliminate clutter on the sleek camera. The S1 is PENTAX’s first compact digicam to feature built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode, and also boasts a nice, wide 5x optical zoom lens (28-140mm).

The PENTAX Optio S1 is available for pre-order now on the www.pentaxwebstore.com for $199.95. More information from PENTAX below.

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Samsung Announces Five New Digital Cameras

Samsung today announced five new compact digital cameras—the ST30, ST6500, ST95, ST90 and ST65. The 16-megapixel, 5x zoom ST6500 (pictured above) continues with its predecessor (the compact ST5000)’s ergonomic, angled design, and also features a wide 3-inch LCD touch screen and a built-in image editing and creative shooting tool suite that includes Magic Frame and Smart Filter 2.0. Available in March for $229, the ST6500 is the highest priced of the newly launched point-and-shoots. The 10MP ST30 will be available in March for $99.99, and the 16MP ST95, 14MP ST90 and 14MP ST65 will be out in February for $199.99, $149.99 and $129.99, respectively. More from Samsung below:

Samsung ST30, ST95, ST90 and ST65
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Casio Announces the Innovative New TRYX

CES, Las Vegas: Casio has just announced a new and innovative digital camera—the TRYX. Available in April for $249.99, the TRYX catches your attention first because of its distinctive design, which is unlike anything the digital camera sphere has seen before (it looks more like a smart phone at first glance), and of which Casio says, “Thanks to its super thin (.59-inches thick), variable frame design, TRYX can adapt to fit the user’s preferred shooting style or to help them capture an image from just about any angle or in any environment. Users can hold the camera horizontally, in a traditional point-and-shoot style to capture still images or flip out the rotating, three-inch, touch-screen LCD and swivel the body to experience countless other positions. The frame rotates 360-degrees and can be adjusted so that the body can act as a tripod, allowing TRYX to stand on its own, or the LCD screen can be rotated up to 270-degrees so that users can perfect their own self portrait and see themselves in the frame.”

But what of the image making capabilities, Casio? “In addition to its good looks, the Casio TRYX also boasts an equally impressive feature set.” I see. The camera has a 12.1-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, full-HD 1080 video (30fps), Slide Panorama mode to capture 360-degree panoramic images and slow-motion video, and a 21mm ultra-wide-angle lens. Read Casio’s full press release below.

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