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I got this camera at a very good price in a sale about 2 years ago. It was my very first digital camera and all the family found it really easy to use. I took it to a Safari park and took some great shots. The camera uses AA batteries and came with a memory card so I didnt have the hassle of finding which was compatible. The battery life is very good. I used it at a wedding all day, switching on and off at regular intervals and didnt have to change the batteries once!
I found the LCD viewfinder to be a perfect size, i used the camera with my children who are 8 and 11 and they really enjoy using it. I suppose if you are used to a optical viewfinder it is strange at first but you do get used to the features and it is sturdy, well made and easy to use.
It is great to have the facility of recording video, sound quality has a slight hum but I have some great little videos recorded on this camera! The digital zoom is sharp.
One downside, desipte using various settings, there is some overexposure apparent on images taken outdoors - very pale faces - not very flattering and I cannot seem to get rid of this. However, all in all, a simple to use, gooq quality well priced camera.
Samsungs Digimax A4 is a high quality, fully featured digital camera that performs very well, it has an impressive battery life and takes high quality pictures, and very useful videos with sound.
The construction of the case seems very sturdy and the camera feels like a solid and well built quality unit.
The camera has 3 times optical zoom and a further 4 times digital zoom. I was a little sceptical about the digital zoom on the camera but it really does allow you to zoom into objects and still produce a clear and useful picture. As an example of this feature the family recently visited Chester Zoo, and I was able to take some very detailed pictures of a red panda who was sat at the top of a 30 foot tree; not quite the whites of its eyes, but pretty close.
The A4 also has a macro mode and this allows you to take clear pictures when the subject is as little as 10 cms away. Again going back to Chester Zoo, I was able to take some very good pictures of some ants as they carried leaves on their backs whilst climbing a tree - It might not be the most exciting picture ever taken, but the clarity and detail of the macro mode pictures are excellent.
The camera has all the usual features that you would expect these days, but one of the really useful features of the camera is its ability to record AVI video files; these AVI files can be played directly on most windows PCs, and can be easily sent to friends and relatives; so they can relive the school play or school sports day only hours after the event. The video feature does include sound and the size of the picture can be as low as 160 x 120 pixels at 15 fps, and as detailed as 640 x 480 pixels at 24 fps. This gives you a recording time, on the 16mb inbuilt memory, of 17 to 228 seconds. The unit takes SD and MMC cards and I have had no problem using a 512mb memory card in the unit.
When taking pictures you can record a short voice message to accompany the picture and this feature has proved very useful.
The A4 is very easy to connect to a Windows 2000 or newer version PC, and without installing any software the PC will recognise the camera has a removable disk drive when it is connected by a standard USB cable (supplied with camera).
The unit takes normal AA batteries, I tend to use 1700mah Ni-Mh batteries in the unit and I have never had the batteries fail on me during a family day trip out. One of the strong selling features of this unit was the fact that it takes normal AA batteries and does not rely on its own internal rechargeable batteries; which if they went flat mid shoot would render the camera useless until it could be recharged.
The camera comes with Photoimpression software for managing the pictures and videos. It does seem to be a competent programme and covers most of the features that you should need. To be honest, I tend to remove the memory card and by means of a portable USB card reader download directly to my PC and process the images using Windows XP software.
The camera is PictBridge enabled and will print directly from a suitable printer. I have not been able to try this feature, but my instinct is, that given the effort that Samsung have put into the usability and features of the camera it should work perfectly.
The only negative feature of the camera is the fact that it does not have an optical view finder. To start with I did find this a little difficult to get used to, but I very quickly adjusted to viewing and framing the picture through the 1.8 LCD. The only time that this is a concern now is when I take pictures in bright sunlight. The LCD display is very clear, but it can be difficult to frame your picture on a bright and sunny day.
The camera seems to have a 1001 settings that can be changed through the easy to use menu system, but I have never felt that I needed to alter anything other than the video or picture size settings, and that was/is very easy to do.
The camera is very easy to use, the buttons are clearly set out and my 10 year old son has had no problems using the camera at all.
If I were to buy a new camera today I would buy a Samsung again, but I would probably buy a Digimax A? with an optical viewfinder.