Product Type: Samsung digital cameras
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A good point and shoot camera
Samsung Digimax A400
Member Name: jillycat
Samsung Digimax A400
Date: 25/06/11, updated on 26/06/11 (69 review reads)
Advantages: easy to use gives clear pictures built well with no faults in over 6 years of use
Disadvantages: Not a lot of features not great in zooming in or for movement shots
This is a basic digital camera from Samsung as such there are limited features and no huge amounts of technical things that a more professional and hobbyist photographer than myself would want. The camera came with the following as well as the camera:
* User Manual
* Product Warranty
* Camera Strap
* Software CD
* USB cable.
About the camera
The camera's instruction booklet is simple to understand and gives clear guidance on how to set up and use your camera. I still at times check back in it if it is a feature I am not totally familiar with such as putting a frame on a picture for a cheesy effect.
The camera its self is a long rectangle it is nice and chunky to hold and I find it easy to keep my hands still to get a clear picture as it is so easy to hold. The lens is sighted on the right-hand side of the camera on the front. On the rear is the oval main controller to select the various programs such as play back, under the main controller there are 3 buttons including the play mode a +/- button that controls some of the features and a two-inch LCD screen. On the top on the camera there is the mode switch for you to choose between the camera, video record and the voice record function. The voice record function is something I have never used really and I can't quite see the point of it on a camera. The movie mode is 24 fps which I believe is the same as 35 mm movie cameras so this seems quite a decent feature to my un-trained eye. What I find is that this gives a really clear and crisp picture and sound to any video clips I take. As there is no limit on the length of your clips if you have good storage available on your memory card and I find this gives me the opportunity to record what I wish without many constraints and I have never run out of memory.
The camera has a resolution of four mega pixels which is about an average mega pixel rate I believe. There is a 2.8x optical zoom lens what this means that you get a range of 37 to 104 mm whilst I find this to be an OK zoom for indoors when I am outdoors trying to take scenic photos I often find that I can't zoom in far enough to give a lot of clarity. I have tried to get nice pictures of wildlife on many days out with both the optical zoom and the digital zoom and whilst the images look good on the 2 inch screen on the camera when I have up loaded them they are a little fuzzy and with not a crisp clear image.
Given this is a middle of the road camera I am pleased with how well it is built and over the years of use with this camera I have had no problems with sticky buttons on the controls or the zoom buttons or any faults with it all.
The additional of the red eye and self timer have been two of my favorite features of the camera as with my old non digital camera I would often end up with people looking like red eyed rabbits and this seems to cut out this problem. The self timer I have used countless times to take family photos and snaps when we were on our honeymoon and this is easy to use and the blinking light gives you plenty of warning of when to pose.
The menu system is easy to use and navigate with the buttons on the back of the camera. Once pressed a row of icons appears along the top of the LCD screen that then has a drop-down list of options for you to choose from. It is easy to use this to select what you want such as the quality of the picture, any special effects such as black and white or sepia. There is the choice to either use it in this programmed mode which gives you the opportunity to experiment in a simple way with limited effects and with simple tools such as whether you want it to be in landscape or portrait mode. Or you can do what I do for the majority of the time and select auto which makes the majority of the decisions for you. I find this point and shoot style to be nice and easy to do as I don't have a lot of photography know how. I have to admit the majority of the time I am pleased with the results that the auto programme on the camera produces. What I am finding now is that as my son is three and on the move a lot more that the camera speed just simply isn't fast enough to capture him with a smile or when he does his quick poses. The speed is fine for adults and scenery shots but if you are wanting to take a lot of pictures of wild life or children then I don't think this camera is quite up to the job.
The camera only has 16 MB of internal memory so you really do need to have a memory card because this is such as small amount of space. The camera accepts ordinary SD cards and these are easy to insert. The power for the camera is by two ordinary AA batteries rather than a built in battery. I find the camera does eat batteries really and if I am going some where that I want to take pictures I always ensure I have spares with me as the warning between running low and it being totally empty is very short.
Loading the pictures up on to my computer is simple to do the cable supplied does the job very well and the cable is easy to insert into the camera. It does take a few minutes to down load them all if you have a lot of pictures. The soft ware supplied with the camera is easy to install and the editing supplied with it is again a bit basic with such function as resizing inserting text so you may want to invest in more photo editing if you are an enthusiastic amateur. .
One of the most important parts of a camera refers to the photo quality and I have always been impressed with the clear crisp images that I have taken with this. The time I am disappointed is when I have gone for a really zoomed in picture then it is blurry but bar this the sharpness of the pictures is very good I think. This is not just confirmed to the bit in the centre of the photo but encompasses it all really so landscapes look especially good with this camera. You can make some of the images clearer with the software package but I have to admit very few of them need me to do this. The photos of my son mid movement are as you would expect blurry but this I think relates to the quickness of the camera rather than the quality of the pictures it takes as when I have taken photos of people who are stationary and who pose for photos this isn't a problem.
I have been more than pleased with this basic camera during the 6 years or so that I have been using it. The camera is easy to use and is very much a point and shoot camera. If your tastes are for something that enables you to do more artistic shots and for you're to have greater control over speed and zooming in for shots then this isn't for you. The deficits in how this camera copes with action shots has been highlighted for me over the past year as my son poses less for photos now and the camera just can't keep up. This camera is still available second hand on the likes of eBay and Amazon for between £10-35 and if you are after something simple to use then it would fit the bill.
Summary: A great basic camera that is easy to use lasts well and great for point and shoot photo taking
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