* Prices may differ from that shown
The Samsung S800 was my first digital camera and it is the camera I'm still using today. After a fair few years I'm impressed at it's reilience having dropped it/left it in the rain/sat on it on a number of occasions. Obviously not something I'd advocate with your own s800 just in case!
The camera design is ergonomic and therefore easy to grip and position. You are able to use the keys next to the screen, position the dial on the top and take a photo, all without much need to reposition your hold on the camera. The camera also feels well built and solid, unlike some cheap-feeling, flimsy competitor's offerings I looked at prior to purchase.
The camera boasts 3x optical zoom which is operated by a simple rocker button and functions smoothly and quickly so you don't miss your photo subject. The dial on the top allows you to set the camera up in one of many pre-programmed modes including automatic, portrait and sports. If you know what you're doing then you can also set the camera to manual and input the individual specifications for the shot, exposure length for example. Not something I've ever used so unfortunately I can't comment on this feature. The pre-programmed settings work well and even allow me to take relatively good shots of fast moving show-jumping horses.
The menu on the camera is full of features and allows you to change the megapixel setting from 8mp down to 1mp if required. It also allows you to add frames to photos and change the brightness, colour balance and add effects to your shots. Some of these aren't particularly useful but are great for a bit of fun. The menu itself is a little tricky to navigate and I'd advise keeping the manual to hand until you're familiar with all the settings and functions. To begin with I had a knack for making little symbols appear on the screen and not having a clue what they meant or how to remove them!
The flash has three settings, on, off or red-eye reduction. It's a bit hit and miss as to whether the occurance of red-eyes will actually be reduced but it's nice to give it a go just in case. The flash overall is effwective and I can usually take night time photos that aren't blurry or underexposed. A 'night' setting on the phone will take photos in low light without the flash by increasing the exposure time. Great for still landscape shots - not useful for taking photos of family and friends though!
Overall a nicely sized, well built little camera that just keeps going. Not one for the experts but if you're looking for a family camera to take on holiday that's reasonably priced then this might be for you.
My Need For The Camera
As a design student, I was in desperate need of a cheap camera, but that packed some punch at the same time. Although this went over my initial spending budget I have no regrets. I guess if I lost it, I would love to replace it, not sure I'd have the money though! Maybe I should take out some insurance!
The S800 is your standard digital camera. It can take we have red eye flash, lighting level flash, standard and none. Its has a lot of contrast/resolution features for specific features such as portrait or shooting at night, Whilst these aren't new features, it doesn't make them any less useful. Its 3x optical zoom is great with no quality loss and although its technologically "ahead of its time" its better than not having it.
It has 3 picture qualities normal, fine, superfine and you can choose your mega pixel size from 1-8 for optimal strategic memory card managing.
Videos you say?
It can take mpeg4 videos up to 640x 480 at 15fps with sound recording as well. Now if you're a tech wiz then take what you want from that, if your not then that's fairly standard, its not for making feature lengths but for capturing memories with friends. It is an ideal camera for frequent facebookers or myspacers. The camera however has no lighting system so for club videos or steamy sex tapes it may not be ideal, but for family moments, or a casual desire in video editing it is ideal.
Is it Complicated?
It is very simple to use, the menu is accessible and easy to read. The large LCD screen is brilliant for reminiscing upon pictures just taken and is simple to navigate. The menus are very simple. I've only referred to the manual once and that was to find out what each button did. To be fair for anyone that has used a camera before, it is fairly self explanatory. and then a bit more.
Value for Money
I paid £80 for this camera and I use it to take pictures both for art and for leisure and the real question is," is it worth the money?" and to answer that properly you really need to compare the features with the competition.
This was the highest quality camera I could get for that price. 8 mega pixels is definitely an improvement on 4 which is the standard for 80 pound cameras. The features lack real individual ness, but with plug and play capabilities and photo edit software packaged in with every new pc, who needs them?
So what about its purpose .
The S800 is definitely a standard camera, is positives are its high quality and low price. Its size may make it a bit more difficult to transport in small mini skirts, and the camera does actually consume batteries like no tomorrow. However these are negligible when you get such a nifty camera at such a price. Its no professional tool, but for those that just want to capture moments, or maybe with a bit of an interest in commercial photography its ideal.
You can't change the lens or add fish lens, so it may not be ideal for cooky counter culture photography, however I'm sure these effects can be replicated in programs such as photoshop
This camera is all about price and quality and it is definitely a recommended buy, if this is the type of camera that you are looking for. If anything this is definitely a family camera.
I also bought a 1gb card for an additional £15 from Currys Digital on medium quality this gives me around 1000+ pictures and at higher quality (8 mega pixel and super fine) I get about 300 which is still a decent amount. Its gives me just short of an hour of film footage.
If you are still hesitant - then maybe you should buy the camera and take it out for a spin and if its not what you want take it back (just be very careful!) Normally shop assistants are very helpful and can give you on the spot demonstrations.