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If you read my laptop review you'll probably know I'm not really au fait with technological advancements, so please excuse my lack of technical terms. This will be another jargon free review! Hopefully it will still be useful especially to those who, like me, don't really understand what a megapixel is!
So we wanted a digital camera. We didn't want anything overly fancy, just a point and shoot one that didn't require any real photography skills. We wanted one for taking every day snaps of our ever growing children, that could also be used for taking photos on holiday. Whilst my husband knows a lot about computers, he is like me in knowing very little about cameras so we popped down to Comet to have a look and compare what we could get for the price we wanted to pay. We eventually decided on the Samsung ES80.
* Availability *
We bought ours from Comet as I said and paid around £70. I actually wish I'd shopped about a bit more because you can actually find it cheaper online - it's currently £63 on Amazon. Not a massive saving but every penny counts! You can also buy it from places such as Argos, Tesco Direct and Asda. M&S currently have it on offer for £69 with a free 2 year guarantee.
* Appearance *
You can buy this camera is two different colours, black or silver. We chose the silver because my husband decided it looked classier. It does look quite nice, it's sleek and shiny and doesn't look cheap like others we have seen. However, if we could chose again I'd personally go for the silver. The black plastic casing means that it shows up finger marks which can leave the camera looking a bit grubby and in need of a clean and I think the silver version wouldn't show up the marks as much.
The LCD screen is a decent size measuring 2.4 inches meaning you can view your images relatively clearly. The camera is quite slim line and compact, and barely weighs anything so it's ideal for popping in your pocket when you're on the go.
The power button and the button used for taking the photos or video are situated on the top of the camera, making it easy to find and use. The other buttons, including the zoom and flash settings are situated on the back next to the screen, meaning you don't press them accidently. The buttons are small enough to fit onto the compact camera but not too small that it becomes fiddly to use.
* What do you get with it?*
The camera comes with a USB connectivity cable to allow you to transfer photographs onto your PC. You also get a USB power converter that allows you to charge the camera via your regular wall socket. It annoyingly, doesn't come with a SD card although it is SD card compatible. We bought a SD card separately and I personally find it much less hassle to use that that the USB cable to transfer my photos and videos.
* Durability *
We've had our camera a few months now and it still looks in good condition. It's survived a few bumps and I've dropped it on more than one occasion and it hasn't altered the performance or appearance.
* Battery life *
One thing that my husband was adamant about was the need for a built in rechargable battery. We didn't want to end up forking out a fortune on batteries and thankfully this camera has a built in Li-Ion battery. You can charge it using the power from your PC by attaching the USB connector or you can use the connector to enable you to charge it from the wall socket. The battery life is quite good, we don't use the camera every day but it does get regular use when we are on holiday and we only needed to charge it once during a week long stay.
* What's it like to use? *
We've found it to be a very easy camera to use. It has a variety of different settings depending on where you are and what kind of photograph you wish to take. This can be handy for those who know what they are doing but the camera actually automatically choses the setting it thinks is appropriate so we let it do the job for us! If you do wish to change the settings you can do this by the menu which is pretty self explanatory and the text is quite large so you don't need to squint to see it. The only slight negative is the LCD screen which is supposed to enable you to see the screen clearly. We find that if the sun is too bright we still struggle to see the screen without cupping our hands around it to block out the sun.
Depending on whether or not you are using the flash depends on how long it takes to take the picture. When the flash is on it can take a good few seconds before you can take another photograph, or view the one you have just taken. The photo flashes up quickly after you have taken it so you can have a quick idea of how the photo has come out and it then takes you back to the main photo screen. You then have the option to view the photo again in the album.
You also have the option to edit your photos such as removing red eye, blemishes etc, but we've never felt the need to use it.
The camera also has digital image stabilisation which Samsung claim stops the photos becoming out of focus if you laugh, move slightly or have shakey hands. I was a bit skeptical about this feature but it really does work. It's great for a night out when you're perhaps not feeling as steady as normal!
The camera has a variety of flash settings, including auto, red-eye reduction and flash off. We tend to either leave it on auto or turn the flash off all together and the pictures all come out well.
* Quality of photographs *
The camera boasts 12.2 megapixels. As I mentioned earlier this doesn't mean anything to me, but apparently the more megapixels the better the picture quality. We've found that the photos come out crisp and the colour is true to life. We have never had problems with photos being out of focus and have found that the automatic feature choses the right setting for the picture you are taking.
The camera has a wide angled lens which makes it great for taking photos on holiday. You can take photos of scenery and tall buildings without having to compromise on photo quality. It's also good for taking large family photos as it fits everyone in without having stand miles away.
The camera has 5 x zoom which is great for zooming in on things on holiday when you can't get too up close. It's also useful when you want to take a picture of something in a bit more detail. I use it when I'm taking pictures for ebay! It still says in focus and the zoomed in photo is of the same crisp high quality as the regular photos.
* Video *
The camera also comes with the opportunity to take videos. We weren't overly bothered about this feature when we bought it but it's become one of my favourite things about the camera. The video is easy to use and is of reasonable quality. You can't expect perfect quality from a camera but it's clear enough for what we need it for. It picks up sound reasonably well although can sound a bit tinny which can be expected.
It's handy being able to take videos with the camera, especially having two young children. I was taking pictures of my four month old recently in the scene mode when I noticed he'd started rocking from side to side on his play mat. I quickly switched from scene to movie mode and recorded him, just in time to catch him rolling over - the first time he's ever done it! I just wouldn't have had enough time to grab our camcorder so I'll be forever thankful for this camera for capturing that lovely moment.
There's also the option to capture still images within the video taken. This is a brilliant feature and I use it a lot. When our littlest man first started smiling I kept missing it with the camera. I found that if I recorded it and caught him smiling I could take a still image shot of the exact moment, meaning I finally had a picture of his lovely grin. The quality isn't as crisp as when you use the standard scene setting but that can be expected.
* To Summarise*
A lovely basic camera that does the job