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As an owner of many Samsung electronics, I was happy to purchase a digital camera from the company. However, I am not as pleased as I hoped. There are a few problems with the camera, including the focus. There are many times when I am trying to use the camera where it will simply not focus properly, and this results in poor quality images. Despite this, most of the time it produces perfectly clear photos. I would say that the camera is fine for every day usage, but it is not a good camera for someone interested in taking beautiful photos. I would recommend that you spend the money on a better camera if you are buying this camera for holiday shots. The other problem is the video function, which is completely useless, and it produces choppy and low quality videos. The pictures take up quite a lot of memory so you also need to buy a large size memory card for it. However, it has not yet broken in anyway and is in the same quality it is in when I bought it, and in my opinion it is ridiculously easy to use.
Here is my latest camera review, "it has been a long time coming" he thinks as he sits down and blows the dust and cobwebs of his keyboard, cracks his knuckles and begins to type at ferocious pace.
Right I am sure by now many, most or all of the members of Dooyoo and Ciao are aware of the fact that I am a professional photographer and that I also regularly test cameras for my local camera club and then give seminars on their usefulness or lack of it as the case sometimes is.
I decided a while ago that as I was testing all these cameras I would also write reviews on them on Dooyoo and ciao in order to make money for a charity close to my heart, new members and outside readers of these reviews may not have known that but they certainly do now.
The camera I have chosen to review from the many I have tested recently is the Samsung IT100 and the main reason for choosing to review this one is simply that I was blown away by just how good it was.
Having reviewed and tested Samsung compacts in the past I was never expecting to get the kind of results I got from this one and though I had best let people know that this is out there.
This firstly and foremost is a sleek elegant looking unit that is small enough to be classed as pocket sized for sure and it is lightweight yet feels very robust in the hand and I have to say on looks and durability alone I was sold already, this little camera really looked and felt the part but then it was a wait to see how it would perform and how the picture quality would be because this had let down many a Samsung before it.
Having a quick look through its manual and seeing what Samsung had to say about its features and functions I could not help but be impressed but they all say that, it is how they operate that matters not how somebody at Samsung makes it sound.
This compact comes with a 12.2 megapixels CCD sensor and a 5x optical zoom which delivers a 35mm equivalent focal length of 35mm to 175mm and to keep everything steady even at full zoom, Samsung have included both an optical and digital image stabilisation system.
Samsung also claim that this tiny little camera is capable of HD movie recording at 720p (30fps), those of you that have read my reviews before will know my feelings on still image cameras recording video (it should be left to camcorders) but of all the attempts I have seen from compact cameras this might well be the best but more about that later.
With this compact camera the good people at Samsung have gone out their way to make my trade of portrait photography look easy enough for anyone to do with the addition of a set of automatic controls known as "perfect portrait system" and face detection which is designed to pick out faces in an image and adjust the focus and exposure to get the best possible composition and skin tones.
They have even added what I first thought was a real gimmick and nothing else, known as blink technology it is designed to tell if a subject in the image blinks and it then fires a further three shots to get one with no blinking. We at the club really put this to the test by deliberately blinking as a shot was being taken and it works, the camera takes the extra shots and the shutter is faster than our eyes so it catches the very next shot as your eyes re-open GENIUS!
As a portrait photographer I have my own trick for getting group shots with no blinking and I wont be changing it even if they do start adding this sort of thing to professional DSLR`s but I have to admit I was quite impressed.
This camera offers the user the choice of simply setting it to automatic and pressing a single button or equally it offers the user the chance to tinker with loads of settings from semi-automatic to fully manual to get to grips with making an image how you want it to look and not how the camera says it should, again this camera cannot offer the types of settings a professional DSLR can but it comes very close to offering everything you would expect from a basic budget DSLR and certainly more than you get on most compacts.
Being a compact camera you do not get an optical viewfinder so you have to compose every shot using the screen, the screen is a large 3 inch one but you never get a true feel for how a photo will look unless you are looking through a viewfinder in my honest opinion and that of most pros.
You get a huge scope as far as ISO settings go, this has a minimum ISO of 80 and a maximum of 3200, ISO for those that do not know is the digital alternative to film speed, the higher the ISO the darker you can shoot in without flash but also the higher the ISO the more digital noise you get in your images, most compacts struggle with noise after 400 but this one was good to 800 and even the ones at 1600 were useable after a little bit of help from Photoshop.
When using the optical zoom at its fullest you really put the image stabalisation system to the test but it has to be said that it performs very well and even when we tried deliberately to catch it out and blur the images it was too smart for us and got us almost perfect pictures every time so this would be a great unit for someone who has trouble keeping a steady hand or likes to take photos on the move.
So on to the images that I took with this camera, I tried taking images indoors in poor light to test the ISO which as I have mentioned came out quite well, there was no sign of digital noise at 80 or 100 ISO, a tiny amount only at 200 ISO, it started to get a bit noisy as I went darker and shot at 400 but still impressive for such a small camera and even at 800 ISO the images needed very little cleaning up to be useable so for shooting in poor light I was impressed.
I then used the built in flash of this unit to fire my studio flashes via their slave modes and took some pro type portraits which I have uploaded to CIAO. Here I was very, very impressed, this little camera produced excellent images and the white balance settings in the camera worked perfectly to pick up the 5600K from my studio lights, top marks here.
Oddly the worst photos taken with it came in the bright sunlight outdoors where most compacts are at their best, perhaps Samsung have put too much into making this be able to perform in poor light they have forgotten that we do get the occasional burst of sunshine.
In saying these were the worst I am not saying they were bad just that at times the lens was definitely struggling to cope with the bright sunlight and flare was an issue as was getting the right white balance to stop everything having a somewhat red tinge to it. To the untrained eye many of these images may seem fine but to a professional used to using top of the range DSLR`s they were instantly noticeable as not quite right.
Using the flash in darkened conditions causes the same red eye that you get with any compact, the reason you get red eye is the flash is too near to the lens so it is doubtful that they will ever eradicate this in compact cameras but you never know.
So all in all I was more than a little impressed with the images this unit produced and I have to say that I am tempted for the first time to change my compact away from Sony, but as all my equipment is Sony I might just stick with them.
My only real gripe with this camera was the fact that there is no shutter priority or aperture priority modes available, these modes on DSLR`s allow you the user to set either the aperture or the shutter speed and the camera will match the rest of the settings for you. So with this unit its either the camera does it all or you do, you can still of course select from a range of built in settings to help you but these would really make this the compact to have if they were included.
Now I made mention of the HD movie recording on this unit and how I firmly believe a compact camera should be for taking still images and camcorders should be for taking video. I do stand by that statement but I was very taken with the ability of this camera to produce decent video clips.
Most decent compacts can take an ok class of video in perfect light but as soon as the light is less than perfect the video is worse than useless, this is not the case with the Samsung IT100, I guess due to the fact that it is so good at taking still images in poor light this is carried over to its video ability and for the first time I would give a compact camera more than 1 out of ten for its video function and I would give this one a mighty four out of ten.
To add to the list of things that impress me about this camera I can mention the fact that it comes with its own rechargeable battery rather than the dreaded AA`s and although Samsung themselves sell the camera short by saying it will get 250 shots between charges I got over 300, and it also takes an SD memory card so everything is kept cheap and simple here.
The manual and software that comes with the camera is very decent too, the manual is clear and very easy to understand and the software is simple to install and works well, it really is hard to mark Samsung down on the entire experience I had with this camera.
THE SAMSUNG IT100 SPECIFICATIONS:
Resolution (Mp) 12.0
Maximum wide angle (mm) 28
Maximum tele zoom (mm) 140
Optical zoom magnification 5.0
Size (wxhxd) (cm) 10x6x3
Weight (g) 180
Supplied battery Rechargeable
LCD width (mm) 60
LCD height (mm) 45
Direct Link to TV Yes
Compatible memory cards SDHC Card
Short video recording Yes
Video resolution HD
Video zoom recording Yes
Burst mode, shots in a row Unlimited
Scene Modes 13
Image stabilisation Yes
Manual focus setting No
Shutter speed priority No
Aperture priority No
Face detection Yes
Max manually selectable ISO 3200 (only at 3Mp)
Flash strength adjustable No
Start-up time (s) 2.33
Shot-to-shot time (s) 2.4
Hi-res burst mode (s/image) 0.92
Photos per charge 250
TO SUM UP
This is certainly one very impressive compact camera, it of course has limitations as every compact does and I have listed them for you but they are not enough for me to mark this down overall, this is a very good digital camera and I would have no worry`s recommending it.
I gues you are by now screaming at me "ok, ok its good but what does it cost", well here we go, this camera on its release was over £220 but is has already fallen to as low as £149 that I have seen and I have been told it can be bought for as little as £127 but I have not seen it at that so I will not say that for sure.
I would have had to think twice or maybe even three times before I would have splashed out £220 on this but at £149 I reckon I would be very keen and if it can be bought for less than £130 then I would jump all over it at that price.
If you want a very good looking, very robust compact camera that not only takes good pictures but has some very clever features and functions then this might just have to be the one I recommend (sorry Sony Cyber-shots but you have got competition here)!
Oh and I should probably tell you that this comes in silver, black and red, the colour seems to be very important to some these days. Sorry girls, no pink one available yet!!
LOOKS - 9/10
BUILD QUALITY - 9/10
EASE OF USE - 8/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 8/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY - 8/10
OVERALL - 8/10
Thanks for reading.