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Samsung ES55 Digital Camera Review
samsung090512a.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 

 

Samsung’s 10.2-megapixel ES55 is a fuss-free digital compact camera perfectly suited for first-time users likely to be satisfied with point-and-shoot simplicity and reliability.

The long list of interesting features and modes available will no doubt be a pleasant surprise and the extremely affordable price tag (RRP $189.00) ought to help seal the deal without second thought.

The ES55 body is quite minimalist in design overall, helping unfamiliar users not stay that way for long, with just six individual buttons, the directional pad, and the zoom toggle for users to manage and for the most part, functionality is good if not marginally delayed.

For anyone with longer nails, the left section of the directional pad (flash control) may prove tricky to handle with the pad of your thumb as the 2.5inch raised LCD section restricts depression here somewhat

The ES55’s internal menu system is aesthetically pleasing and more importantly, both logical and physically easy to navigate without appearing cluttered.

There is no mode dial available on the body however, so users will need to become familiar with the menu and refer to it often in order to access and select a number of available features including: 640x520 VGA movie mode, digital image stabilisation, face detection, 12 scene modes, and photo image help.

The process of entering the menu regularly can become somewhat cumbersome but given more experience operating the camera, may well become second nature.

The editing palette is also available via the playback menu and allows users to resize, rotate, apply one of nine image styles, and adjust image brightness, saturation, contrast, red-eye, or face retouching.

To enhance portraits, users have the option to shoot either in beauty mode (via scene selection) or if they forget to switch the function on, can edit images once shot using the face retouch function in the editing palette.

Both options create some pleasing results in terms of reducing the appearance of blemishes and evening out skin tone, although face retouch does tend to over-process images in the higher end of its spectrum. Users can choose levels one, two, or three for re-touching but opt for anything beyond one and the effect becomes obvious and quite over-the-top.

The seemingly measly 3x optical zoom provided is completely standard for a camera of this size and price range and although limited, it does produce clear, sharp images at full zoom.

At 10x digital zoom however, images suffer significant levels of noise and decreased sharpness but there is unlikely to be a similar priced camera on the market that doesn’t do the same.

Unfortunately, it’s merely the nature of the beast and the same goes with ISO: push the ES55 beyond 400 and noise really starts to eat away at detail across the image.

The ES55 is capable of recording sound not only in movie mode but through voice memos and recordings as well. If the voice memo function is selected prior to taking a photograph, once the image has processed the ES55 will automatically record audio for up to 10 seconds so that details of the shot can be recorded for later reference e.g. subject, location, time, event etc.

A separate voice-recording mode can be used to create unlimited audio tracks (that is, they are restricted only by the available memory on the card as opposed to presets on the ES55 itself) the content of which is only limited by your imagination. Consider recording your important ideas or notes-to-self, speeches, music bytes, friends singing in the shower etc.medal-gold-r.jpg

Across the board the ES55 doesn’t operate at a lightning pace but fares well against competitors in its class. It takes approximately two seconds to start-up and is relatively efficient in terms of shutter pace, but in between shots and whenever editing options or effects are applied this unit does take its time to process and readjust.

The Samsung ES55 certainly delivers a mighty little package for its miniature asking price and would make any entry-level compact user happy. What few and minor drawbacks there may be don’t compare to the pleasing image quality, the variety of features and modes made available, and the change left in your pocket!

 

 

Appearance rating 3.5 stars
Functionality rating 3.5 stars
Image quality
4 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
View finder / LCD screen 3 stars
Value for money 5 stars
RRP (AUD) $189
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 10.2 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 7 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 35mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 105mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 3x
Resolution Settings From  1024 x 768 to 3648 x 2736
Shooting Modes 9 Scenes
Face Detection Yes
Metering Multi, Spot, Center Weighted, Face Detection AE
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 80cm ~ infinity
Aperture Range F3.2 (W) ~ F5.8 (T)
Aperture Priority No
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 10cm ~ 80cm (Wide), 50cm ~ 80cm (Tele)
Shutter Speeds Auto: 1/8 - 1/1,500 second. Fireworks: 4 seconds
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 2.5" (6.4cm), 230K
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash off, Red Eye Fix
Hot Shoe No
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent_H, Fluorescent_L, Tungsten, Custom
Self Timer Yes, 10 seconds 2 seconds, Double, Motion Timer
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes
Audio Voice Recording (max. 10 hours)
Voice Memo in Still Image (max. 10 seconds)
Storage Type External memory: SD Card (up to 2GB guaranteed)
MMC plus (up to 1GB guaranteed)
SDHC (up to 8GB guaranteed)
Storage Included [Mb] 9MB Internal Memory
Capture Formats Still Image: JPEG (DCF), EXIF 2.21, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0
Movie Clip: AVI (MJPEG)
Audio: WAV
Connectivity USB
Power Source Charger: SAC-47
Battery Options Rechargeable battery: SLB-10A, 3.7V (1,050mAh)
Dimensions (W) 90.4 x (H) 59.0 x (D) 21.6mm
Weight 116g

 

 
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