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Home arrow Digital Camera Reviews arrow Samsung > arrow Samsung PL150 Digital Camera Review
Samsung PL150 Digital Camera Review

samsung20100427.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 


For its happy snap fun, overall convenience and undeniable ingenuity, the Samsung PL 150 is well worth its reasonable RRP $299.00 price tag.

This delightfully simple but effective unit hosts some 12.4megapixels, a decent 5x optical zoom and of course perhaps its most defining
feature: a 1.5-inch secondary preview LCD on the body’s front that operates in conjunction with a  3-inch LCD located on the PL 150’s back.

This smaller front LCD offers three main functions: better composition and alignment of subjects in self-portraits and couple shots, along with the ability to capture a child’s attention for better portraits overall.

The latter is achieved as a result of a short clown cartoon with sound effects that displays on the front LCD as requested in an attempt to pull a child’s gaze in towards the lens at the time the shutter fires.

Another novelty on the PL 150 is jump shot mode, which runs on a five- second self-timer and automatically takes three successive images in an attempt to ensure the subject is captured at the height of their jump.

It is best used under ample lighting conditions given that the flash does not fire and a few practices will help correct the timing as the there is enough delay between each shot that, if unlucky, you may miss the jump altogether!

Three other timer modes exist including two second, 10 second and a double timer, which fires the shutter initially after 10 seconds and again after another two.

The sleek and glossy exterior of the PL 150 offers a sophisticated overall appearance although it does tend to be susceptible to fingermarks and smears.

The layout of the buttons and controls on the body is fairly standard and logical helping to ensure users can operate the unit in most cases with a level of ease.

The internal menu system follows along the same lines although there is a slight delay between the pushing of buttons/controls and their function activating within the menu system, which can be minutely frustrating at times.

The PL 150 discreetly offers an ingenious 7-degree slant design that allows for the body to tilt backwards and up slightly when rested on hard surfaces in order to offer optimum composition for self-timer shots and movie clips in particular.

Despite how simple an idea this is and that fact that it may well have been discovered by the manufacturer per chance as opposed to purpose designed, it does prove quite useful in reality and certainly offers a better perspective and a more convenient viewing angle than when the unit is otherwise rested squarely.

Smart auto mode is conveniently offered on the eight-option mode dial and allows users to automatically access one of 17 scene modes best suited for the given subject and composition.

When in smart auto mode the user simply needs to point and shoot and the PL 150 does all of the accessing and altering of settings to best handle and capture a variety of given scenes including fireworks, blue sky, action, macro, night shot etc.

Interestingly a smart auto movie mode is also available and offers some five possible options including landscape, blue sky, green, sunset and action in order to assist in automatically offering the best results possible.

When shooting to a 2GB microSD card at 30 frames per second and in full 1280HQ mode some 25 minutes of video recording is available. If shooting on the same card but for web viewing only at 60 fps, a full hour and 40 odd minutes are available.

Smart filter is a fun option for PL 150 users to experiment with. It offers four different lens effects for changing the overall look of images according to the preset instructions within either miniature (tilt shift), vignetting, or two versions of fisheye instructions.

Along similar lines, the PL 150 offers a photo style selector function that is able to apply one of a dozen preset effects to an image including sketch, negative, defog, vivid, soft and classic (black and
white) etc.

In doing so, a separate version of the image with the effect applied is created meaning the original file remains intact and the user is allowed the freedom to experiment with multiple options and compare them side-by-side without consequence.

Auto focus object tracking is available to ensure focus remains on the desired primary subject within a scene even if it moves around e.g. a child or a pet etc. otherwise centre and multi AF options can be selected.

The PL 150 is generally quite quick to focus although the physical process has a distinct mechanical sound to it that while most of the time will go unnoticed, may occasionally prove distracting and/or inconvenient given certain shooting situations.

Beauty mode is easily accessible via the mode dial and exists to help retouch a subject’s skin to make it appear smooth and blemish free. 
Users are able to set the severity of the retouching that occurs to one of three levels, as with the tone/brightness of the face.

Face detection technologies are accessible and include smile shot, blink detection and smart face recognition etc. to help ensure the people in your images are looked after in terms of both focus and exposure etc..medal-gold-r.jpg

Image quality is good to fair with noise often present and an amount of smeared detail that becomes ever more present when cropping or zooming in.

The PL 150 doesn’t cope well with low light conditions (as is common amongst cameras in its class) although when in form it offers fairly sharp results and an accurate representation of colour.

For its purpose as a point-and-shooter however, the PL 150 performs well. It offers a wide variety of shooting functions and selectable options and as a result helps to engender fun and creativity in its users.

The dual LCD screens are a particularly appealing selling point given the prevalence of self-portraiture among photo-takers and the overall ease-of-use of this unit coupled with its affordable price tag make it a recommendable compact particularly to those who don’t take their photography too seriously.



Appearance rating 3.5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
3.5 stars
Lens quality
3.5 stars
View finder / LCD screen 5 stars
Value for money 4 stars
RRP (AUD) $299
Effective Pixels 12.4 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 4 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 27mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 135mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 5x
Resolution Settings From  2,048 x 1,536 to 4,000 x 3,000
Shooting Modes 9 Scenes
Face Detection Yes
Metering Multi, Spot, Centre Weighted, Face Detection AE
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 80cm ~ infinity
Aperture Range F3.3(W) ~ F5.8(T)
Aperture Priority Yes
Macro Normal: 80cm ~ infinity, 1m ~ Infinity (Tele) Macro: 5cm ~ 80cm (Wide), 1m ~ 1.5m (Tele) Auto Macro: 5cm ~ Infinity (Wide), 1m ~ Infinity (Tele)
Shutter Speeds Auto: 1 / 8 ~ 1 / 2,000seconds., Program: 1 ~ 1 / 2,000seconds., Night: 8 ~ 1 / 2,000 seconds., Fireworks: 2 seconds.
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600, 3,200
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size Main Display: 3.0" (7.6cm) QVGA (230K) Front Display: 1.5" (3.8cm) 61K TFT LCD
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 Self-timer: 2 seconds., 10 seconds., Double (10 seconds., 2 seconds.), Jump shot
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes
Audio No
Storage Type Micro SD (up to 2GB guaranteed) Micro SDHC (up to 8GB guaranteed)
Storage Included [Mb] 30MB Internal Memory
Capture Formats Still Image: JPEG (DCF), EXIF 2.21, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0Movie Clip: H.264 (MPEG4.AVC) Audio: AAC
Connectivity USB
Power Source Adaptor: SAC-48, CB20U05AConnector Type: 20pin
Battery Options Rechargeable battery: SLB-07
Dimensions (W) 99.2 x (H) 59.0 x (D) 19.9mm
Weight 136.6g (without battery and card)






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