Review: Samsung SH100 point-and-shoot (Macworld)
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Review: Samsung SH100 point-and-shoot (Macworld)

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At first glance, the Samsung SH100 ($200) looks like a run-of-the-mill, low-priced touchscreen camera. It's built for very casual shooters, and its core specs aren't exactly mind-boggling: The SH100's ...

At first glance, the Samsung SH100 ($200) looks like a run-of-the-mill, low-priced touchscreen camera. It's built for very casual shooters, and its core specs aren't exactly mind-boggling: The SH100's 14-megapixel CCD sensor may have been an impressive feature a few years ago, but in these days of ever-inflated pixel counts, it's standard issue in the compact camera world. Same goes for its 5X optical zoom lens and 720p video recording at 30 frames per second.

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    Review: Samsung SH100 point-and-shoot (Macworld) Review: Samsung SH100 point-and-shoot (Macworld) Document Transcript

    • URL: http://www.macworld.com/article/161198/2011/07/samsung_sh100.htmlSamsung SH100Review: Samsung SH100 point-and-shootBy Tim Moynihan, Macworld.com - July 19, 2011
    • At first glance, the Samsung SH100 ($200) looks like a run-of-the-mill, low-priced touchscreencamera. Its built for verycasual shooters, and its core specs arent exactly mind-boggling: TheSH100s 14-megapixel CCD sensor may have been an impressive feature a few years ago, butin these days of ever-inflated pixel counts, its standard issue in the compact camera world.Same goes for its 5X optical zoom lens and 720p video recording at 30 frames per second.The SH100 ups the ante, however, with its built-in wireless features, which include (but arentlimited to) direct uploads from the camera to Facebook, YouTube, and other sharing services.The most unusual wireless feature is the ability to create a peer-to-peer connection withSamsung Galaxy S series phones, meaning that you can use a phone as a wireless remotecontrol and a tethered storage device for photos and video.The sum of all these parts is hardware youd expect in a standard-issue $200 camera, butenhanced with innovative in-camera extras that provide great bang for the buck. The SH100performs well in Auto mode, has well-implemented Wi-Fi features, and offers a little somethingextra for anyone who owns aSamsung Galaxy S or Galaxy S II phone. Serious photographerswont find much to like here, but its a great option for a younger shooter.Hardware and designThe 14-megapixel Samsung SH100 is very compact, with a 0.74-inch-deep frame that slipscomfortably into a shirt or pants pocket. One trade-off for that small size is that the camera usesMicro SD format cards instead of the more-traditional SD Card. Another slight oddity is that thecameras battery charges inside the camera, via a proprietary connector that you can plug into aUSB port or into the included wall charger.The SH100s 5X optical zoom lens favors wide-angle shots, ranging from 26mm to 130mm in35mm-film-equivalent focal lengths. The camera has digital image stabilization only, which isgenerally less effective than an optical or sensor-shift stabilization system; even so, the SH100had no problems keeping full-telephoto shots steady in my hands-on tests.
    • Many of the cameras controls reside in its touchscreen menus, leaving the SH100 with just fourphysical buttons: a top-mounted power button, a shutter/zoom control, a playback button, and aback-mounted home button that takes you to the cameras main menus.The SH100s touchscreen interface is straightforward and easy to use, with four scrollable pagesof phone-style icons that give you access to shooting modes, playback options, wireless features,image-editing tools, and special effects. The in-camera options are plentiful and clearly labeled,but four pages of icons is a bit much; I would have preferred to see Samsung group like-mindedfeatures in folders to reduce the number of navigation swipes necessary.The cameras 3-inch touchscreen also takes a couple of presses to register some selections, andit might prove problematic for people with thick fingers. Because its a resistive touchscreen, yousometimes have to press it harder than you expect. Whats more, entering e-mail addresses,wireless network passwords, and other login information while using the cameras wirelessfeatures can really test your patience. Theres no option to reveal passwords as you type them,either, meaning that you fly blind when inputting text, and your margin of error is very small forsuch a touchy interface.The Samsung SH100 is incredibly small and light, and the cameras plastic body and resistivetouchscreen give it a toylike feel. Nevertheless, it feels durable enough to withstand the dailywear-and-tear associated with being tossed in a bag or in a pocket.Shooting modes and featuresThe SH100 certainly gives you your moneys worth when it comes to fancy in-camera features.Most of these extras are geared toward younger users: in-camera effects, special overlays, andfancy playback options.Like most other cameras in its price range, it offers common automated shooting modes such asSmart Auto for both stills and video, six scene selection options, and a Program mode fortweaking ISO settings, white balance, metering modes, and other presets. The SH100 shoots720p high-definition video at 30 fps in MP4 format.In the cameras dedicated macro mode, you can nab a clearly focused shot of an up-closesubject even when youre only about 3 inches away. And though theres no explicit manual mode,you have limited manual control over the cameras shutter and aperture settings in the SH100sNight mode. In Night mode, shutter speeds range from 1 to 16 seconds, while aperture settingsrange from F3.3 to F9.4 in wide-angle mode and from F5.9 or F16.7 in full telephoto.
    • The SH100 exceeds the offerings of most (if not all) cameras in its class with its Smart Filtermodes (which mimic everything from a tilt-shift lens to scratchy sepiatone film), its in-cameraediting options, and its wireless features.The SH100s Magic Frame feature lets you snap a shot that appears on a virtual billboard, anold-school TV set, or a fake magazine cover. Its ridiculous—but fun to play around with. Night mode has a few manual options. Magic Frame: Ridiculous and awesome
    • Magic Frame: Awesome and ridiculousThe cameras Photo Editor option permits you to adjust image brightness, saturation, andcontrast after you take a photo, saving a copy of the retouched image. You can also apply theSH100s Smart Filter options after you take a photo, in case youd like to retain the original,untreated image. While playing back images, you can crop them (by selecting points on thetouchscreen), rotate image orientation, and resize photos. All in all, the SH100s image-editingoptions are impressive for a low-priced camera.Like the Magic Frame feature, the cameras playback options are geared toward teens andtweeners, providing a few unique extras for viewing photos in-camera. The Magazine option letsyou flip through a virtual travel album, wedding album, or party-themed album of your photosyoualso get "3D album" playback mode, and standard slideshow and playback modes.Considering the cameras fun features, cellphone-style interface, and almost toy-like ultraslimbody, the SH100 should appeal to kids and casual snapshooters. The cameras wireless sharingfeatures increase its convenience for fans of social networking.Wireless featuresThe SH100s coolest wireless feature is also its most limited. By downloading a free RemoteViewfinder app and installing it on a Samsung Galaxy S II or Samsung Galaxy S phone, you canuse the phones touchscreen to view a real-time feed from the cameras lens, snap photos byremote control, and adjust the cameras flash and resolution settings. You dont even need to bewithin range of a Wi-Fi hotspot to take advantage of the peer-to-peer app; it forms a directconnection between the phone and the camera. Heres a video run-through of the SH100sRemote Viewfinder app.Samsung SH100s remote viewfinder app
    • Though the SH100 has built-in Wi-Fi, dont expect to use the camera as a Web-surfing device.The cameras wireless capabilities are limited to sharing and file-backup services; it doesntinclude a full browser.If you can successfully enter text on the Samsung SH100s somewhat finicky touchscreen, thecamera has some of the best built-in wireless features weve seen this side of a cell phone. Youcan send your photos as e-mail attachments directly from the phone; as long as you have aneasily accessible wireless access point without too many encryption parameters to enter into thecamera, it works quickly and without a hitch. The SH100 also lets you post your photos andvideos to sites such as Facebook, Photobucket, Picasa, YouTube, and Samsungs own sharingsite by uploading them directly from the camera. Samsung SH100: Web-upload support Samsung SH100: Touchscreen keyboardThe SH100 also lets you stream or share content to compatible devices on a home network viaits AllShare feature, and it can connect to other SH100 cameras for file sharing over a Wi-Finetwork.The various wireless features are surprising on a couple of fronts:Were not used to seeing somany innovative extras in a $200 camera; and they work much better than expected. Wevetested a lot of cameras that have built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, and aside from its sometimes-touchytouchscreen interface, the SH100 offers perhaps the best in-camera Wi-Fi experience weveseen to date.Performance, image quality, and video qualityIn our labs subjective testing for image and video quality, the Samsung SH100 continued tosurprise us by posting some outstanding scores for a camera in its price range.The cameras flash was a bit too powerful in our flash-exposure test, resulting in a lower score forexposure quality. But the SH100 earned scores of Very Good for color accuracy, sharpness, andlack of distortion in our tests, all of which are assess photos taken with the flash turned off. TheSH100 earned an overall imaging score of Very Good, and we recommend using it without theflash if at all possible.
    • The SH100 didnt fare as well in our video testing, mostly due to some stronger-than-normalcontrast in our bright-light test scene and some very noticeable noise and grain in our low-lighttest footage. It earned an overall video score of Good, as it did for audio capture through its top-mounted microphone. All in all, this camera is a very good all-around performer for its modestprice.Here are the test clips used for our labs subjective video tests. Select "720p" from the drop-downmenu in each player to view the highest-resolution video footage.(Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJniMoN6Yk0&feature=player_embedded)
    • (Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8h_NwRkka4&feature=player_embedded)