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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 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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Samsung SH100 point-and-shoot (Macworld)

  1. 1. URL: SH100 point-and-shootTim Moynihan19.07.2011 kl 18:59 | Macworld.comAt first glance, the Samsung SH100 ($200) looks like a run-of-the-mill, low-priced touchscreencamera. Its built for very casual shooters, and its core specs arent exactly mind-boggling:The SH100s 14-megapixel CCD sensor may have been an impressive feature a few years ago,but in 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.At first glance, the Samsung SH100 ($200) looks like a run-of-the-mill, low-priced touchscreen camera. Its builtfor very casual shooters, and its core specs arent exactly mind-boggling: The SH100s 14-megapixel CCDsensor may have been an impressive feature a few years ago, but in these days of ever-inflated pixel counts, itsstandard issue in the compact camera world. Same goes for its 5X optical zoom lens and 720p video recording at30 frames per second.The SH100 ups the ante, however, with its built-in wireless features, which include (but arent limited to) directuploads from the camera to Facebook, YouTube, and other sharing services. The most unusual wireless featureis the ability to create a peer-to-peer connection with Samsung Galaxy S series phones, meaning that you canuse a phone as a wireless remote control 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, but enhanced withinnovative in-camera extras that provide great bang for the buck. The SH100 performs well in Auto mode, haswell-implemented Wi-Fi features, and offers a little something extra for anyone who owns a Samsung GalaxyS or Galaxy S II phone. Serious photographers wont find much to like here, but its a great option for a youngershooter.Hardware and designThe 14-megapixel Samsung SH100 is very compact, with a 0.74-inch-deep frame that slips comfortably into ashirt or pants pocket. One trade-off for that small size is that the camera uses Micro SD format cards instead ofthe more-traditional SD Card. Another slight oddity is that the cameras battery charges inside the camera, via aproprietary connector that you can plug into a USB port or into the included wall charger.The SH100s 5X optical zoom lens favors wide-angle shots, ranging from 26mm to 130mm in 35mm-film-equivalent focal lengths. The camera has digital image stabilization only, which is generally less effective than anoptical or sensor-shift stabilization system; even so, the SH100 had no problems keeping full-telephoto shotssteady in my hands-on tests.Many of the cameras controls reside in its touchscreen menus, leaving the SH100 with just four physical buttons:a top-mounted power button, a shutter/zoom control, a playback button, and a back-mounted home button thattakes you to the cameras main menus.The SH100s touchscreen interface is straightforward and easy to use, with four scrollable pages of phone-styleicons that give you access to shooting modes, playback options, wireless features, image-editing tools, andspecial effects. The in-camera options are plentiful and clearly labeled, but four pages of icons is a bit much; I
  2. 2. would have preferred to see Samsung group like-minded features in folders to reduce the number of navigationswipes necessary.The cameras 3-inch touchscreen also takes a couple of presses to register some selections, and it might proveproblematic for people with thick fingers. Because its a resistive touchscreen, you sometimes have to press itharder than you expect. Whats more, entering e-mail addresses, wireless network passwords, and other logininformation while using the cameras wireless features can really test your patience. Theres no option to revealpasswords as you type them, either, meaning that you fly blind when inputting text, and your margin of error isvery small for such a touchy interface.The Samsung SH100 is incredibly small and light, and the cameras plastic body and resistive touchscreen give ita toylike feel. Nevertheless, it feels durable enough to withstand the daily wear-and-tear associated with beingtossed 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 theseextras are geared toward younger users: in-camera effects, special overlays, and fancy playback options.Like most other cameras in its price range, it offers common automated shooting modes such as Smart Auto forboth stills and video, six scene selection options, and a Program mode for tweaking ISO settings, white balance,metering modes, and other presets. The SH100 shoots 720p 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-close subject even whenyoure only about 3 inches away. And though theres no explicit manual mode, you have limited manual controlover the cameras shutter and aperture settings in the SH100s Night mode. In Night mode, shutter speeds rangefrom 1 to 16 seconds, while aperture settings range from F3.3 to F9.4 in wide-angle mode and from F5.9 or F16.7in full telephoto.The SH100 exceeds the offerings of most (if not all) cameras in its class with its Smart Filter modes (which mimiceverything from a tilt-shift lens to scratchy sepiatone film), its in-camera editing options, and its wireless features.The SH100s Magic Frame feature lets you snap a shot that appears on a virtual billboard, an old-school TV set,or a fake magazine cover. Its ridiculous--but fun to play around with.The cameras Photo Editor option permits you to adjust image brightness, saturation, and contrast after you takea photo, saving a copy of the retouched image. You can also apply the SH100s Smart Filter options after youtake a photo, in case youd like to retain the original, untreated image. While playing back images, you can cropthem (by selecting points on the touchscreen), rotate image orientation, and resize photos. All in all, the SH100simage-editing options are impressive for a low-priced camera.Like the Magic Frame feature, the cameras playback options are geared toward teens and tweeners, providing afew unique extras for viewing photos in-camera. The Magazine option lets you flip through a virtual travel album,wedding album, or party-themed album of your photosyou also get "3D album" playback mode, and standardslideshow and playback modes.Considering the cameras fun features, cellphone-style interface, and almost toy-like ultraslim body, the SH100should appeal to kids and casual snapshooters. The cameras wireless sharing features increase its conveniencefor fans of social networking.Wireless featuresThe SH100s coolest wireless feature is also its most limited. By downloading a free Remote Viewfinder app andinstalling it on a Samsung Galaxy S II or Samsung Galaxy S phone, you can use the phones touchscreen to viewa real-time feed from the cameras lens, snap photos by remote control, and adjust the cameras flash andresolution settings. You dont even need to be within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot to take advantage of the peer-to-peer app; it forms a direct connection between the phone and the camera. Heres a video run-through of theSH100s Remote Viewfinder app.
  3. 3. Samsung SH100s remote viewfinder appThough the SH100 has built-in Wi-Fi, dont expect to use the camera as a Web-surfing device. The cameraswireless capabilities are limited to sharing and file-backup services; it doesnt include a full browser.If you can successfully enter text on the Samsung SH100s somewhat finicky touchscreen, the camera has someof the best built-in wireless features weve seen this side of a cell phone. You can send your photos as e-mailattachments directly from the phone; as long as you have an easily accessible wireless access point without toomany encryption parameters to enter into the camera, it works quickly and without a hitch. The SH100 also letsyou post your photos and videos to sites such as Facebook, Photobucket, Picasa, YouTube, and Samsungs ownsharing site by uploading them directly from the camera.The SH100 also lets you stream or share content to compatible devices on a home network via its AllSharefeature, and it can connect to other SH100 cameras for file sharing over a Wi-Fi network.The various wireless features are surprising on a couple of fronts:Were not used to seeing so many innovativeextras in a $200 camera; and they work much better than expected. Weve tested a lot of cameras that havebuilt-in Wi-Fi capabilities, and aside from its sometimes-touchy touchscreen interface, the SH100 offers perhapsthe best in-camera Wi-Fi experience weve seen to date.Performance, image quality, and video qualityIn our labs subjective testing for image and video quality, the Samsung SH100 continued to surprise us byposting 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 for exposurequality. But the SH100 earned scores of Very Good for color accuracy, sharpness, and lack of distortion in ourtests, all of which are assess photos taken with the flash turned off. The SH100 earned an overall imaging scoreof Very Good, and we recommend using it without the flash if at all possible.The SH100 didnt fare as well in our video testing, mostly due to some stronger-than-normal contrast in ourbright-light test scene and some very noticeable noise and grain in our low-light test footage. It earned an overallvideo score of Good, as it did for audio capture through its top-mounted microphone. All in all, this camera is avery good all-around performer for its modest price.Macworld buying adviceThe Samsung SH100 is a great bargain for $200. You can certainly find more-camera-minded cameras than theSH100, but this ultracompact snapshooter distinguishes itself from the bargain-bin pack with its wireless sharingfeatures, fun extras, and solid image and video quality. We wish that its Remote Viewfinder features werecompatible with more phones than just the Samsung Galaxy S line, but this is about as feature-loaded as a $200camera gets. The key drawbacks are its toylike size and heft, its sometimes-frustrating touchscreen, and its lackof manual shooting modes.