THE LOW-DOWN: This 12mp camera is fitted with a Schneider-branded zoom with a range of 24–432mm (film equivalent). Image stabilisation is by sensor shift. It is a well made and bulky for a compact, the body being the same size as the base Olympus micro four thirds camera. There are external controls for most functions, except the most frequently used – exposure compensation, which is accessed through the menus. Maximum burst speed is 10fps at full resolution. Movie mode is full HD. The “scenes” include a useful high dynamic range setting and an amusing zoom-blur simulation. There is a sweep panorama and a 3D mode
LIKE: The Zoom Scene setting is fun. It simulates the effect of zooming during a slow shutter speed exposure. Of course it can be done in Photoshop, but it’s cheaper and easier to do it in camera. It’s a gimmick, but that’s what camera upgrades are all about these days. The HDR function is also well implemented, coping well with high contrast scenes such as indoor/outdoor through-the-window shots.
DISLIKE: After each shot the LCD blacks out and the word “Processing” is displayed. We have seen this weird effect in some Sony cameras and it appears to be spreading. And burying exposure compensation in the menus while assigning a button to burst mode is perverse. Overall image quality is a little below par but it probably won’t worry the intended customer.
VERDICT: Samsung call this a “point and shoot” camera. The wide zoom range will appeal to those who shop by numbers or plan a holiday that will take in both Venice and the Serengeti. The face tracking is good for following the children at the Christmas party. The obvious competitor is the Panasonic TZ18 ($400) which we think is worth the extra dollars.