Samsung S1030 Digital Camera
There are five new offerings in the 'S' series ranging from around £89 to £229, this is next to the highest specifications. All units in the 'S' series are supplied with two 'AA' batteries although they can be run from rechargables. No Samsung cameras have cards supplied - not even the SLR offering reviewed 13th April - all the basic models have 24MB of internal memory but as a 1GB SD card costs well under £10?
The Digimax S1030 is 10x6x3.5cm the latter measurement only applies to the right part of the camera and makes the finger grip, the left part is a centimetre less. The weight is less than 200 grams.
To me it seems very strange to call a 10.1mega pixel camera 'entry level' but that is how Samsung have branded the 'S' series.
The left side has no connections and the right side has only the anchor point for the wrist strap while the base has a door hiding the two 'AA' batteries and the optional SD card as well anchor point for a tripod.
The front has the lens and the flash unit mounted above and to the side of the lens there is also a pinhole microphone. The top has the 'power' button, shutter release button and eight position wheel. This leaves the back that is dominated by a 5.5x4.2 cm TFT display this is described as a '2.7 inch large LCD'. To the right of this are three buttons the wide angle / telephoto rocker and the ubiquitous five position joystick with the central point being the menu button.
The menus are excellent five menus that control almost everything about the camera. As an example there are eleven different modes from 10MP 3648x2736 down to VGA 640x480 in one mega pixel increments and each setting has three different compression modes, Super Fine, Fine and Normal, so using basic maths that's 33 ways of taking an image.
The scene selector from the wheel has seven modes landscape, close up, sunset, dawn, backlight, firework and beach & snow. So even without the manual options for those who know that bit more the novice can quickly take images that stand out by selecting the correct mode.
As with most digital cameras it has a movie mode and here this means MPEG4 and there are three sizes 160, 320 and 640 that give you 160x128, 320x240 and 640x480. It is very easy to capture a movie sequence and the camera adjusts well to light changes.
Cameras seem to have stuck at 3x optical zoom for several years now and while I was perfectly happy with the images this camera took I wonder when instead of increasing the mega pixels camera manufacturers will start to give more optical zoom as standard.
As an entry level camera this is excellent as a second camera for someone of intermediate level they will probably be satisfied with the results. A quick pull from the pocket or purse and you are ready to shoot.
Doing my Internet searches found the Samsung S1030 at a best price of £89 from PC World :
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