Top critical review
23 people found this helpful
Nice Idea poorly implemented with buggy software.
on 11 September 2012
Let me start by saying I am an IT professional (over 25 years)as well as being an avid photographer [...]. I own several cameras from point and shoot to high end Canon SLR's. My home is a new build and was designed to be computer friendly with built in wireless G nodes throughout.
I bought this for my wife who wanted something simple to use that she could carry with her and use mostly for taking photos of our Grandchildren.
First impressions were good. Build quality was high and the camera felt solid and well made. The display was clear and sharp.
I took it outside to take some test photos and hit my first snag. In bright sunshine it was almost imposable to see anything on the screen so trying to focus on specific objects became little more than guesswork. The camera took longer than expected to focus and I found the tiny shutter button difficult to press as the rim around it got in the way.
I took several shots at the 100 ASA settings, max resolution, and then let the camera choose the ASA for me (Auto). At the same time I took the same photos with my Camera Phone (HTC one X 8 mp). Viewing the photos on my PC I was disappointed to see how poor the pictures were compared to my phone camera. In truth I had expected there to be a clear difference but in reality the Samsung performed little better if at all. Blowing up photos showed considerable noise and meant that the best you could expect would be A4 prints. For a 16Mp camera that is poor.
Still, my wife liked the look of it and despite my reservations wanted to keep it. She changed her mind within days. As soon as she started to try to photograph our fast moving grandchildren in fact. The camera was slow to respond and slow to focus. All she could get were blurry images of children moving out of shot. To be fair, when the children stood or sat still, photos were on the whole acceptable although there were consistent problems with focus. In the end she gave up and went back to using the 3 year old Canon the Samsung was meant to replace.
I suspect some of the problems with focus stem from the fact that most modern point and shoot have lost the Viewfinder. Trying to focus by looking at a screen particularly in bright light is not a good way to be sure you have focus spot on so perhaps I am being slightly unfair to the Samsung.
Moving away from the Photographic side of the Camera, one of it's big selling points was supposed to be it's ability to work with Wi-Fi. Hmmm!
Problems started as soon as I tried setting it up. It quickly became very clear that despite having strong a wireless signal throughout the house the camera struggled to pick up and maintain a connection. It would work well for a short time but then lose connectivity and the process had to be restarted. Much more serious were the apps (You have to download these) which are supposed to allow you to transfer data between your PC and or Smartphone/Tablet. They are so buggy it beggars belief that Samsung have even released them. I downloaded them despite dire warnings from other reviewers about the trouble they caused and regretted it immediately. Put simply, they wiped data from my phone, cleared and reset all my Wi-Fi passwords and caused a major crash on my Tablet. Be warned, I should have taken notice of the reviews and instead had to spend time rebuilding my smartphone software.
Sharing photos via email was painfully clumsy, you have to type in each email address using a tiny cursor driven screen and any small mistake can take you back to the beginning with all your changes lost. Since the camera does not remember the last email address sending more than one photo to a friend soon turns into a chore and when it drops it's Wi-Fi connection half way through the process then you start to lose the will to live.
I notice that another reviewer mentioned having to download new Firmware to get his camera to work with Wi-Fi. Maybe that was the issue, I don't know, by this time I was fed up with a product that frankly was not doing many of the things the manufacture claimed for it. I'm sending mine back for a refund. This is the first time I have ever done this but here are plenty of cameras out there that work as promised, cost less and are far less hassle to use.
If you just want a point and shoot, OK for portraits, group shots or landscapes you may find the Samsung OK. However, it's not a cheap camera and I'm not convinced that you can't get better picture quality for this kind of money.
I will try to post some of the photos I took for comparison so you can make up your own mind.
Update 22/09/2012. Since posting this review I have returned the camera to Amazon for credit. First class service from Amazon with prompt refund. Gives me confidence buying from them. Thanks Amazon.
Since this review, I have bought the Samsung NX1000 which boasts the same WiFi ability. The picture quality is superb but it shares many of the same problems as it's cheaper sibling. Focus is not always spot on but the biggest issue is still the buggy WiFi software. Put bluntly, It simply does not work reliably. Thankfully I don't need or use it much so overall I am happy with the Camera.