Samsung Digital Imaging has provided the author of this review with the mentioned digital imaging device.
With the ST550(TL225) still popular, WB5000 as a high end camera, mirror less interchangeable lens camera NX10, Samsung has completed their perfect line-up. (After the GX-20, there’s no DSLR from Samsung, but the NX10 is an interchangeable lens camera and has great image quality with perfect manual function, so it’s like a DSLR camera, I think.) @ In recent 2~3 years, Samsung cameras have made huge progress. This means a lot in Korea’s high competitive digital camera market, I think.
Samsung PL150(TL210) which I’m reviewing is the camera having the front display. It’s a PL series, but the design appears better than ST series. Unlike other low price models with limited functions, it supports most of the high level functions, so it allows easier and more comfortable shooting.
Because it supports a lot of functions, there are lots of things to go over. Let’s take a look at the functions and image quality one by one.
It has great mobility with 99.2 x 59 x 19.9 mm of size and 136.6g of weight. It has small size to fit in a hand, and unlike previous PL series, it’s very slim and light to fit in a pocket of pants. (It’s very small and light with various functions. I think it’s one of the greatest things of the PL150(TL210).)
This product has not only great functions like front display, but also great design. I like its simple design, high glossy UV coating and colors. (Fundamental design is not different from other Samsung products. However, the differences are in details.)
It’s the front and 27-135mm (On 35mm) lens is located. It supports F3.5~5.9 aperture covering normal range. (27mm wide angle is good enough to take landscape shots and 5x optical zoom could cover telephoto angle. It’s much different in shooting angle from other low price models supporting 3x optical zoom with narrow shooting angle.)
On the top, flash is installed and on the side of the lens, AF assist light & Self timer lamp and microphone are located. It also has the front display to shoot perfect self shots. (It’s totally different face recognition or mirror. Users can take self shots with looking at their faces, so it’s much more satisfactory.) @ Not only Self shot mode, but also couple mode and children mode are supported. Please refer to the video preview.
It’s the top and a speaker is located on the left side and front display button is also located. (When it’s pushed, the mode changes to self, couple, and children.) On the side, power button is located and shutter button supporting zooming.
@ Unlike normal digital cameras, the shutter is slanted about 7 degree. It’s ergonomic design considering that users will take a lot of self shots. (Slanted shutter allows easier self shots.)
It’s the bottom of the product and mount hole for tripod connection is located and battery and memory are installed on the side. (It has 30MB internal memory and external memory has to be purchased.) Unlike other models using SD memory, it supports MicroSD like the ST1000(CL65) and ST550(TL225) and up to 8GB MicroSDHC can be used. @ Now, MicroSDHC is very cheap. Users will be satisfied with that.
It’s the back of the product and 3” display is located. On the right side, mode dial and various control buttons are located. (There are a lot of advantages of touch screen, but when it comes to quick control, it’s not as great as button type. This will satisfy those who like to control the camera more quickly.)
It’s the left side of the product and universal 20 pin port is installed for data transfer, TV-OUT, and charge. HDMI port is also supported for users to enjoy high quality videos by connecting it to digital TV. (It’s very impressive that it supports Micro HDMI port. Now, mini HDMI port is majority, but there will be a lot of products adopting Micro HDMI port, I think.)
You can see the small size of the PL150(TL210). (Compared to cell phones or MP3P, it’s not much different.)
We’ve looked at the design and feature. Let’s take a look at what functions are supported more closely.
It’s the main screen and like previous products, a lot of information is displayed on the side. (Because it supports a lot of functions, various icons are displayed.) Like the below picture, when recording a video, different information is displayed and by using Fn button on the back, frequently used functions can be selected @ Compared to complicated other products, Samsung Digital cameras have intuitive interface, so beginners can easily use them.
8 different basic modes such as Smart Auto, Auto, Program, Dual IS, Beauty Shot, Scene mode, movie, and night scenery are supported. (As a high level product, mode dial is installed to change modes easily.) @ By using the front display, self shot, couple shot, children shot, and video can be taken. This will be demonstrated at the video preview, so please refer to it.)
Without getting into setting menu, by using the buttons on the back, frequently used functions can be set. Information displayed in the LCD can be hid and self timer, flash, and Macro can be set by direction key. @ When using Self timer, countdown is displayed on the front display for better shooting. Jump shot function displaying the right moment to jump has been added.
Like other previous cameras, Smart Auto mode which is auto scene recognition is supported. Once setting resolution, the camera settings will automatically be optimized, so even beginners can easily take good pictures. @ Unlike other products, upgraded Smart Auto 2.0 automatically recognizes 17 different scenes and Smart Auto for movies has also been added.
Unlike other low level cameras only supporting DIS, it supports Dual IS mode with OIS, so 2 or 3 more shutter speed can be secured (It’s the most important function in the compact digital camera, in my opinion.) Separate Night scenery mode is supported. (When selecting Night scenery mode, aperture and shutter can be manually selected for better shots.)
Beauty Shot mode which is user’s favourite is also provided. (Like the picture, 3 levels of brightness and skin adjustment are offered. Users can make beautiful photos without using Photoshop.)
Scene mode is provided. Like the picture, various settings are supported, so users can select one of them. (It’s a manual version of Smart Auto.)
It’s movie recording mode and size and speed can be selected. (Unlike low price cameras, it supports 30 fps in 1280 HQ, so high quality movies can be recorded. I’m sure that it will be very satisfactory.)
SHOT SET Shooting
From now, let’s take a look at various functions. The above picture is shooting functions and various settings are supported. (Newly added Smart filter is supported and some detailed functions have been added.)
As a high level product, various photo sizes can be set and 3 levels of quality setting is supported. Exposure can be adjusted and up to ISO 3200 is provided. (Unlike some cameras fixing the size in ISO 3200, ISO 320 can be applied to 12M pictures.
White Balance compensating colors changed by light source is provided and various face recognition functions are supported. (Face Recognition is incomparably greater than other products in details.)
My Start function registering frequently taken faces and giving priority for focus and exposure I supported and registered face list is also provided to edit the priority. (You will easily see what it is by looking at the picture, I think.)
Not only centre and multi AF, but also newly added tracking AF following the subject, once it’s set are supported. Multi, spot, and centre-weighted metering are supported. Photo Style menu for various atmosphere and emotional photos is also provided. (Setting Sketch, resolution decreases to below 5M.)
It’s newly added Smart Filter and like using interchangeable lens cameras, various effects can be applied. Miniature filter blurring parts of the pictures, Vigenetting filter applying retro-looking colors (I think Lomo camera makes sense to you), and Fish eye filter distorting the central part are provided.
Image correction function adjusting contrast, sharpness, and saturation is provided and ACB correcting the contrast, continuous shot, motion capture, and AEB are supported.
Not only Dual IS, but also OIS in normal mode can be used and voice memo and recording are supported.
It’s the sound setting and volume can be adjusted (3 levels with off). Various booting, shutter, and operating sounds can be selected. AF operation sound can be turned off or on and setting sound of children mode by using the front display can be selected.
It’s screen menu and various languages are supported and function description is also provided. (It’s useful for beginners to get used to functions.) And when booting, the starting image on the LCD can be selected (Users can register the image.), and brightness, quick view time, and power saving time can be set.
It’s the setting menu and various settings can be set. (Menu regarding the front display has been added.)
It supports formant and initialization function and date, time, and time zone can also be set. File naming can be selected and date/time recording, auto power off, and video output setting are supported.
AF assist light, Anynet+, USB setting and resolution setting as an HDMI supporting product are supported.
Like the digital camcorders from Samsung, it has built-in S/W Intelli-Studio and children mode smile shot setting and front display demonstration setting are supported.
By pushing Play button on the back, picture, video, and voice can be checked. (Even when the power is off, Play button works and through the button on the back, shooting information can easily be checked.)
By supporting zooming function, more detailed picture check is possible. (After zooming, image can be cut.) Preview up to 20 pictures is supported, so pictures can be searched more quickly. (By using zoom lever on the shutter button, it can be controlled.)
It’s Smart Album and it can be sorted by not only file, date, and color, but also by faces. (Setting Smart Face Recognition, by taking portrait shots or setting to My start, faces will be registered and then, the sorting by faces will be available.)
It’s Play setting menu and in edit menu, the size of pictures can be changed. (Not only the size, but also start image setting are possible.) Picture rotation is also supported. Even after taking pictures, style can be applied and various retouching functions are supported. Like I mentioned earlier, by using Smart Filter, images can be edited. @ It might be not that convenient for those who are used to Photoshop, but very convenient for those who are not used to it.
It supports Multi Slide show. Picture selection, effects, interval, and BGM can be set. (Please check through the video.)
It’s file management. File delete and protection are supported with voice memo. (Selecting pictures you want and then you can delete or protect them with the preview.) DPOF (Picture output information is stored in MIDC folder in the memory card and users can select pictures to print out and the number of pictures to print.) and copy function are provided. @ Manually, face list can be edited.
We’ve checked design and features. Now, let’s take a look at the quality of images and videos by shooting test.
As a product supporting optical 5x zoom, different from other low price cameras, it had the advantage in the shooting angle. Because it also supports 27mm wide angle, landscape and portrait can satisfactorily be covered. Since Dual IS, it also allows perfect shots when taking telephoto angle shots without hand shake.)
The biggest advantage of the PL150(TL210) is the portrait shot, I think. Because it has the front display, users can look at their faces and take the self shots, so it allows more perfect shots. Through Beauty shot mode, users don’t need to use Photoshop to make flawless faces. (When it comes to previous cameras, Beauty shot was a little bit unnatural, but the Beauty shot of the PL150(TL210) has become more natural.)
@ When it comes to self shot, compared to other cameras, the angle is incomparably more natural. The 7 degree tilted shutter button allowed more comfortable and accurate shooting. Like other cameras, it supports Face Recognition and faces can be registered by My Star for perfect portrait shots.
By supporting Dual IS, even under the low light condition, pictures can be taken without flash. (You can see the results of Dual IS. Under the circumstances, it adjusts ISO, so beginners can take shots without blur.)
It’s testing the newly added Smart Filter. It didn’t change photos much, but I could feel the effect anyway. (Vignetting filter giving Lomo camera was especially impressive. Personally, I like rather dark colors, I could be much more satisfied with the result than the original photo.)
It’s testing ISO outdoors, and from ISO 400 there was some noise. (From ISO 1600, noise was getting bigger. It’s good for web sigs, but for development, you’d better lower ISO below 1600.)
As a camera supporting upgraded Smart Auto, exposure and color was pretty good. (Considering that previous cameras couldn’t express colors and exposure which I wanted, but the PL150(TL210) could take shots as I exactly wanted.) @ This camera shows great image quality not just for snap shots.
Built-in S/W (Intelli-Studio) is included. It supports not only general file management function, but also photo and movie editing function. It’s also very easy to use, so beginners can easily edit their pictures and movies. It’s sharing function and different from previous models supporting YouTube and Flickr, Facebook has been added. (Users don’t need to upload videos after visiting the web sites. By using Intelli-Studio, it’s very simple to upload UCC movies.)
Video & TV out
Unlike other low price cameras, HDMI output is supported, so users can enjoy clean and vivid pictures and videos in bigger screen and it also supports general composite. (I bought TV-OUT cable and was testing it. If you want to connect via HDMI, please buy HDMI-to Micro HDMI cable and use it.)
It’s playing pictures and videos. While zooming, voice couldn’t be recorded, but 30 fps is supported in 1280 resolution, so videos were very smooth. (Quality was also very good. I think you will be satisfied with the quality.)
There are a variety of compact digital cameras in the market like DSLRs, so it’s easy to regret if you purchase it just by looking at price or design. (I recommend you to consider the price and functions you need and compare various models, before choosing one.)
I’d like to recommend the PL150(TL210) to those who want a high level compact digital camera. It has installed the front display which was first applied to the ST550(TL225), so it offers more convenient self shot, children shot, and couple shot. It also has great mobility and design better than the ST series.
27mm wide angle with 5x optical zoom gives merit in shooting angle and dual IS allows no blurry pictures. It also supports advanced Smart Auto, so users can take great shots without complicated settings. (This would be a great thing for beginners.)
I’d like to say it’s a compact digital camera with full specifications. I strongly recommend this to those who take a lot of self and portrait shots, want simple control, and high level functions. You will be satisfied in design, function, and quality.
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