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One look at the Samsung i70 and I'm immediately impressed. In a swanky gold leaf design and with a sliding door which opens to reveal controls, the compact looks like something new and exciting, but will I be disappointed or will the i70 meet with my expectations?
- Sensor: CCD - 7.2Mp
- Zoom: 3x optical
- Image Size:3072 x 2304
- Lens: 3072 x 2304
- Focus: TTL Auto – 5 cm Macro
- Exposure: Prog. AE
- Metering: Multi, Spot, Centre, Face
- ISO Sensitivity: 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
- White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Flourescent_H, Flourescent_L, Tungsten, Shutter:Measure.
- Scene Modes: Night, Portrait, Children, Landscape, Macro, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach and Snow, Self-Shot, Food, and Cafe.
- Macro: 5cm
- Monitor: 3.0in TFT LCD
- Movie Mode: Yes
- Storage: 10Mb Internal, MMC / SD
- Batteries: Lithium-ion
- Video Output: Yes
- Size/Weight: 89.7x61x21.5mm - 186g
- Transfer: USB 2.0
The i70 is marketed mainly as a multimedia device, something that's practical and pleasurable to use, and of course, the fashion conscious sector of the photographic market who want to be seen with something stylish and and at the cutting edge of the latest technology.
Samsung Digimax i70 Modes and Features
Alongside the swanky and cutting-edge design of the i70 is its multimedia capabilities. As well as being a camera, it also doubles up as a PMP, Camcorder, Text Viewer, Voice Recorder, MP3 player and Portable Disk, meaning you can watch and record movies, listen to music, record sound, view text files and even save files to the memory card by connecting the camera to a computer.
As far as the i70 as a camera goes, the main features here are its 7.2Mp sensor and 3x optical. It also offers a range of shooting modes including Auto, Anti-Shake Reduction, Program and Movie. The Anti-Shake function works to reduce blur by using a higher ISO setting in low light conditions to prevent movement blur caused slow shutter speeds. Program allows the user to set the image size, quality, drive mode, metering, ISO, white balance setting and exposure value.
Alongside this are several pre-set scene modes comprising Nightscene, Portrait, Children, Landscape, Close-up, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Firework, Beach and Snow, Self Shot, Food and Cafe. Also included is face Recognition AF and AE technology which picks up and focuses on up to nine faces within the frame while adjusting the brightness to make sure the faces are perfectly exposed.
Single shot and burst mode can be selected in the menu and there is also a Wise Shot function that can be selected in the drive menu. This function works by taking two shots simultaneously - one with Anti-Shake Reduction and one with flash, and allows you to choose which shot you prefer after it has been taken.
White balance modes offered are Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Flourescent_H, Flourescent_L, Tungsten, and Shutter:Measure and metering options include Multi, Spot, Centre, and Face.
Samsung Digimax i70 Build and Handling
At the top of the camera is the on/off button, shutter release and the Face Detection selection control which also serves to lock the camera when in MP3 and PMP mode.
The camera is turned on and off by sliding the LCD screen across. Underneath the screen is is the zoom controls and 9-Key PUI (Physical User Interface) for selection of flash, mode menus, macro function, self timer, playback and delete. Menus are easy to follow and graphics are of a high standard, but one thing that may cause a problem here is that the controls are compact and may not be suitable for people with larger fingers. The slide-screen design is a clever idea as it allows the camera to feature a 3in LCD screen whilst remaining compact, and also serves to protect the lens and control pad from dust or damage. Underneath the camera is the tripod bush and charging socket, and on the side is card and battery compartment and a small headphone socket. When using
Build-wise the camera is quite chunky and slightly on the heavy side but feels sturdy and well-built. The slide function operates smoothly and easily but the card and battery cover does feel plasticky and slightly flimsy. One thing I did notice is that there is a slightly raised area just around the tripod bush, preventing the camera from being able to attach to a tripod plate. It does attach, it just won't tighten, making the camera wobbly and unsteady.
Samsung Digimax i70 Flash Options
The Samsung i70 offers six different flash options. Firstly there is Auto Flash, which fires automatically in dark conditions and Auto flash with the addition of Red eye reduction. Then there is a Fill-in flash which fires regardless of the available light and Slow Synchro which operates with a slow shutter speed to gain the correct exposure – useful in low light conditions. Also offered is a Flash off function and Red eye reduction alone. Samsung's red eye reduction technology works by firing a pre-flash before the shot is taken to reduce the size of the pupil and reduce the likelihood of for red-eye occurring. Working range of the flash is 3.6m at wide-angle and 2.8m at telephoto. The approximate flash recharge time is quoted as five seconds in the manufacturer's specifications.
Samsung Digimax i70 Performance
In the colour chart test the results were extremely accurate, with reds, blues and skin tones matching the actual colours of the chart. The greens and resulting colour mixes were ever so slightly brighter than the chart but not a huge amount.
Portrait shot used with flash gives a good result, smoothing out the skin, warming up the image and showing a good amount of detail. In portrait mode without flash a good result is also achieved, with the skin appearing soft and flawless and plenty of detail in the hair and eyebrows. In program mode without flash, the image is slightly blurred as the camera has selected shutter speed of 1/27 with an ISO of 160.
In the landscape shot test the camera selected an aperture of f/3.5 and shutter speed of 1/125. The results are that the winch is rendered into sharp focus and the area towards the front of the shot, while the rest becomes blurred. A wider aperture of around f/22 would have been more appropriate for the landscape setting ensuring all areas had good amounts of sharp detail.
The 170 managed four shots within a 10 second period, which is at the lower end of the scale in terms of performance and there were long periods in between shots while the buffer cleared. The zoom moves smoothly but is slightly fiddly to get at as the buttons are very small.
|Good results are achieved in portrait mode with a good amount of detail in the petal and the stamen.|
Samsung Digimax i70 Noise tests
The ISO tests for the Samsung i70 were disappointing and while shots taken in ISO80, 100 and 200 were acceptable, by ISO400 a significant amount of noise was starting to appear and the grey card was starting to become grainy. By ISO800 a lot if noise was visible and at ISO1000.
|The ISO80 test.||The ISO100 test.|
|The ISO200 test.||The ISO400 test.|
|The ISO800 test.||The ISO1000 test.|
Samsung Digimax i70 Verdict
What I like about the i70 is it's super slinky design and range of multimedia features. I was also impressed by the accuracy of colours in the colour chart test. The portrait test produced good results, but results of the landscape mode and ISO test were disappointing and the camera sometimes struggles to achieve a sharp result. While the camera may be of interest to those looking for a multimedia device with a range of functions, those wanting a good quality camera would be advised to look for something that does just that.
Gadget Granny says
I mostly loved this camera! The look was glam, reminding me of powder compacts when I was young. It felt solid in my hand and easy to switch between the menus. It slipped in the mobile phone pocket in my handbag and was ready to hand all week. I used it to take fab photos of the daffodils when they finally came out. The auto focus generally was great with a couple of disappointing exceptions. Overall, would recommend this for beginners in digital and for keeping to hand for those of us who know a bit more but don't want to always have to think before shooting.
Samsung Digimax i70 Plus Points:
Accurate colour rendition
Unique, stylish design
Great selection of features
Good portrait results
Samsung Digimax i70 Minus Points:
Tripod Bush does not allow secure attachment
ISO tests produced a lot of noise and purple cast
Landscape shot unsharp in most areas
Sometimes struggles to focus
The Samsung i70 is available for £149.00 from the ePHOTOzine shop here.