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As an upgrade of the S630, the S730 has all the same design and features as its predecessor, but with a larger sensor size of 7.2Mp.
- CCD size: 7.4 Mp
- Image Sensor: 1/2.5in
- Optical zoom: 3x
- Image Size:3072 x 2304
- Lens range: 35-105mm
- Focus: TTL Auto
- Macro : 5cm
- White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Florescent_H, Florescent_L, Tungsten, Custom.
- Exposure: Program AE
- Exposure Compensation: 0.5 EV step, +/-2EV
- Metering: Multi, Spot
- Monitor: 2.5" TFT LCD
- Movie Mode: Yes
- Scene Modes: Night, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach and Snow
- Shutter Speed: 8 – 1/1,500m sec
- Storage: 16MB Internal, MMC/SD (HC)
- Batteries: 2 x AA
- AC Adaptor: Included
- Video Output: Yes
- Size/Weight: 99.8 x 62.8 x 25.7 mm - 136g
- Transfer: USB
At £109 the Samsung S730 is a budget price digital compact aimed at those who want a reasonable quality compact without breaking the bank. Others compacts within a similar price range include the Fuji FinePix A800, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S650 and the Canon PowerShot A460.
Modes and features:
The S730 has an ASR (Anti-Shake Reduction) mode designed to help achieve a well-exposed image in dim and poorly lit conditions. There are also various scene modes which can be set according to the particular location. These include Close-up, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach and Snow. The Macro mode functions as close as 5cm, as does the Auto-Macro, and there are two metering modes which can be selected - zone metering and spot metering.
Several white balance options are offered on the S730 including Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Florescent_H, Florescent_L, Tungsten, Custom, and ISO of settings ranging from 80 - 1000. There is also a Macro mode setting that allows you to shoot from as close as 5cm. Exposure compensation can be set in half stop increments to plus or minus two stops. Colour effects can be selected from a choice of Normal, Black and White, Sepia, Red, Green, Blue and Negative.
Once the image has been taken the Editing (E) button will allow you to resize, rotate, re-colour, adjust brightness, contrast and saturation in-camera. Images can also be cropped easily using the zoom rocker.
Build and handling
The design of the camera is quite basic and at 136g, it is lightweight for a camera of its size. The build quality is fairly sturdy and it's easy to use, but does have a plasticky feel. The mode dial is located on the top of the camera, alongside the power button and shutter release. On the back is a vertical zoom rocker, the 'E' button, used to access the effects and editing menu, a metering and delete option to change settings such as ISO and white balance, and a playback/print button. There is also a joypad through which the timer, macro mode, flash and video function can be selected, as well as the main menu, which allows the user to personalise the main settings of the camera. The battery/card compartment can be easily accessed from the bottom of the camera.
The S730 offers Auto flash, Auto flash with red-eye reduction , Fill-in flash , Slow sync and Flash off for situations when flash is prohibited, with a working range of up to 3m in wide-angle mode and 2.5m in telephoto mode.
In the 10 second burst test, the S730 was capable of taking five photographs within the time, and took roughly 16 seconds for the buffer to clear, which is reasonably good for a compact of this price.
The landscape test shows good detail with no evidence of fringing in areas of colour transition. The portrait shot test also shows good rendition of detail and provides a good likeness of colours. In the colour chart test I found that while the greens and reds are accurate, the blues were a lot lighter, affecting some of the other colour, such as the purple mixes. One thing I did notice about the S730 is that the LCD is easy to view in sunny conditions in comparison to some other models.
The landscape test provides a sharp, clear
result with no evidence of colour fringing
in areas where the skyline meets the
At ISO80 and ISO100 there is good detail of the picture with no evidence of noise in the grey card area, and at ISO200, noise is starting to appear, but only very mildly. At ISO400, there is a mottled effect appearing in the shadowy areas, and at ISO800 and ISO1000, there is lots of visible noise with details lost in most areas of the picture.
The ISO80 test
The ISO100 test
The ISO200 test
The ISO400 test
The ISO800 test
The ISO1000 test
For a budget price camera the DigiMax S730 performed reasonably well, with good rendition of detail in both the landscape test and portrait test, although mixes containing blue were slightly out in the colour chart test. With good results in all ISO modes and the Macro function, the S730 is easy to use, good value for money and an ideal starter camera for any first-time digital camera buyer.
Performed well in burst mode
LCD easy to view in sunny conditions
Easy to use
Blues appeared a lot lighter in the colour chart test
Feels a bit cheap and plasticky
Fairly dull design
Pricing and availability
The Samsung DigiMax S730 costs £109 and is available online from the ePHOTOzine shop and many other digital camera retailers.
All product images in this review were taken with the Canon EOS 400D.