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The Samsung DV300F is an ultra compact camera with a 5x optical zoom lens, built in Wi-Fi and a front screen to help with self-portrait or group shots.
The Samsung DV300F combines a wide angle 5x optical zoom lens with a bright f/2.5 lens, a 3inch screen, front 1.5inch screen for self-portraits and timer display, Wi-Fi and 720p video with optical zoom.
- 16.1 megapixel sensor
- 5x optical zoom, f/2.5
- Optical image stabilisation
- 3inch screen
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Front 1.5inch screen
- 720p video
- ISO80 - 3200
- 5cm Macro mode
Handling - The top of the camera features the shutter release, zoom control, power button and front LCD button, to switch the front screen on and off. The back of the camera has a number of buttons giving quick access to some settings, with additional settings found by pressing the menu button. This gives you the photo options overlaid on the screen.
Menus – Pressing the home button brings you to the main menus on the camera, which are spread over five different screens including: Basic (Photo and video options), Wi-Fi, Scene, Magic (Photo and Video filters), and Album (Album, Photo Editor). The menus have clear icons and if you highlight one of the options an explanation of the mode will pop up making it easier to use and find the item you want.
Wi-Fi connectivity: The DV300F has a number of Wi-Fi options, including social sharing to sites including Facebook, Picasa, Youtube and Photobucket. Connecting is fairly straightforward, prompting for the wireless key if you haven't already set it up. The camera automatically detects the type of security on the Wi-Fi network. One issue is that it will not send panoramic photos to Facebook or email, which seems a little odd. Email sends a resized image - giving you a 2 megapixel copy or backup of the image and this makes it easy to send images without clogging up someones inbox with huge images. Images uploaded to Facebook appear in an album with the same name as the camera model, in this case, the DV300F as shown below:
Further Wi-Fi options include:
- MobileLink: For Android phones only so far, with the iPhone version coming. Unfortunately trying this on my Android phone didn't work, as the program crashed on startup.
- Remote Viewfinder: This requires you to enable the Personal Hotspot on the iPhone, something that not all mobile phone networks support, so we were unable to test this, and does not appear to be available on the Android market.
- SkyDrive will backup photos to the Microsoft cloud service - the logon process uses a mini web browser, and worked well, letting us choose which photos to upload.
- AutoBackup requires you to connect the camera to your PC and install Samsung's iStudio program to setup the backup and once setup, allows you to backup wirelessly.
- TV Link will let you show photos and videos on a TV that is connected to the same wireless network as the camera.
Battery life - The camera features an 880mAh battery which we found to give decent performance considering the camera's small size. We were able to take around 250 photos before the battery went flat.
Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.
|Samsung DV300F||Panasonic TZ25|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.6||0.3|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.5||1.6|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||1.7||0.6|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||6.0||1.2|
|Continuous Shooting (JPEG)||1.6s||10fps (4 shots)|
|Continuous AF Shooting (JPEG)
Continuous 3 megapixels
Continuous 2.5 megapixels
|N/A||5fps (5 shots)
40fps (40 shots)
60fps (30 shots)
|Continuous Shooting (with Flash)||N/A||2fps (5 shots, 3m)|
Focus speed and shutter response is good. Switch on time is a little slow and shot to shot time isn't particularly rapid either. When using flash the camera takes a long time to charge or recharge the flash taking up to 6 seconds before it will take a photo. 6fps shooting is available at VGA resolution.
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Samsung DV300F Sample Photos
Clock | 1/350 sec | f/6.3 | 22.5 mm | ISO 80
Kings Cross | 1/350 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Pink blossom | 1/350 sec | f/4.7 | 14.6 mm | ISO 80
Portrait | 1/45 sec | f/3.6 | 9.7 mm | ISO 100
Sample Photos - There is some red-eye in the portrait shot with flash, however the colour is good. Photos taken outdoors on bright days have excellent colour with good detail in the centre. It would be nice if an orientation sensor was built into the camera.
Samsung DV300F Lens test images
Wide | 1/1500 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Zoom | 1/350 sec | f/6.3 | 22.5 mm | ISO 80
Trees | 1/350 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Macro 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Lens test images - There is some corner softness when viewing wide angle shots and purple fringing can be seen in the shot of the trees. Barrel distortion was also noticeable although shouldn't be too much of a worry. The macro mode is quite good, but not spectacular, allowing the subject to be roughly 5cm from front of lens, it's not possible to zoom to get closer.
Samsung DV300F ISO test images
ISO80 | 1/4 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 80
ISO100 | 1/4 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
ISO200 | 1/8 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 200
ISO400 | 1/15 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 400
ISO800 | 1/30 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 800
ISO1600 | 1/60 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 1600
ISO3200 | 1/125 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 3200
ISO Noise Performance - ISO80 and ISO100 show low noise. ISO200 gives good results, with some noise creeping in. At ISO400 noise becomes more noticeable, although should still produce decent results. At ISO800 noise becomes more noticeable with detail and colour dropping off. Again at ISO1600 noise increases and this is likely to be the highest ISO setting you would want to use. At ISO3200 noise is strong with a big drop in colour and detail.
Samsung DV300F White-balance test images
AWB Tungsten Light | 1/15 sec | f/3.2 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
Tungsten Preset | 1/15 sec | f/3.2 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
AWB Fluorescent Light | 1/6 sec | f/3.2 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent Preset | 1/6 sec | f/3.2 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) under tungsten and fluorescent lighting, as well as mixed lighting does a very good job producing nuetral colours. Using the tungsten preset gives a slightly green image, while the fluorescent preset gives a slightly warmer image. For most situations the auto white balance should produce very good results.
Panoramic | 1/180 sec | f/9.2 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Samsung DV300F Digital filters
Magic Frame (1 of 13) | 1/45 sec | f/3.2 | 7.8 mm | ISO 400
Vignetting 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Oil Painting 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Cross Filter 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Sketch 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Soft Focus 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Fisheye 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Old Film 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 240
Half-Tone Dot 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Classic 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Retro 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 240
Miniature 1/30 sec | f/2.5 | 4.5 mm | ISO 200
Zooming shot 1/30 sec | f/5.2 | 18.0 mm | ISO 400
Ink Painting 1/45 sec | f/3.2 | 7.8 mm | ISO 320
Cartoon 1/45 sec | f/3.2 | 7.8 mm | ISO 320
Digital Filters - The Samsung DV300F has an abundance of digital filters and when you think you've been through them all, there's more on the next screen, including some that will create a video of the effect being created. In addition to this, there is the option to take multiple frame shots to combine subjects and reframe. There's another mode where it will create an animated GIF of your subject as it moves in the frame.
Video - Optical zoom is available and video quality is quite good. Another video is available on our YouTube channel.
Value For MoneyThe Samsung DV300F is available for £155 making it one of the cheaper Wi-Fi cameras available. Alternatives include the Canon IXUS 240 HS - available for £249, the Panasonic Lumix FX90 - available for £200, or last years Samsung SH100 for £99 although it does not feature a front screen. You'll also need to buy a Micro SD memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Samsung DV300F ProsUltra compact camera
f/2.5 wide angle 5x optical zoom lens
Optical zoom available on video
Wi-Fi uploads straight to Facebook etc
Bright colourful photos
Samsung DV300F ConsSlow flash charge time
Front screen not very clear
No dedicated video button
Uses MicroSD card
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Samsung DV300F Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.5 - f/6.3|
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 125mm|
|CCD pixels||16Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.16mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.62mm|
|Screen resolution||460k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||2sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 3200|
|Continuous shooting||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||BP88 Lithium Ion|
|CIPA Rating||No Data|
|Box Contents||No Data|