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The Samsung PL210 is a high-zoom digital compact camera, released in January 2011. The camera is available in silver, black and pink with an RRP of £179.99 but can be found on the internet for around £148.00.
Smart Auto 2.0 automatically adjusts the camera to make picture and video taking as easy as possible. To help take more creative pictures there is a range of Smart Filters, these include Miniature, Soft Focus and Palette Effect, among many more. Smart Face Recognition automatically focuses and exposes on 20 faces that have been designated on the camera.
The PL210 can shoot 720p HD videos at 30fps, the 10x zoom can even be used during video recording.
- 10x optical zoom 27mm wide angle lens
- 14.2 megapixel sensor
- 3.0 inch TFT LCD screen
- 720p HD movie recording
- Dual Image Stabilisation
- Smart Filters
- Smart Auto 2.0
- Smart Face Recognition
- ISO80 - 3200
On the rear is a 3.0 inch LCD screen, which is bright and clear to view in all lighting conditions, thanks to the Intelligent LCD brightness automatically adjusting the brightness.
Using continuous shooting the camera takes full size images at 0.8fps. Using Motion Capture the camera shoots at around 6.4fps, although picture size is limited to 640 x 480 pixels. AEB mode takes three images at different exposures, these images can be combined, in Photoshop for example, to create HDR images.
|Wide-angle, ISO80, 1/350, f/3.3, 4.85mm (35mm equiv: 27mm)||Full optical zoom, ISO80, 1/180, f/5.9, 48.5mm (35mm equiv: 270mm)|
|Digital zoom, ISO80, 1/180, f/5.9, 48.5mm (35mm equiv: 270mm)||Macro, ISO80, 1/180, f/3.3, 4.85mm (35mm equiv: 27mm)|
Here are further examples using 10x optical zoom.
|10x optical zoom, ISO80, 1/125, f/5.9, 48.5mm (35mm equiv: 270mm)||10x optical zoom, ISO80, 1/180, f/5.9, 48.5mm (35mm equiv: 270mm)|
At ISO80 noise is unnoticeable, but at ISO100 the images are not as sharp as at ISO80. Noise slowly gets worse through ISO200 and ISO400, but good images are still produced. At ISO800 significant amount of detail is lost, again worsening at ISO1600. There is plenty of noise at ISO3200. The pleasing aspect is that although more detail gets lost through the ISO range, colours are unaffected. Images produced at ISO1600 and ISO3200 are likely to be best suited for small prints an use on the web.
Below are example images using the three metering modes: Multi, Spot and Centre Weighted.
|Multi-metering, ISO80, 1/500, f/3.3, 4.85mm (35mm equiv: 27mm)||Spot-metering, ISO80, 1/350, f/3.3, 4.85mm (35mm equiv: 27mm)||Centre-weighted, ISO80, 1/500, f/3.3, 4.85mm (35mm equiv: 27mm)|
Using the Beauty Shot mode, the PL210 takes excellent portrait pictures with pleasing skin tones and makes an excellent job of reducing blemishes on the skin. Landscapes also look good, with the camera giving a boost to the greens and blues in images.
During testing the PL210's auto white-balance performance was good and proved perfectly capable under our fluorescent and incandescent studio lights. Using the fluorescent preset under the fluorescent lights gives a slight green cast in the image, the AWB preset does a much better job.
The PL210 has a range of Smart Filters available including: Miniature, Vignetting, Half Tone Dot, Sketch, Fish-eye, Defog, Classic, Retro and Negative. Be aware, some of the filters don't record at the full 14.2 megapixel resolution.
Video ModeThe PL210 shoots 720p HD videos at 30fps & 15fps with a maximum files size of 4Gb. Standard quality options are 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 (both at 30fps & 15fps). Optical zoom can be used during recording.
Value For MoneyThe Samsung PL210 is available for around £150.00. If you are looking for a 10x optical zoom camera there are plenty of options dependent on your budget. The Pentax Optio RZ10 costs £93.99, Olympus VR-310 costs £107.99 and Fuji FinePix T200 cost £124.99, all with 14 megapixel sensors and are cheaper than the PL210.
If you have a bigger budget to spend, the Sony Cyber-shot H70 also has a 10x optical zoom lens, 16.1 megapixel sensor and costs £178.99. The Canon Digital IXUS 1000 HS is a premium compact with 10x optical zoom lens, 10 megapixel sensor and costs £256.99.
Other cameras to consider... with even more zoom are the Canon PowerShot SX130 IS with 12x optical zoom, 12.1 megapixel sensor and costs £138.99. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 has a 12x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel sensor and costs £169.99. Lastly, the Canon PowerShot SX220 HS has a 14x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel sensor and costs £220.99.
Excellent colour reproduction
Samsung PL210: Pros
Excellent macro images
10x zoom lens in a small camera
Smart Filters give plenty of creative options
Pleasant portrait images
Samsung PL210: ConsImages blurred towards the edges
Lots of noise at the higher end of ISO range
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
|Optical zoom||10x optical zoom, 4.85 - 48.5mm (35mm equiv: 27 - 270mm), f/3.3 - 5.9|
|Sensor size||1/2.3 inch|
|Max image size||4320 x 3240|
|Focusing system||TTL auto focus|
|Focus points||Multi AF, Centre AF, Face Detection AF, Object Tracking AF, Smart Face Recognition AF|
|ISO sensitivity||ISO80 - 3200|
|Metering system||Program AE|
|Exposure compensation||± 2EV (1 / 3EV steps)|
|Shutter speed range||8 - 1/2000 seconds|
|Image stabilisation||Dual Image Stabilisation|
|Movie mode||High Quality 1280x720 (30fps & 15fps), max. 4Gb
Standard Quality 640x480 (30fps & 15fps)
320x240 (30fps & 15fps)
Zoom: Optical 10x
|Monitor||3 inch TFT LCD screen|
|Media type||Micro SD/SDHC|
|Power||Rechargeable battery: BP85A|
|Box Contents||Samsung PL210 camera
Lithium Ion battery
|Size||96.8 × 58 × 20.3mm|