The Samsung S630 is like other cameras in the £75-£100 price range with it's slim, light weight design, user friendly features and standard 3x Optical zoom. It has a 6Mp CCD, boasts a 2.5in. LCD screen and has a fairly decent lens on it.
Samsung Digimax S630 Specifications
• Sensor: CCD - 6.1Mp
• Image Size: 2816 x 2112
• Lens: 35-105mm f/2.8-4.9
• Focus: TTL Auto - 5cm Macro
• Exposure: Program AE
• Metering: Multi, Spot
• Monitor: 2.5in. TFT LCD
• Movie Mode: Yes
• Storage: 16Mb Internal, SD(HC)/MMC
• Batteries: 2xAA
• AC Adaptor: N/A
• Video Output: Yes
• Size/Weight: 100x63x26mm - 136g
• Transfer: USB 2.0
The S630 screams amateur at the consumer, but that's ok, because that is exactly who Samsung have aimed it at. It comes with a price of £79 standing strong against the offerings of the larger companies giving either a slightly wider field of view or more resolution. The nearest rivals in the price category are the Kodak Easyshare C433 at £75 which offers 4Mp resolution or the Hewlett Packard Photosmart M527 at £84 offering the same size resolution as the Samsung but with a slightly narrower field of view.
Samsung Digimax S630 Modes and Features
The power button is located at the top of the camera next to the Mode dial. The dial itself is the tried and tested method for ease of use and has the usual features on it like Auto, Video, Nightshot, Portrait, Manual and Program. To try and make things a little easier, a Scene option has been installed onto the dial to be able to access the other scene modes available on the camera. The other options available are: Children, Landscape, Close Up, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Firework and Beach & Snow. The camera also has an anti shake feature which is also accessible from the top dial. This reduces the amount of blurring caused by a slow shutter speed which may be in turn caused by dark situations, the kids running around or taking pictures of things close up.
On the back of the camera, three main buttons are available to you which are separate from the Menu button. The first is acknowledged by the letter E and this simply signifies the Effects. Options on this button are Black and White, Sepia, Red, Green, Blue and Negative conversion. The +/- button gives quick options to change Resolution, Quality, Metering, Shooting modes, ISO rating, AWB and Exposure Compensation. The third button is the Review button which allows you to see the pictures you have already taken. Focusing is TTL (through the lens) and has a 5cm macro range The camera has a small internal memory, which will hold eight images on its largest file size and 47 images on its lowest. The camera also takes the option of SD memory card for extra expansion. The zoom button is a roller bar that moves up to zoom in and down to zoom out. It's quite simple.
Samsung Digimax S630 Build and Handling
The camera is quite well balanced in weight, not heavy and despite the plastic casing, does not feel cheap. It handles well all round and will give decent results for the market it is aimed at. Going into the Menu is easy to navigate, but concise, firm presses have to be made or it will not register you've done anything. The features are relatively easy to navigate. I would have liked to have seen the options pop straight up when switching to the Scene mode, but once the dial has been set, you then have to go into the Menu to choose your Scene which seems a little like they are going around the houses. They may as well have just put it into the Menu and leave it there. The Batteries and Memory card are, as usual, located together in the compartment on the bottom of the camera. Annoyingly, if you want to change cards, watch out for the batteries as they are not secured into their bays.
Samsung Digimax S630 Flash Options
Only a few options are available on the S630 and these are Auto, Auto with Red eye reduction, Fill-in Flash, Slow sync and Flash off. These are the typical options for these types of cameras and will cope with the situations that it may get into using the range of 0.2m -3.0m in it's widest angle and 0.4 -2.5m when zoomed in which are both mediocre.
Samsung Digimax S630 Performance
The camera starts up in an acceptable time of approx 1.5secs can focus and take a picture in a reasonable time. The focusing range is not too clever, but that can be remedied by switching to Macro. The S630 takes AA batteries so don't expect a miraculous life span, but Ni-Mh batteries can always be used to extend it. The burst mode can take five pictures in the 10 second test. The downfall being that it then also takes a further eight seconds to download onto the card. The Advanced Shake Reduction isn't everything that it seems. It is electronic, not optical and simply cranks up the ISO and increases the shutter speed to ensure the aperture can cope with the light conditions.
The colours are balanced with none really punching out.
Overall reasonable image, though noise is evident in low key areas.
Portrait mode gives roughly the same results as the Auto mode but with the exception of slightly warmer skin tones.
Auto mode gives balanced results which you wouldn't be dissatisfied with.
The Poppy has come out with great detail in Macro mode.
The zoom is a standard 3x Optical so will do the job it needs to do.
Samsung Digimax S630 Noise tests
Noise is evident on all settings, but becomes definite from ISO100 onwards, which is a shame as it's unlikely that the camera will choose ISO80 on Auto unless the situation is particularly bright. At ISO400 the picture is very noisy with purple effects and artefacts everywhere. There is a distinct lack of ISO settings with only four options in the group.
The ISO 80 test.
The ISO 100 test.
The ISO 200 test.
The ISO 400 test.
Samsung Digimax S630 Verdict:
The S630 delivers a decent requirement for the market it is aimed at. The picture and build quality are fair for day to day picture taking. The camera will not win any awards, but I don't think that Samsung were trying to. The design and features are reminiscent of the old Coolpix range by Nikon from a few years ago. The design was proven as it was a popular range, so Samsung have chosen a safe option with the ergonomics.
It's a useful camera to slip in your pocket on a day out and at the price, it won't matter too much if anything happens to it.
Reasonable build quality
Built in Dictaphone
Fairly flat colours
Completely unnecessary Scene mode control
Price and availability:
The Samsung Digimax S630 is priced at £79 and can be purchased from the ePHOTOzine shop click here