The Samsung PL80 is a 12 MP compact camera with a 5x optical zoom, and an impressively low price
Cameras at the sub £100 price range rarely offer much in the way of features or looks, giving the best possible approximation of a basic point and shoot model for the cash. The Samsung PL80, on the other hand, looks to avoid all the usual trappings of a cut price camera by being slim and stylish enough to pass for something far more expensive, as well as the likes of a 12MP sensor and 5x optical zoom to give the fundamentals something more than the norm.
In terms of features the Samsung PL80 is relatively thin on the ground, although at the price range that’s hardly surprising. The main features are far more sedate than many of the gimmicky extras on many cameras, including a 28mm wide angle lens and dual image stabilisation. Both come as standard when paying above the £150 mark, but below are less common. In the case of the Samsung PL80 these two features make it all the more attractive to the consumer on the budget, and keeps the most important fundamentals at the forefront. The expanded ISO range, although it will fall short if the likes of definition and sharpness aren’t up to scratch.
The Samsung PL80 certainly doesn’t betray the price through the aesthetics, as the the edges are curved and few obviously plasticy parts. The casing is of a smooth, metallic finish and doesn’t creak or separate under stress, and the buttons are solid feeling. Even the zoom is assured, if a little slow to react at times. Handily a Smart button is placed on top of the camera, which alters the functionality to a more basic, restricted version with the auto scene mode activated.
Image quality is quite decent, with the saturation levels favouring portraits rather than landscape photography as the reds are made to be prominent. The optical image stabilisation is useful in most situations, speeding up the focus to an impressive level. Tonally the darker shades are favoured, resulting in some washed out skies, but overall the images are easily good enough to take a decent snap.
Reasonable image quality, although witd limited abilities in low light, and decent design make this an impressive model for the price.
96.8 x 57.5 x 20.2mm
Multi-segment, centre-weighted, spot
Auto, P, 13 Scene modes
JPEG, AVI MJPEG
28.2-141mm (5x Zoom) F/3.4-5.9