10MP for £130 in 2007? Sounds like a bargain, but how does it measure up?
The S1030’s 10MP sensor makes this camera very competitive given its entry-level price. Its features are fairly basic: a standard 3x optical zoom (35-105mm equivalent), no image stabilisation and a 2.7in LCD screen.
Having said that, the camera works perfectly well and produces good results. The menus are easy to locate and offer a range of modes (including Manual), while the 15 scene modes available will help to improve your success rate when shooting. The ISO range runs from a respectable 80-1000 and also gives you the option of setting it manually. This, together with the manual shooting mode, provides good flexibility and allows you greater control over noise levels. The body is plastic and the design is basic but functional. The buttons are well laid out and simple to use, and the menus are intuitive. There is no viewfinder, but the 2.5in LCD screen is bright and clear, while the two AA batteries that the camera runs on make it a practical option for travelling.
The high-quality setting on the S1030 produces good results with minimal image noise. As ISO increases, noise does become more apparent, but you would be able to make A4 prints up to ISO 200 without a problem. There is some purple fringing, which appears around highlights, although this is not excessive. Exposures are accurate and the auto white balance is consistent, with both coping well in varying conditions.
The Samsung S1030 won’t win any prizes for design innovation, but if a good spec and impressive results are top priorities then look no further, as the S1030 offers both at a remarkably low price.