A budget camera with plenty of features and manual control

Product Overview

Overall rating:

85%

Samsung S830

Overall score:85%
Features:90%
Value:90%
Image Quality:85%
Performance:80%
Design:80%

Pros:

  • Image quality, Manual modes, Clear and responsive LCD

Cons:

  • Bulky, Awkward controls

Product:

Samsung S830

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£120

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At first glance, Samsung’s 8MP S830 appears like most entry-level cameras. With the looks and bulk of a budget model and a standard 3x optical zoom, it’s hardly going to turn heads. Once in use, however, it does redeem itself somewhat with a few surprises.

The camera has a 35-105mm equivalent zoom and a fairly basic ISO range of 50-400, but its 2.7in LCD is both clear and responsive. What sets it apart from its peers is that it not only offers manual, aperture and shutter priority modes, but spot metering too. It is questionable, however, whether this camera is targeted at the market that will take advantage of these features, which also raises a question about the relevancy of its 8MP sensor.

One slight issue is with its controls. From the shooting screen, there are three possible menus to enter, with key controls not always to hand. This could have clearly been better designed to facilitate ease of operation. It does handle well though, with Samsung attributing this to its ‘ergonomic grip’, which really is just an additional bulk to accommodate the AA batteries it takes. It also has the useful feature of reviewing images without having to turn the camera on first, saving time and battery life.

Image Quality
Minor flaws are expected in a camera of this price and while detail does get a little lost, images turn out rather well. The camera copes well at its lowest ISO but noise is noticeable from ISO 200 upwards. Edge and corner sharpness are both well-controlled and fringing is minimal. Exposures are consistent and the auto white balance represents fairly accurate tones too.

Verdict

A good choice as a budget model, with plenty of features.

Full Specification

White Balance:
7 modes
ISO Range:
80-1600

Metering System:
Multi, Spot, Center-weighted, Face Recognition AE
Exposure Modes:
Auto/Program, 15 scene modes

Shutter Speeds:
Auto : 1 – 1/1,500 sec. (Manual : 8 – 1/1,500 sec.)
File Formats:
JPEG

LCD:
2.7″ color TFT LCD (230,000 dots)
Sensor:
8MP

Lens:
SHD Lens f = 7.4 – 22.2mm (35mm film equivalent : 35 – 105mm)
Flash Modes:
6

Memory Card:
MMC/SD card + 20mb internal
Connectivity:
USB 2.0

Power:
Li-ion
Dimensions:
Refer to manufacturers website

Weight:
Refer to manufacturers website
Other:
-