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Old Jan 27, 2008, 10:41 PM   #1
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I wooted an S1050 last week for $125 incl. shipping. I checked reviews first and looked at some sample pix and all looked great. Now I have the camera for few days and I have been discovering some things not mentioned in the reviews. One potentially critical issue.... read on.

My wife took my son to Wing Mtn. near Flagstaff to play in the snow. I told her to take the new camera and try it out. She did and reported that it was nearly impossible to see the display under bright sun and snow conditions. Sometimes a viewfinder can be really handy!

The pictures and video she shot came out great. The video looked a little overexposed, but still pretty good. Color was particularly accurate looking.

The camera uses AA batteries which is OK by me because they can be picked up anywhere, and rechargeables are dirt cheap- I already have dozens of them. A nonproprietary battery is a wonderful thing a couple years down the road when those funky Li batteries crap out and you can't get a replacement. Maybe some people like that excuse to get a new camera every couple years, but I like to run everything until it breaks. On some consumer review sites I saw a lot of people complaining about battery lfe- I am sure they were using alkalines. NiMH last quite a while.

The potential big problem I identified is that the play button for viewing pictures stored in the memory card and located on the back of the camera can turn the power on and display a picture without any other buttons being pressed. The button is not recessed, and there is no raised ring around it to prevent its being pushed while the camera is in your bag or pocket. That could result in a set of dead batteries if the camera is in a bag or pocket for any length of time.

When you consider all the interesting but almost useless image processing tweaks they built into the camera's program, it seems silly they would have overlooked something as fundamental as protecting the batteries that way. Didn't anyone test a prototype? Maybe they did and it really isn't a problem.

I haven't had much of a chance to play with the camera yet but the quick pictures I have taken so far are very satisfying. No, they are no match for a $500 Canon, but they kick every other $125 10.1 MP camera's butt. Are there any other $125 10.1 MP cameras?

Circuit city has them on close-out and they include a 2 GB memory card. $185.

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Old Mar 8, 2008, 10:40 PM   #2
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I bought this camera in christmas, my brother is making his PHD in France and i was visiting him (I'm from Venezuela, buying electronic things here is really expensive, even compared with europe), obviously, i needed a good and cheap camera.
From the available stuff there, the best price-features relationship was this little girl, similar cameras would cost me 50 euros more, or sacrifice lcd screen size and MP for similar price.

So, about the battery life (as TD says, very discussed in reviews around the world) my brother got a couple of pairs of rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries, nothing spectacular, the kind of thing you buy in the supermarket. With that well charged the night before, i got enough power for one day of intensive photo shooting.

I never seem to got trouble with the play button, i guess because always carry it in the case (came to me in-box)

The only thing that really dissapoint me, its that in video mode, when i use the zoom, the microphone goes off. Doesn't record any sound. Very unpleasant if you want to film a live concert and zoom the singer at some point (learned the hard way during a rock fest in my university). It surprise me that steve doesn't point that out, nor other review pages. TD: do you have this "feature"? (A guy in amazon's review notice it), and more important, does other cameras can zoom and record audio (digital zoom at least)? .

Anyway, nothing to worry, considering the choices that i got in europe, i think it was the best one. But in USA, you may want to consider the video stuff

Best Regards
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Old Mar 11, 2008, 12:58 AM   #3
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TD: do you have this "feature"? (A guy in amazon's review notice it), and more important, does other cameras can zoom and record audio (digital zoom at least)?
I don't have a samsung camera (at least not yet, been lurking around S630 for the past couple of months). But I think that "feature" (i assume you're refering to mute zoom) is mentioned in the manual (at least in S630's manual).

Don't know about the others but i don't remember a compact P&S can even use the optical zoom when recording video(and audio). Most compact P&S usually stop the lens movement then they record video (and audio) but they can use digital zoom (don't know about the quality of digital zooming during video). That's why samsung specs surprised me (when they mentioned that the optical zoom can be used during video). Perhaps a very few compact P&S cameras allow optical zooming (without mute) but the motor noise will be recorded as well. Mute zoom vs noisy zoom.

Right now, I think, you can only use"no mute & no noise"optical zoom in video using prosumers, not compact P&S.
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Old Mar 14, 2008, 7:58 PM   #4
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You were right, it is in the camera's manual. In a "warning" dialog, that's why i didn't see it at the first: "If the Zoom buttons are being pressed during the Movie clip shots, the voice will not recorded".

Now i see is a tradeoff between optical zoom quality and mute... well, at least gives you the opportunity to record video with a nice optical zoom quality, but only one shot distance allowed if you want full audio.

Guess i was asking for too much, the camera is very cool in the other aspects, i'm satisfied, although i don't use its maximum potential.

Anyway, if someone knows a Samsung's marketing guy, tell him that i would happily trade the special effects button for an option to use the digital zoom in video recording, but with full audio.

Maybe he would tell me that i need to buy a camcorder, but at least i tried :lol:.
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