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Old Jan 7, 2009, 9:07 AM   #11
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>Err, how does the Samsung tic the "Perfect distortion free images" box???

Sorry, I should have been more precise. It ticks all the "Vital" and "Would very much like" boxes. It misses one of the "Less important" boxes, but they were there to highlight that I was not anywhere near as interested in Perfect distortion free images or Lots of pixels as the other requirements.

Perhaps I should have named it "Willing to sacrifice"?

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Old Jan 7, 2009, 10:46 AM   #12
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Hi Matt-

In November 2008 Steve did a professional review of the Samsung SL310W. As you wife wants to be right up close when taking these photos, this might be a workable camera for her. I does not have the smile detection. I do have that feature on my Sony H-50, and personally I find it rather gimmicky, and les than truly helpful.

The Samsung SL310W is a rather small camera, that would easily fit into a pocket or purse. According to the review it is somewhat ISO limited, which may or may not be a factor in her photo captures.

My suggestion is to takeyour ownelectronic data card and your wife down to the shop. There your wifecan see how it feels in hand and shoot some photos at the range that she would normally use. That way, you can evaluate the flash range. And then take your test photos home and check them out on the computer before you invest in the camera.

Here is one of the comments that Steve made in his review conclusion.

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Old Jan 7, 2009, 10:47 AM   #13
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Matt-

Here is another quote from Steve's review.

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Old Jan 7, 2009, 10:52 AM   #14
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And finally here is a portrait type photo taken with the Samsung SL310W's Beauty Mode from Steve's review.

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Old Jan 7, 2009, 2:28 PM   #15
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Matt-

Here is a post from another thread that I believe was posted to the wrong thread. For what it is worth.

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Old Jan 7, 2009, 3:22 PM   #16
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Which makes no effort to explain "rubbish". Or to point out non-rubbish cameras for that matter.

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Old Jan 7, 2009, 9:27 PM   #17
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matt-

Please do not be discouraged! The right camera is out there. However, I sincerely don't think that the Samsung SL310W will be that camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 8, 2009, 7:06 AM   #18
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Ok, so given that I am stuck with Ultracompact or near enough for this camera, and given that that will result in some compromises in image quality (which I can live with), what would you recommend?

The three I have shortlisted all make Steves "The BEST Cameras" list, so I'm sure there not rubbish.

Pentax Optio M50/M60
Cannon PowerShot SD1100 IS
Samsung SL310W

I've looked for more reviewes on the Samsung and whilst I see niggles, generally it comes accross well, so I'm not going to worry about one bad review, especially if it's not backed up with some evidence.

How would everyone here rank my shortlist? Which would you buy (if you were buying for my wife)?
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Old Jan 8, 2009, 9:03 AM   #19
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The Pentax is an underachiever, just does not stand out in any way.

The Samsung can at least boast of an extra wide angle zoom, and better low light performance than the Canon. It would tempt me, but then I'm a bit adventurous, my current camera is a Fuji.

The Canon is clearly the "safe choice" here. Comparing it to the others is kind of like Toyota vs Kia and Hyundai. The low light disadvantage is there, but for most people not a deal breaker. Frankly, many novice shoppers make too big a deal out of low light ability. True, low light can be tough, those shots are often disappointing. But that is more often the photog's difficulty, not the camera's. If you reallymust havemore low light edge than the Canon has, just get a Sony instead.

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Old Jan 8, 2009, 10:57 AM   #20
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Hi Matt-

With the decision being that the camera must be an ultra compact camera. I see the potential for some necessary compromises. From my point of view, after carefully reviewing all three options both here at Steve's and at 4 other major websites, and reading multiple review, The Pentax M60 gets removed from the list due to poor lens quality and very lack lustre performance. The Samsung LS310W is perfect example of what happens when you cram far too many pixels on a tiny imager. It is a camera being sold primarily on its low price and hih mp count. The image quality and noise are its primary problems.

The Canon SD-1100 at least has IS, and an optical viewfinder merged with average overall average to slightly better performance. The low light level performance of the SD-1100 peaks at ISO 400 where there is some visible noise, but noise software such as Neat Image and Noice Nija could clean it up. After 400ISO there is a serious deterioration in the image quality to a degree that the photo becomes very marginal indeed.

Ultra compact cameras suffer quite measurable in edge to edge shapness. The central portion of the image will be sharp, but edge sharpeness is far from perfect. Ultra compact cameras, generally speaking, due to their physical size have smaller imagers and therefore greater pixel, or photosite density which results in les low light performance at elevated ISO settings.

I hope that helps, Matt. Keep in mind that just increasing the camera size somewhat could and would improve image quality and low light performance.

Sarah Joyce
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