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Samsung SL620 Review

February 23, 2010

Digital cameras, especially the point and shoots, are currently riding a wave of popularity. They are cheap, portable and make even amateurs like me feel l can take on a magazine spread. Much like  reality TV, with popularity comes over saturation. As the market for compact digitals boomed, the choices have now become arduous to make and the marketing strategies by companies more bizarre (18 mega-pixel point and shoot really?) . Non the less, there are a few princes among the toads, one of them the Samsung SL620, the camera that I am currently using to take the photos seen on this site.

First up, the specs:

[tweetmeme source=”bySeon” only_single=false]

  • 12.2-mega-pixel resolution for large, photo quality prints
  • 5x dual image stabilized zoom
  • 3.0-inch LCD screen
  • Face Detection, Smile & Blink Detection, Self Portrait, Beauty Shot
  • 40 MB internal memory; capture images to SD/SDHC/MMC cards  (amazon.com)

Not bad. While 12.2 mega pixels is a nice amount, I almost always choose a lower setting like 9-10 mega-pixels. I dont think compacts have the power to show that much detail as say a SLR. Non the less I have been able to get some reasonable decent high resolution shots  under good conditions. The 5x zoom is very useful for far-distance shots, though the more you zoom in, the harder it is for the camera to focus , thus producing some blurry photos. Keeping the camera very steady can help this problem. Zooming also works during video shooting. The only caveat is, while shooting, if you zoom you loose the audio while zooming. For such a small machine, I am guessing Samsung made some design concessions. Nothing to lose your cool over though, just zoom in then hit record.

*I used my phone (android g1) camera to take photos of the SL620 🙂

The Samsung SL620 comes in an attractive brushed metal case available at the local bestbuy in red, black or silver. The build quality is handsome and it is very light considering its size. I say that because the SL620 is thicker than most of the newer models out today. It almost feels hollow, but very easy to grasp without slipping out the hand. It fits snugly into my jeans pocket or my Swiss Gear belt case.

The camera houses a huge 3.0 inch lcd viewer that is sharp and bright, that displays your photographs and is the means by which you set up the shot. The menus to the right of the camera are simple and easy to figure out. No manual booklet is included in box, however, there is an on screen photo help guide that is especially useful when you are out and about taking photos and need help setting up a shot.  At the top is a zoom rocker, below it a dial with options for video, scene, smart auto, auto, dual stabilization, photo help guide and beauty shot.

Took this using the smart auto mode

All the scene modes work remarkably well when used in the correct setting. Most easy to use it the Smart Auto mode which automatically sets up the shot based on available light, focus and other variables to take the best shot. It works great for the most part.

There is a program mode as well that lets the user play the professional and set up his own shot changing settings from flash, macro, exposure, to image quality, size, light metering etc, available by pressing the fn(function) key. In an upcoming post, I will go into more detail about the various scene modes and the situations to use them.

Most useful and necessary for any digital camera skip the junk bin is its shutter speed. The SL620 snaps pretty quickly in bright conditions. The darker it gets, the shutter can lag a bit, but this can be helped by switching to night or landscape and keeping the camera as stable as possible. 

Refer to my “Shooting in Low Light” post for more insight on night photography.

After taking the photos, you also have the option of doing some light photo editing like adding saturation, contrasting or filling in light .

To wrap up, you can store your photos to the main memory (not a lot) or a SD card and transfer the files to your computer via the included cable.  Battery life is commendable, I’ve yet to run into a low battery situation while taking pictures all day; a wall charger adapter is also included in the box for quick charging on an available outlet.

All in all, I am very pleased with the camera. It takes great photos, with minimal effort using fast shutter speeds. It is light and portable, but also packs a lot if useful features both the novice and pro can appreciate.  I can easily recommend this model to others with a clean conscience.

You may check it out at Bestbuy here : Samsung SL620

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Krista permalink
    March 16, 2010 1:14 pm

    Nice photos! Found you through your review on the Samsung camera on Best Buy. How does this camera handle lower light situations, such as indoors? Also, do you have any problems with the cable (as mentioned in other reviews)? Thanks for any input.

    • March 16, 2010 10:54 pm

      Wow I am glad you did. The camera does a pretty good job taking photos of people in low light conditions. In fact I took the camera to many parties and got great shots using just the auto smart mode with flash. For Night Landscape shoots of for example, The Manhattan Bridge at night, it gets a bit more technical. Use landscape mode, turn flash off and keep camera very steady. Any camera shake will produce blurry photos. However for the price, it is a very decent camera. All the photos on this site are the product of this baby. Hope this helps, feel free to ask any more questions. I am going to do a post of night photos soon. You can always check back. 🙂

  2. March 17, 2010 11:03 am

    You have got some serious skills. I also want to get into photography. I have no experience of cameras but been into telescopes for quit some time. I want to buy a camera with large aperture. Can u suggest me something? Also I am a little low on budget.

    • March 28, 2010 6:01 pm

      Thank you! Sorry I took so long to respond. As you must know studying Compu Sci can be demanding. Most of the compact digital camera’s do not allow the user to adjust aperture settings or switch out the lens, so you may have to invest in a higher model type. Large aperture is great for some really beautiful in depth shots or sharp front focus with hazy backgrounds. I recommend checking out this fantastic site http://digital-photography-school.com/ which has a wealth of information that could lead you to the right model at an affordable price! Hope this helps!

      • March 31, 2010 11:34 pm

        i’ll check out that link. thanks!

  3. Will Duncan permalink
    April 2, 2010 10:21 am

    Amit,
    I’d look into the Canon S90, the Canon G11, or the Panasonic DMC-LX3. They all have larger than normal apertures and sensors for point and shoots.

    • April 9, 2010 4:45 am

      Thanks Will!
      Your advice was very helpful. I have finally settled for Sony DSC-WX1/B.

  4. Fay permalink
    July 3, 2010 1:03 pm

    Can you manually change the aperture and shutter speed on this camera??

    • July 7, 2010 11:00 am

      Unfortunately no. There are some settings and scenes that you can use to improve your shots, but almost no manual options save 5x zoom.

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