Samsung DV300F: Fun Filled Thrills

 
Samsung DV300F

Samsung DV300F

Samsung’s DV300F offers some really interesting features and in-built WiFi. Chandni Gajria wonders if this is something to cash in on.

Getting a new camera to review is like receiving a gift on your birthday. So, when I first opened the camera box of the Samsung DV300F, first thing I noticed was that it had a front LCD screen! And the thought that ran across my mind was how easily I would be able to take a picture of myself. Perhaps I could even pose with a group of friends for a picture by keeping the camera at an arm’s length. And isn’t this better than having someone else do the job for you?

Features
Coming to the basics, this DualView camera is built with a 1/ 2.3-inch CCD image sensor and offers over 16 megapixels. Additionally, the camera has 5x zoom in a 25–125mm equivalent lens with a fast aperture range of f/2.5 at the widest end and f/6.3 at the telephoto end, which is quite slow.

But what makes this camera noticeable are its WiFi capabilities. The built-in WiFi connection lets you send pictures directly to your smartphone or tablet. You can also directly upload images to social networking sites like Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket and even Youtube.

Samsung DV300F can record 720p and 480p HD video at a speed of 30fps or 15fps. Also, with over 22 shooting modes, one is spoilt for choice. The Smart Auto 2.0 mode for stills and videos identifies upto 16 scenes and adjusts settings automatically. Quite usefully, the Program mode offers full manual control. In this mode, one can change the shutterspeed, aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, focus, adjust metering and even choose from the various flash modes.

Some interesting modes are the Live Panorama and Motion Photo mode that captures still images and lets you keep a part of the image as an animated GIF. Moreover, to get the attention of kids, the camera plays an animation on the front LCD screen whenever you are in the Children mode.

Handling
The DV300F sports a sturdy metallic body and also has a 3-inch TFT 460k dot high resolution LCD. While this is a good thing, on normal brightness levels, it becomes a little difficult to see what you are framing in the daylight.

The camera uses a tiny microSD card for storing images which can be quite easy to lose. On the other hand, Samsung has kept the design and the interface of the camera simple. The home and menu buttons are placed on the right side of the LCD and below this, is the four-way controller which is comfortable to work with.

The top of the camera features the shutter release and the power buttons. These buttons are situated too close to each other and many a times, I would end up switching the camera by mistake.

Performance
The front LCD is just1.5 inch in size and the resolution, not all that great. Despite this, the front LCD does its job.

Image quality of the DV300F also seems pretty good for a compact. Even the AF system is satisfactory but at times it took a while for it to focus on the subject when in a moving vehicle. Battery performance is also decent. I was able to shoot for around 6-7 hours while keeping the camera switched on non-stop. If you are interested in low light or night photography, then this camera is not for you. Even in Night mode the camera needs to be used with a tripod to produce sharp images. At ISO 3200, the images taken at night are horribly noisy. And so, I rarely went beyond ISO 400-800. But at ISO 800, the image quality remains good. However, in a few places, the pictures seem to soften at higher ISOs. But this is manageable.

The minimum shutterspeed DV300F provides is 16sec, while the maximum shutter speed one can use is 1/2000sec.

Even the video quality is fine and in some cases better than the image quality. At 5x, the zoom range is not really much but is sufficient for those who want to shoot portraits and even landscapes.

Conclusion
Priced at Rs 10,190, the camera is inexpensive and affordable for many. Moreover, at this price range, Samsung DV300F does offer a range of features including a set of Wi-Fi functions and front LCD screen. Even the wide 25mm equivalent lens at f/2.5 is impressive. If you are looking for a feature packed camera with decent image quality, this camera is your best bet.

At wider apertures, the camera delivers sharp and clean images. Also the colours produced are accurate Exposure: 1/500sec at f/3 (ISO 100). Photograph/Chandni Gajria

At wider apertures, the camera delivers sharp and clean images. Also the colours produced are accurate Exposure: 1/500sec at f/3 (ISO 100). Photograph/Chandni Gajria

Final Ratings
Features
Front LCD, in-built Wi-Fi, 720p video, 22 shooting modes, Smart Auto
29/30

Performance
Good image quality and ISO performance, decent AF and battery, good video quality
30/35

Build Quality
Sleek, simple with metallic finish, lightweight and convenient to carry around
12/15

Ergonomics
Easy to operate and navigate touchscreen not great
10/15

Warranty & Support
Two-year warranty, limited service network
5/5

OVERALL: 86%
Value For Money: 4/5

Who should buy it?
Beginners and hobbyists photographers who want an inexpensive camera which is fun and easy to use.

Why?
WiFi features and other shooting modes are really interesting. Plus 25mm wide at f/2.5 is something that you will not find in other cameras at this price.

Tags: Chandni Gajria, november 2012, samsung dv300f review, dv300f review, samsung compact camera, front lcd, wifi camera