With a myriad of point-and-shoot cameras entering the market frequently, manufacturers are constantly in a battle to one-up competitor models.
P&S cameras have always been quite popular with beginners, given their easy function and auto modes. The Samsung PL210 is a camera with a similar concept. Uncomplicated, and ideal for everyday photography. Read on to see how the camera performed.
Design and Build Quality
The Samsung PL210 model fits easily in your hands, although no grip is provided. Since the design is elementary, we would not classify it as inventive. The tripod mount is made of plastic. The camera is lightweight, and will slip easily in to your pockets. But, it did not feel too sturdy in our hands. The PL210 boasts 19.7mm thickness, which is impressive for a 10x zoom lens camera. The body is composed of engineering plastic, with metal only featuring at the top.
The PL210 is a 14.2- megapixel compact incorporating a 1/ 2.3-inch Type (6.16×4.62mm) CCD sensor and is backed by a 27-270mm equivalent f/3.5-5.9 (10x) zoom lens. It offers dual image stabilisation-optical, as well as digital. At the wide-angle end the lens focuses from approximately 80cm to infinity, and from 200cm to infinity at the telephoto end. Macro focussing ranges from 5cm to 80cm at wide-angle, and 150cm to 200cm at telephoto
This model offers two types of focussing; TTL AF that includes Multi AF, Center AF, Face DetectionAF, Object Tracking AF and Smart Face Recognition AF, and Movie AF. Since the camera is designed for beginners, it does not offer advanced exposure modes but has Program mode, along with Smart Auto (White, Macro Colour, Portrait, Night Portrait, Backlight Portrait, Backlight, Landscape, Action, Tripod, Night, Macro, Macro Text, Blue Sky, Sunset, Natural Green, and Fireworks), DUAL IS, Scene (Magic Frame, Beauty-Shot, Object Highlight, Night, Landscape, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Beach and Snow) and Movie. Exposure compensation up to +/-2 EV in 1/3 steps is available. ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 3200, while shutter speed ranges from 8sec to 1/2000sec. A number of Smart Filters such as Miniature, Half Tone Dot, Vignetting, Fish Eye1, Fish Eye2, DeFog, Negative, Sketch Effect, and Custom RGB are also included in this model.
The camera has a 3-inch 2,30,000 dot TFT LCD. White Balance options are Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Fluorescent H, Fluorescent L, and Tungsten. Images can be stored in the camera’s internal memory (30MB), or on a MicroSD/MicroSDHC card. 720p HD video capture is possible, with sound recording(mono) via the built-in microphone. There is no allotted button for video recording, hence the user has to access it through the shooting menu.
A lightweight camera, that is easy to handle sums up the PL210. Function buttons such as Mode, Menu, Navigation buttons, and Playback, housed on the rear, are easily accessible and they don’t come in the way of your shooting. The serrated thumb-grip on the rear is rather small and does not have a significant impact in the handling of the camera. The Menu and User Interface are straightforward, hence are easy to navigate.
Pictures shot through the PL210 were crisp and sharp, with punchy, clean colours. On the White Balance front the performance of the PL210 was extremely good. The native print size offered by the camera is 14.4×10.8 inches at 300ppi. At this size noise was controlled very well throughout. ISO 3200 did show some amount of noise. At 25 percent screen size noise could be seen at ISO 1600 and 3200, but it was not objectionable. At 50 percent screen size noise control was good up to ISO 200 though one could use the images up to ISO 800 in a pinch.
Macro performance gave decent results. Since the camera offers only Program and AE modes, darkening of corners could not be tested at the widest aperture. Barrel distortion was observed at the wide-angle settings. Flare, and chromatic aberration was controlled well. A very slight blue fringe was observed in very strong against- the- light shots. Flash output seemed satisfactory as well.
Value For Money
The Samsung PL210 is available at an MRP of Rs. 11,990. Based on our experience, we think the price is justified for a 14.2-megapixel camera, with a 10x superzoom.
+ Sharp Images
+ 10x superzoom
+ White Balance performance
– MicroSD card used
Design and Build Quality 15/20
Key Features 15/20
Noise Control 3.5/5
Extra Features 2.5/5
Value for Money 9/10
Grand Total 78/100
The Samsung PL210 surprised us with its overall performance. White Balance was accurate, and pictures were sharp. Definitely recommended!