Zmugzy 2

Zmugzy

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Member since:04.01.2008

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Power Hungry Sammy

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01.03.2008 (08.07.2009)

Advantages:
Plenty of features, big LCD screen, 8 . 2 MPix, nice zoom

Disadvantages:
Extremely low battery life, delayed shutter release

Recommendable No:

Detailed rating:

Picture Quality

Range & Quality of Features

Ease of Use

Durability

Overall Look & Design

ReliabilitySatisfactory

SizeSmall

WeightLight

Value for MoneySatisfactory

Instruction ManualSatisfactory

53 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (3%):
  1. wigglylittleworm
  2. XTubbzX
very helpful by (64%):
  1. gillianae
  2. LukeG91
  3. aadnan613
and 44 other members
helpful by (34%):
  1. Annallon
  2. mjc121
  3. debmercury
and 22 other members

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Introduction


This seemed like quite a good bargain buy at £80 in a Comet special offer reduced from £150. The camera was purchased just before Christmas 2007. I was a bit weary about buying a Samsung camera as this company is not a traditional player in the photographic market, however the camera did seem to exude quality in terms of body and lens. It came with some impressive specifications and lots of useful features such as 5x optical and 5x digital zoom, 8.2MP resolution and a large bright crystal clear 2.5" LCD screen for viewing and capturing shots. The photo quality has generally been excellent both in terms of digital display and when printed out. The downside however, has been the battery life and the shutter delay. This review is a summary of my experiences using this camera. I have not described every single feature as this would make the review longer than the 110 page manual.

Body Features

The camera looks good with its silver grey sleek rounded design, something you'd expect from Samsung. Ergonomically it's a pleasure to hold. On the top of the camera you have the dial mode, shutter button, power button and speaker. Located on the front is a speaker (bottom right), a flash (top right) and a self-timer lamp/ AF sensor just to the top right of the lens. The D85 lens is an impressive 38/190mm. Down the left hand side of the camera as you shoot is a door flap that flips open to reveal a USB/AV connection terminal and a DC input connection port. The back of the camera are nicely designed and not too fiddly. All the buttons a to the right of the large LCD monitor. At the top is a tiny camera status lamp and a zoom button that you shift up and down. Below these are an E effects button and a delete button. Further down there is a large five function disk button. This incorporates a menu/OK button in the centre, an Information / Up button at the top, a Self-timer /Right button on the right, a macro/down button - play & pause button at the bottom and on the left a flash /Left button. These buttons are easy to use. A play mode/printer button is at the bottom. The strap can be attached to the right hand side of the camera as you shoot. On the base of the camera you will find a tripod socket and the battery chamber cover that you will be using a lot. The memory card slot is adjacent to the battery chamber below the cover.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen displays a wealth of information about the pictures you are about to take, but you can easily ignore it all and still take excellent pictures. Some of the more important information you will find on screen are the recording mode in the top left corner next to a figure indicating the number of remaining shots. There is also a battery indicator is in the top left corner. A lot of camera settings are controlled via this screen by using the information button on the back of the camera

Taking Pictures and Recording Modes

You compose images by using the LCD monitor. There is no view finder on this camera. This is a disadvantage in that you a re relying on the batteries all the time to view an image. By lightly pressing the shutter button down half way you confirm the focus and flash battery charge. You press the shutter button all way down to take the picture. The available memory capacity may vary depending on shooting conditions
and camera settings.

Recording modes are controlled via the dial mode on the top of the camera. These include the usual Auto, Program and Manual modes. The Manual mode allows you to manually configure all functions aperture value and shutter speed. An Advanced Shake Reduction (ASR) mode will reduce the effect of camera shake and help you get a well exposed image in dim conditions. A Night mode helps to get a well-exposed pictures in the night time and darkness. Portrait mode allows you to take a quick and easy picture of a persons face. A Movie Clip mode allows you to record a clip for as long as the available recording time of the memory capacity allows. There is also a scene mode for taking pictures of various subject matter such as landscapes, sunsets, indoors etc. These scene modes are accessed and controlled via the LCD screen using the information button on the back of the camera.

This mode also includes a Macro mode that works very well with close up shots. When the macro mode is selected a tripod is also recommended to avoid camera shake. You can take pictures within 40cm (Wide zoom) or 50cm (Tele zoom) in Macro mode. There is also a 10cm Super macro range that is quite impressive for a camera in this budget range.

When the Flash Off or Slow synchro mode is selected in a low lighting condition, the camera shake warning indicator may appear in the form of a small hand in the middle of the LCD monitor. In this case, use a tripod, support the camera on a solid surface or change to flash shot mode.

Under certain conditions the auto focus system does not perform so well such as when shooting subjects with little contrast, highly reflective or shiny surfaces, high speed subjects, or very bright or dark backgrounds. In such cases you will have to revert to manual or program modes.

For the most part, the results of shooting in the various modes are very impressive. Exposure seems accurate, images possess plenty of fine detail and colour saturation is excellent. Shooting in the dark in Night mode however, has not produced satisfactory results, but I've yet to come across any digital camera that captures night scenes in the way I used to manage with film. There is a major drawback when taking pictures with this camera that I've never come across before. There is an exceptionally long delay in the shutter release after you press the shutter button. It might be only two seconds or so, but trying to capture that magic moment, such as a passing expression on a child's face, often proves impossible because of the time between pressing the button and the recording of the image. The image you thought you'd captured is sometimes completely different than the one you had framed on the screen. A major flaw.

Movie Clip mode and Voice Recording

In movie clip mode you simply press the shutter button once and the movie clip is recorded for as long as the available recording time in the memory allows. If you wish to stop recording, you press the shutter button again.

You can add your voice-over to a stored still image in the form of a voice memo that lasts for up to 10 seconds per image. You can also make a voice recording for up to ten hours. As you might imagine the quality is not outstanding but maybe some will find a use for this. I have seldom used these features on account of poor battery performance.

Memory Card and Downloading Images

A memory card will have to be purchased separately when you buy the camera. The camera can use SD/ SDHC Memory Cards and MMC (Multi Media Cards). Downloading images can be done via a USB cable but if you have a compatible card slot on your laptop or PC then I would recommend slotting the card into this in order to save battery life. For making downloads to your computer at least a Pentium 800Mhz is recommended or a Power Mac G3. The compatible operating systems are 98SE/2000/ME/XP/Vista or Mac OS 10.0 - 10.4. A minimum of 512 RAM and 1GB of hard disk space is recommended. You'll also need an unoccupied USB port, 1024x768 pixels, 24 bit colour display compatible monitor and Microsoft DirectX 9.0C.

Battery Life

As mentioned earlier, there is one big downside to this camera: the battery life. The camera takes 2 AA sized batteries that come supplied which at first seems convenient, but you'll be lucky if you manage to capture more than a dozen images with them. After having used the camera on Christmas day to take about thirty photos, we soaked up four sets of batteries. Obviously power is used whilst flicking through pictures on the large LCD screen but considerable energy is wasted every time you switch the camera on as the lens protrudes on each occasion and then goes back in when the camera switches off. The fact that you also have to always frame your shots via the moving electronic images on the screen also soaks up a lot of power. There is an auto-power off function whereby the camera switches itself off after a set period, but the fact that this involves the lens going back means that in most situations little power is saved overall. Such a camera should have only been designed with a rechargeable or high energy lithium battery in my opinion.

Recommendation

I would just about recommend this camera on its features and the overall design. But the extremely short battery life would make me dissuade people from buying it. Furthermore, the delayed shutter release is a major drawback. I would advise anyone buying similar compact digital cameras to check the battery life and test the shutter release before making a purchase.


Features Summary
  • 8.2 Megapixels
  • 2.5" LCD screen
  • 5x Optical zoom
  • 5x Digital zoom
  • Dimensions: 6.1x8.9x2.1(H/W/D)cm
  • Advanced shake reduction
  • 80 - 1600 ISO rating * Automatic ISO
  • 15 - 1/2000 shutter speed range (secs)
  • SD/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus memory card compatible
  • Compatible with rechargeable AA batteries
  • Also takes black-and-white images

Price:
£80 at Comet


In Box:
camera strap, software cd, user manual, a USB cable, an AV cable and two alkaline batteries.

Zmugzy © March 2008

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Comments about this review »

gillianae 24.07.2009 15:19

Need a new camera, but thanks to your review will probably avoid this one. It was extremely helpful.

Annallon 20.07.2009 14:11

great review

wigglylittleworm 13.07.2009 20:54

great review, the battery sounds enough to put me off. My daughters samsung phone also has the delay in taking pics so very annoying.

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The Samsung D85 is a high resolution digital camera that is equipped with an impressive 8.2 megapixels. Use the Sam...

Product details

Product type Digital Camera
Optical Sensor / Sensor Resolution 8.2
Flash Memory / Form Factor SD Memory Card

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since 28/12/2007

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Review Ratings »

This review of Samsung D85 has been rated:

"exceptional" by (3%):

  1. wigglylittleworm
  2. XTubbzX

"very helpful" by (64%):

  1. gillianae
  2. LukeG91
  3. aadnan613

and 44 other members

"helpful" by (34%):

  1. Annallon
  2. mjc121
  3. debmercury

and 22 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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