davidbutt... 3


Add to my Circle of Trust

Subscribe to reviews

About me: (3rd Jun '15) - Having another go at this. Will be fairly relaxed; don't expect me to review something every day. But I'll be around and about!

Member since:23.01.2001


Members who trust:123


Doesn't excite strong emotions


Takes fairly good pictures, has reasonable battery life, decent screen

Competent rather than impressive, build quality not fabulous, only 2 . 8x zoom

Detailed rating:

Picture Quality

Range & Quality of Features

Ease of Use


Overall Look & Design




Value for MoneySatisfactory

Instruction ManualGood

34 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (12%):
  1. Jake_Speed
  2. dee7778
  3. Calla76
and a further member
very helpful by (88%):
  1. rojm
  2. greenierexyboy
  3. christinat
and 27 other members

View all ratings

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

Share this review on


I've had rather mixed results with Samsung digital cameras. On the plus side of the ledger, there are little gems such as the V5, which remains a model I'd be happy to take on holiday with me. Conversely, the company has also produced lacklustre examples such as the Digimax 230, which inflicts an objectionable brown colour cast on your photos. That being so, I was in two minds about whether to buy this A400 when I saw it advertised on eBay at £9.95. In the event I think I got a reasonable deal, but no more than that.

Lens and handling

On the face of it, the A400 is nothing special for a 2005 compact: a resolution of four megapixels is resolutely middle-of-the road and Samsung for some reason followed in the mucky footsteps of Olympus by allowing the user only a 2.8x optical zoom lens rather than the more usual 3x. That means that you get an equivalent range of 37 to 104 mm, neither wide enough for small indoor rooms nor extensive enough for truly distant subjects. (There's a digital zoom., which is as irrelevant as ever.)

Build quality, it has to be said, is not up to V5 standards. This is perhaps unsurprising as the A400 was a considerably cheaper model when new, but there's no denying that this camera is a bit plasticky. It's not excessively flimsy, but you won't mistake it for a top-of-the-line compact. The main controls don't feel too bad, though on my own camera the three round buttons right at the bottom seem a bit loose; that could simply be age, but as the other controls are noticeably better I'm not convinced of that.

The Samsung's design, like that of most Samsungs of the day, is not particularly exciting, at least when seen from the front. It's a long rectangle, rather boxy in appearance and indeed a little chunky to hold, though I don't find it uncomfortable. The lens is pushed over to the extreme right-hand side, something which you often see but which I don't personally like. Around the back things are slightly more interesting, with the same attractive oval main controller I have on my V5, and a pretty decent two-inch LCD screen.

Menus and settings

The menu system doesn't really do that screen justice, and rather feels as though it's been carried over from an older 1.5-inch display. It reminds me a fair bit of Fujifilm's menu setup, with a row of icons along the top, each of which supplies a drop-down list of options when selected. It's not terrible, but it does seem a bit clunky and basic. Maybe it doesn't help that the poor overworked +/- button is used for white balance, exposure compensation, ISO and the dedicated Night Scene setup!

The A400's feature set is something else that's bog-standard for the most part. Reading through the manual I grew briefly excited at the mention of "setting the aperture and shutter speed", but rather than full creative control this is something only available to a very limited extent in the aforementioned Night Scene mode. On the plus side, you do get a custom white balance option, which can be useful in tricky conditions, though it's a bit of a fiddle to set and not quite as reliable as that found in some posher cameras.

This camera's movie mode is slightly unusual, in that its fastest rate is 24 fps. Presumably the thinking behind this was to advertise it as being the same as 35 mm movie cameras, but in reality there's no real rhyme or reason to it, and 30 fps would have been nicer. As is generally the case with cameras like this, you need to plan for not using the optical zoom while taking a video. On the plus side, you can record in VGA (640 x 480) resolution, and there's no limit on the length of your clips other than that imposed by the amount of storage available.

Consumables and photo quality

Since this camera only has 16 MB of internal memory, you're pretty certain to want a memory card. Like the majority of compacts, the Digimax accepts ordinary SD – but not SDHC or SDXC – cards, in capacities up to 512 MB. (A slightly unusual upper limit, that.) Power is supplied by two ordinary AA batteries, and as usual you'll find that NiMH rechargeables will last longer than alkalines; battery life seems to be run-of-the-mill, which I suppose is what you'd expect from this model! Direct connection to a PC is via USB 1.1, which is rather stately; use a USB 2.0 (or built in) card reader for much better speed.

And so to the little matter of photo quality, and... actually, it's not too bad at all. Although colours don't have the same vivid brightness that you get from the likes of Canon and Fujifilm, some people may prefer the rather more neutral look Samsung gives you, and if you're among them it's not an objectionable look. Sharpness is generally quite decent (fiddling with the basic on-camera sharpening selector seems to help here) and that sharpness is mostly retained right to the corners, not something you can take for granted with a cheap digicam.

Buying and verdict

There's not a great deal that stands out about the Samsung Digimax A400, which of course is a comment that cuts two ways. It doesn't do anything much to enthrall, but nor does it inflict any great disasters upon you. I wouldn't be tempted to pay more than a tenner for it, and if you can afford just a little bit more some significantly better cameras will become available, but if you end up with one there's no need to despair. As a solid but unexciting compact, it gets a solid but unexciting three stars.
  Write your own review

Share this review on

« Previous review   Next review »

Rate this review »

How helpful would this review be to a person making a buying decision? Rating guidelines

Rate as exceptional

Rate as somewhat helpful

Rate as very helpful

Rate as not helpful

Rate as helpful

Rate as off topic

Write your own review Write a review and you will earn 1p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful. Write a review and you will earn 1p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful.   Report a problem with this review’s content

Comments about this review »

greenierexyboy 26.06.2011 14:17

I'm not really inclined to get emotional about digital cameras at all, never mind strongly emotional...;-)

catsholiday 23.06.2011 17:26

Not one that I will be rushing to buy

RICHADA 23.06.2011 14:09

Not one that I'd probably have considered in the first place this. R.

Add your comment

max. 2000 characters

  Post comment

Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The A400 has outstanding 11X zoom and flaunts nine customizable photo frames. It demonstrates its versatility with ...


MPN 8801089744500, C24DMA400, Digimax A400
Product Type Digital camera - compact
Sensor Resolution 4.0 Megapixel

Exposure & white balance

Light Sensitivity ISO 100, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO auto
Exposure Metering Multi-segment, spot
Exposure Modes Programme, automatic

Show all Product Information

More reviews »

Review Ratings »

This review of Samsung Digimax A400 has been rated:

"exceptional" by (12%):

  1. Jake_Speed
  2. dee7778
  3. Calla76

and a further member

"very helpful" by (88%):

  1. rojm
  2. greenierexyboy
  3. christinat

and 27 other members

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

Products you might be interested in »

Samsung Digimax 301

Samsung Digimax 301

Digital camera - Sensor Resolution: 3.2 Megapixel - Digital Zoom: 3x - Weight: 0.1 kg - Optical Viewfinder

User reviews (4)

Buy now for only £ 39.25

Samsung S750

Samsung S750

Digital camera - Sensor Resolution: 7.2 Megapixel - Optical Zoom: 3, 3 xx - Digital Zoom: 5x - Weight: 136 g - Flash memory: SD/SDHC Memory Card, MultiMedia Card - without Viewfinder

User reviews (6)

Buy now for only £ 64.69

Are you the manufacturer / provider of Samsung Digimax A400? Click here