It’s fun to spend time planning a photograph and getting all those set-ups and options tweaked just right. But sometimes – many times, in fact – the luxury to be able to do that just doesn’t exist. Some scenes require fast action, some models won’t sit still and some photographs need to be captured quickly. Samsung understand this idea, and they have built a whole bunch of really fast functionality into their SH100 pocket camera. Now Samsung aren’t necessarily a name one would associate with photography, but their cameras are actually really rather nifty, right across their extensive range. The Samsung SH100 camera takes up position further away from the enthusiast side of things, and closer to the consumer end of the scale. This means that it is easy to use, quick, versatile and devoid of complication.
This also means that a number of the settings a photographer might want to find on a camera are missing. But this device isn’t about carefully trimming apertures and shutter speeds. It’s more about getting to take photos quickly and easily.
At 14.2 megapixels, the images that the SH100 delivers are pretty chunky. The 5x zoom feels a little weak when compared to other cameras in its class, though. But where this camera – small as it is – is really big is in terms of built-in features and functions. From a host of filters that can be applied to photographs through to a simple photo-editor on-board, this camera is a ‘social journalist’s’ dream. It even allows for direct uploading to Facebook, thanks to built-in Wi-Fi compatibility. In addition, it allows media sharing and a number of other very handy functions, and shoots video too – although not in full HD.
The controls on this device are, at first glance, extremely simple. A power and shutter button (with zoom controls) are mounted at the top, and a playback and ‘home’ button (to access menus) are on the back, alongside the large LCD screen. Everything else… well, after you hit the home button, the LCD screen functions as a touch screen control panel, where all the camera’s functions can be accessed. The controls feel a little sluggish every now and then, but for the most part it works well.
With good image quality and lots of options, the SH100 is fun to use, and produces great results. It doesn’t feel like a serious camera, though… this is fine if that suits your photography, but some may not like it’s playful approach. Thankfully this doesn’t extend into its construction – the SH100 is solidly built, and the lens is safely housed when the unit is turned off.
The SH100 goes a long way to show clever product innovation, coupled with integration into aspects that are very important in peoples’ day-to-day lives. The Facebook function, for example, is something I know a lot of people would be excited about. It almost bridges the gap between camera and communicator from the opposite direction to those lamentable cameras build into cell phones.
Overall, it’s a good bet for those who want to have fun with their photography, without getting overly serious.
Verdict: A small, powerful camera perfect for those who don’t take their photography too seriously.