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4.2 out of 5 stars
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2009
I purchased this camera basically based on the review in Engadget of point and shoot cameras. I was replacing a broken Canon TX1 that I had used primarily for 720P video shooting.Video recording was very important.Size was also very important and we were looking at the Canon SD780 IS. My main camera is a Canon Rebel XTi.

Overall I have found this camera to be very good.

+ Takes very good pictures overall
+ Very easy to use
+ Camera has nice smart modes. The kids mode is especially good for me
+ The video quality is great. You can zoom in while shooting video. You cannot do this on the Canon SD780
+ charges via the camera (no need to take out the battery).

- Flash recycling is relatively slow. It's not the world's fastest camera overall.
- The camera is a little heavy. Definitely bigger than the SD780
- Strange proprietary cable (does not use mini USB, etc.)
- Comes with no software
- Comes with no printed manual (just a quick start guide)

Note on Video
Video is shot in MP4 (h.264) format. This makes the videos pretty small, but its hard to work with on a Windows PC. I think Windows 7 will make this work better, but for now it is a problem. My old Canon TX1 shot in MJPEG. This produces bigger files, but it is very easy to work with. The Canon SD780 also uses MP4 as do many other newer cameras (Flip Mino, etc.).

I use Picasa to organize my photos. Picasa would stutter through most of the MP4 videos. I had problems viewing the files in Quicktime as well (on an AMD X2 5000). The videos play fine on the Zune software an also on an Xbox 360.

Overall
I recommend this camera. I was thinking about getting a Flip Mino HD or a Creative Labs Vado. Frankly, I don't see why you would buy a cheap HD camera when you can get this much better camera for not much more. If you need something a little smaller the Canon SD780. But overall, I think the Samsung offers more features in a bigger package for about the same price.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2009
Pros: nice pictures, high-def (720p) video mode, light weight, quick start-up time, wider-than-normal lens with 5X optical zoom.

Cons: Questions on durability (see below), warranty service doesn't cover shipping to repair center, sound stops recording when using zoom.

Purchased as a graduation gift, and was well-received. Worked well for recording video of graduation ceremony, and video quality of ceremony looked good. However, it was annoying that the audio in the recording cuts out when using the zoom. Would be interested in learning if that is on purpose, perhaps to prevent picking up zoom motor noise, or just an artifact of limitations on the camera not being able to perform too many things at one time. Whatever the reason, it limits what can be done in that mode.

Later that evening, found that the lens didn't retract when the camera was shut off one time. Normally, like most cameras of this type, the lens extends when the camera is powered on, and retracts when the camera is powered down. I just figured the camera was very low on power (which it was), and had failed for that reason. Later, when we attempted to turn the camera back on, we could hear a whirring noise in the camera for a few moments, and then nothing. I assumed the noise was the lens motor attemnpting to either close or open the lens, but being unsuccessful. At the point, the camera would shut down. No amount of coaxing would convince the stubborn lens to behave.

A call to Samsung tech support turned up no solutions to the lens problem. They emailed me an RMA and a shipping address for the repair center, but didn't cover the shipping costs. Repairs took a bit over a week.

UPDATE: After having the repaired camera back for only three days, the same issue surfaced again -- lens won't retract, only a whirring noise, a beep, and then it shuts off. Going to Samsung's site allows me to re-enter a service request, but it expects me to pay another $8 to ship it in for another "repair."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2009
I was hoping this would be the camera that I needed, and it comes pretty darn close. The main reason I purchased this camera was for the hd video capabilities. I enjoy taking quick little videos of my girls, and being able to upload them quickly for my family and friends to share. This camera lives up to that challenge quite nicely, although beware that when you take advantage of the 5X zoom, the sound cuts out until you are zoomed where you want, then cuts back in. A minor little annoyance. The picture quality of this camera is very good. I really have not taken a bad picture yet, which is quite remarkable! This is my 6th purse camera to date, and I would have to say the quality is right up there with some of the best cameras I have owned. The reason I gave it 4 out of 5 stars is due to the cameras performance speed. Shot to shot is quite slow for a camera in this class. You have to wait for the flash to re-power before taking the next shot, which at times I found to be extremely annoying. Also the zoom controller is in an awkward position, and would not always zoom when pushed. Samsung has to work out a few bugs before getting this camera perfect! But I would definitely recommend this camera to anyone looking for a compact camera with all the features!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2009
I got the camera June 8. After learning most of its functions, it's a good camera for the money. Got it somewhere for $265 that includes shipping and tax in California. It is a little heavy than most compact. Nice brushed metal frame and quality is really good. The pictures are great. I played the videos directly from camera to TV and it's very clear and full screen with my analog 32" TV. However, like the other reviewer, it doesn't come with complete manual and video is MP4.It came with a CD but I haven't open it yet. I like the smile shot, the Beauty shot (makes your skin smooth and perfect!) and multiple shots, which is available on P mode only, and Dual OIS (Anti-shake). It doesn't come with a leather case or a memory card so invest on those too though. I use an 8gb SD card. Overall, a shockingly wonderful camera from Samsung, a $100 less than your full featured Canon or Sony.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2009
I bought this camera to replace a Nikon Coolpix S230 10MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and 3 inch Touch Panel LCD (Jet Black) that I was unhappy with.

I've been using this camera for about a week now and I'm very happy with it. The camera feels great in your hand, the colors are spot on, HD video is fantastic and the image quality (video and still shots) is awesome. I'm also impressed with battery life with this camera. I highly recommend this camera to anyone. Thanks Samsung! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2010
Bought this for my wife for Christmas, mostly for the good resolution and features like "smart mode". First off, most of the modes end up making the picture taking so slow that you have to plan your pictures well in advance. Ironic, really, when you've got modes like "children playing". Yes, the quality of the picture you get in that mode is very good - but it's usually the back of someone's head because it took several seconds longer than you thought to capture the picture. The "beauty shot" mode is very good, because by definition you've got someone who is standing still for you for several seconds to get a posed picture.

But that's not my biggest concern, I could live with that. Barely. The problem is that 6 months into ownership, the viewfinder started developing spots. I know they are on the finder and not the lens because they do not appear on the pictures. They became more numerous to the point where they interfered with being able to see my pictures. And now, spots have appeared on the lens as well that no amount of cleaning will fix. So the pictures are basically ruined.

Samsung support tells me I can get a warranty repair, but when I go to register the camera I discover that the serial number sticker on the bottom of the camera has rubbed off several digits and now I cannot register (support also tells me I must have a valid serial number to register, this is the only way). So I guess I have to pay for repairs? The only service center for this camera - I am in Massachusetts, mind you - is in New Jersey. So I have to ship my camera away just to find out whether it can be fixed, on my nickel.

I don't think I'll be getting a Samsung digital camera of any sort again. The only reason I abandoned my Kodak was for features and resolution - it never just stopped working on me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2010
I bought this camera because I had lost my old Samsung NV camera. I love Samsung cameras, they have crisp color and image quality is amazing. Plus the look really hot. My girlfriend has a Nikon, and my parents have a Canon and I'd have to say this Samsung's pictures put them both to shame. My only real complaint about this camera is that the DIS (Dual Image Stabilization) is not that great. It comes standard in almost all their cameras, so I know it's not something I spent an extra penny on, but still. Besides that the screen on the back is gorgeous, it's easy to use. Picture quality is great and the video quality is amazing. But its not just the video, it's also the audio in the videos. It's awesome, especially for a digi still cam. It's a LITTLE on the thicker side (only a little though), it'll easily fit in a guys pocket. But ladies, you might need to carry one of those huge totes for this. It lags a little sometimes between pictures which is expected really and when you zoom during videos it cuts of audio while you're zooming (I guess to cut out motor noise?). All in all, this camera quality is amongst the best and it's priced very well in comparison. I haven't tested all the modes yet, but the Auto and Smart both work very well. The video, as I said, is amazing. Portrait is pretty good, though I sort of need to take it out on a real test run. But when all is said and done, go get it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2009
Overall I am quite pleased with the camera, if I knew more about camera settings in general I'd probably be even more pleased. You kind of need to know which setting work best in which situations if you use it in any other mode than Smart. For all the options you have I think it is pretty simple to use. Picture quality is really nice, especially if you know how to use it in the different modes. My only real complaint is that there is very little internal memory. I have my camera set to take the very best pictures so that may contribute to available memory, but with that said, you will most likely need a SD card. Not sure I would've been as happy paying upwords of $300 for it, but getting it on sale for $170 was worth it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2009
I bought this camera based on the reviews I read online. Everything I read about how easy it was to use this camera was true. I could take pictures literally within half an hour of opening up the box. The quality of the pictures was excellent and the options available were great. If anyone wants a reasonably priced and user friendly point-and-shoot digital camera with good picture qualities, I highly recommend Samsung SL820 12MP Digital Camera.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2010
This is by far the best camera I have ever owned. Images are crisp and clear in light or dark. I havent messed around with editing the videos, however they do turn out nice. The only thing I do not like about this camera is that the lens gets stuck open on mine, a lot. To the point where it is almost always open. I keep it in a case so no big deal.
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