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on June 26, 2010
I bought this camera after returning a Pentax W80 which had horrible picture quality. I was trying to replace an older Pentax Optio Wpi which is a wonderful older waterproof camera, took good pics @ 6MP and was very durable. So I wanted to replace this older camera with one at higher MP, something waterproof that I could take biking, to the beach, and do occasional snorkeling with and not worry about water. I read a lot of reviews on waterproof cameras before I decided to give the Samsung a try. There were only very limited reviews on this particular one when I bought it, but I decided to take a chance since the camera is priced very well.

I've only played with it for a day, but immediately I could see that the pictures are vastly better than the Pentax W80 that I had returned. The Smart Auto mode does a great job most of the time in selecting the correct settings for a shot. You can also select from a number of different preset modes for different shooting environments (water, night, backlit, sports, portrait, etc.). The Program mode has a fair amount of settings that you can change as well as some useful features such as self-portrait mode, detect smile, vignetting, and others. Close up mode worked great. I think this camera is going to fill my requirements for a small point-and-shoot to toss in my bag that can handle being outdoors without fear of getting wet while still taking good quality pictures. I'll still bring out my larger Canon when I really want the best quality, but this camera does very well for its size. It is also very attractive and a nice size.

So that was the good, not too many comments on the bad aspects yet. I have posted some of my photos under the 'product images' in the item description. You can see in some of them, the colors get a little too oversaturated, particularly red and green. This was not in a large percentage of the photos by any means, but I did see it on occasion. Most of the photos I uploaded were outdoor photos, the one indoor photo I posted was at ISO 400 and you could start to see pixelation, not drastic but it was there. The movie mode has an issue with the zoom during recording. I had noticed this before buying the camera in videos posted online taken by this type of camera. The motor is a little loud on the movie recording, so be forewarned if this is a deal-breaker for you. You can choose the option to mute the recorded sound during zooming (so obviously they knew this was an issue). I have posted a sample video at [..] if you want to check it out for yourself. The videos record in .mp4 format. I didn't think the motor noise was terribly distracting though.

I have yet to take it to the beach, so I will update this review once I try some underwater shots. Hopefully next week I'll have a chance to try it out on some fish underwater. Then I may also be able to comment on any condensation issues as another reviewer noted. So far, the camera is a keeper for me.

Update ~1 week later. Have used the camera a lot over the last week and finally took it to the beach today. It worked great, takes even better underwater pics than our older camera that I had loved. The focus was great underwater and the pics were sharp with good color. Unfortunately I didn't find any fish today to photograph, but I took a couple shots underwater around the rocks and coral to try it out. I'm glad I bought the Samsung, I have no regrets.
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0Comment|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 7, 2010
I have owned the Samsung Waterproof AQ100 for about 3 weeks.
I wanted a waterproof camera for kayaking & water sports as well as portability for hiking and an upcoming trip this fall to Orlando. Pocket size being important as well as IQ & Fun factor.

I think my expectations were realistic when buying this camera, I didn't expect it to have the IQ (image quality) or versatility of my DSLR.

There is little information from user reviews or professional reviews on the net or in print on this particular camera to be found. Only 4 reviews at the time on Amazon and only the Samsung product announcements on the popular internet digital camera websites. I based my purchase decision on the price (bundle deal from another website) & example photos from AQ100 owners photo samples on Amazon.

I consider myself an beginner inching toward intermediate in photography at this point. I delve into the menus of my cameras, tweaking the settings to try to get the best out of a camera.

To be honest, my top choices when shopping around for a rugged waterproof camera were the Sony TX5, Panasonic TS2 & Canon D10, but I had to take a hard look at my budget. I already have a lovely DSLR that for obvious reasons is my camera of preference 98% of the time.

This is my first Samsung digital camera. I chose the aqua blue color. It also has HD movie capability, but to be honest I probably won't use the movie mode much. I'm interested in still photography.

Some of the Specifications from manual:
Image Sensor: Type 1/2.33" CCD
12.2 mp's
Lens: Samsung
Focal Length f=35mm-175mm has 5x optical zoom
F-stop range: F3.6 wide to F4.6 telephoto
Display: 2.7" 230k, TFT LCD
Waterproof specs: Max underwater dept 9.8 feet (IEC 1PX8)
Dustproof specs: IEC 1P6X
Focusing: TTL auto focus (Multi AF, Center AF, Tracking AF, Face Detecting AF)
Shutter Speed: Smart Auto: 1/8 - 1/1000 sec
Program: 1 - 1/1000 sec
night: 8 - 1/1000 sec
Operating temperature: 0-40 deg centigrade
Operating humidity: 5-85%
HD Movies
ISO range: 80-3200
Now for my impressions:
What I like:

When the conditions are optimal~sunny/overcast outside, my results have been delightful colors and sharp. Conditions tested so far have been on my kayak, under salt water about 4-12" to test the underwater IQ and a few days ago on a class III/IV river, white water rafting. I have had a few outstanding shots in macro mode.

Auto White Balance seems to be very good. I compare it favorably to my Kodak P series camera in fact. (In my opinion, it is hard to match or beat KODAK's P series out of camera white balance & colors, so high praise from me, I was not expecting the Samsung to be this good)

Menu navigation is pretty straight forward, there are customizing options too. Program mode allows access to additional sub-menus when using the function button. Exposure compensation, RED, Green & Blue color adjustments, ISO & white balance to name a few.

Camera is sleek, fits in pocket easily, feels good in my hand, lightweight but solid feeling. Lens is recessed and protected. On/off button designed well, it is located on top of the camera to the left of the shutter button, it has to be pushed firmly, it won't accidentally get turned on when stored in a pocket or purse. Rubber snapping gasket doors to protect the USB, battery & SD Card slots. Instructions say to make sure you hear a snap when closing before using in water/gritty conditions.

LCD is clear and crisp, 2.7". You can adjust the brightness, but it does have the same problem as most other LCD's out in bright conditions. Hard to see, and I wear glasses for reading so I have been guessing many times as to how my shot is set-up. Most times I have been pleased with the results even so.

AF to Macro easy access on menu toggle button as well as flash setting, drive mode & display.

Function button is also the delete button when viewing photos, so have to pay attention, luckily it does popup a verify message before it deletes anything.

There is some form of in camera stabilization. I don't know how it compares to Kodak, Sony or other brands at this point.

There is also a tripod hole attachment on the bottom of camera.

The price was very good in comparison to the other compact underwater cameras I was looking at. (Savings of about $179 compared to the top contender on my shopping list)

What I don't like or would like to see improved in this camera:

wider angle lens would be nice. 28 mm?

LCD: would be nice to be able to see menu selections and compose better in sunlight, but for the price of this camera, would not be the norm.
The camera doesn't seem to remember some settings in P mode if it is turned off. Example: image stabilization defaults to off in my experience once the camera is turned off.

Questionable image quality for city nightscapes. I haven't had much success with the few test shots I have attempted under nightime conditions. I was hoping to get some decent photos at night when we go to Disney World in the fall, but maybe this camera shouldn't be expected to be able to do this.
(I still need to print out the in depth manual provided on the software CD, that will hopefully provide more information on getting the most out of this camera.)

Software bundled with this camera isn't what I am used to, so am not liking it so far. I don't see any option to import from the camera or SD card. I have been using Picasa for photo editing instead.

Conclusion: I am finding this to be a good sturdy little camera, with surprising value added features, compared to the other waterproof cameras available at this time. I like that it is small, unobtrusive. Easy menu navigation. It takes lovely pictures. I think it packs a lot of features for the price.

I'll post updates as I become more familiar with my AQ100.

Don't forget to browse through the sample photos posted by owners of this camera on Amazon. I'll be posting a few of mine. (I'll post underwater samples, but they aren't from the tropics so don't expect those lovely Caribbean exotic coral reef type shots, they'll be from the Puget Sound.) Macro flower samples, kayaking shots & a few shots while white water rafting this week. I kept the camera in its case most the time since we were on a Class III/IV river, I couldn't take shots until we were in calmer waters.
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on May 16, 2010
I Shopped for 1 month for a waterproof camera,read all the reviews.The Canon too big, Fuji bad picture quality others hard to operate and way to costly. Then I saw the Samsung AQ100 and let me tell you, so far I cant find fault with it. Size perfect, picture quality great and super easy to use right out of the box.Battery life so far is very good. The video is way over the top,looks great on my Mac. Friend has the Olympus,she thought the AQ100 features were awesome. For $185.00 you cant go wrong.Taking to the sailboat this weekend,will check it for leaks. Oh, and also you use the same cable to charge or to
download the pictures. No Shake feature, too. So far, we have had no blurry photos. All in all, great
camera for the money. Amazon rocks.
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on June 17, 2010
I just bought this camera yesterday for my summer and winter activities. I was slightly skeptical about buying the camera without seeing any customer reviews on the camera on the internet. However, the features on the camera outshine the features on other waterproof cameras that I was researching. The price was absolutely right for this camera.

I was testing the camera out today outside of my house, and in a bowl of water. I love taking macro shots and the macro feature is quite good, just as good as my Canon point and shoot. Another feature I like about the Samsung is that it automatically shoots vibrant colors. I'm testing the camera out at the beach this weekend, then handing the camera off to my boyfriend for his Caribbean cruise, and then taking it to Mexico in August. I'll add more user pictures so that others can see what a gem this camera is.
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on August 15, 2010
sound cuts out while zooming in or out during a movie, macro feature is not as 'macro' as I was hoping for, and evidently my hands shake more than the computer can correct for because I've had both blurry pics and movies that give you a headache to watch. Zoom is pretty decent, but seems to get blurry as you approach the max (maybe the optical/digital zoom change is not announced). Pics that are clear seem pretty crisp and detailed, but camera has a hard time deciding on what to focus if there is a tree branch in the foreground of the subject.
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on October 14, 2010
Great little camera. I have used it in the pool without any issues. Image quality is great and it's totally encased and durable. Love the color blue also. My kids love it and constantly grab it. The shutter lag time between shots is a little more than my Sony but it's totally worth the durability factor. I can't wait to take it to the beach next summer! Great price too.

**Update - - Seal broke. Camera is ruined. What's worse is I lost all my vacation photos. Do not buy.
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on November 4, 2010
Don't get this cheap product and questioning quality of this camera. I own many different cameras but this one didn't pass 24 hours on my Oahu trip with normal using. Water leaked in which destroyed the camera. Get the Canon or Pentax which are better for underwater ones.
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on June 20, 2010
I was really excited about getting this camera for my Mexico wedding and vacation. I wanted a waterproof HD camera and I compared many cameras before finally deciding on the Samsung AQ100. Some of the major selling points were waterproof, 720HD, 12.2MP, better optics than comparably priced cameras and the fact that Samsung has some of the nicest HD TV's on the market (IMO). So I bought the camera and received it just days before leaving for Mexico.

I really should have learned the features better before departing for the trip, had I had time to learn the scenes and programs (especially night feature with extended shutter {tripod necessary}and sunset features) I really think I could have had some better pictures. This was my issue. But I had some major issues with the camera which may sway potential buyers.

The camera was used lots in the water. Both the ocean and the swimming pools of the resort where we married. The waterproof feature was the biggest selling point. The camera was never taken deeper than the 9 feet that is stated on the features list, but after 2 days condensation started building on both the lens and the LCD display. The condensation on the display wasn't a big deal, but the condensation on the lens was huge. It ruined tons of our pics. We went parasailing. We rode on the boat for about 30 minutes before riding. The whole time we waited and rode the lens was clear. The moment we got up in the air condensation built on the lens and ruined all the pics.

And while the condensation is a major problem, the audio recording for the video is even worse and the gears can be heard on all the videos when using the zoom feature while recording. The entire wedding ceremony was recorded on this camera. The audio can barely be heard through the clicking and gearing noises that are made by the zoom. And as before, condensation build-up ruined the overall quality of the video. The lens was completely fogged up by the end of the video. The ceremony lasted 15 minutes and the video was never stopped. I've included links below to show the very beginning and very end of the video which just so happens to be a very similar image. Just look at the difference in quality. If at all possible, I'll also include a short video of the clicking and gearing noises that ruined our wedding video.

Overall I'm not happy about this camera. Some things were pretty good, others were not. I plan on contacting Samsung to return this unit.

[...]
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on March 8, 2012
I bought this camera to go on vacation to Cancun. I was worried about the overall quality of the camera because of the price but was willing to try it out after reading all the reviews on it. I must say that I am pleasantly surprise with the camera. I used it while snorkeling and ended up with great, very clear pictures. Family that have seen my vacation pictures and have asked what kind of camera I used, are now looking at getting the same camera as they were impressed too. I think I have found my new favorite brand in cameras.
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on December 15, 2011
this Samsung AQ100 12 Megapixel Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom, 2.7" LCD, All Weather, HD Movie, Blue works amazing I love it price is good and all weather camera great dealll!!!!!!!!!!!!
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