Monday, February 21, 2011

Built-in USB port digital camera, Samsung PL90

Following is a review of PL90.

More convenient with Built-in USB

#1 Return to basics

Why are you looking for a compact camera? I think it’s because you are looking for a compact, cute, and easy camera with great quality much better than a cell phone camera. However, by inserting more functions in the compact cameras, they become more expensive and lose their own strength as a compact digital camera. The PL90 from Samsung shows the things the compact digital camera needs to have. In addition, it becomes more convenient by the built-in USB port. Let’s take a look this camera through the review.

#2 Built-in USB port leads to Simple package

The package of the PL90 is very simple. It includes the body, battery, hand strap, install CD, warranty certificate, USB recharge guide, and user manual. Power cable or recharge adapter which were included in other compact digital camera packages is not offered, because the PL90 has the built-in USB port in the body. By minimizing the package, it reduced the price.

#3 Light slim, but elegant design

The body of the PL90 is quite slim and light. By the metallic design around the lens and on the top and bottom, it looks elegant even with the slim body. As a compact digital camera, Samsung has made an elegant design, not chosen a unique body.

The metallic finishing around the lens on the front is very neat. By looking at the marking, users can find out the lens specification such as 4x zoom, F2.8-6.3, and 28mm wide angle.

On the top of the PL90, like other compact digital cameras, it has a power button, shutter button surrounded by a zoom switch, and Smart button. The slanted shutter button for more convenient use is impressive. The Smart button of the PL90 is used to change the mode to Smart mode and I think this is the representative button of a compact digital camera.

On the back, it has the 2.8” TFT LCD, mode selection, menu, play, Fn button, and navigation key for Macro/Flash selection/DISP/Timer. The different thing from other digital cameras is that it doesn’t have a mode button for mode change. It requires more operation to change the mode, but because the mode button is actually not used a lot, so I think it’s good try.

On the left side of the body, a speaker and microphone are located, and hand strap ring and port for AV cable are located. The strap ring is convenient to use with a thumb. The battery and microSD card are inserted on the bottom after opening the cover, and built-in USB port is located right next to it.

#5 Built-in USB Plug

The most interesting part of the PL90 is the built-in USB port. When it comes to microSD, the reader is not quite common, and in order to read it with the SD card reader, the exclusive adapter is needed. The built-in USB port of the PL90 is very convenient, and useful when transferring the photos and movies to a PC.

Connecting the PL90 to a PC via USB, the intelli-studio in the PL90 is automatically run. Recognizing it as a movable disk is also available, but the intelli-studio allows more convenient management of files to users. By supporting the Intelli-Studio, the PL90 gets one step closer to user’s convenience.

#6 28mm Wide, 4x Optical Zoom Lens

When shooting subjects or landscape in a close distance, the angle is always unsatisfactory. The wider the angle, the more scenery can be taken, and the PL90 has the 28mm wide angle for this. By supporting optical 4x zoom, it allows convenient shooting as a compact digital camera.

1/145s, F2.8, ISO80, Zoom x1, Smart Auto

1/90s, F6.3, ISO100, Zoom x4, Smart Auto

The PL90 supports 12.2M pixels adjustable. The resolution can be set to 12.2M, 10M, 9M, 8M, 5M, 3M, and 1M, and in the setting, the camera provides the instruction for each pixel regarding the purpose of each setting.

1/17s, F2.8, ISO800, Zoom x1, DIS mode

#7 Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) / ISO3200 (up to 3M)

Cameras take a shot by pushing the shutter. However, pushing the shutter might cause the hand blur in a low light condition. That’s why compact digital cameras support the IS function these days, and the PL90 also supports DIS to prevent from taking blurry pictures.

1/8s, F2.8, ISO800, Zoom x1, DIS mode

In order to take a good picture in a low light condition, higher ISO is necessary with DIS. Of course, the higher ISO causes more noise, but it’s acceptable. The PL90 supports up to ISO 3200 in 3M (2048x1536), and ISO 1600 can be used in higher resolution. ISO 3200 helps take shots in a low light condition with DIS function.

#8 Smart Auto (Still& Movie)

Different from other compact digital cameras supporting only Auto mode, the PL90 offers Smart Auto mode. The camera automatically recognizes the current situations such as white, macro color, portrait, night portrait, backlight portrait, macro portrait, backlight, landscape, action, tripod, night scenery, macro, macro text, blue sky, dawn, and natural, and through the pre-setting value and image compensation, it allows better pictures. Smart Auto mode can be selected from the mode setting menu, and also by pushing the Smart button.

1/227s, F7.0, ISO80, Zoom x1, Smart Auto

1/200s, F2.8, ISO80, Zoom x1, Smart Auto

1/100s, F2.8, ISO80, Zoom x1, Smart Auto

#9 Perfect Portrait System

Unlike DSLR cameras needing to take accurate and realistic photos, compact digital cameras are normally used for snap shots in a life. That’s why people like handsome and beautiful pictures without flaws on face or blinking pictures. Therefore, people prefer cameras providing such functions.

The PL90 offers various functions for more beautiful shots such as Face recognition, smile shot taking smiling moment, blink detection, and red eye elimination function. I personally like the beauty shot making a flawless face and compensating the skin tone and self portrait function, and I think these are especially for woman users.

#10 Advanced Movie mode

Compact digital cameras are useful not only for snap shots, but also for movie recording. The PL90 supports 640x480 and 320x240 movie recording. Given that 12.2M pixels for still image, 640x480 is not that satisfactory, but the better performance than previous compact digital camera is good.

The PL90 provides IS function for movie recording, and the sound can be mute while zooming to prevent the zooming noise from being included in a movie. The successive recording is also provided while recording, so users don’t need to mix files. I think this will be convenient to upload movies on a web site.

Convenient and elegant compact digital camera for web generation

The Samsung PL90 is a built-in USB type camera. The compact size, light weight, elegant design, 12.2M pixels, ISO 3200 (Below 3M pixels), and reasonable price are the advantage of the PL90. Since the PL90 is only recharged via USB and supports 640x480 movie recording, this is for web generation who likes to connect the internet and share their files via Internet, I think. I’m looking forward to the improvement of Samsung digital cameras.

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