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Samsung L210 digital camera
Since Jamie Harrison has been helping out we've managed to publish three full camera reviews a week for most of this year, and as a result we've nearly caught up with the manufacturers' output. We've reviewed almost the entire ranges from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Casio and Pentax, and we're making good progress with Olympus and Panasonic. We're a bit behind on Sony's and Kodak's products, but that's nothing compared to how many Samsung cameras we have left to review.
That's really not our fault though, because if we reviewed nothing else but Samsung cameras, at three reviews a week it would still take us nearly four months to cover the company's vast catalogue, currently standing at no less than 46 models, and by the time we'd finished they'd probably have launched another dozen or so.
To make it slightly easier to understand, Samsung's cameras range is split into six categories. At the top you've got the three digital SLRs co-developed with Pentax, and then there's the remarkable Pro815 all alone in the "High-End" category. Next there's the stylish NV-series of high-spec compacts, followed by the i-series compacts, which are adorned with gadgets such as MP3 players.
Every high-volume camera manufacturer has a range of cheap plastic AA-powered models, and for Samsung it's the S-series. In the middle of all this is the L-series which covers everything else, rather confusingly including models beginning with M and P as well as L. The highest specification model in the L-series is the subject of today's' review, the 10.2-megapixel, 3x zoom ultra-compact L210.
The L210 is an interesting camera for a couple of reasons. The first is that it's one of the smallest cameras on the market to offer optical image stabilisation. The second is that it's one of the cheapest cameras on the market to offer optical image stabilisation. For under £100 the L210 has an impressive specification, offering not just the aforementioned OIS technology, but also a 2.5-inch 230k monitor screen, Auto Contrast Balance, manual exposure options and SVGA MPEG-4 movie shooting. As well as this it is incredibly light and compact, weighing just 114g minus battery and measuring 87.7 x 56.3 x 20mm. It's smaller, lighter and considerably cheaper than the Nikon S600 (£164), the Casio EX-Z200 (£165), the Panasonic FX35 (£180) and the Canon IXUS 80 IS (£219).