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Samsung PL150 - Test Shots - ISO Performance

By Cliff Smith


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Over the next few pages we show a range of test shots. On this page the full size image at the minimum and maximum ISO settings have been reduced to let you see the full image, and a series of full resolution crops have taken from original images at a range of ISO settings to show the overall image quality. These pictures were taken indoors using reflected natural light.


This is the full frame at minimum ISO.


Even at 80 ISO there is a slight trace of noise.


Some blotches in the green area at 100 ISO.


Slightly worse at 200 ISO.


400 ISO and there's a lot more noise, as well as some loss of detail.


More pixel binning at 800 ISO.


1600 ISO and quality is pretty much shot.


3200 ISO is virtually useless, with lots of noise and no detail.


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November 14, 2010, 1:24 am

Hello, nice review there!

However, I want to mention that this camera does have the Auto Contrast Balance feature as in the ST70. In fact, I think the lens and sensor is exactly the same as the ST70 (same focus, same 27mm wide-angle, etc.). I was wondering why it wasn't explored in the review during the test shots.

Also, a new firmware was released for this drive recently, available on the samsung imaging website. Can you give it a test drive to see if it changes anything? (No changes observed by me here.....)


November 16, 2010, 6:30 pm

I enjoyed your review Cliff.

I've had my Samsung PL150 since it came out in Australia in March 2010 and I love it.

1. I can't agree with your gripe about the micro SD card - it's not a problem for me in practice. My 8GB card stays with the camera and was less than 30AUD back in March. I think they needed the space to fit the 2nd LCD. My phone also takes microSD. I have an SD adapter and a microSD USB reader. However most of the time I transfer photos via USB cable.

2. "As usual with Samsung compacts the optical zoom can be used while filming, although the zoom motor is clearly audible on the soundtrack."

You must have different software to mine. While it's great that you can zoom while recording video, I've always found it annoying that the camera mutes the audio while zooming. So you don't want to zoom if the audio is important like recording a concert or speech. I have the latest October 2010 firmware 008301 (available at http://tiny.cc/samsungpl150) and it still mutes.


3. The front LCD screen is great and I use it frequently for self portraits including video, attracting attention of kids and love the countdown with the self timer. Once the kids get sick of the clown there are many more animations available for download.

4. Love the USB charging - great when transferring photos and handy when travelling when you only have one mains adapter and it's used by your PC.

5. I don't know about what cables it comes with in the UK but here in Oz there was no AV cable nor micro HDMI cable. The AV cable is proprietary and not easy to find - I tracked it down on a trip to Shanghai a few months ago. The AV cable picture quality isn't very good. On the other hand if you can get a micro HDMI cable the picture quality is superb on a big HD TV. Back in March it was impossible to find a micro HDMI cable. I finally got my micro HDMI cable a few weeks ago for about 6 dollars with free postage at


6. I take a lot of videos of my kids and I love the video capabilities of the PL150. My PC isn't up to processing 720 HD video so I just leave it at 640x480 30fps and I find the quality is fine for home movies. One minor gripe with the video format is that my favourite video editor Windows Movie Maker 2.1 doesn't natively support the MP4 format files. I have to run them through MP4Cam2AVI which is fast because it doesn't re-encode the video. Another gripe is that the MP4 videos didn't natively play in the latest Samsung Series 7 3D LED TV.

7. Love the wide angle lens. Great for group shots and self portraits with other people in shot. 5x zoom is also very useful.

8. Love the long exposure on night shots - much better than my previous Sony DSC-W50


9. Not happy with the video shutter lag of about 1.3s. I've missed important moments many times.

10. Playback is very slow to scroll through photos especially with 9 or 20 thumbnail mode.

11. Smile detection didn't work well for me - usually ended up with a blurry photo so I turned it off.


November 26, 2010, 2:41 am

bought as a gift for someone but after a couple of days of playing with it I gave up and returned the camera ...


- unacceptable picture quality at full zoom, high ISO or low light conditions - too noisy at full zoom, struggles to focus correctly at low light - often blurry pictures)

- battery life is frustrating/very short (this is definitely not a travel cam)

- camera kept freezing for some reason (nothing helped just taking the battery out for a sec. and pushing back in, then switching it on again)


- handful of useful features (suitable for social/family photography)

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