Samsung DV300F review

4 stars
£180.00
A feature-packed all-rounder for the point, shoot and share crowd

We've seen Samsung compact cameras packing Wi-Fi skills before – like the capable WB150F. With the 16.1MP DV300F, you can now instantly back-up and share your shots without rummaging around for too many extra pennies over the price of your average point-and-shoot. If that doesn't convince the enthusiastic amateur, the second LCD display on the front might.

Samsung DV300F – heavy metal

With a metallic glint up front and textured pattern bringing up the rear, the DV300F looks more expensive than it is – a quality we're always a big fan of. The rounded edges on either side are another nice touch, making the DV300F more comfortable to rest in your hands as you steady your shot than boxy compacts like the Canon IXUS 125 HS. Only the lack of a proper raised grip and the slightly wobbly 25mm lens let the side down.

Samsung DV300F – go viral or go home

When the Wi-Fi sharing works, it's great. The quick upload to SkyDrive (less than ten seconds per photo) is really useful for saving holiday snaps without the need for a computer.

Keying in Wi-Fi and Facebook passwords is undeniably a bit of a pain as there’s no touchscreen, but at least you’ll be doing that relatively rarely, and even though there's no WB150F-style mode dial here (let alone a Wi-Fi mode to choose), getting to the sharing options via the menus is pretty quick. You can also share to Picasa, Photobucket and YouTube, or auto-backup to your PC – that's right; there's no love for Mac here.

Samsung DV300F – control and effect

Manual controls are pretty sparse on the DV300F. There's no dedicated movie button so you have to go into the menus to start shooting, and clicking through EV and ISO options once you're in the Program mode for stills, just doesn't feel intuitive. That said, there's lots of fun to be had with this compact. The artistic and cartoon animated effects are mesmerising and the Motion Photo effect – where you can select one area of a still image to move – is just plain bizarre.

More after the break...

Samsung DV300F – the Myspace camera

The elephant in the room – the front LCD. You won't even notice this 1.5in second screen is there until you discover the button to activate it on top of the DV300F. With 61k dots, it's not very clear but you'll be able to frame self-portraits and timed shots easily enough. Plus your mates will be impressed at how Samsung has sneakily hidden it in the camera's slick build. Beyond taking pictures of yourself for social media shenanigans there’s not much need for it, but for some people that will be justification enough for its inclusion.

Samsung DV300F – image quality

The DV300F is a great camera for quick daytime snaps and portraits as the colours are impressively vivid, giving some premium compacts like the Leica V-Lux 20 a run for their money in the vibrancy stakes when viewed on a bigger screen.

But at higher ISOs images can look a bit washed out, and with the DV300F offering only 5x zoom, compared to the 18x that the similarly priced Nikon S9100 gives you, you may find yourself having to get closer to your subject than you really want to. Good quality, zoomable 720p video that works with both rear and front LCDs is a bonus though, potentially making it a very useful blogging tool.

Samsung DV300F – verdict

How you feel about the DV300F will come down almost entirely to how excited you are by the prospect of the second, front-mounted screen and the built-in Wi-Fi. If they’re features you’ll struggle to use you’ll find that there are affordable compacts from the likes of Canon, Nikon and Sony that will capture better snaps, especially in low light. If, on the other hand, you’re a casual snapper with a penchant for social media, blogging and uploading on the move, this could be your new favourite companion.

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Samsung DV300F

A feature-packed all-rounder for the point, shoot and share crowd

Samsung DV300F review
4 stars
£180.00
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