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Samsung Pro815 Review

December 2005 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Samsung Pro815

Samsung officially announced its first SLR-styled digital camera, the Pro815, an 8 megapixel, 15x zoom model back in June, but it didn't actually arrive until the late autumn. It's targeted at enthusiasts and boasts a lot of 'world firsts' including the largest LCD on a digital camera (3.5 inches), world's longest zoom on a high-end camera and world's largest capacity lithium-ion battery. The Pro815 sports a Schneider-Kreuznach lens and boasts a color data LCD screen for waist-level shooting, 2.5fps continuous mode and a wealth of photographic features.

  • 8.0 million effective pixel CCD
  • 15x optical Schneider-KREUZNACH zoom lens (28-420mm equiv.)
  • World's largest (3.5") TFT screen on a digital stills camera
  • Raw, TIFF and JPEG shooting
  • 500-shot Lithium-Ion battery
  • Mechanical zoom
  • Full photographic control
  • Dedicated flash hot-shoe connector
  • Optional remote control

Samsung Pro815 Key specifications

Street price • US: $795
• UK: £520
Body Material Metal and Plastic
Sensor • 2/3 " Type CCD
• 8.3 million pixels total
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3264 x 2448
• 3264 x 2176 (3:2)
• 3264 x 1840 (16:9)
• 2400 x 1800
• 1632 x 1224
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Still image recording formats

• JPEG
• TIFF
• Raw (DNG)

Movie clips • 640 x 480 / 320 x 240 / 160 x 120
• 25 / 15 fps
• With stereo audio
• 640 x 480 / 25 fps: 30 second max clip length
• All others limited only by storage
• MJEPG (.avi) format
Lens

• 28 - 420 mm equiv. (15x zoom)
• F2.2 - F4.6
• Labeled as "SCNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOPLAN "
• Mechanical linked zoom ring
• Focus-by-wire focus ring
• 72 mm lens thread

Focus

• Single and continuous TTL autofocus
• 9- point Area AF ('Wide AF')
• Fixed center spot AF
• 1-point Spot AF (user-selectable)
• Manual focus and Direct Manual focus (AF override) options
• 10cm macro mode (Wide), 150cm (Tele)
• 3cm 'Super Macro' mode (focal length 50-100mm only)
• AF assist lamp

Shooting mode

• Auto
• Program
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
• Myset
• Movie
• Night
• Portrait
• Children
• Landscape
• Close up
• Text
• Sunset
• Dawn
• Backlight
• Fireworks
• Beach & Snow
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 50, 100, 200, 400
Shutter speed • All modes except Manual: 2 - 1/4000 sec
• Manual mode: 15 - 1/4000 sec
Aperture • Wide: F2.2 - F8.0
• Tele: F4.6 - F8.0
Metering • Multi
• Center-weighted
• Spot
White Balance

• Auto
• Daylight, cloudy, fluorescent-H, fluorescent-L, Tungsten
2x Custom WB (manual)
Color temperature adjust (K)

Image parameters

• Contrast (5 levels)
• Sharpness (3 levels)
• Saturation (5 levels)
• Color effects (Negative, Black & White, Sepia)

Continuous • Full resolution: 1.0 or 2.5 fps
• Ultra High Speed mode: 10 fps, 1.0 megapixel setting (up to memory capacity)
• Exposure, focus and white balance bracketing (3 or 5 frames)
Flash • Built-in pop-up flash
• Modes: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Slow sync , Slow sync with red-eye reduction, On (fill-in)/Off
• Range: 0.7 to 6.0 m (wide, ISO 100); 1.5 - 3.0m (tele, ISO 100)
• External flash via hot-shoe
• Flash exposure compensation (+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps)
Storage

• CompactFlash
• 64 MB CF supplied*

Viewfinder • EVF (234,000 pixels), 0.44-inch
• Diopter adjustment
LCD monitor • Rear: 3.5" TFT LCD, 235,000 pixels
• Top: 1.44" Wide Color TFT LCD, 115,000 pixels.
Connectivity

• USB 2.0
• A/V out (stereo)
• DC-IN

Power

• Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery SLB-1974
• Charger included
• Optional AC adapter

In the box*

• Battery Charger
• Battery Pack
• CompactFlash card
• Lens Cap
• Lens Hood & adapter
• A/V & USB Cable
• Strap
• CD-ROM

Other features

PictBridge and DPOF compatible
sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces
High speed shooting mode
Live Histogram
Intervalometer
• Optional remote control
• Voice annotation
• 2/10 second self-timer
• TIFF and Raw modes

Weight inc battery 910 g (32.1 oz) / 870.5g without battery.
Dimensions 135.5 x 87 x 144.6 mm (5.4 x 3.4 x 5.7 in) including lens protrusion

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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