Samsung Pro815 review
I have had this camera for about 4 months. I have found it to be excellent in every way: built line a tank, a comprehensive set of features equal to most DSLRs + movie mode (including independent focus AND exposure locks, and excellent macro options, and RAW, not that I use it). Moreover, all the manual options have a direct button access (the camera is studded with them). There are 3 viewfinder options, including one at waist level, for that low-level shot. Great colour, direct from the camera. Great zoom 28-420mm. Great battery (1900mah) that lasts all day. Approx 550 exposures on a 2gb card. For every shot in programme/auto modes, the camera uses the lowest useful ISO available (50 or 100) to produce clear noise-frre images. There is no IS, but I haven't missed it. In fact, I have some hand-held exposures of around 1 second taken in my TV room using only the light from the TV and a 25 watt TV lamp that are really excelent. I also have a Sony DSC100 (very good), a Canon EOS 630 film slr, a Minolta 160c film compact, and a Pentax MZ50. The Pro 815 really does all they can do and more. I have to admit it: digital is easier, more immediate, and produces more pleasing results than film (though I'm not giving film away altogether yet!)
I only they made a digicam with all the features of the Pro815 with the CMOS of the Sony R1!!!
In bright light, the EVF and LCD both struggle a bit. Both could use more resolution.
There is a preview histogram, but not in review mode: a pity.
Compared to the Sony DSCW100, it is HUGE, but that is no real problem -you just get used to it.
Overall, very satisfied. If and when I go for a DSLR, I'll be checking out the Samsung brand first.
Edited 18th Sept 2007.
Now I've had it longer, a small but annoying problem has arisen in that -when using the camera in a lens down position- the lens continues to extend under the force of gravity until it is fully extended. (This upsets AF, which is how I became aware of the problem) Of course, this is easily prevented by parking a finger on the zoom ring, but it is annoying and somewhat disappointing all the same. So I have downgraded the "construction" to 4.5.