Samsung Pro815 Review
From a design point of view the Pro815 follows the fairly well-trodden route of looking - superficially at least - like a digital SLR, albeit one with a much larger rear plate to accommodate the huge 3.5-inch screen. It's built - to put it politely - like a brick outhouse, and at just under a kilogram is considerably heavier than most entry-level SLRs, due in no small part to the large lens. The body is almost entirely constructed of high impact plastic (presumably over a metal sub-frame), and it feels very well built. The design is, to a certain extent, defined by the big chunk of glass on the front and the giant screen on the back, with everything else squeezed in wherever there is a spare bit of space. First impressions are inevitably concerned with the size of the beast - in an age where miniaturization is the overriding concern of most product designers, the Pro815 seems to hark back to an earlier time, when bigger always meant better. That said, it handles very well, and unless you have tiny hands it is a marked improvement on ultra-compact SLR models such as Canon's Rebel XT (350D).
Side by side
As the picture here shows the Pro815 is similar in size to most of its direct competitors (it's actually the biggest, but not by a wide margin), but at over 900g it is by far the heaviest of this quartet (from left Fuji S900, Panasonic FZ30, Canon Rebel XT, Samsung Pro815).
In your hand
There's no denying the Pro815 is big, but it handles remarkably well, with front and rear grips ensuring you can use it single-handed (though of course it feels a lot more stable if you support the lens with your other hand). The majority of the shooting controls fall easily to hand, though the use of embossed (rather than printed) symbols on many of the buttons can make it difficult to work out what they do in low light.
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