Thursday, 2 February 2012

Samsung PL121 camera thoughts and Review

Now that I have owned this camera for a while, I think I have experimented with it enough so that I can review it properly. Obviously, I'm not very knowledgable about photography in itself, so this review won't be very technical. I will mostly be telling you about my impression on the camera's image quality in different circumstances, ease of use, design, etc.

Anyway I hope it helps some of you that might be thinking about getting this camera :)

I can say both great and not so good things about this camera, so let's begin!

I'll start with the good :

Front Display : The front display is great. I love it just as much as I though I would. It's very practical for self portraits and for pictures of me and friends when everyone wants to be in the picture! It's also a nice option if you are filming yourself up close (the screen is not that big, so if you are not close to the camera it will be useless because you won't be able to see anything) because you can see straight away what it looks like while you are filming.

Design : In terms on design, I think the camera is the perfect size. It very lightweight, just like any point and shoot should be in my opinion. That way, you can bring it around with no problems. The screen at the back is also quite big, another important feature in my opinion.

Picture Quality : As far as the actual shooting with this camera, the picture quality is very nice, the different mods are easy to use, just like any function in the camera really. The colors when taking pictures with the PL121 are also very vibrant (in comparison to other cameras I've had in the past) a definite bonus!

Camera modes : The modes are quite useful for what I do, so I enjoy them. I like the beauty shot (which makes your skin look smoother) and the image highlight (for closeups of products), the most. Another great one is dawn, which we used a lot while traveling during time when there was a lot of sun and it would wash out the colors in the picture.

Program mode : It let's you control of a wide variety of shooting options, is very easy to understand and use. I love that you can choose a macro mode for closeups and that it is possible to specify the type of lighting in which you are shooting. I won't details all the options, but even I, with absolutely no knowledge about photography, was able to understand most options and use them to make my pictures a little better.

Price : Another obvious plus with this camera is the price, it's very affordable. Right now, where I live it retails at 140$ CAD which is a very reasonable price for a good quality point and shoot. Since newer, better models are always coming out in the camera industry, it's easy to see why you can feel like your camera is outdated quite quickly. Because of that, I think it's a better choice, if you are not getting pro equipment, to go with something not too expensive since most likely the price of what you purchase will drop quite a bit in the few months following, and you will be able to get better quality at the same price. Anyway that how I see it and that's why I'm glad I chose a camera that isn't too expensive :D

The not so good:

I don't have a lot of complaints about this camera, but there a couple things that need to be mentionned.

Video mode : First, the video quality, while HD, is not great. It's quite grainy and the colors are a bit dull when filming. It cannot withstand poor lighting conditions whatsoever. In other words, it's not great for making high quality videos, it's fine for little clips, but nothing fancy.

Low Light Shooting : Second, in low light, you have got to be absolutely still to take a picture without flash, which means you have to use a tripod. I'm pretty sure it's normal since I've had this issue at different degrees with every camera I've owned, but it's quite restrictive in terms of party pictures, dawn, sunset, etc.

Missing Options : Third, again for night shooting, the camera's Night Portrait mode often doesn't cut it for me. I like to use Program mode to set the aperture, shutter speed and ISO values myself to get the best results possible. However, with this camera, you don't have access to all of these values. You can change the ISO and Shutter Speed, but you cannot modify the Aperture value which is a bummer.

Shiny Finish : Last, and this is probably the issue which is the most unimportant the shiny finish. While I love the looks of the shiny exterior and the front screen that appears within it, it does get a little bit dirty in comparison to matte finish models. You can always see finger marks on my camera which makes it more dull and old looking. Not very difficult to fix, but I'm not about to start wipping my camera everytime I use it to make it shiny XD Now I'm complainning about this, but it's quite minimal marking in comparison to a black or darker color since mine is pink, so it's not that bad.

My overall thoughts :

If you are looking to make lots of videos or shoot a lot in low lighting conditions, this camera would not be the best choice for you. However if you are looking for a point and shoot that is easy to use, that gives decent image quality and offer a couple cool functionnalities, then I would definitely recommend it. I enjoy this camera and I carry it around all the time!

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  1. Thanks for providing such a great article, it was excellent and very informative.
    as a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed.
    thank you :)

    1. Thank you so much! I'm really happy that you found this helpful :)



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