- Massive battery life, nice features
- The pictures are simply horrible, big
A camera that offers quite a bit, and would have scored well, but it is let down by pictures that are absolutely horrible. The purple fringing is like nothing we have ever seen before, and makes it impossible to recommend no matter how well implemented some other features are.
Price$ 649.00 (AUD)
One of the first things we do with a camera, before we get down to the nitty gritty reviewing process, is just spend fifteen minutes snapping shots of whatever catches our fancy. It is an attempt to get a beginners feel for the camera, before putting on our testing hat. The L55W produced some very colourful pictures during this period. The sun was bright, grasses were green and the trees were purple. No, that wasn't a mistake - they were purple, in part anyway.
From the opening few photographs we discovered something extremely wrong with outdoors shots. We snapped off about ten photos of some random foliage, and every one had bars of purple fringing around parts of the picture, in some cases several millimetres wide. This was most noticeable on dark, dull areas, such as tree branches, but it extended all the way to the edges of leaves. It only occurred for us in highly exposed situations but every other camera that comes through our offices is tested the same way, and never have we seen anything like this before. Even the brightest shot in the most open outdoors environment would not be expected to produce results like this.
The shots had other flaws as well, most notably an oversharpening of detailed areas. Leaves for example, when shot against a sky background looked almost like cut outs, or cell shaded artwork, as opposed to a photograph. We often rave about the necessity to have sharp edges, but it can also go the other way. Too sharp makes pictures look cheap, almost hand drawn.
Thankfully colour saturation was well balanced, with clear, even tones present across most of the shots. Image noise not much of a problem either, compared to many other cameras, but it was still noticeable in lower light conditions. Despite these things, the fringing problem, combined with overly sharp edges mean it is almost impossible for us to recommend this camera for any sort of serious photographer.
That is not to say the camera doesn't have a good side. Samsung are pushing a single big selling point with this unit, the 2.8" widescreen LCD, which occupiesswallows a huge amount of real-estate on the camera's back. The screen is a beautiful piece of work. It is one of the clearest, most responsive LCDs around at the moment, and it really helps line up your shots. The ability to shoot in widescreen, as well as in a regular aspect ratio, is a nice touch as well.
The big problem is that the L55W has to be an extremely large camera, just to accommodate the screen. It also sports a 4.8X optical zoom, which will take up a bit of space, but we're betting if not for the massive LCD, this camera could have been significantly smaller.
It is not the biggest camera we've seen, but it is far from the smallest. Measuring nearly 100cm across, and with a jutting right side that balloons out a little from the rest of the body, it is bulkier than most of the competition. That said, the jutting right side gives a slightly better grip, and the body is light, weighing roughly 170 grams. It looks quite good from the back, with the 2.8" screen really lending a professional feel to the camera, but the overall design won't win any awards for aesthetics.
The keys are mostly easy to access, except perhaps the directional pad, which requires an awkward thumb bend. We really disliked the mounting of the top two keys, which control the aspect ratio and Ppictbridge. They required some serious pressure before they begun to shift even the slightest, and were all but impossible to use on a regular basis.
If speed is your game, you'll be pleased to hear the L55W was an impressively quick camera. Power-up was barely a second, just long enough for the lens to extend, and shutter lag was virtually non-existent at one tenth of a second. Writing images to the memory took just over a second each, and was noticeably quicker than many of the competition.
It also comes with an army of features that will satisfy everyone short of professional photographers. In addition to the standard ISO, white balance and exposure settings, there are colour controls (for red, green and blue) and a sharpness option. There are also a number of picture effects such as framing a shot or tiling several together. The continuous shot function further impressed, taking a very rapid two shots per second, but unfortunately it stops after just four shots. There is even an exposure bracketing feature, which is often only found on more advanced models.
We were expecting the massive screen on the L55W to draw a lot of power, and so had low expectations with regards to battery life. Thus, we were absolutely blown away when we managed a mammoth 900 shots before battery ran empty. That is an absolutely huge total, surpassed only by several SLRs, and those don't use the LCD as a viewfinder.
Join the newsletter!
Why virtualise your NAS environment?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- 2 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 3 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 4 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
- 5 LG V30+ Review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
Latest News Articles
- Fujifilm Introduces Two High Performance Cinema Lenses for its Mirrorless Digital Camera X Series Range
- Fujifilm announces the Elite X-H1
- Panasonic Releases Impressive LUMIX DC-GX9 Camera For The Enthusiast
- Panasonic try to set new standard for Travel Cams with Lumix DC-TZ220
- Panasonic Announces Compact, Lightweight ultra-telephoto LEICA Lens
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Sony a7R Mk III review: The strongest case yet for ditching your DSLR
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Oppo R11s: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTOnsite Support Engineer (sys admin)Other
- FT.Net / SharePoint Developer - GosfordNSW
- FTData ScientistOther
- FTSenior Digital Delivery Manager - Project ManagerACT
- FTDevelopment Expert (EL1)SA
- FTWeb DesignerOther
- TPProject Manager - ICT Infrastructure - SecurityQLD
- FTUX Design Manager (Urgent!!)Other
- FTNetezza Developer - Brisbane locationOther
- FTArchitect - Performance EngineeringOther
- FTApplication Support ManagerOther
- TPPrincipal Solution Architect | CloudQLD
- FTBI Solution DesignerNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- FTSAP CRM ABAP-BRF+ DevelopersOther
- TPSAP Functional Consultant - FinanceQLD
- FTTest AnalystSA
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCTechnology Architect x 3NSW
- FTScrum Master, 726793Other
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTCampaign ManagerOther
- CCFull-Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTManager Information ServicesQLD
- CCJava Full Stack DeveloperVIC