Plenty of quality features in a premium compact shell.
- Sturdy, decent image quality
- Troublesome image stabilisation, noticeable chromatic aberration
The S1070 packs the standard range of point-and-shoot features into a body backed up by capable technical specifications. Apart from a few niggles, it takes accurate, good quality photographs.
Price$ 209.00 (AUD)
Samsung’s S1070 looks like yet another mid-range point and shoot compact camera. It’s more refined than the competition, though, with a quality image sensor that doesn’t boast a ridiculously overblown megapixel count.
The S1070 has 10.2 megapixels to work with, which might seem a little small given the numbers currently being bandied around by camera manufacturers. It uses them all well though, and it has a range of features that make it a quality product.
It doesn’t have fantastic build quality, with a plastic shell rather than the metal of units like Olympus’ MJU 1010. This leads to the body of the camera picking up plenty of smudges and fingerprints, but it’s easily wiped down. The lens and surround are made of slightly reflective brushed metal. The other main feature on the front of the device is the inbuilt flash. To its credit, the unit feels very sturdy and is well weighted with two AA batteries inserted.
The camera’s rear has a pleasantly bright and sharp 2.7in LCD, which is recessed around 1mm into the body of the camera. This will protect it from occasional scrapes and drops, but it does have the disadvantage of capturing a lot of dust. It’s accompanied by a series of clearly marked buttons for the camera’s various functions. There are also top-mounted controls for power, mode selection and shutter. We would have preferred having the zoom controls on the top of the unit rather than on the rear, but they are easy to access nonetheless.
The S1070 has all the standard features of a mid-level point-and-shoot. Face detection and colour alteration modes are available. However, if you want to alter sharpness, contrast and saturation levels you will have to use the manual mode.
The lens of the unit is nothing special, with a film equivalent zoom range of 35-105mm. This will be adequate for general usage both indoors and outdoors, but for close-ups and group photos you’ll be longing for a wider lens like the 28mm one on Nikon’s COOLPIX S610 .
From start-up to capturing a picture in sunny conditions takes slightly under 1.5 seconds, though you’ll need to wait an additional four seconds if you require the flash. Shutter lag is average at 0.15 seconds, and the shot-to-shot time is 2.2 seconds. Annoyingly, there’s no way to set a burst shot in automatic mode. In manual mode, however, we were able to capture continuous frames every 1.4 seconds.
The S1070 has some rudimentary digital image stabilisation built in, but it doesn’t always hit the mark. Some of our test photographs were noticeably blurred and smooth. It also requires you to enter a specific image stabilisation mode using the top-mounted jog dial, which we found counterintuitive.
In general, pictures were acceptable for a mid-level point-and-shoot camera. Images were slightly soft when examined in close detail, but they were still more than acceptable for small and medium prints. We also noticed a large amount of chromatic aberration — manifesting itself as purple fringing — on outdoor, high-contrast and high-brightness images.
Colour was a strong point of the S1070, with a wide range of hues. However, colours were slightly under-saturated at default settings. There was no significant bias towards any one colour, which helped make the images look accurate.
Noise was surprisingly bearable up to ISO 400, while ISO 800 adds significant noise to images — making it a last resort for quick low-light snaps. ISO 1600 is also available, but images become indistinct and grainy. Unless you want photos that look like they’ve been exposed to radiation, steer clear of this setting.
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