Samsung L55W Regina SK

The L55W is a fun camera rather than one for creative photographers. There's no full manual control but you can overlay cartoon masks over portraits. However, on these terms it succeeds, providing decent image quality and plenty of novel features, not least the huge widescreen LCD.

Greschner Mark Photographer
(306) 522-1336
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Focus 91 Photography
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Don'S Photo Shop Ltd
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Austring Photography Ltd
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Cameraone.Ca
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Red Leaf Studios Inc
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Oktober Revolution Photography
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Gj Photo
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Shannon Brunner Photographer
(306) 652-7197
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Samsung L55W

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The front of Samsung's L55W may look fairly unassuming, but at the back there's a wide-aspect screen that measures a whopping 2.8" from corner to corner. The CCD has a standard 4:3 aspect ratio, so although switching from widescreen to 4:3 makes the onscreen image smaller, the resulting photos are actually bigger as widescreen mode simply discards the top and bottom of the picture rather than adding extra pixels at the sides. Still, Samsung justifies the concept with a wide-angle lens that goes from 28-135mm (35mm equivalent), so the camera can capture a wider view than most compact cameras.

We're not sure whether widescreen is a huge benefit to still images, but for video it's perfect. The camera uses MPEG4 and AAC compression to capture 640x368-pixel video and superb-quality audio at around 16MB per minute. It's a shame the compression ratio can't be adjusted, as video compression artefacts were a bit too noticeable for our liking. Automatic exposure was smooth, but videos shot indoors tended to be a little dark.

In stills mode the camera was perplexing at first. Its settings are spread over three different menu systems, each of which is accessed through a different button. However, once we started to remember where to find things, the camera was fast and easy to use. Image quality was consistently decent, displaying vibrant colours and pleasing skin tones. A manual white-balance mode helped to produce excellent indoor shots, although the long exposure times required a steady hand. Image noise was barely evident, and the extended zoom range and excellent macro mode helped capture plenty of detail.

The L55W is a fun camera rather than one for creative photographers. There's no full manual control but you can overlay cartoon masks over portraits. However, on these terms it succeeds, providing decent image quality and plenty of novel features, not least the huge widescreen LCD.

System Specifications

5 megapixels (2,592x1,944 pixels), 4.8x optical zoom, 24MB internal memory, SD slot

Author: Ben Pitt

Computer Shopper Online