Samsung GX-1S digital SLR camera
To venture into the market of the DSLR camera as a perfect stranger can be very tricky indeed. Samsung have adopted a rather clever approach to this problem by joining forces with one of the "old hands". However, where we saw Sony and Panasonic add a new flavour, Samsung have resorted to a copy of an existing camera. A pity really, especially as Samsung really do have more than a fair share of know-how, and simply could have done better. Furthermore, Samsung's first DSLR, the GX-1S, is a model that happens to be slightly outdated already. Pentax are in the process of lining up the successors for the equal. However, Samsung too introduces a high resolution DSLR camera this year. During a show in Korea, and later on at the Photokina 2006, the audience was presented with a 10 Megapixel digital SLR camera. Not entirely coincidentally, this model yet again shows a great deal of resemblance to the 10MP Pentax camera.
Samsung GX 1S - Compact reflex camera
However, this does not mean the Samsung GX-1S is a bad camera, in fact, not at all. The Samsung GX 1S is an attractive compact digital SLR camera that leaves very little to be desired as far as clarity and simplicity are concerned. What's more, it is a camera that will grow along with the skills of the user; the Samsung 1S offers a wide variety of options that will come in more than handy as you expand your photographic skills. This also makes the Samsung GX-1S a very suitable camera for the experienced photographer looking for a compact SLR camera, perhaps in addition to a larger model. Because the GX 1S truly is a small camera.
Samsung GX-1S - 6.1 Megapixel camera
With its 6 Megapixels, the Samsung GX-1S isn't quite keeping up with most of the competition. The Nikon D80 features 10 Megapixels, and even the "old" Canon EOS 350D offers 8. Just before the start of Photokina, Canon have introduced an EOS 400D, indeed also equipped with a 10 Megapixel sensor. However, one should never go by numbers alone; it is in fact what can be gotten out of the pixels that really matters - and in the case of the Samsung, this is still surprisingly much. The camera can even be put to excellent use with higher ISO values. Although it can't quite compete with Canon just yet, it certainly comes close.
Samsung GX-1S - 2.5 inch LCD screen
As a DSLR camera, the Samsung GX-1S is very pleasant to work with. The large LCD monitor proves a joy to use, not only when reviewing the photos, but also when browsing through the clear and straightforward menu. However, the colour and contrast rendition on the small screen could certainly do with some improvements. I think a firmware update should do the trick. And now that we're on the topic of improvements: I'd appreciate a separate button for the light metering and the auto focus settings.
Samsung GX1S - Schneider Kreuznach D-Xenon 18-55mm lens
The supplied kit lens, the Schneider Kreuznach D-Xenon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 performs very well indeed. Not only do its looks resemble that of the Pentax one, the results also prove identical, something that makes me suspect this lens too has merely been equipped with a different nametag. The lens requires you to use the aperture quite heavily in order to get rid of the corner shading. Moreover, the wide-angle mode shows a fair amount of purple fringing. Still, this lens does not leave much room for complaint. Furthermore, it goes without saying that a wide variety of Pentax lenses are available for those who wish to expand, or want to invest a little extra in quality.
Samsung GX-1S - DSLR camera market
The Samsung GX-1S will certainly not be the only Samsung we will encounter in the near future. That is, besides the GX-1L of course, a camera that has already been announced, and that is based on the Pentax *ist DL2. The renumbered models of Pentax at least form the first step. In fact, I would not be surprised if Samsung baffle us all with something truly amazing one of these days. After all, it just wouldn't be right for a cutting-edge electronics brand like Samsung to sell something that clearly does not come from Samsung. It seems unlikely to me that the next Samsung will be an exact copy of the Pentax K100D. Samsung will simply have to come with something more convincing. After all, if one is presented with the choice between a relatively unfamiliar DSLR photo brand like Samsung, and the already established and distinguished Pentax, I must admit I cannot think of a reason why to go for the former. Did I not say in the introduction that photographers often turn out to be quite conservative?
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SanDisk Extreme III SD card
The Secure Digital memory card is a small and light-weight card that is used more and more often, not only in (compact) cameras, but also in other devices. Secure Digital cards also happen to be fast, especially when using a fast version of SanDisk, the Extreme III. In combination with this type of fast card, the images are quickly stored. Especially when working with JPEG format images, you are able to keep shooting almost continuously. When working in RAW you will run into the occasional hold-up until the buffer is emptied. A RAW file is approximately 10MB in size, whilst a JPEG in the highest quality amounts to approximately 1.5 to 2MB. Consequently, a card of 512MB is more than welcome, and I would even recommend a memory card with a minimum storage capacity of 1GB to those photographing in RAW. The table below shows the approximate amount of images that will fit onto a 512MB Secure Digital flash card.
Considering 512MB of storage capacity:
Resolution RAW - 3008x2008 pixels - 46 images
Resolution JPEG - best - 3008 x 2008 pixels - 167 images
Resolution JPEG - better - 3008 x 2008 pixels - 311 images
Resolution JPEG - good - 3008 x 2008 pixels - 498 images
Resolution JPEG - best - 2400 x 1600 pixels - 234 images
Resolution JPEG - better - 2400 x 1600 pixels - 415 images
Resolution JPEG - good - 2400 x 1600 pixels - 674 images
Resolution JPEG - best - 1536 x 1029 pixels - 453 images
Resolution JPEG - better - 1536 x 1029 pixels - 722 images
Resolution JPEG - good - 1536 x 1029 pixels - 1115 images