Samsung L210 Review

 
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Samsung L210 Optics

Lens

Zoom
A standard 3x optical zoom lens with fair performance. Digital zoom performance is soft at full size, but results are passable for smaller print sizes.

34mm 102mm 5x Digital Zoom

The Samsung L210's optical zoom range covers the equivalent of a 34-102mm zoom on a 35mm camera, which is a typical range for a consumer digital camera. Results at full wide angle are fair, with only a small amount of blurring in the corners of the frame and a low level of coma distortion. Details appear stylized from some edge enhancement in high-contrast areas, but finer details in midtones and shadows are less distinct; foliage just looks odd, more like a painting than a photograph (this has less to do with the lens than the processing, but it bears mentioning). At full telephoto, detail definition is much better, though still unusual, and corner softening is again minimal. The camera's 5x digital zoom does sacrifice resolution and detail for digital enlargement at 100%, but results should be good enough for small print sizes.

Macro
About average macro area, with slightly soft detail overall. The L210's flash has trouble up close, though.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Samsung L210's macro setting captured an average-sized minimum area measuring 1.82 x 1.37 inches (46 x 35 millimeters). Though resolution and detail are high, details are slightly soft throughout the frame. That said, the L210 produced much less blurring in the corners than we're accustomed to seeing here. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The Samsung L210's flash had a lot of trouble throttling down for the macro area, and grossly overexposed the shot. Thus, you'll need to stick to external lighting for macro shots with the L210.

Distortion
Average barrel distortion at wide angle, and a small amount at telephoto.

Barrel distortion at 34mm is 0.8%
Barrel at 102mm is less than 0.1%

The Samsung L210's 0.8% barrel distortion at wide angle is actually average compared to the most consumer digital cameras, though I find it a little too high. At the telephoto end, the L210's less than 0.1% barrel distortion is low and barely noticeable. This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

Chromatic aberration
Moderately high distortion at wide angle in terms of pixel count, though pixels aren't too bright. Very little distortion at telephoto.

Wide: Moderately high but dull,
top left @ 200%
Wide: Slightly brighter,
top right @ 200%
Tele: Virtually nonexistent,
top left @200%
Tele: Only a small amount,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderately high at wide angle, showing about 6-9 pixels of coloration on either side of the target lines, though the effect isn't terribly bright or distracting. At telephoto, distortion is much lower, with practically none visible in the top left corner. This distortion is visible as a slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.

Corner Sharpness
Fairly strong blurring in the corners of the frame at wide angle, but very little blurring at telephoto.

Wide: Soft in the
corners (lower right).
Wide: Sharp at center.
Tele: Little softening in the
corners (lower left).
Tele: Sharper at center.

The Samsung L210 produced soft corners of the frame at full wide angle, with the strongest blurring in the lower right corner. At full telephoto, softening in the corners was minimal.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Very good accuracy from the LCD monitor.

34mm eq., LCD 102mm eq., LCD

The Samsung L210's LCD monitor showed about 103% coverage accuracy at wide angle, and about 100% at telephoto. Great results!

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Samsung L210 Photo Gallery.

Samsung L210

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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