Samsung L85 Review

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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Samsung Digimax L85
Resolution: 8.10 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/1.8 inch
(7.2mm x 5.3mm)
Lens: 5.00x zoom
(38-190mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
Extended ISO: 50 - 400
Shutter: 1/2000 - 15 sec
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.8 in.
(111 x 60 x 21 mm)
MSRP: $500
Availability: 04/2006
Manufacturer: Samsung
Full specs: Samsung L85 specifications

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5.00x zoom 1/1.8 inch
size sensor
image of Samsung Digimax L85
Front side of Samsung L85 digital camera Front side of Samsung L85 digital camera      

The Samsung Digimax L85 is (according to the company) the world's first digital camera to offer an HDMI interface. For our readers who may not be familiar with HDMI, which stands for "High-Definition Multimedia Interface", it is used to connect digital audio/video devices to high definition televisions, and Samsung states that the interface will allow users to see images on their HD television sets "in their original quality". The L85 also offers a wealth of other features including an eight megapixel CCD imager and a Samsung SHD-branded 5x optical zoom lens with a 38 - 190mm equivalent focal range - a moderate wide angle to a moderate telephoto.

For framing images, the L85 forgoes any form of optical viewfinder - increasingly rare on digicams these days - in favor of a large, high resolution 2.5" LCD display with 230,000 pixels. The lack of an optical viewfinder, while not unusual, is a shame since they add a good degree of versatility - letting you get the shot when you can't make out the LCD in bright sunlight, or save battery life by disabling the LCD when accurate framing isn't vital. Images are stored on Secure Digital / MultiMediaCards, or in 32MB of internal memory. The Samsung L85 has eleven scene modes to help beginners achieve the results they're looking for without the need to understand subtleties like shutter speeds, apertures and the like. The L85 determines exposures with multi, center-weighted or spot metering, and offers 2.0EV of exposure compensation in 0.4EV increments. Seven white balance settings are available including an auto mode, five presets and the ability to measure a custom white balance. ISO sensitivity is controlled automatically or manually, ranging from 50 to 400. The Digimax L85 also offers an unusually capable movie mode, capturing clips at up to 720x480 resolution with audio, at a framerate of up to 30 fps using MPEG4 compression - which offers higher quality and better compression than the MotionJPEG compression used in most cameras.

Images and movies captured on the Samsung L85 are transferred to your computer over a USB 2.0 connection (we're not currently sure if this is a High-Speed or Full-Speed type). Power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. List pricing for the Samsung Digimax L85 is set at $499.

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