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Samsung L310W review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £130
inc VAT


1/1.72in 13.4-megapixel sensor, 3.6x zoom (28-102mm equivalent), 138g

The L310W has some remarkable specifications for such an affordable camera.

With a massive 13.4-megapixel resolution, it’s hot on the heels of Canon’s G10 and Nikon’s P6000 – both premium models that cost over twice as much (What’s New, Shopper 253). The 3.6x zoom range starts at 28mm for true wide-angle photos, and optical stabilisation counteracts blur at slow shutter speeds. It has manual exposure for creative photographers, while casual snappers will enjoy features such as smile and blink detection. Packing so much into a slim, aluminium-clad camera for under £100 is remarkable.

Sadly, impressive specifications at a low price rarely make for a great camera. Performance was poor: the autofocus is fast, but the huge photos take a long time to save. There was an average of 3.3 seconds between shots, rising to 5.1 with the flash. Continuous mode crawled at 0.6fps, during which the screen was blank and the camera silent, which is confusing. We had to select the macro mode to focus on subjects 50cm away – most cameras can manage this with their normal autofocus. The optical stabilisation was less effective than we’re used to, keeping 20 per cent of shots sharp at a 1?15s shutter speed.

Photos in bright light were nowhere near as detailed as those from Canon’s G10. Even at ISO 100, Samsung’s 8-megapixel NV8 captured sharper detail. At higher ISO speeds, the L310W disguised noise by applying a blur to the entire image, retaining no more detail than a 1-megapixel image offers.

Despite its incredible price, the L310W’s only strength is its wide-angle lens. Fujfilm’s F100fd is much better value, even considering the extra cost.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
CCD effective megapixels 13.4 megapixels
CCD size 1/1.72in
Viewfinder none
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 3.6x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-102mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,224×3,168
Maximum movie resolution 800×592
Movie frame rate at max quality 20fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (MPEG-4)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 30MB internal
Battery type 3.7V 1,050mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 330 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
Body material plastic
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 138g
Size 61x92x23mm

Buying Information

Price £130

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, manual
Shutter speed 8 to 1/1,500 seconds
Aperture range f/2.8 to f/7.1
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, dynamic range
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, smile detect