Samsung Digimax U-CA5

    In summary

    Available in grey, wine red or slate blue Samsung's Digimax U-CA5 sports a 5-megapixel CCD and Samsung-branded 3x optical zoom lens. Although designed for point-and-shoot photographers, like the V700 model it has lots of user-adjustable controls, including some innovative effects settings. However, its idiosyncratic menu system makes some of them hard to reach. . . [more]

    Full review

    Leadpic_Samsung%20Digimax%20U-CA5

    Rating (out of 10)

    Build: 7.5
    Ease of use: 8.0
    Image quality: 7.0
    Value for money: 8.5

    Available in grey, wine red or slate blue, Samsung's Digimax U-CA5 sports a 5-megapixel CCD and Samsung-branded 3x optical zoom lens. Although designed for point-and-shoot photographers, like the V700 model it has lots of user-adjustable controls, including some innovative effects settings. However, its idiosyncratic menu system makes some of them hard to reach.

    A slider switches the U-CA5 from movie capture to voice recording to still picture mode. The zoom rocker works for both capture and playback and the four-way controller is used to set the flash, macro, voice memo and self-timer/remote controls, with a central button accessing the menu. After that it gets tricky.

    A button marked 'M' accesses the manual and scene modes (11 all told), while the '+/-' button controls the manual settings for ISO, white balance, exposure compensation and colour adjustments. Seven white balance settings are provided, including custom measurement. Playback is initiated via a button below the four-way controller.

    As well as the regular flash settings, the U-CA5 boasts a clever Safety Flash function that boosts sensitivity in low light conditions where the photographer doesn't want to use flash. The camera is supplied with a cradle that recharges the battery and simultaneously allows shots to be downloaded. Interestingly, both the camera and cradle use the same 24-pin charging system as many mobile phones, which means the same charger can be used for topping up the battery. Local distributor, Adeal, generously bundles a 128MB SD card with the camera.

    In bright outdoor lighting, the test camera produced fairly contrasty pictures with little in the way of highlight or shadow detail. However colour saturation was modest and overall sharpness was quite good. Low light shots were reasonably noise-free but the flash required ISO 400 sensitivity to illuminate an average-sized room. Colour accuracy was adequate but the auto white balance had the usual problems with incandescent lighting. Colour accuracy with the manual pre-sets was, however, good. We measured an average capture lag of 1.2 seconds, which reduced to 0.5 seconds with pre-focusing. The burst mode recorded shots at 0.75 frames/second to available capacity. [23]

    IMATEST RESULTS

    Samsung-UCA-SFR

    Resolution is good - but not outstanding. This camera should be able to produce acceptable A4 prints.

    Samsung-UCA-5-CA

    Chromatic aberration is detectable at a low level. Problems should only be visible at high magnifications.

    Samsung-UCA-5_colour-error

    Colour accuracy is good and saturation is close to normal. Any colour errors shown should be easily correctable with editing software.

    Samsung-UCA-5_colours

    The above chart confirms the camera is capable of high colour accuracy but suggests that image noise may occur at high ISO settings.

     

    Specifications

    Leadpic_Samsung%20Digimax%20U-CA5

    Image sensor: 5.34 x 4.01mm CCD with 5.25 million photosites (5.13 megapixels effective)
    Lens: 5.8-17.4mm f2.8-4.8 (35-105mm in 35mm format)
    Zoom ratio: 3x optical, up to 5x digital
    Dimensions (wxhxd): 102.2 x 54.7 x 29.6mm
    Weight: 130g (without batteries and card)
    Image formats: Stills - JPEG (EXIF 2.2); Movies - AVI (MPEG-4)/WAV (VGA at 30/15 fps)
    Shutter speed range: 1 to 1/2,000 sec. (to 16 sec. in Night Scene mode)
    Focus system/range: TTL-AF; range 80cm to infinity; macro 5 to 80cm
    Exposure metering/control: Multi, Spot metering; Program AE plus 10 scene modes
    White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent H, Fluorescent L, Tungsten, Custom
    Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Slow sync, Off, SF; range 0.3-3.0 m
    ISO range: Auto, 100, 200, 400
    Sequence shooting: 0.75 fps to card capacity
    Storage Media: 128 MB SD Card; holds 44 high-resolution images or 808 VGA shots
    LCD monitor: 1.8-inch colour TFT LCD (118,080 dot)
    Power supply: SLB-1137 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery

     

    Retailers

     

    CamBuy

     

    www.cambuy.com.au
    Digital cameras, lenses and accessories with 100% genuine Australian manufacturer's warranties.
    Ph: (02) 9029 2219

    Camera House

     

    CH_Logo120

    www.camerahouse.com.au
    Ph: 133 686
    The largest speciality photographic retail chain in Australia.

    Camera Pro

     

    www.camerapro.net.au
    CameraPro Pty Ltd
    Suite 607, 180 Queen St, Brisbane 4000
    Tel: 07 3333 2900
    Australian owned and run company based in Brisbane.

    Camerasdirect

     

    CamerasDirect133

    www.camerasdirect.com.au
    Retailer of digital camera equipment and more.
    Secure online shopping and delivery across Australia.
    Ph: 1300 727 056

    Camerastore.com.au

    Camerastore.com.au
    Ph: 1800 155 067

    Camera-Warehouse

     

    camera-warehouse120

    www.camera-warehouse.com.au
    Comprehensive range of digital cameras and accessories online (www.camera-warehouse.com.au) and an online print service (www.royalexpress.com.au).

    Digital Camera Warehouse

     

    www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au
    174 Canterbury Road 367 High Street
    Canterbury Northcote
    NSW 2193 VIC 3070
    Ph: 1300 365 220

    Electronics Warehouse

     

    www.electronicswarehouse.com.au
    1300 801 885
    Australian retailer of Vapex rechargeable batteries offering factory direct prices and fast, free shipping Australia wide.

    Greg Smith's Photo Accessories

     

    www.dvdreamtime.com.au
    1800 50 80 82
    Big range of photographic accessories, Australia-wide shipping.

    Paxtons

     

    www.paxtons.com.au
    285 George St
    Sydney NSW 2000
    Ph: (02) 9299 2999

    Photographic Equipment & Supplies - Retail & Repairs. Click here for list of stores.

    Ted's Cameras

     

    Teds-Logo120

    www.teds.com.au

    1800 186 895
    Big range of cameras and photographic products with stores in most states and online.

    Rating

     

    BUY