Samsung S1050

      Photo Review 8.5

      In summary

      An affordably-priced high-resolution digicam with a 5x optical zoom and large LCD.Samsung’s S1050 almost qualifies as a slimline digicam but its protruding lens makes it too large to be truly pocketable. Featuring a 10.1-megapixel CCD imager and 5x optical zoom lens it has a large LCD monitor (but no viewfinder) and many features that will appeal to budding photographers, although it will probably be used mainly as a point-and-shoot camera. . . [more]

      Full review


      Samsung’s S1050 almost qualifies as a slimline digicam but its protruding lens makes it too large to be truly pocketable. Featuring a 10.1-megapixel CCD imager and 5x optical zoom lens it has a large LCD monitor (but no viewfinder) and many features that will appeal to budding photographers, although it will probably be used mainly as a point-and-shoot camera.


      Constructed from both plastic and metal components, the S1050 is reasonably well built, although the cover to its battery/card compartment is a little less robust than we’d like. Although the lens barrel protrudes from the camera body, the lens itself retracts behind a couple of flaps (which are easily opened with a fingertip).


      The top panel has recessed power and shutter buttons (the latter large enough to be usable) plus a mode dial with settings for Auto, P, A, S and M shooting modes, along with ASR (Samsung’s ISO-boosting ‘Advanced Shake Reduction’ system), a Scene position that accesses 11 pre-sets and a Movie mode. The Wise Shot function that captures two shots (with and without flash) is linked to the ASR setting.


      Most of the rear panel is covered by the 3.0-inch LCD, beside which are (from the top) a zoom rocker, Effects and Function buttons, an arrow pad and playback and face recognition buttons. All buttons are small and raised only a little above the camera body. The face recognition function is the same as on other current models. It can detect up to nine faces in a shot and adjust focus and exposure accordingly. Focus is generally locked on the nearest person.

      One interesting feature on the S1050 is One-touch Playback, which displays the last shot when the playback button is pressed, even when the power is off. Pressing the down button on the arrow pad accesses two Macro settings, Macro (which focuses from 10-80 cm with the lens in the wide position and 50-150cm for tele) and Super Macro, which focuses between 1cm and 10cm but only with the wide lens setting. Manual focusing is also available, covering distances down to 1cm with wide and 50cm with tele. A distance scale is displayed on the LCD and users set the focus with the horizontal arrows on the arrow pad.

      The S1050 also supports continuous shooting at frame rates between 2.5 and 7.5 fps. The latter requires the Motion Capture mode, which can record up to 30 images at XGA (1024 x 768 pixel) resolution. The Effect button accesses an interesting Composite shooting mode that lets users combine up to four shots into a single image. It’s relatively clumsy and you have to be careful with your subject positioning and choice of background if you wish to minimise the visibility of joins in the end result.

      Slightly more effective is the Preset focus frames mode, which allows you to specify areas that you want sharply imaged. But, given the wide depth of field of this camera, we suspect most users will find them not worth the hassle of locating the setting via the camera’s menu system. Other effects include a variety of colour tones (including B&W, sepia and negative), post-capture saturation adjustment and a range of nine frames that can be added to shots.
      The movie mode adds 160×128 pixel resolution to the options provided by the L45W but is otherwise very similar. Power is supplied by two AA batteries but the AA alkaline batteries supplied with the test camera were depleted before we had taken 30 shots, which suggests a possible fault in the test camera. Unfortunately, Samsung provides no data on CIPA testing of power usage.
      Shots taken with the test camera showed most of the characteristics of a small-sensor, high-resolution digicam. Although pictures were bright and colourful, highlights were frequently blown-out and shadows were dark and noise-affected, even at high resolution and quality settings. JPEG compression ratios were very modest, as shown in the table below.


      Super Fine



















      Imatest showed resolution to be slightly better than average for a 10-megapixel digicam and revealed little loss of resolution up to ISO 1600. A fair amount of processing was required to achieve this. Colour saturation was only slightly boosted and overall colour accuracy was quite good at most ISO settings ““ although shifts were observed in cyans and greens. At ISO 1600, a significant loss of colour saturation was observed, particularly in yellows and greens. This was obvious in shots.

      Lateral chromatic aberration was low but slight coloured fringing was seen at the edges of outdoor shots. Close-ups were competently handled and digital zoom shots were significantly better than many cameras produce, although overall contrast was a little high. Flash coverage was good at all ISO settings with no evidence of colour shifts.

      Long exposures at high ISO settings were very noise-affected and showed a significant loss of colour saturation, although colours were accurately rendered at ISO settings up to 400 and noise was relatively low at this setting. Noise was also evident in flash shots at ISO settings above 400. We wouldn’t recommend using the top ISO settings unless there was no other option. Flash coverage was good at all ISO settings.

      The test camera produced similar white balance results to most digicams, failing to remove the colour casts from either incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Only manual measurement produced natural-looking colours, although the residual casts left by the pre-sets would be easily removable with editing software.

      The test camera powered up and shut down in approximately 2.5 seconds. We measured an average capture lag of 0.75 seconds, which reduced to 0.15 seconds with pre-focusing. Shot-to-shot times averaged 2.3 seconds without flash and 4-6 seconds with. The standard continuous shooting mode recorded four 4.96MB JPEGs at 1.6 second intervals, while the M. Capture mode recorded 20 203KB shots at 0.05 second intervals. It took just over seven seconds to process a burst of shots.



      Colour accuracy at ISO settings up to 800.


      Note the loss of saturation in yellows and greens at ISO 1600.


      Minimal image processing has been applied at ISO 100.


      In contrast, considerable processing has been applied to maintain resolution at ISO 1600.







      Digital zoom



      Auto white balance with fluorescent light.



      Auto white balance with incandescent light.



      ISO 100



      ISO 1600




      Image sensor: 7.18 x 5.32 mm CCD with 10.3 million photosites (10.1 megapixels effective)
      Lens: 7.8-39mm f/2.8-7.4 zoom (38-190mm in 35mm format)
      Zoom ratio: 5x optical, up to 5x digital
      Image formats: Stills ““ JPEG (Exif 2.2); Movies ““ AVI (MPEG4)/WAV
      Image Sizes: Stills ““ 3648 x 2736, 3648 x 2432, 3648 x 2052, 3072 x 2304, 2592 x 1536, 1024 x 768; Movies ““ 800 x 592 at 20 or 15 fps, 720 x 480, 640 x 480, 320 x 240 at 30, 20 or 15 fps
      Shutter speed range: Auto ““ 1/2000 sec; Manual ““ 15-1/2000 sec.
      Image Stabilisation: ASR processing
      Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 EV in 1⁄ 2 EV steps.
      Focus system/range: TTL auto, multi, centre, face recognition AF; range 80 cm to infinity; macro 10-80 cm; Auto Macro 1-10 cm; manual focus ““ 1 cm to infinity
      Exposure metering/control: Multi, spot, face recognition metering; Program AE plus 11 scene pre-sets
      ISO range: Auto, ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
      White balance: Auto, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent (x2), tungsten, Custom
      Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto (with/without red-eye reduction), fill-in, slow synch, off; range 0.2-3.0 m
      Sequence shooting: 2.5 fps normal; 7.5 fps M-Capture (up to 20 frames at 1024 x 768 pixel resolution)
      Storage Media: 19MB internal memory plus SD/MMC expansion slot (up to 2GB)
      LCD monitor: 3.0-inch TFT LCD (230,000 pixels)
      Power supply: 2x AA alkaline or NiMH batteries
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 104.5 x 64.2 x 25.5 mm
      Weight: 205 grams (without battery and card)





      Digital cameras, lenses and accessories with 100% genuine Australian manufacturer’s warranties.
      Ph: (02) 9029 2219

      Camera House


      Ph: 133 686
      The largest speciality photographic retail chain in Australia.

      Camera Pro

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



      Retailer of digital camera equipment and more.
      Secure online shopping and delivery across Australia.
      Ph: 1300 727 056
      Ph: 1800 155 067



      Comprehensive range of digital cameras and accessories online ( and an online print service (

      Digital Camera Warehouse

      174 Canterbury Road 367 High Street
      Canterbury Northcote
      NSW 2193 VIC 3070
      Ph: 1300 365 220

      Electronics Warehouse

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



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

      Ted’s Cameras



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



      RRP: $449

      Rating (out of 10):

      • Build: 8.5
      • Ease of use: 8
      • Image quality: 8.5
      • OVERALL: 8.5