The Bottom Line
Samsung's SL420 digital camera proves the old saying: Looks can be deceiving.
As you can see from the photo of the SL420 included here, it is a basic-looking camera. It also has basic, easy-to-use functions, and it carries a basic price tag of less than $200. It even has a basic name -- SL420. However, the ratio of the SL420's price to its performance level is anything but basic. My Samsung SL420 review shows a camera that offers a great value to beginning photographers. Very few cameras can match the low price of the SL420 with such good image quality and overall performance.
- Outstanding value in a point and shoot camera
- Very easy to use - includes a built-in help guide
- Works fast for camera in this price range
- Image quality is very good, both indoors and outdoors
- Response times are above average for beginner model
- LCD could be a little bigger
- A little glare on LCD in bright sunlight
- Design is basic and boring
- No separate viewfinder
- Resolution: 10.2 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 5X (35-175mm equivalent)
- LCD: 2.7-inch, 230,000 pixels
- Maximum image size: 3648 x 2736 pixels
- Battery: Li-ion (rechargable)
- Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.3 x 0.93 inches
- Weight: 7.7 ounces
- Image sensor: CCD 1/2.33 in.
Guide Review - Samsung SL420 Review
Few point and shoot cameras offer the combination of value and performance that Samsung has included with its SL420. For a low-priced, beginner camera, the SL420's image quality is very good, both with indoor and outdoor photos. Colors are well produced, photos are sharp, and close-up images are well focused.
The SL420 offers 10.2 megapixels of resolution, which is below average compared to most new digital cameras. However, for most beginning photographers, the SL420's maximum resolution is plenty for creating large, sharp prints.
The SL420's response times are better than average for a sub-$200 camera. You won't miss many spontaneous photos, because the SL420 is ready to shoot very quickly after you press the power button.
As is important in a beginner camera, the SL420 is very easy to use. Samsung even included a "photo help guide" that's built into the camera. The guide shows you how to perform certain functions with tips for practicing using the camera.
Samsung also included more than a dozen scene modes with the SL420, all of which are very helpful, making this camera perform extremely well in fully automatic mode.
If the SL420 has a drawback, it's in the camera's basic design. During a time when many camera makers look to emphasize style in beginner-level cameras, Samsung keeps things simple with the SL420, which is available in black, silver, and dark gray.
The LCD, measuring 2.7 inches, could be a little bigger, but it's sharp and bright. The SL420 has no separate viewfinder, either, which would be handy.
Ultimately, though, those drawbacks are minor ... especially for a camera with an MSRP of $179. Very few beginner cameras can match the SL420's combination of performance and value. It has no features that will appeal to advanced photographers, but beginners will appreciate the SL420.