Samsung DV300F Ease of Use Wi-Fi Ready Camera
The Samsung DV300F is shorter than the height of a business card, with official 95.2 x 56.5 x 18.3 proportions and a mere 120g weight. Sitting well in the palm, this is a compact that truly is compact. No one will feel discomfort slipping the DV300F into a trouser pocket, and in fact it’s almost too easy to forget it's there. We had the black matt model in for review, which has a totally smooth brushed metal faceplate and a more textured faux-leather rear. The DV300F has 16.1 effective megapixels from a 16.4MP 1/2.3-inch CCD.
Samsung has shoehorned in a 5x optical zoom with the DV300F, here supported by optical and digital stabilization and starting out a usefully wide angle 25mm equivalent (in 35mm terms) and running up to 125mm at the telephoto end. The lens boasts a maximum aperture of f/2.5, so specification is better than cheaper Samsung cameras like the ST96, although the maximum aperture of f/6.3 at full telephoto is actually slower. Instead of the more trendy touch-screen interface, the DV300F is navigated using a very familiar panel of physical controls ranged alongside the LCD screen on the right-hand quarter of the camera back.
Video resolution is rather mundane 1280x720 pixels at 30fps, rather than the more up-to-date 1080i/p, with the camera utilising H.264 compression. Strangely there's no dedicated record button either, another confusing oversight on a 2012 compact. The full extent of the optical zoom can thankfully be used when videoing, unlike on many cheaper-end models which usually suffer from quite noisy zoom mechanisms. By contrast the DV300F’s zoom action, whilst not completely silent, is impressively quiet.
Another accessory that is ‘missing’ is a separate mains adapter. Instead we get a mains plug with a USB input, so the standard USB cable (provided) can ingeniously be used for recharging as well as image uploading/downloading. Also omitted is a HDMI connection, again something of an oversight on behalf of Samsung.
The DV300F is the first dual-screen Samsung to offer built-in Wi-Fi, with an array of options available. Users can email their images, upload them directly to Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket and YouTube, or instantly copy them to a home PC via Auto Backup. Samsung’s AllShare Play and Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud services provide free storage space that's accessible by anyone with an account. MobileLink allows you to directly send images to a compatible smartphone or tablet, while Remote Viewfinder uutilises a smartphone as a live image previewer. Finally TV Link takes the place of a physical HDMI connection by playing back photos on any device that's connected to the same wireless access point as the camera.