Saturday, June 18, 2005

Samsung Unveils Its First Prosumer Digital Camera: The Digimax Pro815

Samsung Camera unveiled the Digimax Pro815, its first
prosumer model, at a June 17 press event in New York.

The 8-megapixel unit has has a 15X zoom lens, 4X digital
zoom and an $849 price tag.

© 2005 Stadium Circe Features Posted by Hello

The rear of the Samsung Digimax Pro815 reveals a huge,
3.5-inch LCD. That's larger than some portable TV
© 2005 Stadium Circe Features Posted by Hello

From a glitzy venue which offers picture-perfect views of New York's Central Park, Samsung Camera rolled out its first prosumer-grade digital camera, the $849 Digimax Pro815. Samsung made the announcement June 17 at press conference at the Samsung Experience product showcase in the midtown Manhattan's Time Warner Center.

The black SLR is a departure from Samsung's line of silver or red point-and-shoot models and enters market already crowded with high-powered entries from Canon USA Inc., Nikon Inc., Fuji Photo Film USA Inc. and others.

The Digimax Pro815's specifications are impressive, starting with the 15X zoom lens on the front and the super-size, 3.5-inch color LCD on the back. There's also a 1.44-inch color LCD display on the top which can display photo data or, with the push of a button, be used as an alternative preview screen for taking photos from the hip or from overhead.

A key factor in keeping down the price of the unit is the fact that Samsung can manufacture most of the key components itself, said Kenneth J. Gerb, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Samsung Opto-Electronics America Inc.

Because of the length and heft of the zoom lens, Samsung representatives said the company had taken measures to reduce sharpness loss due to "hand shake." When the Digimax Pro815 is put into "High Speed" mode, the ISO rating (the sensitivity) of the image sensor in is increased up to ISO 800, thus allowing the camera to use higher shutter speeds. The extra-large f/2.2 to f/4.6 maximum aperture allows plenty of light into the 7.2-to-108mm lens (equivalent to a 28-to-420mm lens on a 35mm film camera), once again allowing for higher shutter speeds and enhancing sharpness.

While the unit has an array of automated functions, the lens can be manually focused and zoomed and users can make manual exposure adjustments as well. The Digimax Pro815 uses CompactFlash removable memory cards, the first Samsung digital camera to use this format, the company said.

Also introduced was the ultra-slim Digimax i5, a 5-megapixel camera with the footprint of a credit card. The 0.68-inch thick unit comes in a stainless steel case which Samsung representatives said was more durable than aluminum. Despite its thin form factor, the unit still offers a 3X optical zoom lens as well as 5X digital zoom and a 2.5-inch color LCD.

Mr. Seishi Ohmori, vice president of the DSC Development Center of Samsung Techwin Co. Ltd., the parent company of Samsung Camera, said the Digimax i5 was the right thickness to be held comfortably, "...unlike Sony's T7, which is maybe too thin to hold."

He said the Digimax i5's Safety Flash technology compensates for red-eye effects, preserves natural colors and conserves power. The $349 unit will be available in silver, black red or gray.


Anonymous said...

The screen is tooo large.
adds extra weight to the camera.

--Richard Brill

Anonymous said...

The screen is tooo small, 4 inch would be better. Soon we'll be able to play our DVD's in these camera :-)
Weight is due to lens, not lcd size, as posted in an earlier comment. Great looking camera.
Excellent Optical zoom. Too bad no anti-shake.
Can't wait to see it in person. Also too bad it doesn't use SD cards.
Don't like proprietary battery either.
Waiting for reviews on picture quality.