Samsung Digimax V50

I've just ordered the Samsung Digimax V50 - a while back while I was evaluating various features of digital cameras, I set a pretty high bar, and this is the only camera to come close. I am actually a devoted buyer of Korean products - extending not just to consumer electronics but even our car (a Hyundai Elantra GT). I've bought numerous Samsung products (DVD player, VCR, television) and have always been impressed with their Sony-level quality - at a much lower price. Others agree - for example, indispensable computer hardware site Sharky Extreme routinely suggests Samsung monitors for their Value PC guides.

The basic features I wanted were: 1. rotating LCD screen, 2. high-quality video capability, and 3. small form factor. I was briefly tempted by the Sony DSC-T1 but the price was too high and it lacked the LCD screen. The Digimax V50 builds on the success of the previous Digimax models (favorably reviewed at Steve's Digicams and DPReview), and beats the Sony model on features and price. Plus it supports lens attachments, so if we go on a long vacation I might invest in a wide angle lens, too.

The video capability is true VGA, 640x480 at true television framerate (30 fps). The unit supports a number of storage formats (SD, MMC, Memory Stick). It's a 5 MP camera, which is probably more than I need, but this way I'm somewhat insulated from obsolescence. The LCD rotates as required, and is a huge 2inches in size. The camera supports up to nine different power sources, from lithium packs to standard AA batteries and everything in between, which gives some extra flexibility while traveling. The zoom is respectable as well, though I'm more interested in its macro closeup (impressive 4cm). There's even voice annotation which I think will make for some interesting online photo album options - I'll have to see if voice captions are supported in any photo-gallery software tools. And of course the camera has a host of manual controls from exposure to white balance that I'll probably only barely make use of at first, but will be a good excuse to learn back some of what I've forgotten from my photography courses in high school.

Once I get my hands on my unit, I'll post some impresions and reviews, since there doesn't seem to be much info on this model out on the web yet.

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