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HolidayBuyer's Guide
The photo quality for the TL225 is overall very good, especially below ISO 400. At ISO 400 subjects get a little softer, but fine detail remains strong thanks to a good balance between noise and suppression. That balance continues up to ISO 800, so low-light performance is better than most ultracompacts. The camera can do full-resolution shots at ISO 1,600 and ISO 3,200, however, noise and suppression kills most detail and causes color shifting and yellowing.
Caption by / Photo by Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
The TL225 is capable of taking some very sharp photos. On occasion a little too sharp, actually, making subjects crunchy. If this looks overly processed to you, Samsung includes the ability to adjust sharpness, contrast, and color saturation.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The camera's Smart Auto mode struggled now and then to get things right. In this case, the whole scene looks washed out, and when viewed at 100 percent, fine detail is shot.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The self-portrait mode is obviously key to the TL225 and it works wonderfully. Well, at least it can work wonderfully. In this photo I switched it on while it was in Smart Auto and it seems to have smeared my face to soften blemishes, which honestly wouldn't be so bad if the background weren't so sharp. The result is me looking out of focus. To be fair, the camera did what it was supposed to do, it's just that the results aren't great.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
However, putting the camera in Program mode with the appropriate settings and then turning on the front display resulted in nice, focused photos. Be sure to stare at the lens and not the LCD, though, or you'll end up with a lot of photos where you'll look a little cross-eyed.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
One of the other functions of the front LCD is the ability to play animations to get the attention of children. My daughter not only didn't care for the animation, but every time I turned it on she attempted to rip the camera from my hands. Your mileage may vary.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The wide-angle lens showed no barrel distortion at its widest position (top) and a barely discernible amount of pincushioning when the lens was fully extended (bottom). Other than some distortion out in the corners, the lens was good and there was no picture-destroying purple fringing in any of my test shots.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Colors are generally accurate and very pleasing; if you don't like them the way they are, the TL225 has several options for tweaking them. The auto white balance was usually better than the presets, which tended to be on the cool side. Exposure was good, though as typical of compact cameras, highlights are prone to blowing out.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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