Samsung DV150F Dual-View Smart Camera review:

Fun features, but middling photo quality

Design and features
Samsung seemed to go out of its way to hide the front screen on past Dual-View models. With the DV150F, you know it's there, especially on the white version I tested (the camera is available in plum and black, too); on a retail shelf next to a bunch of other small point-and-shoots it should now stand out as being different.

The low-res 1.5-inch screen kicks on with a button on top of the camera. Press it when the camera is off and it'll extend the lens, turn on the front LCD only, and put you right into a self-portrait mode with face detection. With the camera already on, hitting the button just turns on the little screen so your subject can see his or herself or, depending on the mode you're in, an animation to attract a child's attention or a countdown timer.

Key specs Samsung DV150F
Price (MSRP) $149.99
Dimensions (WHD) 3.8 inches by 2.2 inches by 0.7 inch
Weight (with battery and media) 6.8 ounces
Megapixels, image sensor size, type 16 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch CCD
LCD size, resolution/viewfinder 2.7-inch LCD, 230K dots (front display: 1.5-inch LCD, 61K dots)/None
Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length) 5x, f2.5-6.3, 25-125mm (35mm equivalent)
File format (still/video) JPEG/H.264 AAC (.MP4)
Highest resolution size (still/video) 4,608x3,456 pixels/ 1,280x720 at 30fps
Image stabilization type Digital only
Battery type, CIPA rated life Li-ion rechargeable, 240 shots
Battery charged in camera Yes; Micro-USB cable, wall adapter supplied
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC

Samsung's Wi-Fi options remain some of the best available and easiest to use on point-and-shoot cameras. If you've ever thought, "Why do I need Wi-Fi in my camera?" Samsung has got several answers to that question. It can be used to connect to your Wi-Fi network for automatic backups to a Windows computer or Microsoft SkyDrive, viewing photos and movie clips on DLNA-equipped devices, or sending them by e-mail; to connect to other Samsung Wi-Fi cameras for direct sharing between cameras; to connect to hot spots or wirelessly tether to a smartphone; and to connect to an Android 2.2-powered or higher smartphone or tablet or iOS 4.3 or higher device.

Sarah Tew/CNET

That last option can be used to upload content to sharing sites, but it will also allow you to control the camera remotely. Your display turns into a viewfinder and you can move the camera's zoom lens as well as hit the shutter release. It'll also use the device's GPS receiver to geotag your shots. And though doing all of these things previously required two apps, Samsung's combined them into one and added a new feature: AutoShare. Turning this feature on wirelessly pairs the camera with a phone or tablet and then every shot you take will be immediately sent from the camera to the device, ready for you to upload on the go or view on a larger screen.

General shooting options Samsung DV150F
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Photo Filter) Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent H, Fluorescent L, Tungsten, Custom
Recording modes Smart Auto, Program, Scene, Live Panorama, Self Shot, Children, Jump Shot, Beauty Shot, Night Shot, Close-up Shot, Magic (Magic Frame, Split Shot, Beauty Palette, Motion Photo, Movie Filter, Photo Filter)
Focus modes Center AF, Multi AF, Tracking AF, Face Detection AF
Macro 2 inches (Wide); 3.3 feet (Tele)
Metering modes Multi, Spot, Center-weighted, Face Detection AE
Color effects Multiple photo and movie filters; saturation, contrast, and sharpness controls
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) Unlimited continuous

The DV150F is a simple point-and-shoot, so don't expect a lot of control over results. There is a Night Shot mode for setting the shutter speed from 1 second to 16 seconds, but that's all the control you get over shutter speed. You do get a healthy selection of auto shooting options, though, including four modes that take advantage of the front screen, as well as a large selection of photo and movie filters.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Other extras you'll find include a Live Panorama mode in which you can create easy panoramas just by panning the camera, and a Motion Photo mode for creating animated GIFs in camera on the fly (the results of which you can see above; the more light you have, the better).

At this point, it's tough to recommend a camera with photo quality that isn't significantly better than you'll get from the average smartphone. The Samsung DV150F Dual-View Smart Camera certainly has two cool features in its easy-to-use Wi-Fi and dual LCDs. If you shoot a lot of self-portraits and do it mainly outside in good lighting, you'll find this a fine camera.

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