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Samsung DV150F Dual-View Smart Camera review: Fun features, but middling photo quality

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MSRP: $149.99

The Good The Samsung DV150F Dual-View Smart Camera is made for photo sharing, with excellent built-in Wi-Fi features and two screens to make taking self-portraits easy.

The Bad The DV150F's photo quality is just a notch above an average smartphone camera's, and its shooting performance is a bit too slow for active kids and pets, especially indoors. Digital image stabilization only.

The Bottom Line With dual LCDs and built-in Wi-Fi, Samsung's DV150F Dual-View Smart Camera is an inexpensive problem-solver for those who like to shoot and share.

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6.6 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Image quality 6

For the DV150F Dual-View Smart Camera, Samsung took two of its best point-and-shoot features and put them in one affordable camera.

On the outside, you'll find an LCD on back for framing and viewing your shots as well as a smaller LCD on front for self-portraits. This second screen can also be used to display a short animation to get the attention of a small child or possibly a pet as well as a countdown when using the self-timer.

Inside, there's a Wi-Fi radio for sending those self-portraits straight to a smartphone or tablet for instant uploading and sharing, or backing up on a computer or in cloud storage, or directly sending by e-mail or uploading to Facebook, among several other options.

Unfortunately, Samsung also put inside an inferior sensor to the backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS ones found in its slightly higher-end models, like the WB250F Smart Camera. The choice no doubt helped keep the price low, less than $150 in this case, but it also makes the DV150F less capable in low light without a flash.

But, if you do most of your shooting outdoors in good light, the DV150F's two fun features make this reasonably priced problem-solving camera worth considering.

Photo quality
Photo quality from the Samsung DV150F is good up to ISO 200. It's not a camera you'd want to use in low-light conditions or indoors without a flash. At ISO 400, a common sensitivity for well-lit indoor photos, subjects look soft, but are passable at small sizes. The photos get much worse above ISO 400, picking up a lot of noise and artifacts and losing detail to the point where subjects look smeared. (You can view this slide a little larger to get a better idea.)

Actually, noise and artifacts are a bit of a problem even at the camera's lowest ISO sensitivities when photos are viewed at full size; if you need to enlarge and heavily crop your photos, I wouldn't choose the DV150F. However, if you're considering this camera for its online-sharing capabilities and don't typically make large prints above 8x10s, the DV150F's shots are OK. You can read more about photo quality in the slideshow above.

Video quality is good enough for Web use at small sizes, but nothing you'd want to view at larger sizes on an HDTV. Panning the camera will create judder that's typical of the video from most compact cameras. The zoom lens does function during recording, but Samsung applies a noise filter while it's moving, which muffles the audio overall. It is reasonably quick to focus and adjust exposure. Also, you may notice some vertical smear when shooting with bright light sources; this is common with consumer CCD sensors. All in all, the DV150F is fine for short clips in good lighting.

Shooting performance
Editors' note: We recently updated our testing methodology to provide slightly more real-world performance information, so the results aren't necessarily comparable with previous testing. Until we're finished refining our procedures, we will not be posting comparative performance charts.

This camera is generally too slow for pictures of active kids and pets. Yes, you can always get lucky and if you are really good at anticipating action, you'll be able to get clean shots -- especially in full sun. The time from off to first shot isn't bad at 1.8 seconds. However, its shutter lag -- the time it takes from pressing the shutter release to capture without prefocusing -- is 0.5 second in bright lighting and 0.6 second in dim, which is enough to miss the shot you were after. From shot to shot, you'll be waiting about 1.9 seconds on average and 2.5 seconds if you're shooting with the flash.

The camera does have a continuous shooting setting that will capture at up to 0.7 frame per second. Focus and exposure are set with the first shot, though, so if the subject is moving fast, it might not be in focus very long.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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