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Samsung PL80 review: Samsung PL80

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The Good Good build quality and design; decent zoom range; handy USB charging system.

The Bad Poor lens quality at full zoom; some overexposure outdoors; mushy detail towards the edges of shots.

The Bottom Line The Samsung PL80 is pleasant to use, with some smart and useful features. In the long run, however, you may wish you'd spent slightly more cash on a better camera. The PL80 may give you a good set of specs for the money, but you can't really say the same about the picture quality

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5.5 Overall

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Cameras don't get much more middle-of-the-road than Samsung's 12.2-megapixel PL80. It falls roughly in the centre of the company's point-and-shoot range, which is one step up from its 'fun and easy' range. But the PL80 offers ever so slightly more than the average snapper, thanks to its handy 5x wide-angle zoom. That's not bad for around £110, surely?

Keepin' it simple
The PL80 certainly looks pretty good. The metal finish comes in a choice of colours, and it feels like a decent-quality camera. The controls are simple and kids or the grandparents should have no trouble working them out.

There's not too much chromatic aberration here, but the PL80's lens shows plenty of barrel distortion, and some edge softness too (click image to enlarge)

A 'smart' button on the top launches the 'smart auto' mode, which picks the right scene mode to match the conditions, and there's a 'frame guide' mode too. This lets you shoot the scene as you want it, and then the camera will display an image overlay on the left-hand side of the screen, so that, when you hand the PL80 over to someone else, it shows them how you want the picture framed.

Around the back are a decent-enough LCD display and some pretty straightforward controls. There's a slightly confusing visual shift in the menus when you move past the top level, but, much of the time, you don't need to use them, because options like white balance, drive mode, EV compensation and so on are accessed by a 'Fn' button that displays them as an overlay at the side of the screen.

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