Samsung ES55 digital camera
A 10.2-megapixel compact Samsung camera with an ultra-low price tag
- Ultra-compact dimensions, fun automatic tools, good performance for the asking price
- Cluttered menu layout, camera buttons are scarce, specs are almost identical to the Samsung ES15
The Samsung E55 is a decent little digital camera with some user-friendly features on board. For the asking price, it's pretty hard to fault.
Price$ 189.00 (AUD)
The Samsung ES55 is a highly affordable compact camera equipped with a 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor and a 3x optical zoom lens. With an RRP of $189, it’s one of the cheaper compacts on the market, though you wouldn’t know by looking at it. In addition to being attractively sized, its feature set extends beyond the obligatory bare-bones offerings. If you’re willing to live with some minor imaging issues, the Samsung ES55 will not disappoint. It’s small, user-friendly and comes with some interesting tools and features — what else does the average entry-level user need?
Like other budget cameras worth their salt, the Samsung ES55 makes up for its lack of style by being ultra-tiny. Despite the camera suffering from a drab design, its 90x59x21mm dimensions are impossible not to like. The ES55 comes in a choice of three colours: silver, red and grey. We tested the grey version, which is actually a subtle shade of purple — go figure. While it lacks the glossy fetishisation [the what now? — Ed.] of premium compact cameras, it remains a supremely portable unit that will fit practically anywhere. For the asking price, you really can’t complain.
Being an entry-level camera, we weren’t expecting big things from the Samsung ES55’s imaging performance. While we wouldn’t say it “pleasantly surprised” us, the unit did acquit itself pretty well — better than expected, in fact. We were particularly impressed by the sharpness of our test shots. Even when we zoomed in to a minor portion of an image, the details remained fine and relatively free of grain. (This is just as well, as the underpowered 3x optical zoom means you’ll be doing plenty of cropping.) Colours were accurate and vibrant. As with any low-grade sensor, results were best in sunny environments, with noise taking precedence at ISO 400 and above.
For navigation, the Samsung ES55 sticks to the tried-and-true directional pad, which we found perfectly responsive during testing. The menu is attractively presented and easy to understand, with straightforward text in place of inscrutable icons. That said, the layout leaves a bit to be desired — the movie mode, electronic image stabiliser and scene modes are inexplicably lumped together, for example. Speaking of the movie mode, there is no dedicated dial or button on the camera, which means you have to dive into the menu whenever you want to record some video. Tsk.
Samsung is touting a new mode on the ES55 dubbed Beauty Shot. As its name implies, it uses inbuilt software to adjust skin tones and remove blemishes from your subjects’ faces. Like the makeover tools found in certain editing programs, it’s like having a personal airbrush assistant on hand to touch up ‘unsightly’ faults. Personally, we’re not sure we agree with this plastification of reality — why not just Photoshop yourself out altogether and add Brad Pitt or Jessica Alba? Eh? Eh? In any event, the mode produces mixed results, with manipulated areas often appearing digitally smeared. Still, if you absolutely must eradicate that big, glistening pimple we suppose it gets the job done.
Despite its budget status, the Samsung ES55 comes with an impressive array of modes and features. Along with the afore-mentioned Beauty Shot, there’s face detection, a voice recorder, red-eye removal, nine style modes, 12 scene modes, an inbuilt help guide and a 640x520 VGA movie mode, to name but a few. You can also manually adjust the RGB spectrum to your heart’s content, which is great if you want to take some avant-garde photos. (Like giving everything a green tinge on Halloween — oooooh!)
The Samsung ES55 took a little under two seconds to start up, which is comparable to other entry-level cameras. If we had one reservation about the camera it would be the fact that it is nigh-on identical to the Samsung ES15 — which happens to be around $40 cheaper. In fact, the only difference seems to be size (the ES55 is slightly smaller). We’re not sure that the improved portability is worth the extra premium, frankly. Nevertheless, the Samsung ES55 remains an impressively reliable camera in its own right that does all the basics with considerable pizzazz.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
- GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (SQL/Oracle/.Net) 160129/AP/vhs-bAsia
- CCUser Experience Designer - BaselineACT
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Oracle ProcurementSA
- CCTechnical Integration Specialist - MicrosoftACT
- CCWeb DeveloperNSW
- CCiOS Developer - New AppNSW
- CCProgrammer/Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Moblie) 160115/AP/P/vhaAsia
- CCSenior Business Analyst, Online Gaming SystemsNSW
- CCSolution Architect - Biomedical - South Australia locationSA
- CCEnterprise Architect - Network & InfrastructureNSW
- CCOperations AnalystNSW
- FTJava Web Development OpportunityVIC
- FTProject Manager / Scrum MasterNSW
- CCChange LeadNSW
- CCBusiness and Financial AnalystACT
- CCICT Infrastructure Specialist - (Network Engineer)ACT
- CCHybris Developer - Global Digital AgencyNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - DigitalVIC
- CCFront End Developer - MelbourneVIC
- CCSAP Basis Admin with JavaACT
- CCOracle Project OfficerSA
- CCRecords Officer - CanberraACT
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA/Mobile App) 160115/JP/vhaAsia
- CCContract System Analyst (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160205/SA/881Asia
- CCJava DeveloperVIC