Samsung Miniket VP-M110
- Compact, easy to use, mp3 player
- Poor image quality, disjointed shooting modes
This camera’s best feature is its design, if you don’t like the way it looks, then it’s not for you. If you’re willing to sacrifice image quality for its small and funky form factor, then it may be the one you want.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
Samsung's VP-M110 Miniket camera is an interesting device. Fashionability dominates features. Portability takes precedence over performance. If there truly is a substitute for style, the Miniket doesnt bother looking for it.
Utilising a small, compact form factor, the M110 is no larger than a pack of cigarettes. A sleek, plastic body comes in a choice of four colours white, silver, black or red. Controls are as minimal as we've ever seen on a digital video camera, and what turned out to actually be quite an easy to use interface is operated with nothing more than a handful of buttons. The thumb is used to operate the entirety of the controls, the zoom lever and two buttons sitting above the record, mode, and menu buttons. Volume buttons are located on the front of the camera, and can be accessed with the middle finger. The controls are small, but are generally responsive and a 1GB hard drive provides storage for images and movies until they can be transferred to PC.
Despite its light weight and small size, the camera sits well in the hand, with a good balance helping to keep it freely moveable, but reducing image shake. A screen folds out from the side of the camera, and can be rotated up to 270 degrees. The screen works well enough as a viewfinder, and delivers a reasonably bright, clear image. The menus are bright and (at least insofar as us hip reviewers can determine), and the beeps when navigating them were the first we've encountered that weren't
Overall, the interface is an easy-to-use, though somewhat disjointed entity. The separation of various shooting modes is an example of this, each one distinct from the others. Having to fiddle around with the menu in order to take a snapshot while in video record mode is a somewhat tedious process, and one which detracts a lot from the Miniket's
The biggest problem with the M110 is image quality. An 800k pixel, single CCD sensor delivers grainy and poorly defined images. Colour reproduction we found to be accurate, at least, although in any but the brightest of conditions, colours were faded and quite dull. To its credit, the Miniket provides several options for adjusting image quality, white balance, light settings, and focus, and we were able to adjust these to marginally improve quality, however the fundamentally irreparable lack of definition remained. An inbuilt MP3 player provided respectable quality playback, and continued the fun-based theme.
We found performance to be more than adequate for most shooting situations and conditions, with the camera responding well to changing light, with a fast autofocus. High action scenes exhibited ghosting, but for the most part moving footage was smooth. Outdoor and bright situations are definitely this strong point, and with sufficient light, we found image quality to be almost respectable.
The Miniket VP-M110 remains a camera that is defined by compromise. Image quality does suffer, but in the right situations is adequate, to say the least. The small size and ease of operation are the big features here, and whether or not they justify the image quality comes down to personal choice. For the fashion conscious user who simply wants a portable, easy to use digital video camera, Miniket range provides an answer.
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