Samsung L310W review

Ben Pitt
25 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT



1/1.72in 13.4-megapixel sensor, 3.6x zoom (28-102mm equivalent), 138g

The L310W has some remarkable specifications for such an affordable camera.

With a massive 13.4-megapixel resolution, it's hot on the heels of Canon's G10 and Nikon's P6000 - both premium models that cost over twice as much (What's New, Shopper 253). The 3.6x zoom range starts at 28mm for true wide-angle photos, and optical stabilisation counteracts blur at slow shutter speeds. It has manual exposure for creative photographers, while casual snappers will enjoy features such as smile and blink detection. Packing so much into a slim, aluminium-clad camera for under £100 is remarkable.

Sadly, impressive specifications at a low price rarely make for a great camera. Performance was poor: the autofocus is fast, but the huge photos take a long time to save. There was an average of 3.3 seconds between shots, rising to 5.1 with the flash. Continuous mode crawled at 0.6fps, during which the screen was blank and the camera silent, which is confusing. We had to select the macro mode to focus on subjects 50cm away - most cameras can manage this with their normal autofocus. The optical stabilisation was less effective than we're used to, keeping 20 per cent of shots sharp at a 1?15s shutter speed.

Photos in bright light were nowhere near as detailed as those from Canon's G10. Even at ISO 100, Samsung's 8-megapixel NV8 captured sharper detail. At higher ISO speeds, the L310W disguised noise by applying a blur to the entire image, retaining no more detail than a 1-megapixel image offers.

Despite its incredible price, the L310W's only strength is its wide-angle lens. Fujfilm's F100fd is much better value, even considering the extra cost.

Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels13.4 megapixels
CCD size1/1.72in
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom3.6x
Zoom 35mm equivalent28-102mm
Image stabilisationoptical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution4,224x3,168
Maximum movie resolution800x592
Movie frame rate at max quality20fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (MPEG-4)


Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied30MB internal
Battery type3.7V 1,050mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)330 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
Body materialplastic
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables

Buying Information


Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, manual
Shutter speed8 to 1/1,500 seconds
Aperture rangef/2.8 to f/7.1
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, dynamic range
Manual focusNo
Closest macro focus5cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, smile detect