Samsung – D860 review

8.2-megapixel camera for under £50 sounds too good to be true
Photo of Samsung – D860
£49.99

Just a year or two ago, an 8-megapixel camera would easily be justifying a price tag three times what’s being asked for the Samsung D860. And while this 8.2-megapixel unit does show signs of corners been cut to get to its ultra-low price target, it still offers really good value for money.

In the box you’ll find the camera itself, a CD, two AA batteries (although it’s worth investing in some longer life rechargeables), a mini USB-to-USB lead and a printed manual. There’s also a small strap. It’s worth adding an SD memory card to the package, but that aside it’s a good starter pack.

The camera itself, while a little on the cheap side in terms of construction and feel, is a smart, compact device. You can only line your shots up on the 2.4-inch LCD screen, but it’s sharp enough for that not to be a problem.

And as you cycle between the assorted shooting modes – including automatic, video, scene, portrait and DIS (to minimise camera shake, which we’ll come to shortly) – the screen explains what’s been selected. Help is always at hand if you need some pointers on what to do next. It’s a very friendly device in that regard.

It’s a comfortable one, too, and while it keeps its functions down to the essentials, it does throw a few little added features to the mix. Face recognition, for instance, is built in. Then there’s the aforementioned DIS mode, designed to cut down on the effects of camera shake, though it didn’t really work for us. And as you’d expect, the macro wasn’t too strong, with our close-ups becoming victims to the curse of blur. This does need to be a consideration.

But then, for the majority of point and click operations, the D860 is really a smart little purchase. We found that it produced generally crisp, quality pictures when shooting from a decent distance, and while it was a little frustrating that there was a small pause before readying the flash, it going off, and then snapping the picture (and you don’t seem to be able to interrupt the process once it’s begin), it’s hard to quibble with the results for the price.

Treated as a good value backup point-and-shoot camera, the D860 is a perfectly respectable buy for its modest price tag. Even as a main camera choice it has its moments. That said, even though it punches a little above its weight, there’s an element here of getting what you pay for, and even spending another £20 will bring you a notable improvement. Still, a nice little bargain as it stands.

Company: Samsung


Verdict
A good, solid, budget camera, with a couple of frills and a couple of compromises. Ideal as a second camera or for someone who's not bothered about having the widest possible range of features.