I haven’t given a lot thought to the thought of Korean movie cameras. Electronics, positive. Automobiles, OK. However cameras? I’m guessing there was some sort of home digicam business in South Korea someday earlier than the Eighties, when South Korean manufacturers grew to become noticeable within the US. However I can’t discover a lot on the English internet. Any time I attempt to seek for “classic Korean movie digicam” I get hyperlinks to cellphone apps, articles about cameras made out of paper or sweet, or a Korean cafe constructed to resemble a Rolleiflex TLR. (Which admittedly sounds fairly cool.)
The Korean movie cameras that I have stumbled upon are all by Samsung. It is sensible: Samsung was/is an electronics powerhouse, so I’m positive that they needed to get in on that digicam motion that the Japanese just about had locked up by the 80s. Samsung didn’t goal for the SLR market, solely making one, the SR4000. As a substitute they focused on point-and-shoots. Probably the most vital point-and-shoot they made within the 90s was the ECX1, a full-featured “dad cam” with a physique design by, uh, Porsche(!). It wasn’t as excessive as the same Konica AiBORG, but it surely was getting shut. Samsung did produce smaller zoom compacts throughout this period that didn’t look any completely different than what was popping out of Japan. Samsung in fact moved on to digital compact cameras, which did handle to compete with the Japanese massive gamers. And now they produce most likely extra digicam telephones than any participant that isn’t Apple. However their movie foray these days is a largely forgotten blip.
Some time again a Samsung Slim Zoom 1150 discovered its method into my palms. I wasn’t significantly on the lookout for this digicam, I used to be simply choosing up a couple of dirt-cheap 35mm cameras for a challenge. And the most affordable midway respectable cameras I’ve been discovering are these 90s by means of mid 00s zoom compacts, as nobody appears to need them. However they’re nonetheless very succesful cameras, which is what I like about them.
The fundamentals of the Slim Zoom 1150 are, effectively, fundamental for one of these digicam: a zoom of 38-115mm, f/3.7-11 aperture vary, shutter speeds from 1/3 to 1/400 second plus bulb. It payments itself as “slim zoom” however when this digicam got here out (I’m guessing) within the mid-90s, it wasn’t actually slim in any respect: my circa 1994 Pentax IQZoom/Espio 928 is simply as thick and barely smaller.
The one factor I observed about this digicam is all of the modes. There should have been a “options struggle” within the 90s amongst the assorted manufactures to see who cannot simply have the longest zoom but additionally probably the most modes and features. Samsung appeared to actually be aiming for the options. They are an electronics firm, in any case. Makers like Nikon and Canon may promote on their cachet alone, Samsung had no cachet. So that they wanted an “angle”. Would possibly as effectively overwhelm with a bunch of options that’ll dazzle the shopper!
I threw in 2 CR123A batteries and the Slim Zoom 1150 got here to life. The LCD display on high lit cycled by means of all of the perform icons on startup, which took a full four seconds. There are a number of modes. There’s mode buttons on the highest, mode buttons on the again, and a “panorama” mode button on the entrance (which I may by no means get to interact). These buttons are product of that squishy rubber, which meant a few them solely labored if I used a pen to push them.
I principally used the Samsung Slim Zoom 1150 at its vast focal setting of 38mm and on auto. That appeared to go OK. I didn’t even hassle to check out a lot of the modes, as those I needed to make use of have been panorama/infinity, which didn’t have interaction, or Spot Autofocus, which they didn’t hassle so as to add to this digicam. I wasn’t within the “fuzzy logic”, “portrait” or the assorted snap and interval modes, however I’m guessing another person may. And there was additionally a bewildering quantity of flash modes, due to course. To show off the flash I needed to cycle by means of six flash modes. In different phrases, I needed to press the flash button six occasions to easily flip the rattling factor off.
If you’re guessing that I didn’t discover this digicam straightforward or enjoyable to make use of, you’re right! I disliked the fiddly buttons. I couldn’t get by means of my take a look at roll of Ultramax 400 (simply 24 exposures!) quick sufficient. One of these digicam suits my outdated stereotype of 90s point-and-shoots: unattractive and needlessly sophisticated, designed by engineers with little thought to the person expertise.
However then I received again the outcomes and was pleasantly shocked. Regardless of my grumblings, the Samsung Slim Zoom 1150 delivered within the pictures division.
One mode that truly impressed me was “macro”, which received this shot of my bike bell. Sadly the digicam likes to fireside the flash in macro mode:
So the Samsung Slim Zoom 1150 can produce respectable pictures. However it’s not a digicam I wish to return to. I can discover comparable picture high quality in different 90s superzoom point-and-shoots, and plenty of of those different cameras are much less of a PITA to make use of. I’ve to confess, the one factor I preferred and located helpful was that the LCD confirmed what focal setting the lens was at. I haven’t seen that on my different compact superzooms. However I can get by with out it.
Thanks for studying! -Shawn
For extra pictures from my Samsung Slim Zoom 1150 take a look at my flickr album here.
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