Samsung DV300F Review

May 22, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Samsung DV300F is a 16 megapixel compact camera featuring a 1.5-inch front LCD screen display for easier self-portaits and built-in Wi-fi connectivity. The DV300F also offers a 5x optical zoom lens with 25mm wide-angle setting and maximum aperture of F2.5, dual image stabilisation, 720p HD video recording at 30 frames-per-second, 3 inch rear LCD screen, a wide range of special effects, and the intelligent Smart Auto feature which automatically adjusts the camera's settings. The Samsung DV300F is available in black, dark grey with a red back or dark grey with a blue back, priced at £179.99 / $199.99.

Ease of Use

The Samsung DV300F is shorter than the height of a business card, with official 95.2 x 56.5 x 18.3 proportions and a mere 120g weight. Sitting well in the palm, this is a compact that truly is compact. No one will feel discomfort slipping the DV300F into a trouser pocket, and in fact it’s almost too easy to forget it's there. We had the black matt model in for review, which has a totally smooth brushed metal faceplate and a more textured faux-leather rear. The DV300F has 16.1 effective megapixels from a 16.4MP 1/2.3-inch CCD.

Samsung has shoehorned in a 5x optical zoom with the DV300F, here supported by optical and digital stabilization and starting out a usefully wide angle 25mm equivalent (in 35mm terms) and running up to 125mm at the telephoto end. The lens boasts a maximum aperture of f/2.5, so specification is better than cheaper Samsung cameras like the ST96, although the maximum aperture of f/6.3 at full telephoto is actually slower. Instead of the more trendy touch-screen interface, the DV300F is navigated using a very familiar panel of physical controls ranged alongside the LCD screen on the right-hand quarter of the camera back.

Video resolution is rather mundane 1280x720 pixels at 30fps, rather than the more up-to-date 1080i/p, with the camera utilising H.264 compression. Strangely there's no dedicated record button either, another confusing oversight on a 2012 compact. The full extent of the optical zoom can thankfully be used when videoing, unlike on many cheaper-end models which usually suffer from quite noisy zoom mechanisms. By contrast the DV300F’s zoom action, whilst not completely silent, is impressively quiet.

Another accessory that is ‘missing’ is a separate mains adapter. Instead we get a mains plug with a USB input, so the standard USB cable (provided) can ingeniously be used for recharging as well as image uploading/downloading. Also omitted is a HDMI connection, again something of an oversight on behalf of Samsung.

The DV300F is the first dual-screen Samsung to offer built-in Wi-Fi, with an array of options available. Users can email their images, upload them directly to Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket and YouTube, or instantly copy them to a home PC via Auto Backup. Samsung’s AllShare Play and Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud services provide free storage space that's accessible by anyone with an account. MobileLink allows you to directly send images to a compatible smartphone or tablet, while Remote Viewfinder uutilises a smartphone as a live image previewer. Finally TV Link takes the place of a physical HDMI connection by playing back photos on any device that's connected to the same wireless access point as the camera.

Samsung DV300F Samsung DV300F
Front Rear

Though no unattractive by any means, from the outside there is precious little indication that the DV300F is trying to be ground breaking in any way. From the front the Samsung DV300F doesn’t stray too far from any number of identikit pocket cameras. The retracted 5x zoom with automatically opening and shutting lens cover dominates proceedings at the front of the DV300F, with a familiar porthole containing the bulb for the self-timer/AF illuminator lamp located above.

Top left of the lens is a narrow window housing integral flash, its positioning meaning that it’s easy for a stray finger to partly obscure it when simply shooting with the camera handheld. Having said that, there isn’t really anywhere else on this diminutive camera Samsung could have alternatively squeezed the flash in. We did notice a longer wait than usual for the Samsung’s flash to sufficiently charge to be able fire however - and the same 3-4 second wait again between flashes, even when the camera is warmed up. If you squeeze the shutter release button the camera merely pauses and then fires later when it’s good and ready.

The usual buttons are all in place with the addition of the F. LCD button. This button is used to activate the 1.5 inch LCD screen on the front of the camera and pressing this button activates the screen. There are a few Scene modes that utilise this front screen. Self Shot uses face detection to take a self-portrait, Children brings up a cartoon sequence on the screen along with some funny sounds to make children smile and laugh, and Jump Shot counts down from 5 and then takes two photographs in succession. It's not a quick burst mode, it actually takes the pictures slowly. In fact, we struggled to think of an occasion when you would need to use it other than to make small two frame animations or simply to get a safe shot.

Keeping the design minimalist, there’s no shooting mode dial or wheel anywhere here. Thankfully though, there is at least a Home button to be found on the back plate, a press of which calls up a phone app-like selection that we’ve witnessed on Samsung snapshots such as the MV800 or SH100.

Among the usual array of fully auto options is Samsung’s self-stitching Live Panorama function. This helpfully allows the user to watch the end result gradually ‘build’ via a narrow strip displayed at the bottom of the screen. As with competing compacts, the photographer simply pans from left to right through the scene, with finger held down on the shutter release button all the while. The miniature display of the panorama being composited in real time reassures that the eventual image is working before the end result is actually displayed. The ‘joins’ are impressively seamless too.

Samsung DV300F Samsung DV300F
Front Rear

The rest of the shooting modes on the DV300F include both scene and subject recognizing Smart Auto capture and Program Auto, along with dual image stabilization mode, video mode, and finally a selection of icon-illustrated scene modes. Among the scene options are the regular shutter-slowing night shot mode, plus landscape, text, sunset and slightly more unusually a dawn mode. In addition we have scene options for shooting backlit subjects and beach and snow scenes. Samsung also strays into the arena of digital filters by including beauty shot, magic frame, exposure merging HDR, plus funnel effect zooming shot options, applicable to both stills and video. This is an array of scene modes that dare to be a bit different then, with the inclusion of slightly more inventive settings than we would have expected to find on an £170 point and shoot.

The DV300F’s top plate houses the narrow lozenge shaped F.LCD button, a small power on/off button, plus the largest control here in the shape of a shutter release, encircled by a lever for operating the 5x optical zoom. Press the power button and within 2-3 seconds the user is ready to start framing up the first shot, lens having emerged from the body to arrive at maximum wideangle position with a low mechanical buzz and the rear 3-inch, 460k dot LCD blinking into life. Keep a forefinger on the zoom lever and the camera powers through its core 5x range in all of three seconds. Whilst not lightning fast, the Samsung is certainly sufficiently comparable with the rest of its point and shoot classmates.

The modes and settings that the DV300F has ‘in play’ at any one time are conveniently displayed along the right hand side of the screen and across the bottom. These are most expansively illustrated if shooting in Program Auto mode, and when the latter has been selected include the current shot resolution, capture mode, metering mode, flash option chosen, focus mode, as well as shutter speed and aperture, plus indication of battery life and number of possible shots remaining.

Adjacent to the DV300F’s shooting ‘Home’ button on the camera back we find the self explanatory Menu button, which again shows a wider array of shooting options in the Program setting. In Smart Auto mode with a press of Menu we’re able to adjust stills and video resolution, and alter sound settings and screen display modes, as well as drill into the Setup menu and alter the likes of time and date, swap video out from PAL to NTSC or format the memory in use. Standard stuff in other words.

A press of the Menu button in capture mode however calls up all the aforementioned shooting options listed in the Program mode menu, this time as a toolbar that runs down the left of the DV300F’s screen. What we get here then is a useful short cut to those self same selections. On the whole though this Samsung might be unexpectedly packed with options, it remains easy to use.

Samsung DV300F Samsung DV300F
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Switch to Program however and the photographer has access to a whole lot more via the Menu button, including being able to manually adjust ISO light sensitivity, here running from a modest ISO 100 to a still modest ISO 3200. As well as the ability to select photo size we’re also offered photo quality adjustment, with Super Fine, Fine or Normal JPEG compression levels offered. Exposure compensation can also be adjusted between +/- 2EV, white balance tweaked, the ubiquitous face detection switched on or off, focus area adjusted between centre weighted, multi zone or tracking AF options, metering swapped between multi, spot or centre weighted, plus images adjusted in-camera for contrast, sharpness and colour saturation.

The DV300F has an extensive range of Photo Filters. The default option upon powering the camera up is the Miniature setting for that now commonly provided diorama effect. Spaced along a horizontal toolbar that reminded us of the Quick Menu toolbar to be found on Panasonic Lumix compacts, we also have a corner shading vignetting lens effect, soft focus effect, grainy film effect (resembling a scratched and beaten up negative), a printed comic book-like half tone dot effect, a charcoal pencil-type sketch effect, a fisheye lens effect, a ‘classic’ black and white filter, a retro filter with old Polaroid film style colours, a fuzzy edge ‘oil painting’ option, plus a cartoon, ink painting and sparkly cross filter option. Again a more exhaustive array of creative choices than you’d find incorporated into your average budget snapshot.

The remaining controls at the back of the camera are rather more straightforward and expected. A round control pad that immediately falls under the thumb has a familiar ‘OK’ button at its centre for effecting any changes, with a display adjusting option set at 12 ‘o’ clock on the dial (which can summon up a live histogram), a self timer (two seconds or 10 seconds) or continuous capture option at three ‘o’ clock, miniature/macro setting at six ‘o’ clock, and flash settings at nine ‘o’ clock on the dial (here comprising off, automatic, forced flash, red eye reduction, slow sync and red eye correction).

At the very bottom of the DV300F’s backplate are another two identically sized function buttons. On the left we have a dedicated playback button, and on the right a a delete button when in image review mode.

While the left hand side of the Samsung DV300F is devoid of any controls whatever, the only features being two positional screws, over on the other flank of the camera are located a combined USB / AV port , hidden beneath a plastic flap. On the bottom of the camera we find a plastic screw thread for attaching a tripod and next to this a cover with slide open mechanism protecting both the battery compartment and microSD card slot. Battery life doesn’t appear to be any great shakes. Indeed it’s distinctly average in that a recharge was needed after a day’s shooting and reviewing.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Samsung DV300F produced images of good quality during the review period. Noise doesn't become apparent until ISO 400, along with a slight softening of fine detail, with ISO 800 a little worse. The fastest settings of ISO 1600 and 3200 aren't really worth using at all as they suffer from too much smearing of detail.

Chromatic aberrations were well controlled, with some limited purple fringing effects appearing only in very high contrast situations. The 16 megapixel images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera sharpening level.

Macro performance is good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cm away from the subject. Commendably barrel distortion is well controlled even at the 25mm wide-angle focal length. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate overall exposure.

The anti-shake system works well when hand-holding the DV300F in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The maximum shutter speed of 16 seconds allows the camera to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.


There are 7 ISO settings available on the Samsung DV300F. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Samsung DV300F's 5x zoom lens provides a focal length of 25-125mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.




Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


File Quality

The Samsung DV300F has 3 different image quality settings available, with Superfine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Superfine (6.24Mb) (100% Crop)

Fine (3.39Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (2.33Mb) (100% Crop)  

Chromatic Aberrations

The Samsung DV300F handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic 2 (100% Crop)


The Samsung DV300F offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.


100% Crop


The flash settings on the Samsung DV300F are Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash off, and Red eye fix.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Forced Off - Telephoto (125mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (125mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto setting or the Red Eye Fix option caused any amount of red-eye.


Auto (100% Crop)

Red eye fix

Red eye fix (100% Crop)

Photo Filters

The Samsung DV300F offers an extensive range of in-camera creative filters which are applied to the image as you take it.




Ink Painting

Oil Painting



Cross Filter



Soft Focus



Old Film


Half Tone Dot




Zooming Shot

Live Panorama

The Samsung DV300F can create a 180 degree panorama by holding down the shutter button and slowly moving the camera to one side (horizontally or vertically).

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Samsung DV300F camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample video from the Samsung DV300F camera at the highest quality setting of 1280x720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 20 second movie is 20.8Mb in size.

Product Images

Samsung DV300F

Front of the Camera

Samsung DV300F

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

Samsung DV300F

Isometric View

Samsung DV300F

Isometric View

Samsung DV300F

Rear of the Camera

Samsung DV300F

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Samsung DV300F

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Samsung DV300F

Rear of the Camera /Main Menu

Samsung DV300F

Rear of the Camera / Home Menu

Samsung DV300F

Rear of the Camera / Wi-Fi Menu

Samsung DV300F

Top of the Camera

Samsung DV300F

Bottom of the Camera


Samsung DV300F

Side of the Camera

Samsung DV300F

Side of the Camera

Samsung DV300F

Front of the Camera

Samsung DV300F

Front of the Camera

Samsung DV300F

Memory Card Slot

Samsung DV300F

Battery Compertment


The Samsung DV300F is an appealing compact camera that majors on social sharing and wireless connectivity, without forgetting to take a good picture too. The wealth of different shooting modes can be overwhelming, we missed having built-in HDMI connectivity and a one-touch movie record button, the flash seemingly takes forever to recharge and the front LCD screen is rather dark and grainy, but overall the DV300F makes a good carry-everywhere camera for recording and instantly sharing your life.

JPEGs are a little soft straight out of the DV300F and noise starts to rear its ugly head at ISO 400, but colours are flatteringly warm when conditions are ideal and the overall performance is no worse than that of most mid-range compacts. It's disappointing to only see 720p video featured rather than full 1080p, but at least it will be quicker to upload to your social network of choice. The front LCD makes it relatively straight-forward to take a good self-portrait, while the fast lens (at least at the 25mm focal length) and optical image stabilisation system help out in the poor lighting conditions that the DV300F will often encounter.

In summary the Samsung DV300F offers advanced wi-fi connectivity, a vast array of "fun" shooting modes and decent photos at a price that undercuts most of the direct competition. If you've hit the limitations of your current smartphone and want a pocket camera that's more capable without losing too much in the way of connectivity, then the new DV300F certainly fits the bill.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Samsung DV300F from around the web. »

The Samsung DV300F is an ultra compact camera with a 5x optical zoom lens, built in Wi-Fi and a front screen to help with self-portrait or group shots.
Read the full review »


Image Sensor

Sensor Type 16M CCD  
Effective Pixel Approx 16.1 Mega pixel  
Total Pixel Approx. 16.4 Mega pixel  


Focal Length Samsung 5x Zoom Lens f = 4.5 ~ 22.5mm  
F No. 2.5 (W) ~ 6.3 (T)  
Optical Zoom 5x  
Digital Zoom Still Image mode : 1.0x ~ 5.0x  

Image Stabilization

Mode OIS  


Type TFT LCD  
Size 3.0" Main LCD
1.5" Front LCD
Feature 3.0" (7.62cm), 460K dots+Front TFT LCD 1.5"(3.8cm), 61k dots  


Type TTL Auto Focus  
Range Normal : 80cm ~ Infinity (Wide), 250cm ~ Infinity (Tele) Macro : 5cm ~ 80cm (Wide), 100cm ~ 250cm (Tele) Auto Macro : 5cm ~ Infinity (Wide), 100cm ~ Infinity (Tele)  

Shutter Speed

Smart Auto : 1/8 ~ 1/2000 sec., Programme : 1 ~ 1/2000 sec., Night : 16 ~ 1/2000 sec., Fireworks : 2 sec.


Control Programme AE  
Metering System Multi, Spot, Centre-weighted, Face Detection AE  
Compensation ±2EV (1/3EV steps)  
ISO Equivalent Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200  


Mode Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash Off, Red-eye fix  
Range Wide : 0.2m ~ 4.1m, Tele : 0.5m ~ 1.6m  
Recharging Time Approx. 4 sec  

White Balance

Mode Auto WB, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent_H, Fluorescent_L, Tungsten, Custom  

Still Image

Mode Mode : Smart Auto, Programme, Scene, Live Panorama, Self Shot, Picture-in-Picture,Magic Frame, Funny Face, Photo Filter, Beauty Shot, Intelligent Portrait, Night Shot, Split Shot, Motion Photo, Jump Shot, Children, Close up, Artistic Brush  

Image Play

Single image, Thumbnails, Advanced Slide Show, Movie Clip, Smart Album

Date Imprinting

Date&Time, Date, Off (user selectable)

Movie Clip

Recording Mode: Movie, Smart Movie, PIP MovieMovie Size(Frame Rate) : 1280 x 720 (30fps, 15fps), 640 x 480 (30fps, 15fps) 320 x 240 (30fps / 15fps), For Sharing (30fps / 15fps) Format : MP4 (Max. recording time : 20 min.) Sound Alive On / Off / Mute  
Effect Smart Movie Filter: Miniature / Vignetting / Half Tone Dot / Sketch / Fish-eye / Classic / Retro / Palette Effect 1 / Palette Effect 2 / Palette Effect 3 / Palette Effect 4  
Edit Still Image Capture / Time Trimming  


Media External Memory (Optional) : micro SD™ (up to 1 ~ 2GB guaranteed) micro SDHC (up to 32GB guaranteed), micro SDXC (up to 64GB guaranteed)  
File Format Still Image : JPEG (DCF), EXIF 2.21, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0, GIF Movie Clip : MP4 (H.264), Audio : AAC  
Image Size 16M : 4608 x 3456 / 14MP: 4608 x 3072 / 12 MW: 4608 x 2592 / 10M: 3648 x 2736 / 5M : 2592 x 1944 / 3 M: 1984 x 1488 / 2 MW: 1920 x 1080 / 1M : 1024 x 768  


Digital Output Connector USB 2.0
Audio Microphone : Mono Internal Speaker : Mono
Video Output AV : NTSC, PAL (User selectable)
DC Power Input 5.0V


Power Source Type Rechargeable battery : BP88 (min 880mAh) Connector Type : Micro-USB

Physical Specification

Dimension Dimension (WxHxD) 95.2 x 56.5 x 18.3 (20)
Weight 120g (without battery and memory card media)  
Operating Temperature 0 ~ 40°C  
Operating Humidity 5 ~ 85%  

S/W and PC OS

Bundle PC S/W Intelli-studio  
Compatible OS Windows XP SP2 / Vista / 7  

System Requirement in General

For Macintosh Power Mac G3 or above Mac OS 10.4 or above  
For Windows Intel® Pentium®4 3.2GHz or above / AMD Athlon™ FX 2.6GHz or above Windows XP_SP2 / Vista / 7 32bit 250MB or more hard-disk capacity (over 1GB recommended) 512MB RAM (over 1GB recommended) nVIDIA Geforce 7600GT or above / ATI X1600 series or above 1024 x 768 pixels, 16-bit colour display compatible monitor (1280 x 1024 pixels, 32-bit colour display recommended) USB 2.0 CD-ROM Driver DirectX 9.0c or above  

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