Samsung PL120 Review

September 23, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14.2 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5.5Mb.


Image quality at ISO 80 is exceptional, we were really impressed. This good quality continues through ISO 100 but at ISO 200 it starts to drop. Only slightly though so it's not something that needs to be worried about. After all, edge definition is actually still pretty good. Salt and pepper noise begins to creep in at ISO 400 in the darker areas of images and by ISO 800 coloured blobs start to appear in mid-range parts of the picture.

At ISO 1600 noise control is working as hard as it can to reduce the problems that the high setting produces. If you have to use ISO 3200, do it sparingly because in a final bid to improve image quality the camera knocks the resolution down. Noise is still present through the picture but we've seen much worse on higher spec cameras and there's a degree of edge definition still present. What this means is that despite its faults, the noise control is very good on the Samsung PL120.

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)



Images straight out of the Samsung PL120 are very good. They're nice and sharp but getting a little extra help in an editing suite boosts the sharpness that bit more.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


File Quality

The Samsung PL120 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.






Chromatic Aberrations

We had some real trouble finding any chromatic aberration (CA) in the pictures we took in the test. That's not to say it isn't present, we did notice it but on occasions when we thought there would be some, it wasn't there.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


Pictures in the Samsung PL120's macro mode are extremely sharp. That sharpness starts to fade as you move out to the edges though and although only mild, the wide-angle lens gives some barrel distortion.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


Using flash in general use will eliminate a lot of the natural vignetting that the lens produces but it's still present at the very far corners of the frame. Moving to the top end of the zoom range and the vignetting becomes more definite. There are 6 options with 2 of them dedicated to red-eye reduction.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (26mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (26mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Forced Off - Telephoto (130mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (130mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Along with the red-eye preflash, there's also a red-eye fix system which uses software to locate red-eye in the picture and remove it completely. However, in our tests we found that the Samsung PL120 doesn't leave red-eye in normal circumstances. We got it with animals but the problem with that is that the camera doesn't have programming for yellow eye.


Auto (100% Crop)

Red eye fix

Red eye fix (100% Crop)


On one of the night shots, we used an ISO 80 rating for an ultra long exposure and we found that we started to get noise in the dark areas of the shot. The reason is due to the pixels. During a long exposure, the pixels are being used for a lengthy amount of time. As the seconds pile up, they begin to heat up and this causes noise on neighbouring pixels. Some noise reduction systems can cope with this and reduce or eliminate it but the Samsung PL120 doesn't seem to be able to do this.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)