The Samsung has an incredible 24mm-75mm zoom, which is not that incredible unless you consider it's a f1.8-2.4 Schneider lens too! Can you say "Low Light Monster Baby!" It also has an incredible ISO range of 80-3200. It's pretty darn clean up to 1600 as well, and totally useable. It also has a new AMOLED screen which, if you haven't seen one yet, makes typical camera LCD screens look like they were pulled off an old Atari computer. The screen flips and rotates, which is a nice bonus and I actually use it more than I thought.
The image quality is fantastic and it even has an in-camera "HDR" type feature for extended dynamic range. Very nice. The controls are all intuitive, easy to get to, and well laid out. The focus and response time is very vast, with little lag compared to most P&S cams. The only potential down-side for some is the non-HD video. It's 640x480, but clean. I really feel that HD is overkill for most people with P&S cams since it just ends up downsized for youtube or Facebook anyway. I'd rather watch a clean, fast loading, smaller video on the net over an HD, slow, stuttering video any day.
It's not super small and light, but boy is it built nice - not like a tank, but an Audi. In fact I find myself taking it out of my bag every now and then just to caress it a little. After all, that's what keeps love alive, right?
It's about $400 at online retailers.
Hey Folks, some asked for sample images, so here are some. They are obviously grab shots from around town with family. I picked some to show various features, like "smile detector" and the in-camera "HDR". They are shot in JPG fine, using the defaults. There are many options for tweaking the color and look in camera as well as RAW capture (the only problem being that Samsung RAW files are only useable via the Samsung RAW software - which is currently PC only. Shame on Samsung! They really should have use DNG format like my old beloved Ricoh. Lightroom and PS won't read these Samsung RAW files...yet).
See the descriptions below each image. Click on the images to see larger versions - which have still been downsized and resampled for the web, so original image quality is reduced somewhat.