In 1998 Samsung weren’t exactly the obvious name for a camera. Whereas these days Samsung and Japanese competitors Panasonic & Sony are often top dogs at photoshows, back in ’98 they were better known for non camera stuff. Samsung’s modest range of compact point and shoots including this one were hardly stars of 1998 Photokina show in an era still dominated by Japanese marquees.
But the AF 105 XL (aka Fino 105 AF) perhaps illustrate why the sands were shiftingI’ve had this camera for sometime. It came in a job lot of film and cameras and oddly is still with me instead of a Olympus Mju II Zoom. At first glance it is an uninspiring brick of a camera looking pretty much like any other of it’s era and in a now naff champagne colour.
But this is a pretty well specced camera. We’ll leave the just under x3 zoom for the moment. You’ve the usual controls which are well laid out (zoom toggle on rear, shutter on top and settings controls by top LCD). You get a dioptre adjustment on the viewfinder and the camera has the usual DX coding, easy load and motorwind features.
Samsung AF 105 XL Known Specs
- Lens: 38-105mm
- Focus: Active AF
- Battery : CR123A 3V Lithium
More modes than the 1992 Espio but that is a more stylish and more importantly has a +1.5 EV backlight adjustment which is more handy than Fuzzy. The Espio also can DX code from 25-3200 ISO. It isn’t clear if the Samsung has the same range but like the Espio it has 4 DX pins in the same position so maybe it does (given I rarely shoot anything out with 100-400 ISO I’m not the best to judge).
Performance-wise this camera performed as well as most cameras from the turn of the century. A quick measure of performance is to turn on the camera without film and move to full zoom and take a shot. I did this indoors which meant the flash was automatically triggered. The Samsung took 4.8secs whilst the shorter zoom Espio took 7.5 secs. In fairness to the Pentax some of the delay related more to a prolonged flash charge but nevertheless the Samsung does well here. Like most it puts on the flash around EV 11 at 100ISO and like others you run the risk of judder without it. It also is pretty sharp in good conditions marginally better at wider angles as you would expect. Like all 90’s AF compact zoom it makes a funny little electronic noise when shooting.
Viewfinder has usual focus square and on the edge a focus LED that goes solid when focused (or Blinks if too close or not focused) and flash ready LED
One nice feature is the lens cover closes when rewinds (most irritatingly stayed open)
All in a not bad camera if a bit dull & bulky for the end of the 90’s but it takes fine enough shots and has diopter adjustment. My main gripe is the LCD is at times not the easiest to read and a backlight adjust would have been nice but otherwise ticks all the boxes. I’m guessing sold for £100-170 in UK give other model pricing. Not ground-breaking but showed Samsung could make cameras and 2 decades later they are a much bigger player
Why Buy ?
- Good shots
Why not ?
- Lack of EV adjust
What I Paid
- Paid £5.50 plus postage for this and several cameras and film as job lot on eBay
- Samsung AF 105 XL page at Camera-wiki.org