While we were satisfied with how the Samsung SH100 recorded pictures, there were issues that we discovered.
As is common with a small sensor and high resolution, we found noise getting into the picture at anything over ISO200 in everyday conditions. In controlled light, we found that the camera will show salt and pepper noise even at ISO80 but doesn't interfere with the picture too much. In fact, it's a running theme throughout the pictures until around ISO800 where colour noise starts to appear in shadow areas.
Edge detail starts to break down at ISO1600 and at the highest ISO3200 setting, the pictures take on a slight cast and edge definition breaks down even more.
On the plus side, we found the auto white balance works well in most situations, while the preset white balance options also showed a good performance.
Metering and focusing are pretty accurate and the calibration of the touchscreen AF makes precision focusing easy. Fine details can be focused on when you use the provided pen. In complex lighting, we found that the Samsung does work well and it coped to provide a balanced exposure.
The SH100 features three metering modes: Multi, Centre-Weighted and Spot. The Multi metering option divides the picture up into sections, analyses each section and selects and appropriate exposure from the results. Generally, the Multi metering works well, but if the scene contains a the ground sometime ends up underexposed.
Centre-Weighted metering gives priority to the centre of the frame and less towards the edges which is good for centred subjects such as portraits as it will ignore more of the background. Spot metering takes an exposure reading from the centre of the frame and ignores the rest of the frame completely. We found that all the modes work well in real life situations.
The wide-angle lens of the SH100 doesn't suffer from any worse barrel distortion than other digital compact cameras in the same price range. However, we discovered elements of chromatic aberration on the pictures, but only along high contrasting edges.
For an everyday compact camera, the pictures the SH100 produces are pleasing with rich colours and sharp subjects. Noise is a bit of an issue but nothing to worry about at lower ISO settings. If you need to go higher, try using flash first because the built-in flash works great for filling in darker subjects which may be backlit.