Samsung DualView TL225 Performance, Timings and Image Quality

by Adam Crawford Reads (114)

PERFORMANCE
Samsung’s TL225 is a tiny camera that I really enjoyed shooting with on different occasions. It was light enough to lug around constantly, it was easy to put in my pocket, and was discrete when I didn’t feel like drawing attention to my shooting of local parks and other places with people present. It has a few quirks that were undesirable, like when using the zoom lever, which only works when you have everything selected from the menu (it won’t zoom in and out unless the camera screen is clear), a slow image buffer when it’s processing images and saving them to your memory card, and probably one of the biggest pet peeves was that it only records to MicroSD cards, which can be easily lost because of their tiny size.

Speed-wise, the TL225 is a pretty middle-of-the-road performer, with just above bottom performance timings. But lab tests aren’t everything – in the field, the TL225 worked quite well for what I needed, which was nothing more than a good picture in a reasonable amount of time.

Shooting Performance
The camera fires up pretty fast and has a shutter lag of 0.04 seconds. That places it toward the bottom of the pile, but it’s not something to bat your eyes at. The camera finds focus fast in good light. In the field the TL225 had varied auto focus performance, finding focus easily in lighted scenes, and though it still performed well in darker situations, in extreme low-light scenarios it was unable to find focus at all. AF acquisition during lab tests clocked in at 0.41 seconds, and the same results were found in the field tests.

Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)

Camera Time (seconds)
Olympus Stylus 7010 0.03
Canon PowerShot SD940 IS 0.03
Samsung TL225 0.04
Nikon Coolpix S620 0.07

AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)

Camera Time (seconds)
Nikon Coolpix S620 0.28
Canon PowerShot SD940 IS 0.34
Samsung TL225 0.41
Olympus Stylus 7010 0.45

Continuous Shooting

Camera Frames Framerate
Nikon Coolpix S620 3 1.7 fps
Olympus Stylus 7010 2 1.7 fps
Samsung TL225 7 1.0 fps
Canon PowerShot SD940 IS 0.9 fps

Continuous shooting performance captured 1.0 fps until the camera hesitated to clear the buffer after 7 frames during the lab testing.

The Dual Image Stabilization system works quite well. I tested it in the field by turning off the IS function and slightly shaking the camera and snapping the shutter, producing a blurry frame as expected. I then enacted the Dual IS and did the same amount of shake and got a much clearer picture.

Samsung TL225
Without image stabilization

Samsung TL225
With image stabilization

Battery life of the TL225 is CIPA rated at 180 shots during specific shooting conditions. The field testing I did without flash put me well over 400 shots, but when I tried the same settings as Samsung, I got just above 180 shots, lining up the actual battery life nicely with their specs.

Lens Performance
The focal range of the 4.6x TL225 is a 35mm equivalent of 27-124mm – a moderate wide-angle to small telephoto lens. The maximum aperture range is f/3.5 wide to f/5.9 telephoto – not ahead of the rest of the class, but not lagging behind.

Samsung TL225
Wide angle

Samsung TL225
Telephoto

There is some minor distortion at 27mm, which is sort of annoying, but often a problem at the wide-angle side of point-and-shoot cameras. Also if you want to push the camera past the 4.6x optical zoom, you can utilize a 5x digital zoom range that makes the image resolution smaller.

Video Quality
The HD video quality of the TL225 seemed a bit subpar for my taste. It captures 1280×720 (720p) HD video in either 15 fps or 30 fps. The results showed a pretty noisy video quality. I wasn’t impressed with it, and I’ve captured more impressive video with point-and-shoots that capture standard def (640×480). I also found that when zooming in and out with the video capture, the sound turns off completely until you stop zooming.

Image Quality
Images straight out of the camera are in the normal (default) picture style, and are generally accurate, but can be changed with ten different styles including a cool color negative and retro look.

Samsung TL225
Normal
Samsung TL225
Soft
Samsung TL225
Retro
Samsung TL225
Negative

The default images processed are quite good and aren’t filled with too many chromatic aberrations. There is also the RGB style that lets you choose on a sliding scale, whether you want to accentuate your frame with Red, Blue, or Green. With the different styles you can choose, there is an option for any sort of color or mood you want to achieve, which is one of the strong suits of the TL225. It really brings out fall colors with the Vivid or Forest settings.

Samsung TL225

You can control the level of sharpness with the TL225 with a slider bar. It also allows you to control brightness and contrast in-camera so you don’t have to do it during post-processing. Overall, the image quality was right up there with the competition, adding plenty of options for in-camera editing.

Samsung TL225
Auto White Balance, 3200k incandescent light

Auto white balance worked very well in a few different lighting scenarios, but when shot indoors in 3200K incandescent lighting, it shot quite warm in the studio. There are three metering options including the default multi metering, which rendered the most accurate exposure.

The ISO performance of the TL225 is quite similar to most point-and-shoots, offering you a selectable scale from ISO 80 to 3200. At about ISO 200, noise starts to creep in to the equation. One would hope for better performance at this setting, and after 200, noise continues to increase almost to the point of unusable at 3200.

Samsung TL225
ISO 80
Samsung TL225
ISO 80, 100% crop
Samsung TL225
ISO 100
Samsung TL225
ISO 100, 100% crop
Samsung TL225
ISO 200
Samsung TL225
ISO 200, 100% crop
Samsung TL225
ISO 400
Samsung TL225
ISO 400, 100% crop
Samsung TL225
ISO 800
Samsung TL225
ISO 800, 100% crop
Samsung TL225
ISO 1600
Samsung TL225
ISO 1600, 100% crop
Samsung TL225
ISO 3200
Samsung TL225
ISO 3200, 100% crop

There’s going to be a lot of inherent noise from such a small image sensor with a 12.2 megapixel resolution, so this performance isn’t exactly shocking. Users will likely not see the noise present at ISO 200 and 400 in their prints, but cropping to 100% produced some disappointing results.

Additional Sample Images

Samsung TL225 Samsung TL225
Samsung TL225 Samsung TL225
Samsung TL225 Samsung TL225


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