Just yesterday I bought a new Camera, and I thought it might be interesting to compare it with the other cameras I have. They are :-
  1. Olympus C100 (1.3 Megapixel)
  2. Traveller D1 (4 Megapixel)
  3. Praktica DC slim 315 (3.1 Megapixel)
  4. Samsung S1070 (10.1 Megapixel - the new camera)
 I set up a tripod on my front doorstep and took pictures of the view across the road. I set the pictures to be approximately centred on a no parking sign. All the cameras were set to auto, with flash off, and where they have an optical zoom function I too both wideangle, and fully zoomed pictures. Those originals, with only the file names changed to show the camera name, and whether it was zoomed, can be seen/downloaded here. I then used The Gimp (Linux version 2.4.5) to scale the images to a resolution of 800x600. This is what the pictures look like.................
Olympus C-100 full picture
Olympus C-100

Traveller D1 full picture
Traveller D1

Praktica DC slim 315 full picture
Praktica DC slim 315

Samsung S1070 full picture
Samsung S1070

Traveller D1 full zoom
Traveller D1 full (optical) zoom

Samsung S1070 full zoom
Samsung S1070 full (optical) zoom

There are so many variables in these pictures that it is hard to make comparisons. The Olympus camera, being only a 1.3 Megapixel camera produces less detail in the picture, and that is very obvious in the next set of tests to follow, although the picture probably has the best balance between the bright sky and the darker foreground.The Samsung was the only camera that showed the sky was blue, but that left the rest of the picture looking very dark. That is not actually too much of a handicap because a bit of tweaking with The Gimp shows that all the detail is still in the lowlights.
Samsung S1070 split picture
Split picture from the Samsung S1070 showing there is still plenty of detail in the dark picture

 One aspect of photography (unless you are an expert with a mega expensive camera, and an infinite variety of lenses) is the ability to selectively crop (and often rotate) a picture. This is actually a far meaner test of the camera than just the balance between light and dark. For the next tests I have chosen the parking restriction sign mounted on the lamppost as my test image. Starting from the originals, and like last time I have not enhanced the pictures in any way (except for the split view above). I have simply (and slightly roughly) cropped the image down to just the parking restriction sign, and enlarged each result 200%.
Olympus C-100 cropped
Olympus C-100
Traveller D1 cropped
Traveller D1
Praktica DC slim 315 cropped
Praktica DC slim 315
Samsung S1070 cropped
Samsung S1070

Traveller D1 zoomed and cropped
Traveller D1 zoomed
Samsung S1070 zoomed and cropped
Samsung S1070 zoomed
 In zoom mode it is pretty obvious that the Samsung contains far more detail than the other cameras, and I wonder that is for more reasons than just having a higher resolution sensor. For instance the contrast ratio, and the colour balance seems better compared to the Traveller D1. Also there is less noise and/or jpeg artifacts in the Samsung picture. Without the optical zoom it is obvious that the Olympus picture is useless, and to my surprise it is the Praktica that seems to come off best.

 The actual pictures the camera takes are important, but it is also important how easy it is to take those pictures.

  For ease of use the Olympus is very good. It starts up fairly quickly, and there is very little shutter lag, and it survives reasonably well on 4 AA "high power" alkaline batteries.

  The Traveller D1 seems to take pretty good pictures most of the time, but it is a pig to use. The start up time is very long, and the shutter lag is very long too. Overall it is a very slow camera except when it comes to eating the two AA batteries. It seems to have some very high peak current demands that very quickly kill alkaline batteries, and really only works on rechargeable batteries.

 The Praktica DC slim 315 is almost a point and shoot camera. It starts quickly, but there is a sting in it's tail. It seems to be very unpredictable as to just when it does the exposure. You line up the picture in the viewfinder, click the shutter button, and then you have to remember to hold the camera steady for at least a couple of seconds or you can get strange geometric distortions on the picture - individual parts of the picture are exposed very quickly, but these parts are not all exposed at the same time, or so it appears. (This is unlike the Traveller D1 where a streaky picture results because it is actually taking the picture some time after you have pressed the shutter button). The battery life from two AAA alkaline batteries is remarkably good.

  For the Samsung S1070 I have been treating it like the Traveller, or Praktica, so I have yet to encounter any strange effects related to shutter lag or exposure time. It seems that it may be as good as the Olympus in this respect, but until I have confirmed it that remains speculation. It does start up quickly like the Olympus, and so far it seems like the battery life from two AA "high power" alkaline batteries is pretty good. Overall, I am pretty impressed with it.