Move over, Fujifilm FinePix Z1: it looks like there's another passenger on the sub-25mm-thick, internal-zooming, ultracompact digital camera bandwagon. The slick Samsung Digimax i5 marks a radical departure from the chunky, somewhat oblong shape of Digimaxes past. But despite its small size, the camera packs what appears to be an impressive array of point-and-shoot features. You'll also be able to get the 5-megapixel i5 in any of four colours: red, black, silver (pictured) or grey.
The i5's 18mm depth matches that of the Casio Exilim EX-S100, and its 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD screen trumps the S100's display by 12mm. The i5 also has some nice video features, capturing 30fps VGA (640x480) movie clips limited only by the capacity of your memory card. Furthermore, its internal 3x optical-zoom lens will function while shooting movies, a feature that you won't find in other digital cameras this size. To appeal to business people and students, the i5 doubles as a voice recorder and has a document mode that works in tandem with bundled text-recognition software.
Like the EX-S100 and numerous other recent ultracompacts, the i5 lacks an optical viewfinder. And like any slim camera with an internal zoom lens, there's a danger that longer fingers could accidentally block the lens during a shoot -- there's no external lens mechanism to keep your hands at bay.
The Samsung Digimax i5 appears to be a promising effort from a company that has openly declared its ambitions to become a top-three digital camera manufacturer. The design's derivative of cameras we've seen from Sony, Casio, Nikon and Fujifilm, but it's a definite step forward from some of Samsung's clunkier offerings. The Samsung Digimax i5 available online now for around £180 -- expect a full review soon.
Edited by Aimee Baldridge
Additional editing by Nick Hide