Samsung PL170

Samsung PL170 front
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 0 - 3200
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • ()mm (F) lens
  • n/ag - 95 x 57 x 19mm
  • Announced January 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Samsung PL170 summary

Samsung PL170 is Samsung's Ultracompact digital camera originally released on January of 2011. It features a 16 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a full resolution of 4608 x 3456.

The PL170 ranks at #87 out of 151 in Ultracompact cameras and over all #1074 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our list. Please try out our Smart camera search to find camera listings based on your custom factors.

Photography Glossary

Below is a diagram of various factors used in the rating system.

Samsung PL170 history

The Samsung PL170 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can see the detailed list below.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Samsung-PL120 front thumbnailSamsung PL120
PL170 vs PL120
Samsung-PL210 front thumbnailSamsung PL210
PL170 vs PL210
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Samsung-PL170 front thumbnailSamsung PL170()mm

Samsung PL170 Pros and Cons

Here is a list of pros and cons of the Samsung PL170 based on factors that are normally regarded as necessary in a digital camera.

decent sensor resolution (16 megapixels)
flash built-in
screen size is good (3 inches)
very good max aperture (f)
very good minimum ISO (0)
can't change focal length (()mm)
can't change lenses (fixed lens mount)
can't use external flash
has no phase detect auto focus
has no RAW format
lack of aperture priority mode
lack of manual focus
lack of shutter priority mode
no external microphone port
no HDMI port
no headphone port
no image stabilization
no manual control
no Timelapse function
pixelated screen (230 thousand dot)
screen is fixed
screen is not selfie friendly
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pxls)
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Samsung PL170 Sensor features

The dimension of the sensor on the Samsung PL170 is 6.08mm x 4.56mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to capture 4608 x 3456 pixels .

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The CCD sensor boasts 16 megapixels and includes a standard ISO range of 0 to 3200. Unfortunately, RAW photos are not supported which means that you have less margin for error.

The graphic below shows the PL170's sensor size compared to other popular sizes. The PL170 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.9 and is showcased in green.

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To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Samsung PL170 dimensions

Samsung PL170 has a weight of 0.00 lb ( grams / 0.00 ounces) and the dimensions of the camera is 95mm x 57mm x 19mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.7"). The weight of average Ultracompact camera is 121 grams and the Samsung PL170 is less heavy as compared to other rivals.

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Below is a pic of the Samsung PL170 next to a softdrink so you can have a feel for its size.

Samsung PL170 dimensions scale

The top view below will show you the button layout on the PL170.

Samsung PL170 topview buttons dials

Samsung PL170 Lens features

The PL170 offers a built-in lens offering a constant focal length of ()mm meaning that you don't have the option to zoom.

At it's widest ()mm, it will have an aperture of f and that's incredibly good in low light events and getting good bokeh. It would also make it easier to go with a much lower ISO to get cleaner shots.

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Samsung PL170 Connectivity

The PL170 has the following connectivity:

    Digital cameras that contain NFC or Bluetooth support can be used wirelessly with smartphones. You can transfer files and at times change camera settings without the hassle of connecting straight with the camera.

    Many apps also give a Liveview and release the shutter when you are not close to the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI out, it can be attached to an external monitor. Virtually all cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack using the USB port.

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    Samsung PL170 Video features

    The highest possible video resolution on the Samsung PL170 is 1280 x 720 and it can record in file format. 720p is awful by today's standards. You should shoot for a minimum FUll HD resolution for video. The body does not offer a mic or headphone port which means you get absolutely no control over your sound. It is probably best to look at an alternative camera if you need better sound in your videos.

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    Samsung PL170 Weather Sealing

    Samsung PL170 does not have environment proofing so wet conditions could affect the camera.

    Samsung PL170 Screen and Viewfinder

    The Samsung PL170 features a 3 inch fixed display having a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

    Please note that the display screen offers no touch support.

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    The View Finder details regarding Samsung PL170 are the following:

    • ViewFinder None

    Viewfinders can be really helpful in bright outdoor situations which can easily make the camera screen washed out and hard to view.

    Samsung PL170 Shutter features

    The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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    Samsung PL170 Flash and Hot shoe features

    Samsung PL170 boasts just integrated flash lacking external flash support.

    Samsung PL170 Autofocusing features

    Samsung PL170 lacks Auto focusing. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot snappier & exact as compared to Contrast Based autofocusing.

    Samsung PL170 lacks manual focusing. Manual focusing option can be good in low light conditions or you want to have more accurate control on focusing.

    Photography Glossary

    Samsung PL170 Battery life

    The average Ultracompact camera battery life is 214. Nikon L32 offers the best (320) battery life in this group of cameras.

    Below is a list of Ultracompact cameras having the best battery life:

    Samsung PL170 for various kinds of photography

    The following illustration shows a outline of the Samsung PL170 for various kinds of photography. To understand more, go to the specific paragraph below.

    Samsung PL170 Portrait photography factors

    The Samsung PL170 has a points tally of 30 which is low, meaning that it is not good to use for portrait photography. Photographing portraits favors heavily to sensor dimensions, support for RAW files in addition to the ability to utilize external flash.

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    decent MP (16MP)
    focusing manually not possible
    lack of manual mode
    no external flash support
    sensor size is small (1/2.3")
    doesn't have RAW support

    Samsung PL170 Street photography advice

    Getting a average score of 50, the Samsung PL170 is fairly suited for street photography. A decent street photography camera comes with a perfect balance of image quality and portability.

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    fixed screen
    does not have image stabilization
    tiny sensor (1/2.3")
    no RAW files

    Samsung PL170 as a Sports photography camera

    A low sports photography score of 27 means the Samsung PL170 is not good for shooting sports. A camera must have fantastic autofocus and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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    good megapixels (16 megapixels)
    fixed focal length (()mm)
    no shutter priority
    does not have image stabilization
    tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
    has no phase detect autofocus

    Samsung PL170 as a Travel photography camera

    Size is really critical when selecting a travel camera. All things considered, the Samsung PL170 gets a nice 71 as a travel camera which is a very decent option for your travels.

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    resolution is good (16 megapixels)
    has built in flash
    good maximum aperture (f)
    doesn't have Time Lapse recording
    display isn't selfie friendly

    Samsung PL170 Landscape photography features

    When you're planning to choose a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most significant factor will be image quality. The Samsung PL170 at it's low rating of 39 for a landscape camera is not good in the current marketplace.

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    good maximum aperture (f)
    screen size is decent (3 inch)
    decent sensor resolution (16 megapixels)
    focusing manually not possible
    fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
    can't change focal length (()mm)
    manual mode not possible
    lack of image stabilization
    tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
    has no RAW files
    lack of Timelapse mode

    Vlogging with Samsung PL170

    A vlogging camera really should have a articulating display, mic port and ideally IBIS. Considering everything, the Samsung PL170 is not good as a vlog camera as it receives a low score of 27.

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    very good max aperture (f)
    does not contain selfie friendly display
    does not have image stabilization
    video res low (1280 x 720 pxls)
    does not have external mic port

    Samsung PL170 Alternatives

    If you are in the market for replacements to the PL170, here is a list of the top placed cameras that fall into the class of Ultracompact.

    The graph underneath gives you an overview of the PL170 versus it's highest ranking competitors suggested above.

    There are a bunch of cameras you may take a look at as alternative options. To browse through a full comparison, click the "compare" link.

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    General Information
    Model type
    Samsung PL170
    Body design
    Sensor Information
    Sensor type
    Sensor size
    Sensor measurements
    6.08 x 4.56mm
    Sensor surface area
    Sensor resolution
    16 megapixels
    Anti alias filter
    Peak resolution
    4608 x 3456
    RAW pictures
    Highest native ISO
    Min native ISO
    Focus manually
    Touch to focus
    Continuous AF
    AF single
    Tracking AF
    AF selectice
    AF center weighted
    AF multi area
    Live view AF
    Face detection AF
    Contract detection AF
    Phase detection AF
    Cross type focus points
    Lens support
    fixed lens
    Lens zoom range
    Crop factor
    Screen type
    Fixed Type
    Screen sizing
    3 inches
    Screen resolution
    230 thousand dot
    Selfie friendly
    Touch operation
    Viewfinder Information
    Viewfinder type
    DXO scores
    DXO Overall rating
    not tested
    DXO Color Depth rating
    not tested
    DXO Dynamic range rating
    not tested
    DXO Low light rating
    not tested
    Minimum shutter speed
    Fastest shutter speed
    Shutter priority
    Aperture priority
    Manual exposure
    Change WB
    Image stabilization
    Integrated flash
    External flash
    Auto exposure bracketing
    White balance bracketing
    AF area
    Center weighted
    Video features
    Video resolutions
    1280 x 720
    Highest video resolution
    Microphone jack
    Headphone jack
    Environment seal
    Water proofing
    Dust proofing
    Shock proofing
    Crush proofing
    Freeze proofing
    95 x 57 x 19mm (3.7" x 2.2" x 0.7")
    Time lapse shooting
    Storage slots
    Pricing at release