Samsung ST50 12.2MP Ultra Slim Digital Camera Review
11 June 2009
Conclusion: The Samsung ST50 digital camera is not a bad camera. I do not mind recommending it to people but you have to realize what it does well and what it lacks to be able to determine if this camera is for you. If you shoot between ISO 80 and ISO 400, you will not have any problems as detail is high between these values. Default levels for saturation is on the conservative side but increasing to +1 will bring out the colors better in your photos.
Pros: Image detail is high between ISO 80 to ISO 400, Stylish looking digital camera, Can be placed in your pocket, Smart Auto works very well, Variety of photo selector styles available such as negative, retro, calm, etc, Fast startup, Included travel USB wall charger is a bonus
Cons: ISO 800 and above is noisy and looks washed out in detail, No included camera case, No manual function to change aperture and shutter speed, White balance a little on the cool side, Videos look average and is a little dark, Proprietary cables, Audio cuts off when zooming and resumes audio when zooming has completed
Summary: The appeal of this camera is its small size and attractive appearance. It is a true go-anywhere camera which, used intelligently, delivers very good results. Needless to say most owners will put it into Smart Auto mode and leave it there, which is a pity. The ST50 deserves more discriminating use. It is not cheap and is up against stiff competition from Canon, Sony and Panasonic in this price range.
Pros: The image quality is generally very good, when all the conditions come together precisely. Focus is fast and accurate. Resolution is good. At ISO200 images are very good. Surprisingly it is even possible to get acceptably clean images at ISO speeds up to 800. And Samsung is honest – when ISO800 is selected in the menu a notice pops up warning of probable increase in image noise (grain).
Cons: Both auto exposure and auto white balance are erratic. Generally the camera over exposes by at least one stop. And the auto white balance, which is acceptable most of the time, can be easily upset, resulting in some weird colours. The absence of a proper printed manual is inexcusable. And as with all compact cameras that rely on the LCD as a viewfinder you won’t see anything in bright sunlight. Sadly the optical viewfinder is now a rare feature on compact cameras.
Summary: The camera gives adequate image quality although the success rate was disappointing as the camera doesn’t have image stabilisation, and doesn’t like cloudy days, focusing was also an issue unless you are happy switching to Smart Auto mode or switching to macro mode, I also noticed a lot of red-eye, and some over exposed images. (7/10).
Pros: It’s very small (Ultra compact), It looks good (from the front) thanks to the stainless steel body, Very easy to use in Smart Auto mode, 2.7″ screen, Manual White Balance, Video mode allows the use of the optical zoom (sound is muted whilst you zoom), ACB – Automatically Compensates for Brightness (expands Dynamic range)
Cons: Focus range is very limiting – subject must be 80cm away from camera or alternatively you have to switch to macro mode., 10cm macro mode, Poor low light performance (including cloudy weather)., Slow and awkward menu system – no quick access?, Lacks (real) image stabilisation, You can’t manually select the scene modes, Images over-exposed unless you use the ACB option, Average battery life
Excerpt: The ST50 is the first model in Samsung's new range of ultra-slim cameras. At just 16.6mm from front to back, the stainless steel body is little bigger than most mobile phones and looks gorgeous. Judging by Samsung's product brochure, this camera is aimed at women who are more interested in discovering their identity than worrying about image quality.
Excerpt: This 12.2-megapixel camera has a 35-105mm (film equivalent) lens. It is not image-stabilised. The large (75mm) LCD screen is of average resolution and poor in sunlight. Dimensions are tiny, with a face area equal to a credit card and a mere 14.2mm thick. It will fit any pocket without creating a bulge. The surface is attractive brushed metal. The ergonomics are poor, with some essential controls, such as exposure compensation, buried in two layers of menu.