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Samsung ST1000 Digital Camera Review

samsung20100407.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 

 

As exciting as it is to see a digital compact camera that has the ability to utilise Bluetooth connectivity, geo-tag images with the city, state and country of their origin, and wirelessly connect to the Internet for the purpose of uploading and emailing photos instantly, it isn’t especially surprising given Samsung are a leading and well-known manufacturer of TVs, mobile phones, printers, computers and other electrical goods.

And in the ST1000 it is easy to see the convergence of many of these technologies into what is a fairly sleek and cutting edge touchscreen unit with multiple technologies previously unseen in the compact camera market and all for a reasonable RRP $549.00.

Consider being able to bypass connecting to your computer in order to upload and share images online directly from your camera.

Assuming you’re in the vicinity of a Wi-Fi hotspot, you’ll be able to email images instantly to your family and friends, make uploads to Facebook, YouTube and Google’s Picasa (so you can see via Google maps/Google Earth etc. where the photo was physically taken) and Samsung Imaging online to share photos and videos at your whim.

It’s a very exciting prospect indeed although the reality isn’t quite as seamless a process as today’s tech savvy users may expect. On occasion, the ST1000 will freeze when accessing wireless Internet and must have the battery removed then reinserted in order to get going again.

Lengthy upload time – perhaps not in reality but in comparison to those lighting quick responses modern technology has allowed us to come to expect – can also be an issue.

But the simple fact is that it can certainly be overlooked given the undeniable convenience of camera-to-online connectivity without a desktop or laptop in sight.

The ability for the ST1000’s GPS to geo-tag images with the city, state and country name of their origin proves especially handy in playback mode when it allows users to sort images via their geo-tag.

Particularly for those who travel often or extensively, this feature would be very much appreciated when upon returning home the trip’s adventures all begin to blur into one often-undecipherable blob.

Bluetooth connectivity allows for instant image transfer to compatible devices within the ST1000’s vicinity, which equates to another convenient and exciting way to share images with friends and family at the touch of literally a couple of buttons.

During the process, the Bluetooth 2.0 technology automatically resizes the images being sent to best suit the screen size of the host receiving device.

To cap it all off, the ST1000 can also connect wirelessly to any Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) device such as certain computers/laptops and televisions and again, does so without the hassle and inconvenience of additional cords etc.

In terms of overall operation and functionality the ST1000 performs quite well. The icons and internal menus are all set out logically and are clearly labeled making picture taking a fairly simple task that can be as easy as point-and-shoot if desired.

While it will take some getting used to (as with most new compact cameras) once this initial exploration and experimenting is done, operation is fairly straightforward and swift.

The generous 3.5-inch touchscreen is one of the more responsive of those tested over the years although with this comes a degree of hypersensitivity which often results in the wrong button/option being selected.

This is particularly likely when shooting self-portraits and a slight slip of the finger may result in the accidental accessing of a menu or function that is not desired at the time.

Touchscreen operation in general lends itself to two-handed control, which may or may not suit certain users depending on personal preference/style.

The preview offered is mostly clear and bright where the full length of the 3.5-inch screen is only ever utilitsed when shooting in 9 (3840x2160p) or 2megapixel (1920x1080p) format.

A full 12.2 megapixels are available (where the preview displayed is just shy of 2.75-inches) although given the non-protruding 5x optical zoom lens it is fair to consider that perhaps the ST1000 is equipped with more resolution than it can actually effectively resolve.

This would help explain why image quality is good and good at best. What the ST1000 handles well, it does so very well for a compact and where it struggles, it struggles fairly significantly.

In bright conditions, either utilising the flash or shooting without it outside on a sunny day, the ST1000’s images are vibrant, clear and visually appealing.

In low light conditions however, the flash often results in red eye and without it, noise and the smudginess created as a result of trying to counteract it quite noticeably degrades the quality of images.

The ST1000 is equipped with a smart gesture user interface that allows for quick access to program and movie modes along with smart auto via a defined physical tilt in one of three directions.

During playback, these tilt commands shift to multi slideshow, favourite tag and protect tag and also help to shuffle backwards and forwards through images.

A smart face recognition database is available and can store up to 20 individuals in its auto recognition system.

Those who know and use Apple’s iPhoto will be familiar with the process by which you tag certain people to help locate and categorise images in which they appear and in the ST1000 this also ensures the camera prioritises their face in any composition.

Initially the process can be a bit tricky to navigate in camera but the patience you invest will ultimately pay off when wanting to search and/or sort images for particular people and to ensure they are always prioritised during picture taking.

15 scene modes are available and utilised in smart auto mode, which cleverly, accurately and automatically detects the scene presented and switches the ST1000 into the best shooting mode available to handle its given conditions for example: self-shot, sunset, blue sky, macro, natural green etc.

720p HD movie mode and HDMI connectivity are also available along with MP3 playback and voice tagging on this, the slimmest unit in the ST range at just 19mm at its widest point.medal-gold-r.jpg

The ST1000 is undeniably at the forefront of where the compact camera industry as a whole is likely to be heading.  It has expanded the possibilities exponentially in a single leap and it will not be surprising to see the rest of the market attempt to follow suit.

On paper, it truly is an incredible little unit and the reality of its ability to share images and videos wirelessly, instantly and remotely is as exciting as it is likely to be popular.

That said this unit isn’t without its teething problems. Occasionally freezing occurs when in Wi-Fi mode and the overall picture quality appears to have been compromised to a degree in place of sexier technologies and ability.

If you’re a blogger or social network site user and you love having your photos online ASAP and before anyone else, or if you travel regularly or extensively and love sharing the experience with friends and family at home then you should consider purchasing the ST1000.

 

Appearance rating 3.5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
3 stars
Lens quality
3 stars
View finder / LCD screen 3.5 stars
Value for money 3.5 stars
RRP (AUD) $549
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 12.0 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 10 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 35mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 175mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 5x
Resolution Settings From  1,024 x 768 to 3,968 x 2,976
Shooting Modes 16 Scenes
Face Detection Yes, 20 faces
Metering Multi, Spot, Center Weighted, Face Detection AE
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 80cm ~ infinity
Aperture Range F3.3(W) ~ F5.8(T)
Aperture Priority Yes
Macro Yes (and Super Macro: 1cm ~ 5cm (Wide, only)
Macro Range [cm] 10cm ~ 80cm (Wide), 50cm ~ 80cm (Tele)
Shutter Speeds Auto: 1 ~ 1 / 1,000 seconds Night: 8 ~ 1 / 1,000 seconds  Fireworks: 4 seconds
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600, 3,200
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 3.5" Wide over hVGA w/ Full Touch Screen Panel
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash off, Red eye fix
Hot Shoe No
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent_H, Fluorescent_L, Tungsten, Custom
Self Timer Self-timer : 10 sec, 2 sec
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes
Audio Voice Recording (max. 10 hours)
Voice Memo in Still Image (max. 10 sec.)
Stereo Recording
Storage Type External Memory (Optional) : Micro SD Card
Storage Included [Mb] 55MB Internal Memory
Capture Formats Still Image : JPEG (DCF), EXIF 2.21, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0
Movie Clip :MP4 (H.264(MPEG4.AVC))
Audio : WAV
Connectivity USB
Power Source Adaptor: SAC-48, SCB34-U05
Connector Type: 34pin
Battery Options Rechargeable battery: SLB-11A (1,100mAh)
Dimensions (W) 99.8 x (H) 60.8 x (D) 18.9mm
Weight 156g (without battery and card)

 


 

 

 

 
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