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Samsung ST30 Digital Camera Review

Samsung ST30 Digital Camera Review - ePHOTOzine takes a quick look at the extremely small and low cost Samsung ST30 compact digital camera.

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Category : Digital Cameras
Product : Samsung ST30
Price : £38
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Front with lens extended
Front with lens extended

The Samsung ST30 is Samsung's smallest, and cheapest digital camera, with a 10 megapixel sensor, 2.4inch screen and 3x optical zoom lens, it fits in virtually any pocket. It's also available in a number of stylish colours, including pink, red, black and silver.

Front
Front

Samsung ST30 Features

With a wide angle 28mm lens it zooms to 84mm, which isn't much telephoto reach, so you may have to use your feet every now and again to move closer to your subject. The ultra compact size means that on the back is a 2.4inch screen, which is hardly large by today's standards. Video recording is just VGA at 30fps with sound. The camera also has a smaller sensor than normal, at 1/3inch, so this may (or may not) effect image quality adversely (we find out in our review below). However, the camera still has the full range of ISO options from ISO80 all the way to ISO3200.

Top
Top

Key features

  • 3x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28 - 84mm)
  • 10.1 megapixel sensor
  • Smart auto
  • Digital image stabilisation
  • Extremely small body
  • ISO80 - 3200
Memory card and battery
Memory card and battery

Samsung ST30 Handling

The Samsung ST30 has the usual blue Samsung menus, these are fairly straightforward and easy to use. They also give access to numerous photo styles such as soft, vivid, forest, retro, cool, calm, classic and negative to aid creativity. The buttons aren't too small considering the really tiny size of the camera, so it's still easy enough to use with large hands. Speed is generally quite good and there's some more advanced options than you would expect from a budget camera such as AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing). Battery life is acceptable despite the tiny 710mah battery.

Rear
Rear

Samsung ST30 Performance

Image quality is generally acceptable with good colour and acceptable detail. However corners do appear soft, and any images taken over ISO 800 setting do show excessive levels of noise and are therefore best avoided. Vignetting was very occassionally noticed at wide angle. Purple fringing is generally low, unless taking photos of trees with bright skies behind, where purple fringing appears in the corners. Barrel and Pincushion distortion isn't particularly obvious, although you could spot it if you were looking for it. Auto white balance performance is good. Macro performance is acceptable allowing the camera to focus at just 5cm.

Samsung ST30 Lens test images


Samsung ST30 Scene modes


Samsung ST30 ISO test images


Samsung ST30 White-balance test images


Samsung ST30 Digital filters


Video

Here is an example video, it is VGA, another example using zoom can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.



Value for Money

The Samsung ST30 is up against the suspiciously similar looking Kodak Easyshare Mini M200 - both cameras are available for around £60-65, with the Kodak emphasising its ability to share to Facebook or Twitter etc. The Samsung features more "advanced" options and digital filters for a point and shoot camera. Have a look at our other reviews to see what the camera is up against (you can sort by price for example).

Samsung ST30 Verdict

The Samsung ST30 may not be as feature packed as other cameras, or may not offer as good handling as more expensive cameras, however, the Samsung ST30 (like the Kodak Easyshare Mini) has a number of key qualities that make it appealing for these reasons: It's REALLY small, it's got a really low price, and it looks really cute. It's the kind of camera that you leave in the bottom of your bag or purse (or manbag) just so that you know you always have a camera with you, without ever worrying about how much it weighs! (especially with it weighing just 86g) Admittedly image quality is not the greatest but if you want an ultra compact camera, with an ultra compact price, you may need to overlook the image quality and come to some kind of compromise.

Samsung ST30 Pros

Good value for money
Really tiny
Looks cute
Advanced point and shoot options

Samsung ST30 Cons

High Noise after ISO 800
Only VGA video

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL

Samsung ST30 Specifications

ManufacturerSamsung
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent28mm - 84mm
Optical Zoom3x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels10.13Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)3648
Pixels (H)2736
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/3 inch
Sensor Size (width)4.8mm
Sensor Size (height)3.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.4in
Screen resolution112,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1400sec
Shutter speeds longest8sec
Exp modes
  • Program
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30, 15
Stereo SoundNo Data
Optical Zoom with VideoNo Data
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
    File Type
    • JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeRechargeable battery : BP70A (700mA)
    CIPA RatingNo Data
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo Data
    Dimensions
    Weight86.5g
    Width82mm
    Height51.9mm
    Depth16.9mm

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    Photographs taken using the Samsung ST30

    MEYNELL
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