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NB. Due to similarities in performance, some of the review is the same as the Samsung PL170 review.
The slim and stylish Samsung ST6500 was announced in January 2011. With a curved design it is available in black and silver from £157.00.
Taking images is made easy by the Smart Auto 2.0 mode which decides on the ideal settings for the camera when taking pictures or recording movies. There is also Dual Image Stabilisation - optical and digital, helping to take sharp pictures in varying conditions. Taking pictures of friends and family is helped by Smart Face Recognition, which remembers 20 faces and automatically focuses on them ensuring they stand out.
To aid creativity there are a range of Magic Filters (including Wall Art, Retro Film, Ripple, Full Moon, Old Record, Magazine, Holiday, Classic TV and more) and Smart Filters (such as miniature, fish-eye, vignetting).
HD videos can be shot at 720p HD and also utilises the Smart Filter mode: Miniature, Vignetting, Half Tone Dot, Sketch, Fish Eye, Defog, Classic, Retro, Negative. The camera can then be connected via a HDMI cable to any HDTV.
- 16.1 Megapixel sensor
- 5x optical zoom 26mm wide-angle lens
- Smart Touch 3.0in LCD screen
- Dual Image Stabilisation
- HDMI Cable port
- Smart Auto for images and movies
- Smart Filter 2.0
- Perfect Portrait System
- Smart Face Recognition
- Object Highlight
- Smart Filter with Creative Special Effects
- HD Movie recording
- Magic Frames
- Face Tracking
- ISO80 - 3200
The touch screen does take a bit of getting used to be is responsive and the menus are easy to navigate with the few buttons well placed on the camera although it is strange to not have the zoom rocker around the shutter button.
|Wide-angle, ISO80, 1/750, f/3.3, 4.7mm (35mm equiv: 26mm)||Telephoto, ISO80, 1/350, f/5.9, 24mm (35mm equiv: 130mm)|
At ISO80 noise is unnoticeable, but at ISO100 the images are not as sharp as at ISO80. Noise slowly gets worse through ISO200 and ISO400, but good images are still produced. At ISO800 significant amount of detail is lost, again worsening at ISO1600. There is plenty of noise at ISO3200. The pleasing aspect is that although more detail gets lost through the ISO range, colours are unaffected. Images produced at ISO1600 and ISO3200 are likely to be best suited for small prints and use on the web.
The ST6500 produces well exposed images with excellent colour reproductions. Despite only being able to focus up to 5cm, pleasant macro shots are possible. Thanks to the camera's Beauty Shot mode, portrait shots are easy to take with pleasing skin tones. Using the Perfect Portrait System, you can change the Face Retouch and Face Tone levels. In Landscape mode the camera takes images with excellent blues and greens.
|Macro, ISO80, 1/750, f/3.3, 4.7mm (35mm equiv: 26mm)||Landscape, ISO80, 1/250, f/9.4, 4.7mm (35mm equiv: 26mm)|
|Beauty Shot, ISO200, 1/45, f/4.2, 8mm (35mm equiv: 42mm)||Object Highlight, ISO100, 1/30, f/3.3, 4.7mm (35mm equiv: 26mm)|
During testing the ST6500's auto white-balance performance was good and proved perfectly capable under our fluorescent and incandescent studio lights. Using the fluorescent preset under the fluorescent lights gives a slight green cast in the image, the AWB preset does a much better job.
Below are example shots taken using each of the filters.
The ST6500 shoots videos at 720p HD, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 all at either 30/15 fps and allows the use of the 5x optical zoom. For added creativity videos can be shot with the addition of some filters, such as miniature effect.
Value For Money
The Samsung ST6500 can be purchased for £155.19. The camera compares very closely to the Canon Powershot A3300 IS which scored four out of five in our recent test. The A3300 IS has a 16 megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom and a mode dial and is available for £122.00. Other cameras to consider are the Sony Cybershot W570 at £149.00, Fujifilm FinePix AX350 at £99.99 and the Fujifilm FinePix Z900 at £199.99, all of which have around 16 megapixel sensors and 5x optical zoom.
Canon Powershot A3300 IS or indeed the Samsung ST95.
Samsung ST6500: Pros
Excellent colour reproduction
3in wide LCD screen
Samsung ST6500: Cons
Some purple fringing and chromatic aberration at times
Images lack detail
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
|Optical zoom||5x optical zoom f = 4.7 - 23.5mm (35mm film equiv: 26 - 130mm), f/3.3 - 5.9|
|Max image size||4608 x 3456|
|Focusing system||TTL auto focus|
|Focus points||Multi AF, Centre AF, Face Detection AF, Object Tracking AF, Smart Face Recognition AF|
|ISO sensitivity||ISO80 - 3200|
|Metering system||Program AE|
|Metering types||Multi, Spot, Centre Weighted, Face Detection AE|
|Exposure compensation||± 2EV (1/3EV steps)|
|Shutter speed range||2 - 1/2000 sec|
|Image stabilisation||Dual IS (OIS + DIS)|
|Movie mode||High Quality - 1280 x 720 (30fps, 15fps)
Standard Quality - 1280 x 720 (30fps, 15fps), 640 x 480 (30fps, 15fps), 320 x 240 (30fps, 15fps)
|Monitor||3.0in TFT LCD (230K dots) touch panel|
|Media type||Micro SD/SDHC Card|
|Interface||USB 2.0, HDMI|
|Power||Rechargeable battery: BP70A Adaptor: SAC-48, CB20U05A Connector Type: 20pin|
|Box Contents||Wrist strap
Lithium Ion battery
|Size||102.3 x 56.5 x 19.3mm|
|Weight||126.5g (not including memory card and battery)|