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NB. Due to similarities in performance, some of the review is the same as the Samsung ST95 review.
The Samsung ST90 was released in January 2011 and is very similar to the Samsung ST95 which we reviewed in May 2011, with the ST90 being a simpler and cheaper version. The ST90 lacks the 3 inch touchscreen that featured on the ST95 and has a lower resolution sensor, at 14.2 megapixels as opposed to the ST95's 16.1 megapixel sensor. The ST90 is available in black, red, blue, silver and pink for around £110.
Smart Auto mode will decide on the best settings for your pictures, but if you would prefer to have your own influence there are a selection of scene modes: Landscape, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Beach & Snow and Text. Using Smart Face Recognition the camera can recognise and focus on up to 20 faces that have been designated on the camera so they can stand out in your shots. For shooting portraits there is a Beauty Shot mode where you can change the amount of Face Tone and Retouch. Other features include Night mode, Close Up and Object Highlight.
- 2.7inch intelligent LCD screen
- 14.2 Megapixel sensor
- 5x optical zoom 26mm wide-angle lens
- Slim design
- Smart Auto 2.0
- Smart Filter
- HD Movie recording
- Magic Frames
- Smart Face Recognition
- Object Highlight
- Digital Image Stabilisation
- Sound Alive
- ISO80 - 3200
The ST90 is extremely small, at just 16.5mm thick, fits perfectly into your pocket and the optical zoom lens doesn't extend far from the camera. The screen is of good size and easy to view in bright conditions. Samsung have kept the menu system uncomplicated, with plenty of information available when deciding which settings to change.
When switching to continuous shooting the camera is capable of around 0.8fps at full size and in motion capture mode it can shoot at around 6.5fps, although the image size is reduced.
|Wide-angle, ISO80, 1/350, f/3.3, 4.7mm (35mm equiv: 26mm)||Full optical zoom, ISO80, 1/350, f/5.9, 23.5mm (35mm equiv: 130mm)|
|Digital zoom, ISO80, 1/350, f/5.9, 23.5mm (35mm equiv: 130mm)||Macro, ISO100, 1/60, f/3.3, 4.7mm (35mm equiv: 26mm)|
There is a touch of noise at ISO80, this barely worsens though at ISO100, and again to ISO200. Noise does start to kick in at ISO400 and is much worse at ISO800. Images produced at ISO1600 and ISO3200 have plenty of noise and are best suited for small sized use. Throughout the ISO range, colour reproduction remains very good.
Below are some sample images taken using the ST90. Using the camera's Beauty Shot mode, portrait shots are easy to take with pleasing skin tones. In Landscape mode the camera takes images with excellent blues and greens. The fourth image was created by taking shots using the cameras AEB mode, which took images at -0.5, ±0 and +1 exposure compensation and then merged using Adobe Photoshop CS5.
During testing the ST90'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.
Smart FiltersBelow are sample images taken using the various Smart Filters available on the ST90.
Video ModeThe ST95 shoots videos at 720p HD, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 all at either 30/15 fps and allow the use of the 5x optical zoom, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. For added creativity, videos can be shot with the addition of the following smart filters: Palette Effect 1, 2, 3 & 4, Miniature, Vignetting, Fish-eye, Defog, Classic, Retro and Negative.
Value For MoneyThe Samsung ST90 is currently available for around £110.00. The ST95, with more megapixels and a touch screen is priced at around £128.00. There are plenty of cameras to consider with a similar price and features such as the: Canon PowerShot A3200 IS at £104.99, Fujifilm FinePix Z90 at £98.99, Nikon Coolpix S3100 at £99.94, Sony Cybershot W520 at £93.99, Pentax Optio S1 at £99.99 and Olympus VG-130 at £82.99.
Samsung ST90: ProsExcellent colour reproduction
Filters available on images and videos
Camera is very compact and looks good
Optical zoom available on videos
AEB rare on compact / budget cameras
Samsung ST90: ConsSome purple fringing and chromatic aberration at times
Requires a Micro SD card
|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||4320 x 3240|
|Focusing system||TTL auto focus|
|Focus points||Multi AF, Center 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||8 - 1/2000 sec|
|Image stabilisation||Digital Image Stabilisation|
|Movie mode||Recording time: 20min Size: 1280 x 720 (30/15fps), 640 x 480 (30/15fps), 320 x 240 (30/15 fps) Zoom: Optical 5x|
|Monitor||2.7in TFT LCD|
|Media type||Micro SD/SDHC Card|
|Power||Rechargeable battery: BP70A (740mAh, Min.700mAh)|
|Box Contents||Wrist strap
Lithium Ion battery
Quick Start Manual
AC Adapter/USB Cable
|Size||91.8 x 53.9 x 16.5mm|
|Weight||105.0g (not including memory card and battery)|