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.
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.
3x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28 - 84mm)
10.1 megapixel sensor
Digital image stabilisation
Extremely small body
ISO80 - 3200
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.
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.
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
Advanced point and shoot options