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Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review

ePHOTOzine take a quick look at the sexy Samsung ST5500 which has a 14.2Mp sensor and 7x optical zoom.

| Samsung ST5500 in Compact Cameras
ePHOTOzine Verdict and ratings

Samsung ST5500: Click on the thumbnail for the larger image
Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST550 Front

The Samsung ST5500 was announced in February 2010 promising to give the user simple features with intuitive user interfaces so they can get the most from their camera and at the same time offering an enjoyable photographic experience. The Samsung ST5500 has an SSP of £349.99 and is available now.

Samsung ST5500: Features
The Samsung ST550 is a 14.3Mp digital compact camera with a 7x optical zoom and 3.7in wide touch display. You can also upload photos and videos directly to Facebook, Picasa or YouTube using the Samsung ST5500's wireless capabilities, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Samsung’s dual image stabilisation technology is also featured on the ST5500 which is ideal for the photographer who doesn't have such a steady hand.

Samsung ST5500 key features: Click on the thumbnails for larger images
Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST550 Back
There are no buttons to be found on the back of the Samsung ST5500 thanks to the 3.7in touch-screen.
Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST550 Play Button Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST550 Shutter Release
One of the few buttons on the ST5500 is the playback button. The wide/telephoto switch surrounds the shutter release button.

Samsung ST5500: Handling
On the Samsung ST5500 there are functions such as timer, focus method and flash that are easily accessed from the 3.7in touch-screen. Other settings are changed through the menu or by pressing one of the small arrow buttons on the screen. One of these buttons allows you to change exposure compensation, ISO, white-balance, focus area and face detection with minimal fuss. The touch screen was extremely easy to use, even with my slightly stubby fingers, I found the Samsung ST5500's touch screen responded as I hoped.

Samsung ST5500: Performance
On the widest lens setting, the performance of the Samsung ST5500 is good and the image remains fairly sharp throughout, with a little softness around the edges. When at the full telephoto length the results were very impressive. The detail on the roof is perfect and when zoomed it at 100% you can read the signs on the lock, very impressive considering the distance I was away from it. Overall the colours are accurate and the images were well exposed by the Samsung ST5500.

Samsung ST5500: Lens performance
Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST550 Tele Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST550 Wide
Detail on the roof of the building and the lock is fantastic at full telephoto length. A good sharp image of this lock in Shireoaks.

The auto white-balance does a fairly good job under incandescent lighting, although there is some warmth left in the picture. Using the incandescent setting you can clearly see that this performs better than using auto. On both settings the colours are rendered brilliantly.

At ISO 80 you get excellent clear, sharp images. When set at the maximum ISO of 3200 you lose a lot of detail and the image becomes very grainy; in fact it is so poor that it is unlikely you'd want to use ISO 3200 setting. Such poor performance at this speed is no surprise and most conventional digital compacts struggle at high ISO settings. In between these two extremes, ISO 200 gives good image quality but you start to notice a loss of detail at ISO 400. This continues to get worse at the faster ISO settings of 800 and 1600.

Samsung ST5500: Noise & white-balance
 Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review:  
Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting - ISO 80 Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting - ISO 3200
 Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review:  Samsung ST5500 Digital Camera Review:
Incandescent pre-set in incandescent lighting - ISO 80 Incandescent pre-set in incandescent lighting - ISO 3200

Samsung ST5500: Verdict
The Samsung ST5500 is an extremely easy camera to use and overall I believe that Samsung have produced an excellent compact camera. The Samsung ST5500 performs excellently when shooting at both ends of the lens and for your £350 you are getting plenty of megapixels as well as optical zoom. If you are social networker, the ability to upload your photos and videos straight to sites such as Facebook and YouTube is an excellent addition.

Samsung ST5500: Pros
7x optical zoom performance is excellent.
Direct upload to Facebook, YouTube and Picasso via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Samsung ST5500: Cons
Image quality at ISO 3200 is poor.


Samsung ST5500: Specification
Price £349.99
What comes in the box Quick-start guide, CD ROM, wrist strap, software, battery
(Effective megapixels)
14.2 mega-pixels
1/2.3in CCD
Optical zoom 7x Optical Zoom
LCD size 3.7in WVGA AMOLED Touch-Screen
Lens Schneider-KREUZNACH
Movie mode 720p HD  / 30fps / H.264 Format / built-in HDMI connectivity
Size 103.8m x 58.3mm x 19.6mm
Weight (with battery)
Special features Ultra-slim (0.77in thick) / 7-degree angled design
Bluetooth 2.0
Wi-Fi Connectivity (DLNA Supported)
Email / Direct upload to photo sharing websites
AMOLED Touch Screen
Smart Gesture UI
Smart Filter (Lens & Color effect)
Dual Image Stabilisation: Optical IS + Digital IS
7x Optical Zoom
Smart Auto 2.0 (Still & Movie)
Smart Album
Smart Face Recognition (up to 20 faces)
Perfect Portrait System: Beauty Shot Face Detection / Self Portrait /Smile Shot / Blink Detection / Red-eye Fix
Photo Style Selector
Built-in software for playback, management, and editing on a PC (no CD-Rom installation required)

For more information please visit the Samsung website.

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