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Samsung ST93 Digital Camera Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Samsung ST93, a digital compact camera with a 16.1 megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom and 720p HD video recording.

| Samsung ST93 in Compact Cameras

Samsung ST93 Digital Camera Review: ST93
Samsung ST93 Lens Extended

The Samsung ST93 was released in April 2011 with an RRP of £129.99 and is available in black.
Samsung ST93 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST93 Front
Samsung ST93 Front

Samsung ST93 Features

The ST93 has a 16.1 megapixel and a 5x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 26 - 130mm. Dual Image Stabilization helps prevent shake from ruining your shots with a combination of Optical and Digital Image Stabilization. The camera also has an ISO range up to 3200. Smart Auto 2.0 automatically adjusts the camera settings to capture the best shot possible with minimal input from the user.

Magic Frame offers background templates for you to put your face on to make fun pictures. The ST93 can also shoot panoramic images by pressing the shutter and sweeping the camera, no stitching required. Adding to the creativity options is Smart Filter which offers Miniature, Vignetting, Half Tone Dot, Sketch, Fish-eye, Defog, Classic, Retro and Negative.

Videos are recorded in full 720p HD at 30fps and allows the use of optical zoom. The camera can be connected via HDMI to a HDTV.
Samsung ST93 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST93 Top
Samsung ST93 Top

Key Features

  • 16.1 megapixel sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26 - 130mm)
  • Dual Image Stabilisation
  • Smart Filters
  • Magic Frames
  • 720p HD movie recording
  • 2.7 inch LCD screen
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Panorama Shot
  • Smart Auto 2.0
Samsung ST93 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST93 Rear
Samsung ST93 Rear

Samsung ST93 Handling

The ST93 is a very small and light camera with a 2.7 inch LCD screen on the rear which is bright and clear to see. There are no unusual buttons to be found, no dedicated video recording button but there is the Fn which is a common feature on Samsung compacts. This allows the user easy access to the settings available to adjust in the mode they are using. The menu layout is both simple and easy to navigate.

The camera is ready to take pictures within a couple of seconds of switching on and is quick to focus. Where the camera is really let down is when using the flash. It takes 2 or 3 seconds to charge and is very frustrating when you are trying to capture a shot quickly. Continuous shooting allows full sized images to be shot at 0.7fps, with Motion Capture VGA shooting at 6.2 fps.
Samsung ST93 Digital Camera Review: Samsung ST93 Battery
Samsung ST93 Battery

Samsung ST93 Performance

Although stronger in the centre, detail is good throughout the images, whether shooting wide or with the full optical zoom. Images have excellent colour reproduction and are well exposed. The lens has a minimum focusing distance 5cm meaning you can get close enough to take a decent macro shot.

Samsung ST93 Lens test images

Images at ISO 80 and ISO 100 are sharp and free of noise but there is a hint of noise at ISO 200. At ISO 400 the noise causes the images to lose a touch of sharpness. At ISO 800 images are much softer. Noise is much more evident at ISO 1600 and again at ISO 3200, although it doesn't have too much of a negative effect on the colours in the images.

Samsung ST93 ISO test images

Below are examples using some of the scene modes available on the ST93. Landscape mode emphasises the blues and greens in the image and portrait mode produces images with excellent skin tones and no red-eye.

Samsung ST93 Scene modes

Samsung ST93 Digital Camera Review: Panoramic | 1/250 sec | f/9.4 | 4.9 mm | ISO 320
Panoramic | 1/250 sec | f/9.4 | 4.9 mm | ISO 320

The auto white-balance (AWB) setting gives excellent results, which can be seen under our studio lighting. Under both the incandescent and fluorescent presets the AWB produces better images when compared to the images taken using the respective presets, with a green cast present when using the fluorescent preset.

Samsung ST93 White-balance test images

Below are example images using the Smart Filters available.

Samsung ST93 Digital filters

Video Mode

Below is a video recorded at 720p HD, the camera also allows the use of optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. Smart Filters can be applied during recording, including miniature, vignetting, fish-eye, defog, classic, retro and negative as well as 4 palette effects.

Value For Money

The Samsung ST93 is currently priced at £129.99. There are plenty of cameras with a similar specification available at varying prices such as the Olympus VG-130 at £68.00, Pentax Optio S1 at £78.00, Nikon Coolpix S3100 at £79.00, Fujifilm FinePix Z90 at £89.95, Canon Powershot A3200 IS at £109.00, Samsung SH100 at £144.00 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX70 at £148.99.

Samsung ST93 Verdict

The ST93 is very much like a lot of the other Samsung compacts which we have reviewed recently, such as the ST90, with this model not offering any features which make it stand out from the competition. It has a very small body, 16.1 megapixel sensor and takes images with excellent colour production but at £129.99 it is overpriced.

Samsung ST93 Pros

Very compact design
Excellent colour reproduction
Panoramics taken using sweeping method

Samsung ST93 Cons

Flash takes ages to charge
No unique features


Samsung ST96 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent26mm - 130mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels14.5Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4320
Pixels (H)3240
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)6.16mm
Sensor Size (height)4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest8sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
    File Type
    • JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeRechargeable Battery: BP-70A (3.7V, 740mAh, Min 700mAh)
    Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsCamera, AC adapter/ USB cable, Rechargeable battery, Strap, User Manual, CD-ROM, Quick Start Guide

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