The ST550(TL225) has its value as a new product with the change of appearance by the dual LCD, Smart Gesture UI, Motion Recognition sensor, full touch function, and the change of inside.
Let’s take a look at if the main functions of the camera are also great as much as the upgrade.
The zoom function of the ST550(TL225) is quite good as you can see from the picture above. Through the protruding type lens, this camera supports 4.6x optical and 5x digital zoom with 27mm wide angle. Therefore, this can take a wide scene on a picture, and objects at a long distance through 23x zoom (Optical + Digital).
Taking shots with 4.6x optical zoom, the overall color looks a little bit different, but the optical zoom is great enough to be strongly recommended. On the other hand, the digital zoom function degraded the color much as you can see. When taking a shot with the maximum tele zoom, you’d better use the IS function, because the iris value increases. Therefore, I’d like to recommend the optical zoom and cropping the picture rather using the digital zoom.
The ST550(TL225) has Normal Macro (Less than 80cm) and Super Macro (Less than 3~8cm). The picture above was taken with the Normal Macro function, and the below one was taken with the Super Macro function.
Especially, when taking a macro shot with AF, the focus sometimes set on the play I didn’t want, so the picture wasn’t good. However, the ST550(TL225) supports One Touch Shot and Smart Touch AF, so you can easily set the focus by directly touching the spot you want.
When taking shots with the Smart Auto Mode, the camera automatically sets a proper function such as Macro or Super Macro, so it provides satisfactory results even for beginners.
This picture was taken with the Photo Style of the ST550(TL225). 10 modes for Photo Style such as Normal, Soft, Vivid, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm, Classic, Negative, and Custom are supported.Using Photo Style such as Black or White or Reversion, you can make a picture having different feeling.
The ST550(TL225) supports ISO from 80 to 3200. After testing ISO for each situation, the performance is good for up to ISO 200 or 400. There was rare noise or quality degradation of surroundings, so the results can be used for web sites such as blog or homepage.
But looking at pictures with ISO 800, 1600, and 3200, the degradation of resolution started, and particularly with ISO 1600 and 3200, color noise also happened a lot.
Under the same condition with ISO Auto, these results were taken. The Auto mode of ISO, Exposure, and White Balance is enough to take great pictures, as I see here. Those who don’t know these detailed functions should set the camera to the Auto mode and it will make a good result, I think. (Of course, it’s different depending on the situations.)
The picture was taken with ISO Auto
There are 7 white balance modes such as Auto, Sunlight, Cloud, Fluorescent H, Fluorescent L, Light bulb, and Custom. The pictures above were taken with each of them. When taking shots with the custom mode, more detailed setting is possible.The difference between Normal and Auto White balance is noticeable.
The ST550(TL225) is specialized for Portraits. This supports Face Recognition, Smile Shot, Blink Detection, Skin Compensation, and Beauty shot for various self shots including basic features of digital cameras.
We needed to take an approximate self shot using the lens before, but the ST550(TL225) has included the 1.5” Front LCD, so now you can take shots with more accurate angle and composition conveniently.
Moreover, because we had to push the shutter with one hand when taking a self shot, self shots were mostly similar in a pose and composition. The ST550(TL225) addressing this problem allows users to take a self shot with various and accurate pose and composition, since it
This Front LCD is not only used for self shots, but also good for taking children. It’s not easy to make children to focus on the camera, because they are so young.
In this situation, you can effectively use the hidden function of the front LCD. After activation the front LCD, check Scene from the shot mode and Children mode. Then, a funny animation is played on the front LCD. With this animation, you can make your children focus on the camera, so you can get a picture with more accurate focus and composition. You can download animations on the front LCD from http://www.samsungcamera.com
There’s one more function of the front LCD. It’s about the self timer. When taking pictures with a self timer before, we needed to count the remaining time approximately or look at a blinking light.
The ST550(TL225) tells the self timer count with a blinking light first, and from count 3, this shows the countdown so that users get the right timing.
When it comes to a video recording, 1280×720(High/Normal), 640×480, and 320×240 are possible. Up to 20 minutes recording is possible with 1280×720 resolution. 60 fps is possible only with 320×240, and others can take with 15 and 30 fps.
Recorded videos are stored in H.264(MPEG4.AVC) format. After or while recording, with a built-in software, you can edit and capture videos. These videos can be played on a big screen by connecting this to a TV with A/V and HDMI.
The video function is really good. However, I wasn’t satisfied that it’s impossible use the front LCD while recording a video or voice recording while zooming. I think this might be used much when recording a video for children or self videos, so I hope this will be supported later.
Pictures below were taken with the ST550(TL225) mostly in Auto and Scene mode, and only resized.
We’ve looked at the functions of the ST550(TL225)
After actually using the ST550(TL225), there are 3 advantages. The first one is the effective self shots using the front LCD. This is really useful for women and parents, I think.
Second, the full touch LCD, Smart Gesture UI, and Motion recognition sensor are mixed well, and this makes the camera more useful. This intuitive interface can be easily used without any manual, so it’s very easy for everybody.
Lastly, with the high level Auto functions such as Auto mode, Smart Auto mode, ISO, and White balance, even beginners can take great satisfactory pictures.
The ST550(TL225) is not enough for professionals, but great enough for beginners and amateurs as a photographer and memory to remember a life, I think.