Samsung ST600 Review – Digital Cameras – CNET Asia

By Leonard Goh, CNET Asia
When launched last year, the Samsung ST550 stood out from other point-and-shoots with its unique dual LCD implementation. The camera has a 3.5-inch rear touchscreen and a 1.5-inch display in front for framing self-portraits. Till now, no other camera manufacturer has been able to top what Samsung did with the ST550, and it remains one of the more popular compacts among ladies.

Users who find the 1.5-inch front screen too small will rejoice at the latest addition to the ST family. The ST600 is an improved shooter over its predecessor and features a higher-resolution image sensor, bigger front LCDs as well as new shooting options.

What’s New

The ST600 has undergone a minor redesign. Unlike the ST550, which has a more angular frame, the ST600 has curved edges, giving it a sleeker look. On the top is a button to activate the front LCD, though the Samsung press release indicates that you can also tap the display to turn it on.

The ST600 is available in several colors.
The front screen on the new Samsung camera is bumped up to 1.8 inches from 1.5 inches on its predecessor. This will make it easier for users to frame self-portraits. Like the ST550, the ST600’s front display can show various information such as the shooting option used and timer. Samsung has, however, added more new features to the shooter. For example, the cartoon animation is now accompanied by sound to make it more attractive to kids. There is also a Jump Mode, which prompts the subjects to jump and the camera will snap three consecutive images of the people in mid air. The Couple Mode detects two faces and automatically snaps a shot when it sees the two faces tilted toward each other.

The image sensor resolution has also increased from 12 megapixels on the ST550 to 14 megapixels on the ST600.

Judging from the features the ST600 offers, it’s not hard to see who its target audiences are–women and the younger crowd. We’re pretty sure they will find such functions useful for a night out at a party.

What’s Not

The lens specifications for the ST600 remain the same as the ST550’s. The former has 5x optical zoom and it is widest at 27mm. The rear 3.5-inch LCD is touch-sensitive and employs the same Smart Gesture UI first deployed in the ST550, to quickly change the shooting modes or navigate the camera’s menu.

Given that the updates are not substantial, we are wondering if the ST600’s new features are enough reasons to persuade ST550 owners to upgrade.

Parting Notes

The ST600 is not a camera that’ll suit everyone, but its dual LCD implementation offers a fun and effective solution for users who like to take self-portraits or enjoy fun shots with friends. We’ll be reviewing this camera when it becomes available, so check back for our full evaluation soon.


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