These days, I find that a lot of people have Samsung cameras. I have seen a lot of people with the NX10 one of the new mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, the EX1 having great quality with high performance, the ST550 and PL150(TL210) having the front LCD. Because Samsung cameras have great quality, performance, and functionality with their aggressive marketing, there will be more users to use Samsung cameras.
The ST100 I’m reviewing is a front LCD camera, and it’s a high level product. It offers various functions with the elegant design. It even has a touch LCD for easy editing.
As the first product in the second half of 2010, it shows great performance. Let’s check out the details.
It is 100 x 60 x 20mm and weighs 135g, so compared to others of the ST series, it’s a little heavier. However, compared to other compact cameras, it’s not heavy at all and fits in the pocket of a shirt, so it’s not a pain to hold it at all.
It not only has distinguished technologies such as the front LCD, but also it has a simple, but elegant design with high glossy UV coated body and unique color. Different from a normal UV coating, it looks like a real mirror. Unlike other protruding lens products having a little complex front design, it has adopted the inner zoom type and the touch LCD on the back is also very neat.
The exclusive front LCD. It is 1.8”. By just tapping the front, the display is activated and you can see your self in on the front. Allowing you to take a perfect self shot. Not only the self mode, but also jump shot, couple mode, and children mode are supported. Read the review and learn more about these exciting features.
This is the front of the camera with a 35-175mm protruding type Schneider 5x optical zoom lens. It supports F3.6-4.8 which is good for normal shooting. I rather focus on standard and telephoto angle rather than wide angle shots. Even though it has a changeable aperture, it’s easy to set a appropriate shutter speed in telephoto angle.
There’s a flash on the top center of the front of the camera. The AF assist light, Self timer lamp and microphone are also on the front.
On the top of the camera there is a speaker, microphone, and front LCD button. By pushing the LCD button, the front LCD switches on or off. On the side of the camera’s top is a power button, shutter button, and zoom.
The bottom of the camera there is a mount hole for a tripod and 34 pin port. By purchasing the exclusive adapter, HDMI can be connected. Like other cameras, it can be charge off the USB connection.
On the side, a battery and memory slot. It has 30MB of built-in memory. It supports MicroSD memory and up to 8GB of MicroSDHC, so users don’t have to worry about the storage. The price of MicroSDHC is quite cheap, because of the high demand.
On the left side of the camera and a strap ring.
On the back of the camera there is a 3.5” Wide Full Touch LCD (1.152K). There was a little diffused reflection, but it’s quite vivid and wide viewing angle, so it was convenient to use even outdoors. It is different from a normal TFT LCD, it’s quite vivid, because of its 1,152K pixels. Although it’s not an AMOLED, users will be satisfied with the picture. It supports Smart Gesture UI, so to select option in the menu all you have to do is tilt the camera in the direction of the menu keys you want. Users can easily change the mode or functions.
The camera is really light and small, and can fit in a pocket or a purse no problem.
We’ve checked the design and features. Let’s check out the functions through the UI interface.
It’s the main UI and the same style interface as the ST550 or ST1000 which had the touch screen. Various shooting information is displayed and faster operation is available through the touch screen. By supporting Smart Gesture UI function, users can change the mode or run functions by tilting the camera with having the button pushed, and by using Fn button on the bottom, frequently used functions can be selected and controlled quickly.
By pushing the mode icon located on the left top of the UI, the mode can easily be set. It supports Smart Auto, Auto, Program, Scene, and Dual IS, so users will not experience any inconvenience when taking a photo. The movie mode supports Smart Scene Recognition movie mode, so it let’s you set the camera quickly to the best situation when shooting your videos.
As a front LCD camera, it supports some special functions. When taking shots with the front LCD, the back display is automatically locked and pushing the key icon, it unlocks. Including just a self shot, it supports children mode that helps children to focus on the camera, couple mode, and jump shot taking 3 continuous shots on a jump queue. It also shows information on the flash focus.
Without entering the setting menu, users can set the flash focus, the self timer, and the guideline. It can take shots as close at 5cm with the macro set. Also, a 2 to 10 sec self timer can be set. And guidelines help you make sure you shot is even.
It supports advance Smart Auto Smart Auto 2.0. Since the camera automatically optimizes the camera settings such as exposure and focus, high quality pictures can be taken. It’s more advanced than the usual Auto mode in other cameras. So, all you have to do is set the framing and push the shutter button and the camera takes care of the rest. I think beginners can use this camera easily. In Smart Auto mode you can only set the Smart Flash, the Self Timer, and the Resolution.
The program mode can let’s you set all the functions, including Auto mode, Dual IS, and so on. The OIS on the camera is really good, much better then other models. I have examples in the test section.
The camera also has a option called Scene mode, think of it like a manual Smart Auto mode. You can also set the camera to beauty Shot, this makes people’s faces really cute, by changing the contrast and saturation to soften the skin, removing any unsightly blemishes.
The Smart Scene Recognition mode recognizing landscape, natural, blue sky, and sunset including normal movie mode. It supports HD resolution and frame setting (30fps in 1280HQ), voice, OIS, and Smart Filter.
Let’s take a look at the various functions supported in the setting menu.
It supports exposure compensation and various white balance settings such as AWE, daylight, cloudy, tungsten, and custom. The ISO can be set up to 3200, so users can freely take shots in many different lighting settings.
It supports center AF, multi AF, one touch shooting which automatically shoots after touching the screen, Smart touch AF function tracking the touched subject. Most of these features are exclusive to a touch screen camera and really fun to use.
Samsung camera are best most popular for their portraits and this camera is no exception. Not only does it have Face Recognition, but also self guide, smile shot, blink detection, and Smart Face Recognition. Smart Face Recognition automatically sets the focus and exposure to the already programmed faces.
My Star let’s you save people’s face and rank them, so as a beauty contest, but so that the camera will know who to set to when taking a group shot.
The camera can be set to various resolutions, up to 14M, so large size printing is also possible. 3 levels of quality setting and metering are provided. It supports ACB which compensate the contrast smoothly and various metering settings are available.
It also supports the continuous shooting such as Motion capture taking more than 6 shots per 1 sec and AEB taking 3 continuous shots with different exposure (Under, proper, and over exposure)
Various effects can be applied in Samsung digital cameras. The Photo Styles setting let users take pictures with different atmospheres, and by manually setting sharpness, contrast, and saturation, users can get the colors they want.
The Smart Filter uses various effects like, Miniature filter making the upper and lower side of the picture unclear, Vignetting filter inserting shade on the corners, fish eye filter distorting the center of the picture, sketch filter, and defog.
As a high grade product, it supports OIS, not only in Dual IS mode. OIS is set to minimize the hand shake. Voice memo and voice recording functions are also offered.
This is the sound setting and volume menu you can adjust it to 3 levels with off. Various booting, shutter, operating, and AF operation sounds can be selected. (In children mode, sound setting is also available.)
The starting image can be selected. Screen Brightness, Reviewing time, Power Saving mode and automatic touch hold can also be set here.
This is the setting menu and as a high level camera, it offers various menus.
Various languages are provided, format and initialization function are supported. Date & time, time zone can be set, file naming and automatic rotating can also be set. The rotation option automatically rotates the image when playing through your old photos.
Date record can be set and power saving can be set to better conserve your battery. It also supports AF assist light and Anynet+ Functions running when the camera is connected via USB can be selected and built-in S/W can also be set.
By using the play button located in the right bottom side, pictures or movies can be watched. Even when the camera if off, users can see the pictures by pushing the play button. When shooting works the same Smart Gesture UI when using the play function. Bookmarks, multi slideshows, and the protection function can quickly be executed using the Smart Gesture UI. Just like an Ipad, you can flip through photos by swiping your finger across the screen.
By using the zoom lever on the top the user can easily zoom in on their photos or zoom out letting you see up to 16 photos at the same time. Makes it easy to navigate.
This is the Smart Album. Files can be easily sorted and/or searched here by date, file, color, faces, and bookmarks. Unlike previous products, it supports 3D play function, turned on by pushing the red button. This s you more visual satisfaction. Please check this out in the movie clip.
Without entering a menu, users can see, edit, and delete registered face list. Multi slideshow and screen information can be set, and various effects can be applied to the pictures.
This is the Effect menu. Users can rotate the pictures and change the size of pictures here. Smart Filters can be applied to images taken, and image compensation such as contrast, vividness, and saturation can also be applied.
Color Filters let you change certain colors, the elegant filter changes the colors to be more vivid, noise effect making pictures look older, and skin compensation makes people pretty.
This is the menu. Voice memo, DPOF (Picture output information is stored in MIDC folder in the memory card and users can select pictures to print out and the number of pictures to print.) copy and preview setting are provided.
By using the front LCD, I could see that it supports more various distinguished functions. Let’s take a closer look at the quality of images and movies through the shooting tests.
Like I mentioned in the design part, as an inner zoom lens type camera, the wide angle is a little insufficient compared to other protruding lens type. However, on the other hand, since it supports a maximum 175mm of telephoto shooting, it can take some pretty far off shots. At maximum telephoto angle, I didn’t see any quality degradation. It will please users who take a lot of telephoto shots rather than wide angle shots.
The biggest strength of the ST100 is its portraits. Through the front LCD, it allows users easier self shots and through the Face Recognition menu, perfect shooting is available. Through My Star, users can prioritize faces after registering them and by supporting Beauty Shot, it takes more beautiful faces.
The above picture was taken by using the self shot function on the front LCD. I like the smooth skin tone, and the details are great.
It supports not only self shot (It automatically takes smiling faces. I set the framing by the front LCD. Children mode plays a little animation so get the attention of children for your photos. Couple shot recognizes the angle of 2 faces, and Jump shot takes consecutive 3 shots after giving a sing to jump.
This is the Macro test and the performance is really great. I could take a picture right next to people’s faces. Since it supported OIS, there were no blurry pictures in low light situations. As you can see, the great details were very impressive. Users taking a lot of Macro shots will like this.
The most impressive function of the ST100 was the OIS. It was like using the lens shift IS of DSLRs in half shutter, and I could see a dramatic change like in the above sample picture.
This is testing the quality of the ISO up to ISO 3200. Up to 1600 it showed quite good results. It’s good enough for web sites after being resized. I didn’t have to worry about the noise. In ISO 3200, pixels were quite rough and there was some color noise. You’d better not use ISO 3200.
It supports Auto white balance, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent H, fluorescent L, tungsten, and custom. Even though the light was so complicated, the AWB was quite accurate. I don’t think beginners will need to set other WB modes.
Below images are linked to the original pictures.
[SAMSUNG ST100 MOVIE SAMPLE 1]
[SAMSUNG ST100 MOVIE SAMPLE 2]
It supports 1280HQ HD movie recording. Due to the small size zoom lever, it was difficult to zoom smoothly like a camcorder. It did perfectly supported OIS and Smart Scene Recognition, so it was easy to record a movie and the quality was very good. It’s really good for a quick video.
If users buy an adapter, they can enjoy pictures and movies on their TV with a HDMI connection. I tested it by using a normal TV-OUT cable.
This is playing photos and movies and they were perfect. When it comes to images, since it supports the multi slideshow function, it’s very useful for a lot of people to watch pictures together.
It includes built-in Intelli-Studio 2.0. It can only run on a PC but it lets you manage your photos and movie really easily and to do some basic editing. Because it’s very easy and simple to use, even beginners can easily edit their pictures and movies.
When intelli-Studio runs, the window to install an animation used in the children mode is activated. It supports various animations to get an attention of children. It was so impressive that it supported Pororo. My nephew was out of control, but once he saw Pororo, he couldn’t stop watching the Front LCD.
Professional photo & movie editing software like Photoshop, Premier, or Vegas are really convenient for professionals, but actually very difficult for beginners to use. Because Intelli-Studio supports some editing functions for pictures and movies, beginners can fix their own images and movies.
This is the sharing function and it supports upload on YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook and email transfer. Users don’t need to go to each site to upload videos. With Intelli-Studio, it’s easy to upload UCC movies.
[Design and Operating video of Samsung ST100]
With the front LCD, Samsung has changed the compact digital camera market. Of course, Samsung has sold a lot of cameras, but after the ST550, they have been dramatically taking over the market. The ST100 is also a front LCD digital camera, which is really cool to use.
The biggest advantage of the ST100 is the usage. It perfectly supports not only images, but also movies. Through the front LCD, it supports various functions such as self, children, couple, and jump shot modes. Once you’ve used the front LCD, you will not be satisfied with other cameras.
As an inner zoom camera different from other practical protruding lens designs, it has a great design. The elegant feeling of the material is great to get attention of people. The great mobility will appeal to users who want to take shots anywhere.
Lastly, I’d like to talk about the performance of IS function. I think it’s very useful in a low light condition.
However, the battery life was pretty weak compared to other compact digital camera. A spare battery is necessary. Also, the front display should have been more vivid.
I’d like to recommend this camera to those who want stylish design, high performance, and various functions like high end digital camera. Especially, for those who take a lot of self and couple shots, it’s going to be a great camera. It will be beyond your expectation.