The perfect self shots with the Samsung ST600

SAMSUNG ST600 Review

01_1.8″ Front LCD

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The perfect self shots with the Samsung ST600

When travelling, I sometimes want a photo of myself, and fell awkward asking someone to take my picture but with the ST600 I can easily take a self shot. With other cameras you have to worry about making sure your face is in the frame correctly. For those of you who don’t like that struggle, I would recommend the ST600. The ST600 has a front display for users to take more convenient and accurate self shots.

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Various self shots through the front LCD.

The biggest advantage of the front LCD on the ST600 is that users can see themselves as if looking at a mirror. This can reduce your time wasted on self shots, because it’s intuitive and convenient. The swivel LCD is also convenient for the self shot, but it makes the camera bigger.

Various shooting mode of the front LCD


Self shots

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Result of self shots

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1.8” Tapping LCD

The front LCD can be turned on by the F.LCD button on the top or by tapping the front LCD. When tapping the LCD, the LCD turns on, and one more tapping, it turns off. Don’t hit the front. Just tap the front display. This operation is very useful for those who don’t like complicated operation.

Front LCD turned on by tapping

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The size of the front LCD is 1.8” wider than the previous models. It’s quite big almost filling the grip. It has a good viewing angle, but due to the material of the LCD, it has rather high reflexibility, so it was difficult to take shots in bright places. However, it’s generally fine. It’s also weak to fingerprints, but it can easily be cleaned up.

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Combination of Smile Shot and Self shot

The ST600 supports various modes including the self shot mode by using the front LCD. Among them, the smile shot mode which automatically takes a shot when it detects a smile. It’s the combination of the front LCD and smile shot.

Self shots

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Result of self shots

On top of that, it has Children mode showing an animation on the LCD, lover mode taking shot when 2 faces get close, and jump shot mode shows a timer to know when to jump and taking continuous shots. Self shot mode can also be used for movie recording. In a movie mode, the front LCD and children mode are only available.

The timer screen of Jump shot mode

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Result of Jump shot

Animation

The animation played in Children mode can always be changed. Various animations from clown to your favorite characters are possible. By connecting the camera to a PC, the animation can easily be downloaded through Intelli-Studio program. It’s the same a firmware upgrade.

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02_7° Design & 3.5″ Front LCD

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Transparent design

The ST600 is designed to look like water. It’s transparent and glossy. Have you ever looked at yourself reflected on water? The surface of the ST600 is just like that. It’s unique enough to get an attention from others and really impressed me.

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Power of 7 degree for the best self shot

The most frequently used self shooting is to hold the camera and follow the rule of the beauty angle. However, it’s not always good enough, so we need help from a tripod. No tripod around? You can just put it on a flat surface and take a shot. Most of the time the shot would be the middle of the subject, but with the 7 degree slanted bottom the ST600 has just enough angle to get a great full body shot without making the subject too small.

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Shooting on a table

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Results

Different views

The bottom of the ST600 has been made to be 7 degree slated, so when it’s located on a flat surface, it provides good composition. Besides, the 27mm lens and front LCD enhances the power of 7 degree. The shutter button is also 7 degree slanted to the front following the bottom.

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7 degree slanted ST600

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3.5” 1,152K pixels wide LCD, Super Clear Display

On the back, the 3.5” wide touch LCD is located. The LCD is a Super Clear Display and has 1,152K pixels, so compared to other LCD having 230K pixels, it is very vivid screen. Thanks to the high pixels, it has great viewing angle.

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230K pixels screen vs ST600 1,152K pixels screen

Intuitive touch operation

Hold function of touch

Mode change and menu setting by touch operation

Play by touch

The ST600 has the common UI by Samsung and is operated by both touch and buttons. Power, Front LCD, and play menu are the button types, and the others are the capacitive touch type. When the front LCD is being operated, the hold function of the back LCD is automatically operated.

One touch shooting function

Smart Touch AF operation

The ST600 offers one touch shooting and Smart Touch AF which is a kind of AF operation function by using touch. When it comes to One Touch shooting, touching the subject in the screen, the focusing point is moved and keeping the touch, it also takes a shot. Smart Touch AF is a function where the focusing point follows the subject. Smart Touch AF is difficult to apply to complicated light source, colorful subjects, and fast moving subject.

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Smart Gesture

The ST600 supports Smart Gesture using the gyro sensor. Smart Gesture is used to change the shooting mode and play photos, and with one hand, it can be operated. When changing the mode of Smart Gesture, users can touch the icon located on the grip. Playing photos can be done by tilting the camera.

Shooting Mode setting

Play mode change

Playing pictures

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Play menu with various retouching functions

In play menu, Smart Filter, Photo Style, and basic editing functions are included, so simple editing and effects can be used. Since it has very intuitive interface, beginners can easily use the effects.

Smart Filter retouching

Editing function in play menu

Photo Style

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On the front, the flash and the assist light are located on the left and right sides. The lens is a protruding type and in the maximum wide and telephoto angle, the lens is protruded up to 0.5~1 cm which is not that noticeable. The flash is located on the left of the Front LCD. Assist light is not only for AF assist light, but also used as the timer alarm.

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A speaker, F.LCD, Power, microphone, zoom lever, and shutter button are located on the top. The speaker and microphone are a mono type. The F.LCD button is used to operate the front LCD. A small LED is on the power button and when it’s on, a blue light is lit.

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On the right corner, a play button is located. Since it’s located in a dented part, it’s never pushed easily. Below, USB/AV port and HDMI port are located.

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AC/USB rechargeable battery

The battery is a Li-Ion SLB-07 and it has only 760mAh, so it can only take about 190 shots. The battery can be charged by both AC adapter and USB port. When using the USB port, it takes longer than the AC adapter, but I think it’s very useful. The battery chamber is located on the bottom. A battery latch and lock prevent the battery from being detached.

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The MicroSD/SDHC is used and it has 30MB of internal memory. The memory is inserted in the memory slot in the battery chamber. The guaranteed capacity of the external memory is 4GB of Micro SD and 8GB of Micro SDHC.

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03_27mm~135mm & Features

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27-135mm optical 5x zoom lens

The ST600 has the Schneider-KREUZNACH VARIOPLAN 4.9-24.5mm f3.5-5.9 lens. It supports 27-135mm 5x zoom, so it allows users to take various kinds of shots. It has a relatively fast booting, zoom, and AF speed, so it allow users to take snap shots without any problem.

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Max. Wide (27mm)           App. 2.2x zoom            Max. Telephoto (135mm)

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The 27mm lens offers a wider angle shot over a normal 35mm lens. When taking a narrow street, indoor shooting, and wide scenery, the 27mm wide angle is very useful. The distortion in 28mm or lower angle can be easily fixed.

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Photos by 27mm wide angle

The 27mm wide angle lens takes dynamic pictures with the feature of space. Long legs or big head in low or high angle shots is because of this dynamic design.

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Maximum 5cm Macro shooting

The lens has 5-80cm in wide angle of focal length and 50-80cm in telephoto angle. In telephoto angle, the shortest focal length is too far, and the zooming is also low, the inefficiency. In normal focus mode, a normal Macro mode is not easy, because it has 80cm~Limiteless of focal length. That’s why the wide angle is good for Macro shooting. The quality was quite satisfactory. The AF speed was also quite fast, so there was no inconvenience in taking subjects.

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Power IS, Dual IS

The ST600 has Dual IS which is the combination of OIS and DIS. The OIS is Optical Image Stabilization, while the DIS is Digital Image Stabilization. The OIS can always be turned on or off while taking pictures or movies. Because the OIS prevents hand blur of users, it’s more effective for telephoto shooting than in low light condition.

OIS off

OIS on

In low light conditions, Dual IS is the answer. Dual IS secures the shutter speed by increasing ISO and handles the noise effectively through the digital technology. That’s why you can get a clear result with the Dual IS even in a low light condition.

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IS off                                              IS on -Blurry moving object on the back

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Dual IS (OIS+DIS) – Clear picture

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Smart Auto for the optimized shooting condition

Smart Auto is a function to recognize the shooting condition. 17 different situations can be recognized and with the help of 2 kinds of situation judgment modes detecting the movement of subjects, it’s always possible to take the perfect shot.

mode

Smart Auto automatically activates the Face recognition function when taking portrait shots. When the distance between the camera and the subject is close, Macro Portrait mode is activated and Beauty shot is automatically applied. When in backlight shooting mode, it activates the flash or applies the backlight compensation for smoother results.

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P-mode                                          Smart Auto – Macro Face Recognition

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P-mode                                             Smart Auto – Backlight Portrait

It recognizes various scenes, so even beginners don’t have to worry about shooting. Photo size, self timer, and flash can only be set in Smart Auto mode.

Macro Text                                            White

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Macro                                            Landscape

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Backlight                                             Portrait

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Scene Recognition (Landscape, Natural Green, and Blue sky)

Movies of natural greens

Smart Auto can be applied to movie recording. When recording a movie, scene recognitions mostly recognizes landscape mode the most. Smart Auto expresses brightness and color differently, but the difference is not that strong.

mode2

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Face Recognition setting exposure and focus on the face

The ST600 provides smile shot and blink detection used in the Face Recognition function. Face Recognition helps users set the focus and exposure on faces under any circumstances. This is so effective when taking portrait shots in a backlight condition, and in half shutter, it allows users faster shooting, because it’s available for take shots without changing the composition.

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Center AF, Metering (Center-weighted)                      Face Detection

Face Detection

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Blink Detection                                  Re-shooting

Blink Detection is a function to take one more shot when the camera detects a blink. Smile Shot is a function to automatically take a shot when the camera detects a smile.

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Beauty Shot

Beauty Shot is a compensation function of skin and brightness. The intensity of the compensation is 3 levels. In play mode you can also retouch portraits. This is a good function for those who have difficulty using photo editing software.

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Normal                                     Tone+1 Retouch+1

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Tone+2 Retouch+2                                 Tone+3 Retouch+3

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Natural compensation of dark area, ACB

The ACB is a function to smoothly compensate a picture having a big difference between the dark and bright area. When applied, the dark area is compensated brightly. At this time, it increases noise a little in the dark area. The ACB can be set before or after shooting in play mode.

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Before applying the ACB                    After applying the ACB

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Before applying the ACB                    After applying the ACB

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1280×720 pixels 30fps HD movie recording

The ST600 supports 1280x720p 30fps HD movie recording function. While recording, users can pause the recording by pushing the OK button and start it again by pushing it again, and Smart Auto can also be set. When recording, the focus is fixed. The maximum recording time is 20 minutes and the zooming sound of the lens is also recorded in the movie. Users can select the option to turns off the sound recording while zooming.

1280x720p, 30fps [Original link]

1280x720p, 30fps [Original link]

1280x720p, 30fps [Original link]

1280x720p, 30fps [Original link]

Successive recording after pausing by using the OK button

My Star prioritizing registered faces

My Star is a function to prioritize registered faces. The recognized information is stored after taking various shots of faces from different angles. After registering a face, Face Recognition is prioritized to the registered face.

Registering faces in My Star

04_Quality & Colors

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1/2.3” 14.2M pixels CCD

The ST600 has a 1/2.33” 14.4M pixels CCD. It has 14.2M effective pixels and the details of all angles are very good. Especially, the quality in the maximum wide angle. Not only the center quality, but also the corner quality is quite good. As a small camera, the quality is quite good. Of course, due to the distortion on the corners, there was some quality degradation, but not that big to bother users. In up to middle zoom area, it keeps the certain quality, but when getting closer and closer to the telephoto angle, the quality got lower.

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Maximum wide angle

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Approx. 2.3x zoom

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Maximum telephoto angle

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The difference of quality becomes real when really shooting. In maximum wide angle, pictures were sharp, but in maximum telephoto angle, pictures looked worse.

Maximum wide angle

Approx. 2.3x zoom

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Maximum telephoto angle

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ISO80 to 3200

It supports ISO 80 to 3200. The noise is not that big up to ISO 400. Instead, the details were marred a little. This was caused by the processing noise. From ISO 800, there was vignette effect happening and noise pixels started to be bigger. Up to ISO 1600 is usable, but ISO 3200 can be used only for web sites after resized, because of dramatic noise increase.

Custom White Balance

It supports 7 white balance modes such as normal, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent H, fluorescent L, tungsten, and custom. The custom mode is remarkable. The custom mode is not a determined mode, but an adjustable mode by the source of light. That’s why it can express the accurate white under any circumstances.

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Smart Lens effect for unique result

Smart Lens effect makes pictures unique by applying effects to normal pictures. It consists of miniature, vignetting, fish eye 1-2 filters, Sketch, and Defog. Everything is fun to use.

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Miniature                                               Fish-eye

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Sketch                                               Vignetting

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Vignetting

Miniature filter is more effective when taking the picture from the upper side to the lower side, because it sees the world as if looking at a toy world. Vignetting filter is like a lomo camera effect, and defog makes pictures more vivid by increasing the contrast. Sketch mode takes a picture in 5M pixels, while others take 14M pixels.

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Normal                                               Defog

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Fish-eye_1                                           Fish-eye_2

Smart Lens effect can be applied to not only pictures, but also movies, and different from image shooting, Fish eye 2 is not supported. The maximum size is 640 and maximum frame is 15 fps.

Video – Miniature

Video – Sketch

Photo Style for more creative photo shooting

Photo Style changes pictures by using various compensation tools. 8 compensation tools are provided and by using custom menus, users can adjust the RGB values.

Image compensation is to adjust saturation, sharpness, and contrast in 5 levels. Photo Style and image compensation can be applied before and after shooting in play menu. In the background screen, users can directly check the image after applying the settings.

Image Compensation setting

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A camera having both powerful basic

and various additional functions

The ST600 has a powerful basic performance. Like you saw earlier, it has a great quality in wide angle as a compact camera. The front LCD is very useful for those who take a lot of self shots. Especially, the innovative bottom design of the camera introduced a new way of self shots and on the ground, it could take a picture with a proper composition, so there was no problem to take landscape without a tripod. Besides, the 27mm wide angle makes it even better. It also supports various color settings such as Smart Lens filter and Photo Style, so you don’t need to retouch the photos with using a computer. In addition, it has so many functions to help with shooting HD movies like Smart Auto 2.0, Smart UI, and Dual IS.

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As a weakness, I’d like to mention the quality in maximum telephoto angle. Of course, considering the best strength of the ST600 is the front LCD, it’s not going to be a big problem, because the telephoto angle is not actually used for self shots. However, it can be a weakness for those who want to have good quality in all areas. In addition, short battery life and a weak body to fingerprints were weakness I noticed.

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ST600 for those who love themselves

If you take self shots with a mobile phone, please take higher quality and more vivid self shots for your blog. You will be 100x more beautiful with the ST600 than with mobile phone. Tap and shoot. You will find your new you.

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