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Samsung ST1000 - Samsung ST1000

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The extra gadgets don't appear to have had any negative effect on the ST1000's performance. It starts up in just over 1.5 seconds, which is very quick, and in single-shot mode it has a shot-to-shot time of two seconds, which is also comfortably above average for a 12MP compact. Unfortunately though that's as fast as it goes, because the ST1000 has no continuous shooting mode.

The video recording mode is as good as you'll get from an ultra-compact, with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at 30 frames a second, with mono audio recorded via an internal microphone. In common with most of Samsung's current camera range the optical zoom can be used while recording, although the zoom motor can be heard on the soundtrack. Video quality is excellent, recording in MPEG-4 H.264 format.

The autofocus system is also very good. The focus point can be selected using the touch screen, or either multi-point or centre-point focusing can be used. Focusing is quick and accurate, and low light performance is excellent. The camera has a good bright AF assist lamp with a range of several metres, and the flash comfortably exceeds its stated 3.3m range.

Surprisingly, considering the number of things it has to power, battery duration is very good. I used the camera over a period of several days, taking over 100 shots with the GPS system constantly active, and the battery charge indicator was still showing two out of three bars. Samsung claims 260 shots on a full charge for the powerful 1150mAh Li-ion cell, and I have no cause to doubt this figure.

Many Samsung cameras that I've tested previously have suffered from inconsistent image quality, but the ST1000 shows that some progress at least has been made in this area. Overall picture quality is very good, with accurate exposure and good colour rendition. The camera has a feature called Auto Contrast Balance which helps to boost shadow detail in high-contrast situations, but like most small-sensor 12MP cameras it is prone to burned-out highlights. Image noise is better than average for a 12MP compact, with usable images at 400 ISO, but as usual the 1600 and 3200 ISO settings are pretty much useless, with greatly reduced detail and colour saturation.

The only image quality problems I could find were the usual corner blurring often associated with periscope-type internal zoom lenses, and slightly inconsistent automatic white balance.


The Samsung ST1000 is a gadget-nerd's dream, combining many of the features of a modern smartphone with a state-of-the-art ultra-compact digital camera. It is solidly made, performs and handles well and produces good results under a wide range of shooting conditions. It is very expensive though, so unless you really need the WiFi, GPS and touch-screen you can get the same picture quality for a lot less.


January 5, 2010, 8:28 pm

For info, Picasa (the web page bit) supports geotagged photos too. It can show a little Google map to one side with pushpins of where your photos were taken. It's no new discovery but it's a nice feature - I've been using it for a couple of years with my T-mobile MDA (aka Tytn II etc etc) which would be fine except the camera is on the phone is pretty naff, and using GPS, data and the camera would probably kill it within three hours. I would buy this camera, if only we hadn't just bought the Samsung WB500. Hey ho... (btw you can tell I'm snowed in, right?)


January 6, 2010, 1:55 am

to add to MarioM: picasa 3.6 also supports geotagged photos too and displays them on the inbuilt google maps it's a pretty neat feature and works the same as iPhoto (NB to get Picasa 3.6 you have to search for 'picasa 3.6' because for some reason the picasa if you just search 'picasa' it wants to give you 3.1)

Nik 2

January 19, 2010, 5:10 pm

Too good to be true. Really loved the touch screen and menu system and took some really nice images during the day, but everything went wrong when it came to using the flash. Seems to create a large amount of orbs/lens flare and get ready to sit yourself down in front of Photoshop for awhile if you want to get rid of them. Sent camera back for repair and was told basically if I want to have lenses that are on the cutting edge of miniaturisation I would have to put up with it. On top of that the GPS system is not all its cracked up to be, I've yet to get it to work outdoors. So far really not worth the big price tag for me.


January 24, 2010, 3:40 am

Uhm, there is an error in your specs and in the review. The ST1000 does record Stereo sound, not only Mono.


March 5, 2010, 1:39 pm

This would be my ideal general camera but for the lack of wide angle. I hope the next version is 27 or 28mm at the bottom end. I'll buy one then.


July 13, 2010, 8:46 pm

I've been looking into this camera and it's wi-fi toting sibling the ST5500 and something is bothering me, to wit the resolution of the screen, "However it is the ST1000's extra features that set it apart...The most obvious is the big 230k 3.5-inch touch-screen monitor ". I'm looking at the spec sheet pdf from the samsung site http://ars.samsung.com/cust... and the screen is listed as 3.5” Wide 1152K Touch LCD. I take that to mean 1,152,000 dots which is almost three times that of the Fujifilm FinePix Z700 reviewed today and five times that stated in this review. It seems like a large discrepancy or change if things have altered since January. Is/was Samsung's boast, "And the picture just got a whole lot brighter too as the ST1000 boasts the world's highest resolution backlit display" accurate?

Cliff Smith

July 29, 2010, 10:08 pm

douglas - You're quite correct, I don't know how i could have missed that. I've amended the review text accordingly.

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