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8/10

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Samsung ST5000

As I've remarked before, Samsung produces a huge range of digital cameras. With a compact camera line-up of 35 different models there's something to suit almost everyone. The new ST5000 is a mid-sized compact featuring a 14.2-megapixel sensor, a high quality Schneider-Kreuznach f/3.3 – f/5.5 7x zoom lens equivalent to 31-217mm, 720p HD video with stereo audio, and a big 3.5-inch touch-screen active-matrix LCD monitor with the highest resolution of any current compact camera. It's an impressive camera from a company that up until about five years ago was still producing cheap low-quality plastic compacts.

The ST5000 is a good-looking camera, and very well made. It has a half-metal, half-plastic body, but at first glance looks like it's all metal. The build quality is excellent, the styling is sleek but understated, and the camera looks and feels a lot more expensive than it really is. It is available in matt black, a dark rust orange or the metallic gunmetal grey shown here, all with chrome trim. It's quite large and heavy as compacts go, measuring 103.8 x 58.3 x 19.6mm and weighing in at a fairly hefty 179g including battery and memory card.

In terms of competition the ST5000 is difficult to place. It is on sale from some high-street shops for as much as £279, which puts it firmly into the luxury category alongside the very similar Panasonic FX70, the Canon IXUS 300 HS or even the Sony TX1, but shopping around online it's possible to find the ST5000 for as little as £172, which is a very good price for a camera of this quality.

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