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Samsung ST70 - Design and Features

By Cliff Smith



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung ST70


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The overall design of the ST70 isn't exactly ground-breaking. It's a fairly typical shape for an ultra-compact, virtually indistinguishable from a hundred others. The top panel has a rotary bezel zoom control around the shutter button, an on/off button and another button to activate the Smart Auto mode. The rear panel has the usual layout of four buttons and a D-pad, leaving plenty of room on the top right to grip the camera. Samsung is still labelling most of its controls with engraved silver-on-silver symbols that are difficult to see even in good light, and almost invisible in lower light conditions. Despite this niggle and the camera's compact dimensions the ST70 is quite pleasant to handle, although the finish is quite slippery.

One unusual feature of the body design is the the shape of the feet. Like most compact cameras the ST70 has small feet on the bottom for stability, useful if you're trying to balance the camera on a pile of CD cases to get a good self-timer shot. The feet on the ST70 are angled so that on a flat surface the camera is tilted back slightly. A minor point perhaps, but we're nothing if not thorough.

The camera industry has almost universally adopted the SD card format for removable storage. Olympus has finally abandoned the expensive and unpopular xD-Picture card, and even traditional stick-in-the-mud Sony has dual-format slots on many of its cameras. Samsung however has decided to be different, and so the ST70 uses the MicroSD card format, a type of card designed for use in mobile phones. There's nothing wrong with this, and MicroSD cards of up to 8GB capacity are available, but it's worth considering if you (like me) have a number of SD cards that you were hoping to be able to use in your new camera.

In terms of features the ST70 is again fairly typical of its class. Shooting modes include program auto, a Smart Auto scene recognition mode, and 13 scene mode programs. Additional features include face recognition to which names can be added, several special effect filters such as fisheye lens, vignetting and miniature effect, and an automatic contrast booster for difficult lighting situations. There isn't much in the way of creative picture control, but there is a Photo Style Selector, which applies some colour effects, including an adjustable RGB colour balance. Focus area modes include centre and multi-point focusing, as well as a tracking AF function. The usual selection of spot, centre-weighted or multi-zone exposure metering is also available.

The video recording function is good, but is also fairly typical of the class. It can record at 1280 x 720 resolution and 30fps, with mono audio recorded by an internal microphone which is mounted on the top panel and almost totally non-directional. Unusually the optical zoom can be used while recording, with the option to mute audio recording while zooming, although the sudden silence is more distracting than the sound of the zoom motor on the soundtrack. There are a number of menu options in video mode including photo styles and filter effects.


July 20, 2010, 6:17 am

good sign..samsung..

stoolz mclingo

July 20, 2010, 3:52 pm

I have been thinking for a while that this site is a little bias in some areas on some cameras makes. This isnt the best example of this but this camera is clearly producing a highly compessed image words like "superb" and "excellent" are being used to describe the image quality. Even though this is cheap camera I think these comments are misleading


July 20, 2010, 8:58 pm

And what of the fabled Samsung WB2000 Digital Camera with full hd video shooting? Samsung were spouting an April release date but as per usual with "too good to be true" claims by manufacturers it STILL hasnt surfaced...

Cliff Smith

July 22, 2010, 1:02 am

stoolz - The ST70 has one of the lowest compression ratios of any compact I've tested recently. For example the full-size version of the cathedral window shot is 6.91MB, compared to 5.39MB for the Panasonic FX70, which is also 14 megapixels.


July 23, 2010, 7:49 am

@Cliff Smith - I'm not going to comment on the level of compression on the images, but I have to agree with stoolz that the words "superb" and "excellent" seem to get thrown around too easily in some reviews. Canon's Powershot S90 is a good example of a compact camera that REALLY produces excellent and superb image quality, and the ST70 doesn't come anywhere close to that. I'm well aware of the fact that the S90 is much more expensive than the ST70, but that should be irrelevant when comparing image quality between the two (as long as they're both compacts of course, DSLR's are a different story altogether). The difference in image quality should also be more clearly reflected in the ratings, because the way they stand at the moment one might make the mistake of thinking that the ST70's image quality is on par with the Canon Powershot G11's...

Just a thought..

Have a good one!

Cliff Smith

July 26, 2010, 10:33 pm

There a discussion of this very topic going on in the comments for the Fuji HS10, so I won't repeat myself by posting my answer here too, but I'll simply say that review scores compare like with like, so the ST70 is not compared with the Canon G11.


January 26, 2011, 8:59 am

let me start saying that i just have ended my register on this website ONLY because i wanted to say that this is the best samsung st70's review that i have ever found, (and i been looking a lot)

so thank you very much for this review, its been very helpful.

And about the topic above i want to comment that you really cant say that the cost of each samsung ST70 and S90 is irrelevant when it comes on image quality, its same as getting a car, you get what you pay, of course you can always try to get a little more for a little less.


January 2, 2012, 3:17 am

Opinions do vary, but from the comments already posted, the image quality score is suspect on this site. Also confirmed by http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/digital-cameras/278527/samsung-st70/specifications. Nearly bought it based on this site's review. I am buying a Canon SX130 IS instead, 𧴜 at Argos, can't be bad.

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