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Samsung ST70 - Performance and Results

By Cliff Smith



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung ST70


Our Score:


The ST70's overall performance is excellent, and certainly on a par with its main rivals. It starts up and can take a picture in approximately 1.7 seconds, and in single-shot mode its shot-to-shot time is approximately 2 seconds. In normal continuous mode it can manage a shot every 1.2 seconds, but like most Samsung cameras it also has a motion-capture mode which shoots at 6fps but only at VGA resolution. It also has auto exposure bracketing.

The autofocus system is quick and reliable, focusing in under half a second at wide angle, and only slowing down a fraction at full zoom. Low light focusing is also very good, just as fast as in normal light, and thanks to a good AF assist lamp it can focus in total darkness at a range of several meters.

At this point in the review I often draw a heavy sigh and type “Unfortunately however...”, but not this time. The ST70's image quality is much better than I had expected considering its price, and again well up to the standard of its competitors. The lens doesn't have the Schnieder-Kreuznach branding of some of Samsung's premium cameras, but nonetheless performs very well, with excellent edge-to-edge sharpness and no chromatic aberration or barrel distortion, although this latter item is digitally corrected. The super-fine quality setting has very low compression, preserving lots of fine detail.

Colour rendition is superb, with rich saturation and plenty of detail, and thanks to the effective Auto Contrast Balance feature the dynamic range is much better than expected from a 14MP 1/2.3-inch compact camera sensor. Noise control is the only slight weak spot, with some patchiness in the red channel even at low ISO settings, but it does produce good detail up to 400 ISO and results that are at least printable at 800 ISO, which is pretty good for the price.


Samsung's relentless assault on the digital camera market continues with another excellent ultra-compact at a very affordable price. Build quality, performance and results are well up to spec, and the value for money is almost unbeatable.


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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