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Samsung ST70 review

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Reviewed:

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  • Recommended by TR
Samsung ST70

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Slim and stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Hard to read controls
  • Patchy noise control
  • Slippery finish

Key Features

  • 5x zoom lens
  • 14.2-megapixel sensor
  • 2.7-inch 230k LCD monitor
  • 720p HD video
  • MicroSD card format
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £107.93

Samsung is, as we've noted before, the world's largest technology company, and has huge resources for innovation, design and manufacturing. As a result it can employ blitzkrieg tactics, flooding any particular market with a huge range of well-specified, well made models at temptingly low prices. It has done this with the digital camera market, fielding a range of models that includes digital SLRs, it's innovative new NX micro system and no less than 35 compact cameras. The tactic clearly works, because Samsung is now ranked third in the global compact camera market, and is rapidly catching up with Canon and Panasonic.

Typical of Samsung's range is this ST70. It features a high quality 5x zoom lens equivalent to 27-135mm, a 14.2-megapixel sensor, a 2.7-inch 230k LCD monitor, 720p HD video and optical image stabilisation, all wrapped up in a slim and stylish all-metal body. Its a decent camera by any standard, but its specification is so similar to the ST60 and ST50 that even Samsung's own website has got them mixed up. Its closest rival is probably the Panasonic FS11, which has a virtually identical specification and is currently selling for around £130. Also comparable is the excellent Casio EX-Z2000, currently selling for around £135. The disappointing Pentax Optio I-10 is around £130. If you shop around online you can find the Samsung ST70 for under £120. There's really no mystery to Samsung's success.

While it's easy to be cynical about Samsung's marketing tactics there's no question that it can make a good product. The ST70 is slim lightweight and attractive, measuring just 96.3 x 55.8 x 21.5mm and weighing 137g fully loaded. The build quality is excellent, with a good fit between panels and well-mounted controls. The battery/card hatch even has a strong metal hinge and a locking latch, although the tripod bush is unfortunately made of plastic. The ST70 is available in turquoise metallic blue, brown or the anodised silver finish shown here.

As an aside, there is one minor annoyance has nothing to do with the design of the camera. Samsung's website lists the thickness of the ST70 as 16.6mm, but that measurement excludes the lens, obviously a necessary and permanently attached part of the camera. Similarly the weight is listed as 120g excluding the battery, again a vital component. It's like me saying I'm 3ft tall and weigh 80lbs, if you exclude my head, arms and legs. Can we have a little more accuracy please?

kai

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

james1000

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.

JK

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.

danilo

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.

Preet

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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