Samsung ST1000


Many of Samsung's recent digital cameras are quite ambitious, to say the least, incorporating new kinds of innovations into basic camera features (remember the dual-screen-wielding ST550?). And now comes the P24,000 ST1000, a 12.2-megapixel shooter that has GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. Let's see if this bad boy's abundance of connectivity features does not compromise its shooting prowess.

Looks

The ST1000 is far from the most compact of compact cameras out there. At 18.9mm, it certainly isn't Mr. Slim.

The cam has a basic block shape that's a stark contrast from its not-so-basic features. The unit that we got sports a smooth, glossy bluish-gray finish in the front. A humongous 3.5-inch touch screen dominates the back part.

Being advertised as a touch-screen camera means that physical buttons take a back seat. This is true for the ST1000, which is almost devoid of buttons, save for Power, Zoom, Preview, and Capture. Navigation is done almost entirely via the display, something that may require a bit of getting used to especially for those accustomed to older, button-laden cameras.

User(-friendly) interface

The absence of physical buttons doesn't mean that using the ST1000 is a pain in the neck. The menu and navigation options, found almost entirely on the touch screen, are intuitively laid out. Navigating through the camera's features is simple and requires just a couple of taps most of the time.

Another good thing is the responsiveness of the ST1000's display, which Samsung claims to have the world's highest resolution for its kind.

Image quality

Of course, what good is a camera if it utterly fails at the thing that it is meant to do, right? Fortunately, with all the talk of its stupendous add-ons, the ST1000 still is a decent shooter. We tested the ST1000's capabilities at the highest, superfine setting and did some daytime shooting, and the result is an image quality that is on par with other expensive compacts. Colors are vibrant and detail is strong. Indoor shooting with ample lighting produces the same story.

The same thing could not be said in low-light situations, though, as the ST1000 was only decent at best. Noise, which is a bane for many digital cameras, started to appear, especially at night and at higher ISO settings.

A tip: You have to check out its Macro mode (lets you shoot detailed images as near as a couple of centimeters from the subject). The camera was able to focus easily and consistently well in that mode.

Wireless connectivity

Now this is where the ST1000 trumps most other compact cameras. The ST1000 comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth which lets you shoot and share your images online in a jiffy. The pre-installed Web software responds fast and comes with easy sharing options for sites like Facebook and Picasa. The GPS option also allows for instant geo-tagging via satellite technology to indicate where the image is taken.

However, we had a bit of a problem detecting some Wi-Fi networks. One time, we were just only a few meters away from a Wi-Fi router, but the ST1000 couldn't detect it. (Sounds like an iPad problem, right?)

As for Bluetooth, file transfer becomes noticeably slow with distance and ultimately stops when you're about 4 meters away from the paired-up device. 

Extra features

Besides the Samsung camera's trio of wireless options, the ST1000 also has other features that may be more useful to some than others. This includes Smart Auto, which lets the camera decide on the best settings to take the “perfect shot” in different situations; Smart Face Recognition to focus on faces; and Smart Gesture UI, which uses the built-in accelerometer to let you browse through your photos and the camera's features by just tilting the camera. 

Battery life

We expected the ST1000 to be one power-hungry gadget, but we were proven otherwise. With Wi-Fi and GPS frequently turned on while taking shots, we were able to use the digicam for more than 2 days. Quite a mean feat. Another bonus is that you can charge the ST1000 via USB.

Verdict

It's clear as day, the Samsung ST1000 is one shooter that boasts a chock-full of features. From wireless connectivity to stuff that make shooting easier, the ST1000 has it covered. However, if we remove all these features and only consider what it's intended to do in the first place, the ST1000 becomes an above-average performer at best.

Click here to view the Samsung ST1000 in the Buyer's Guide.

Next: Sample photos

 

Performance
star_on star_on star_on star_off star_off
Value
star_on star_on star_off star_off star_off
Overall
star_on star_on star_on star_off star_off
+
  • Wireless connectivity
  • 3.5-inch full touch screen
  • Macro mode works migty fine
  • Easy navigation

  • Price tag
  • Subpar performer in low-light  situations
  • Doesn't detect some wireless networks 
Bottom Line
Certainly not for those with shallow pockets, the ST1000 is a decent shooter with wireless connectivity options to boot. Now if only it could detect Wi-Fi networks consistently.
Editor’s Pick No
Price P24,000
Tech Specs
  • Type: Compact (point and shoot)
  • Resolution
    • Stills: 12.2 megapixels
    • Videos: 1280 x 720 pixels @ 30fps (max)
  • Zoom
    • Digital 5x
  • Storage: Micro SD/MicroSDHC
  • Screen
    • Size: 3.5-inch
    • Type: TFT touchscreen LCD
    • Resolution: 1,152,000 pixels
  • Image Stabilization: Advanced Dual Image stabilization
  • Face Detection: yes
  • Interface
    • USB 2.0 (digital out)
    • Video out: NTSC, PAL (user selectable), HDMI 1.2: NTSC, PAL (user selectable)
  • Battery
    • Type:  Rechargeable battery (SLB-11A)
    • Life: 260 shots (claimed)
  • Wireless connectivity
    • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g
    • Bluetooth 2.0
    • GPS
  • Other features
    • Smart Gesture UI
    • Smart Auto mode
    • Smart Face recoginition
  • Size: 99.8 x 60.8 x 18.9mm
  • Weight:  156g (body only)


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