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Customer Review

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's actually a good camera!, July 19, 2011
This review is from: Samsung EC-ST95ZZBPBUS Digital Camera with 16 MP, 5x Optical Zoom and Touchscreen Black (Electronics)
In this low-to-medium-end point-and-shoot category you will find pretty hit-and-miss performance. Take for example my recent scathing review of the Nikon Coolpix S3100 - which we purchased and have returned because the performance (speed, focus, etc.) is so abysmally bad that it can't be a real product, it must be defective. Even simple pictures of stationary subjects at 10 feet in broad daylight come out blurry, and the semi-focused pics come out grainy. Absolute junk.

By contrast is this nice little device, which we purchased on Amazon at the same time. It has a 3" touchscreen with menus that are easy to use, with very simple and intuitive menus and controls. This is a feature typically only found on slightly higher-end point and shoot cameras, in the $200+ range. It's small and sleek, and while the Nikon has a nice metal body (or at least, the front half), this one has a little bit of a lighter, cheaper, all-plastic body - it feels well-made but it's very very light. Now for the real important thing: does it take good pictures?


Its flash actually lights the scene well and the sensor appears to tick down the sensitivity a little when the flash is in use; the result is that it does a pretty good job with flash photography. However, it seems to take pretty clear, focused pictures even under incandescent light. Sometimes the auto-focus gets a little confused in low light, so it's not 100% perfect, but I've never had a camera that is. About 90-95% of the indoors photos came out clearly, which is quite remarkable for such a small and inexpensive camera.

To be perfectly fair and objective, I took this camera and our Nikon Coolpix S3100 (since returned to Amazon) outside and took two shots per camera, of each of five subjects, in the same resolution, at the same time, using the 'auto' mode. I chose the sharper of the two photos from each camera and renamed the file generically. I then brought up the photos on our 1080p 55" TV - the largest-format, highest-resolution screen in the house. I showed them to my wife and asked her to choose "before" and "after", letting her know that I had swapped the order of the pictures randomly (so that A wasn't always the Nikon, B wasn't always the Samsung). In 5 out of 5 cases, she picked (and I agreed) the Samsung's pictures, simply on the focus, color precision and depth of field. The Nikon just can't focus correctly. For example, on the back patio, the kids' tricycle is relatively focused, but the grill right beside it - both near the center of the shot - is entirely blurred out. On the Samsung, both are, as expected, in perfect focus.

You can go wrong in the entry-level point-and-shoot category but not with this little guy - it works splendidly, it's budget-friendly, and it has features and some performance that's comparable to other point-and-shoot offerings at twice the price. I highly recommend this camera.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 2, 2011, 9:07:16 AM PDT
Senn says:
Thank you for your "experiment" results =) I have been agonizing forever about which point and shoot to pick out and was stuck between Nikon and Canon. I really never considered Samsung in terms of cameras even though I love their televisions. So I will give this point and shoot a shot (pun!) based on your review (no pressure). Thanks again for your effort in putting together a substantial review.
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