Samsung Twin Screen Digital Camera
The Samsung ST550 digital camera measures 9.8x6x2cm and weights 135grams. Mine was black with a chrome ring around the lens and a thin purple line along the top and left edge with a larger area on the right edge, sounds weird but to my non stylish eye it looks smart.
It is a 12.2MP offering with 4.6x optical zoom and is almost totally touchscreen. Looking at the front of the unit you see the 1.5x.4cm flash unit just to the left of centre at the top and the chrome ring around the varioplan 4.9-22.5mm lens. The blank area below the flash hides the front TFT that remains invisible until you tap it into action.
The base has the door for the solid battery and any micro SD card you use for storage. Yes I did say micro SD, beside this the multi purpose lead that charges and allows you to upload photos and videos to your PC and also tripod anchor point. The left side is blank and the right side has the anchor point for the provided wrist strap.
The top has the inbuilt microphone to the left of the power on/off button, the shutter release is an elongated oval and a rather fiddly wide angle/telephoto rocker is beside that. Just below this on the chamfered back edge is the view image button.
The back has no buttons just the 7.5x4.8cm TFT screen this is 3.5inches in diagonal measurement.
Once you switch the camera on you have five touch images on the left and three on the right while the actual image is 6.1x4.5cm.
Movies can be 1280x720 HQ, 1280x720, 640x480 or 320x240. Various frame rates up to 60FPS at the lowest resolution are available.
The still image sizes possible are 4000x3000 12MP, 3984x2656 10MP, 3840x2160 9MP, 3264x2448 8MP, 2560x1920 5MP, 2048x1536 3MP, 1920x1080 2MP and 1024x768 1MP. The 9 and 2MP are 3:2 and the 10MP 16:9. I find it interesting that the 3MP size is stated as suitable for A5 prints while I produced some rather good A4 images from this resolution. There are three compression modes Super Fine, Fine and Normal.
To give an idea a 3MP image takes around 1.3MB of card space, while a one minute 640x480 video clip around 27MB of card space. Of course these figures will vary according to compression and frame rate selected.
I was quite happy with images taken with flash and the normal 3metre dead light area that a lot of small cameras have does not seem to apply and I was happy with images at over 4metres. As with most digital cameras movies taken in poor light are not great but those taken in decent daylight are quite acceptable viewing.
I found making adjustments easy after only a short period of use using the touch screen the second (front) screen is great for taking images of yourself in a group without having to fiddle to find the self timer setting, the front screen can be a vast improvement on waving a favourite toy at a baby which is only likely to upset.
Image quality overall was excellent and the range of movie settings was also good allowing less blurry images on faster moving subjects when you select higher frame rates.
In the last week of this review a 16GB Micro SD card arrived from Kingston. As stated above this unit unusually uses Micro SD so it gave me a chance to record long videos as most of work was done with a far smaller card. I was very happy with the images and videos taken. While a large card is still not cheap having the freedom to take movies without thought to when the card will fill is nice. I shall of course test the Kingston SDC10/16GBSP card with more normal devices such as Phones/PDA’s but so far it has worked very well, and seems the ideal purchase with the Samsung ST550 Digital Camera. For more information go to http://www.kingston.com/ukroot/flash/sd_home.asp
Doing my Internet searches found the Samsung ST550 at a best price of £209.07 from the first link below.
I found the Samsung ST550 available for $208.99 from Amazon on the first link below.
I found the Samsung ST550 available for €316,00 from Amazon on the first link below.
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