There’s no denying that, on first impressions, the Samsung ST65 looks relatively unassuming. It’s got conventional styling that ticks all of the usual boxes when it comes to apocket-sized compact camera
located at the more entry-level end of the marketplace. It’s certainly got an attractive price tag, with an RRP of just $110
, which puts it alongside many other cheap shooters in this bracket.
However, while some compact cameras at this end of the budget scale tend to reflect the cheap cost in build quality shortcomings, the ST65 is reassuringly well put together. Take it out of the box and it sits nicely in your hand and feels chunky, robust but far from unwieldy. In fact, the boxy design makes it ideal for holding when you’re on the move, which is after all what this compact has been designed for.
Then there’s the usability aspect of this camera, because the ST65 is wonderfully simple and straightforward to setup and use. There’s very little here that novice point and shoot types would find confusing, but there are also some appealing aspects that will also make this camera worthy of investigation from more experienced photography fans.
As for specification then – well, it’s a workmanlike package that doesn’t offer high-end capacity, but delivers more than enough for people who want an able-bodied compact that can capture an array of different shots. The 14.6-megapixel sensor is augmented by the 5x optical zoom. This combination allows you to produce very decent images and in a variety of different conditions, making it perfect for fuss-free photography.
The lens in particular gives an extra edge, with the 26-130mm optic being able to adapt to the surroundings with ease. We particularly liked the way it handled panorama shots, but the Samsung is also more than capable of dealing with those trickier situations, especially when low-light is set to potentially hamper your shot.
Round the back
There are some cool little features to choose from including the Creative Movie Maker mode that offers up the rather interesting capacity for combining stills and video footage into a slideshow. You can carry this out on the camera itself, which is pretty impressive too, although that screen means you’ll have to work within its limitations. Movie footage is pretty good though and combining that with the still aspect does produce some solid results. Footage is Full HD at 1080p and features 30 frames per second. Adding to the appeal is the H.264 format that enables owners to record for longer.
There is also a dazzling array of different shooting modes to play around with too, with the ST65 offering up 16 different still options to discover along with four that allow you to squeeze a little bit more out of the movie aspect of the camera. It’s also possible to satisfy a few of those creative urges you may be harboring too, thanks to the likes of a 3D option plus Cartoon, Ink Painting and Half-Tone Dot filters all delivering an extra tinge of versatility. Considering that, the camera soon starts to look like pretty good value, when you put it all together.
Of course, this is still a budget camera and that therefore means you will be faced with a few downsides along the way. Although the pictures are generally sound, the auto mode options don’t allow much in the way of manual control, so pretty much what you see is what you get.
However, it’s likely that anyone considering this camera will be buying it for just that kind of reason and probably won’t want too many sophisticated controls or convoluted menu functions to have to pick through.
Smart Flash, for example, means that the camera can analyze key picture elements and then adjust itself so that you get the shot just right and it works indoors and out. There are other flash options to choose from too, if you’d rather explore the camera yourself and these include Auto, Auto & Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-in Flash, Slow sync, Flash off, Red-eye Fix and Flash EVC.
Meanwhile, the still image modes cover most bases including Smart Auto, Program, Scene, Dual IS, 3D Photo, Panorama (3D/Live/Action) and Movie.
There are a lot of cameras out there in this end of the compact marketplace and many of them can do much the same as the ST65. That in itself means it’s up against stiff competition, even though the price tag means it’s pretty top value.
Specification-wise there’s more than enough here to keep most point and shoot people happy and the creative tools add a fun aspect too. Not everybody will be drawn to the idea of the microSD card capacity though, and there are some shortcomings if you’re on the lookout for manual controls.
- 14.2 MP High Resolution
- 5x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom 27-135mm Lens
- Bright 2.7″ LCD Screen
- 1280x720p HD Video
- Perfect Portrait System
- Digital Image Stabilization
- Beauty Shot/Self-Portrait
- Face/Smile/Blink Detection
- Smart Auto 2.0
- 15 Photo Modes
- See more at: