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Iím by no means a photographer but in the right situation I do like to take the occasional photo Ė like to have things to remember, like some nights out and to watch all the random things in my life that have happened. I never had a proper digital camera of my own, I always used to pinch one of my dadís Ė so about a year ago I decided I had to get one of my own, I had been using my mobile phone but since I changed it Iíd lost the amazing camera it had Ė so I had no choice really. I had to pick Samsung almost all my gadgets are Samsung!
Samsung is a South Korean company that I would guess that a lot of people have heard of, since to be honest they make a little bit of everything really. They are one of the companies that happen to be one with a bit of a better reputation. So it is quite a popular brand, among others. In the past two years Iíve seen a lot of products from this company; anything from mobile phones and televisions all the way to hoovers and even microwaves. Personally Iíve had a laptop, mobile phone, a camera and even an external hard drive Ė so at one point I was a bit of a Samsung junkie!
12.2 megapixel camera TFT LCD Display 2.7inch Display Screen Flash modes; Auto, Auto and Red Eye, Fill-in Flash, Slow Sync, Flash Off and Red Eye Fix 20Mb internal memory SDHC card maximum 32 GB USB connection 2 speakers Rechargeable battery Self-timer; 2 or 10 seconds 3.58 inches wide, 2.2 inches high, and 0.6 inches deep
Iíve had the camera for just over a year so Iíve spent a lot of time playing with the various settings on the camera and Iíve had varying times with it. In the box, all I got was my camera, a cable and the battery; well the wrist strap to but that attaches to the camera anyways. To be honest itís all you really need to because the moment you switch on the camera it is all pretty much either onscreen instructions or really self-explanatory Ė even the button to switch it on and off says power on it Ė you definitely canít miss it! Starting up the camera and set-up Ė well you donít actually have to do it, you can do it later on if you are in a desperate rush to get using your camera. To be honest all you set up is the time, date and which time zone youíre in. Clever thing that cameras they remember it unless you take the battery out Ė then the memory will forget it but to be honest itís not difficult to change anyway. Considering on the back of the camera there is a menu button and itís easy to change in the menu using the wheel around the menu button, and up, down, side to side to select your time and date options. Couldnít be easier!
One of the better things about this camera is that you can literally use it right out of the box Ė but the memory or pictures if really quite low at only 20Mb, on the top setting I got very few photos at all, if I needed them Ė but I had already thought about it and got myself a 8Gb memory card anyways so didnít need to use it Ė the camera will take up to a 32Gb memory card in you get a SDHC, which is essentially a high quality one, they are more expensive by a tiny amount Ė but on the normal SD you can only get 2Gb at the most for the camera so itís worth extra not to have to keep emptying the camera all the time and have videos. Thankfully the camera doesnít slow down as the memory card fills up as I have seen in some cameras as the videos mount up Ė they seem to clog cameras quite a lot Ė it takes a second or two to bring the full video up for playback, but it wonít take all day if youíre wanting to show someone. Similarly with photos the larger the size of them the longer they take to load, but it is still quite quick Ė and another good point of this camera is that regardless how many pictures and videos you have it will let you scroll through them really quickly. (By pressing the circular button with the side on triangle in it.) It does make using this camera really easy the majority of the time!
The quality of the images obviously depends on the userís choice of megapixels, because you can go quite low to decrease the size of the pictures; you can take it as 1mp of photo which is really small and a very low file size, in increments all the way up to 12mp which will give you the best pictures. On top of this you can also make a decision of the level of fine on your photo, from normal up to superfine Ė this will also increase or decrease your file size. Which if anyone like me does ĎShop and Scaní taking photos of those damn receipts does mean having to drop it down to quite a low quality to even get them to take one picture at a time. So I was constantly finding myself changing the quality. That and when you transfer them over to your computer or laptop it can take an age if there are a lot of pictures or videos in that high quality. Quality of the videos basically stays in one level of quality and it really is good - though you can chose the high quality function which does take more memory, though you canít actually zoom in because you will lose all your audio. I tend to only use my video function at gigs, and considering I always manage to get really close to the front I donít need to use a zoom thankfully. The video quality really surprised me because it is so good even with really loud noises such as gigs Ė you can listen back and hear every word of the sons with no distortion; even with the video I took at new year in London where I recorded the fireworks itís an easily watchable video with no distortion and youíre not going to blow your eardrums out watching it.
My main criticism about this camera for me personally is that there are too many different modes to take a photo Ė and the last thing you need to be going through lots of modes to try and get the right one for that moment, especially if you are taking an opportunist picture. Alternatively there is an automatic mode that offers the camera to decide which mode it needs to be in; problem is it normally picks the wrong one so puts a useless flash on in the idle of the day. So I tend to use a normal non specified mode for the day time, rather than portrait or beach mode, and then if I know Iíll be out at night I will change it to night mode as the camera will remember it even if you switch the camera off. So save yourself precious time not having to trail through modes when you want to see it. The flash as well if you look at it at night you will be blinded its lovely, but occasionally it will brighten your image too much and ruin it but it doesnít happen often. You can put tones on your pictures like black and white if you want but personally think it looks a bit naff on an everyday photo so I never normally bother with it. The camera comes with an anti-shake feature, but itís rubbish, my last experience with it was not the best I think I went through every setting I could and put it on to try and take a picture that would be amazing to keep and it just looked blurry and awful Ė but my boyfriend took it on his iPhone and it came out perfectly, so Iíve just stolen his photo instead since we were both there! The zoom on this camera is a four times optical zoom, and itís alright if you arenít going as far as it will go Ė otherwise you can enjoy heavily pixelated photographs that are small file sized but youíll only be able to tell what it is from looking at it from further away Ė it distorts faces like you wouldnít believe so if you canít get close enough to take a picture of someone donít zoom too much because youíll not be able to identify them!
Aesthetically itís not a bad looking camera it fits nicely in the palm of your hand, and is really easy to hold for a long time if youíre recording something Ė though you will get arm ache but then thatís not the cameras fault! I have the black version but there are many colours available, red, silver and I think there is a purple as well, it just looks like a camera to me, I did find though apart from the fact itís really light Ė that it scratches the colour off really easily if you put it in your pocket outside of a case! I did it in London and now Iím missing some black off one edge of the cameraÖ. Whoops!
Now it might sound that I despise this camera, but I donít hate it all that much, I just wish it wasnít so full of different functions, for a simple everyday camera, it sure is full of junk that I just donít useÖ Iím sure for those people that think theyíre photographers and like to take photos in black and white for the fun of it Ė they might use them, but if I want that I get a proper large camera where the pictures are great. Itís good for everyday usage, catching your kids doing something funny, pictures of your friends on a night out, but donít try and be a photographer with it because you will be bitterly disappointed. The battery lasts an age, I had my camera on all night at a gig a few months back, 4 videos and almost 100 photos and it still had a bar of battery out of three left. So no complaints there; I do like my camera when itís on a normal setting Ė just for my shop and scan the pictures are too large, so now do them with my iPhone because itís quicker than having to upload them onto my laptop (which incidentally is about to kick the bucket!) So buy this if you fancy a now cheap camera, with good quality photos, but you arenít worried about any fancy effects Ė from a brand that will always bring you brilliant quality products.
Price and Availability
You can get this from various places from eBay to electrical stores but since itís an older camera now itís getting a bit harder to find. It is however still available from play.com at £119 but I only paid £99 for it from a catalogue so thatís quite priceyÖ There is a red one available on eBay at the moment for £52 so they can be quite a bargain so keep your eyes peeled for the Samsung ST60 it is all over the place at various prices!
== I'd put pictures I'd taken using the camera on to my review but ironic thing is Ciao say they are too big! ==