Well, it's not supposed to work like this. High-end, feature-packed cameras are usually, frankly, a mess: flaky, oddball features, a Frankenstein interface of patchwork hideousness, an image quality that, ultimately, feels like an afterthought… But the Samsung ST1000 is different.
It feels beautifully built – even if the decision to place the lens where it is means you're in danger of taking too many photos of your left index finger – and the 3.5-inch touchscreen on the back is just stunning.
It has super-high pixel density, great colour and the interface is actually usable without having to turn to the manual.
The pictures are good too – 12.2 megapixels is a little much to ask of a compact camera's sensor, so there's some smearing and noise at 100% (especially noticeable in low light), but otherwise they're fine.
Granted, there's no RAW option, and an entry level DLSR is going to trounce it on image quality alone – for just £150 or so more – but the JPEGs sufficiently hold their own.
The 720p movies, recorded in an iMovie-friendly H.264 format, are good, though detail is smudged and a tad over-sharpened.
Best of all though, the advanced technology stuffed into this camera actually works. Given a few minutes to get a lock, the GPS circuitry can embed the location each shot was taken into the JPEG's metadata. The accuracy varies according to different conditions, but it's never usually more than a few metres out.
The Places feature of iPhoto can then use this data to pin photos to a map, or to build Smart Albums based on where photos were shot. Images uploaded to Flickr can (optionally) maintain this data, though an apparent bug in how Google truncates coordinates means that Picasa and Google Maps get the location wrong.
You can upload the images to Picasa and Facebook directly from the camera over Wi-Fi but, while the ST1000 supports WEP/WPA, it won't work with paid-for hotspots that require a login.
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