Samsung ST30 review

Samsung ventures into the world of miniature with the ST30

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The Samsung ST30 actually performs well. We had our reservations because of the size of the camera and because we also had trouble seeing images on the screen. It's a bit too small by modern standards and it's also not very bright.

Still, the sensor recorded colours nicely, we're impressed with the primary range as they came out bright and rich. Complex colours such as purple also had a good result from the camera which is always nice to see.

Samsung st30 review

We're also impressed with how the camera handles light. In normal circumstances (ie broad daylight), pictures are nicely exposed, but we found that the ST30 also coped well in difficult lighting.

Thanks to the sensor's dynamic range, highlights are retained and there's also detail in shadow areas.

We found that the white-balance system works adequately for most circumstances. There's no shade setting and the cloud setting doesn't cut the mustard in that scenario. Still, if you have the time, the ST30 has a manual option to set the balance yourself.

Noise is a bit hit and miss on the Samsung ST30 digital compact camera. While some of our pictures at low ISO have come out lovely and smooth with no sign of coloured speckling, a number of pictures at relatively low ISO have high levels of noise. We couldn't isolate the problem to find a recurring pattern, so it's worth noting to use the lowest ISO possible at all times.

Our lab tests prove that noise is a problem even at the lowest setting. It remains relatively under control through the low to mid-range stages, but at ISO1600 the ST30 simply can't cope. At this stage, detail dissipates, purple blobs appear and hard artefacts scatter around the image. To try and control it, the camera knocks the resolution down to 3 megapixels and this does solve some of the problems but the colour invasion remains.

It's easy to fall into a trap of thinking that because the ST30is small and basic that the pictures it produces are going to be poor. But Samsung has shown a degree of cunning in only fitting a 10 megapixel sensor to the ST30, because the picture quality is actually pretty good.

Colours are good, focusing is relatively fast and metering is more than adequate.

One of the ST30's failings is that it sounds like a toy when focusing and taking a picture, but thankfully, the sounds can be switched off.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution10.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyST
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card, microSDHC Card
Image StabilizationDigital
Optical Zoom3x
Digital Zoom3x
Brand NameSamsung
FeaturesFace Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Smart Capture
Screen Size6.1 cm (2.4")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)86.5 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/3" (4.80 mm x 3.60 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height51.9 mm
Width82 mm
Depth16.9 mm
Product SeriesST
Focal Length4.10 mm to 12.30 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
Product ModelST30
Product NameST30 Compact Camera
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberEC-ST30ZZBPSGB
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The ST30 digital camera might be the world smallest zoom camera, but it is also a very chic personal accessory that is bound to earn you some fashion points. Within the slim frame, that is perfect sized for travelling about, it features all the necessary extras like Smart Auto for scene recognition and picture perfect for adding those final touches. To keep all your fantastic shots in order, it comes with a very handy and built-in Smart Album. And with a choice of five colours, it is sure to grab you plenty of attention.

Package Contents
  • ST30 Compact Camera
  • AC Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Strap
  • User Manual CD-ROM
  • Quick Start Manual
Limited Warranty1 Year