On the whole, the Samsung ST6500 produces very nice images. In fact, when we tested the Samsung SH100, which is also part of the Cutting Edge range, we found that the metering is better on the ST6500. Even shooting directly into the sun, we managed to get decent detail in darker areas that would be silhouetted normally.
Pictures are pin sharp and we love the colours that the camera produces. They're realistic, but also saturated by the processor to a pleasing degree. In macro mode, the camera throws the background pleasantly out of focus producing good bokeh for such a small sensor.
Noise performance is good, especially at low ISO settings although we can see a small amount of colour invasion at ISO 200. Still, it's manageable and edge definition is still good. In fact, the edges don't start to suffer until around ISO 400 and colour invasion - while getting more widespread – is kept at bay by the noise reduction software.
Noise levels get a bit too high by ISO 800, and dark areas take on a purple cast. At ISO 1600 that cast spreads to the mid tones and although the colour invasion exacerbates at ISO 3200, the resulting images are reasonable for a camera at this level.
For a camera at this price, the pictures are great. We like how sharp they are and how well the camera handles complex light and high ISO situations. If you wish to use a low ISO in low light, using the flash will help as the camera gives nicely balanced pictures with fill-in flash. However, the recycle time – despite saying 4 seconds on the Samsung website – can take a while and we lost many shots while waiting for it to charge.