When the ST95 is faced with mid range tones, it produces very nice pictures. They're well exposed, sharp and noise-levels are low. However, the camera suffers from a low dynamic range and on some occasions highlights burn out. Where this happens, high contrast edges and chromatic aberration appear.
Noise is handled well in natural light and even better in controlled light. In fact, in studio conditions and at low sensitivty settings (ISO), the pictures are sharp, clean and pretty noise free. Changes start to take effect at ISO200, but that's only noticeable when images are viewed at 100% on screen. Viewing the pictures at 'normal' size doesn't show the changes.
There's a slight colour shift in darker areas at ISO800, but the change is more noticeable at ISO1600 with shadows taking on a purple cast. Edge definition breaks down too and image details are lost as the camera's noise reduction system goes into overdrive.
Despite the high levels of noise at ISO3200, the picture does at least remain at full resolution, there are cameras in the Samsung range that will reduce it to 3 megapixels.
Colours are recorded nicely on the Samsung ST95. Primary colours are rich, but not to a garish degree and while more difficult colours are realistic. Skin tones are realised nicely and if there's a medley of different colours in the frame, there's no colour bleed.
We've had better picture quality from other Samsung cameras that we've tested, which is a shame for the ST95 as its otherwise a nice little camera. The narrow dynamic range left us feeling deflated. However, there's little noise in images captured in controlled light sources.