Good Build quality
Produces nice colours
Pictures are sharp
Metering works well even in direct light
Bulky surround to the screen makes the camera look lower quality
Home button has no order to the modes
While noise comes in pretty early, it's tolerable until high ISO settings
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The ST6500 is touch-screen compact camera from Samsung, priced at around £180 and featuring unusual and bold styling.
For your money, you get a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and a 5x optical zoom, a decent ISO range from ISO 80 to ISO3200 at full resolution and a 3 inch touch-screen. We found this screen is responsive as long as you use the stylus provided, it doesn't work quite so well with fingers.
There are also 4 focusing modes, although 2 are touch screen related. The centre AF and multi AF work in the traditional way, while the touch options will focus on the point you touch on the screen. The smart touch AF takes things one step further and will lock onto and track the point you touch until you take a picture in the traditional way.
The ST6500 features a host of modes and options which are accessed by pressing the home button on the back of the camera. Unfortunately, there's no obvious order to these modes, with some playback options appearing in the middle of the recording options.
It would be nice to see each page dedicated to specific modes for example, capture, editing and video shooting. However, the icons are bright and easy to understand so it isn't too much of a problem.
There are four video resolution modes available, two of which are 1280x720. The highest resolution has two settings: HQ and normal. The frame rate can also be altered from 15 to 30 fps to make some extra space on the card but changing to 15fps will lower the quality.
Smart phone users will find the features of the ST6500 familiar, making use of touch screen and swiping pages. We found that the camera is easy enough to understand and operate by even the most novice of users and the smart photo and smart video modes make life easy.
Samsung's most recent digital compact cameras take MicroSD cards so if you're new to the company, you'll need to pick up a card when you get the camera.
Switching on the camera without a card in is annoying because at full resolution, the camera doesn't have enough built-in memory to take a picture and you have to reduce the resolution from 16 megapixels to 10 megapixels just to get one picture.