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Samsung ST95 review

Ben Pitt
16 Jul 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
140
inc VAT

A slim, touchscreen camera with some fun features, but image quality is bettered by many cheaper cameras

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Specifications

1/2.3in 15.9-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (26-130mm equivalent), 107g

The ST95 has some impressive stats for such a reasonably-priced camera. It's 17mm thick and only just big enough to accommodate its 3in wide-aspect touchscreen. The lens is taller than the camera itself, which gives the impression of a serious optic, but the substantial, non-moving ring surrounding it is apparently just for show - it's no interchangeable-lens mount. There's nothing remarkable about the lens's specifications, with a 5x optical zoom and f/3.3-5.9 aperture.

Samsung ST95 rear

Touchscreen cameras tend to divide opinion. A touchscreen is a flexible interface, able to present buttons, sliders and informative graphics to suit the task at hand. However, cameras don't necessarily need this flexibility, with just a handful of functions that require regular access – for which physical buttons and dials arguably make more sense.

Then again, casual photographers may only ever use the power, shutter release, zoom and playback functions – and the ST95 has these covered with physical buttons. There's also a Home button, which gives you easy access to various shooting modes.

Samsung ST95 front

All other controls appear on the touchscreen. We found it frustratingly unresponsive until we realised that – unlike the capacitive touchscreens on modern smartphones and tablets – this resistive model requires a little force to register. The menus are reasonably quick to navigate. There's an odd mix of functions, with control over contrast, saturation, sharpness and even automatic exposure bracketing but no manual exposure control. The touchscreen is used to set the focus point, but rather than remember the point we set, it insisted on tracking the subject – and usually failed to do so successfully. Another mode focuses on the selected point and fires off a shot immediately, but again, we rarely got it to do what we wanted.