Compact Camera Comparison: What That Extra Money Will Buy
CREDIT: Samsung Electronics
Walk into the camera department of any electronics store and you may have a tough time distinguishing one compact camera from another: palm-sized, usually black or silver, lens on the front, viewing screen on the back. With today’s release of five new Samsung point and shoot cameras, it’s an opportunity to line them up and call out the features that an extra $30 or so can buy.
Starting at $100, the new ST30 provides a baseline for comparison. It features auto focus, a 10-megapixal sensor, a 28mm lens and a 3x optical zoom. Photo-taker friendly features include blink and smile recognition, red-eye correction and a Beauty Shot mode that evens out skin tones, erases blemishes and removes dark circles. The ST30 is an ideal camera for profile pictures that you’ll post on line, but for more advanced special effects, a stronger zoom and HD video, you’ll have to pay more.
Mid-range trio adds HD video
For an extra $30, Samsung will offer its ST95 in February with a 5x optical zoom lens and a megapixel count of 16 to match its most expensive new model in this release of five. The $130 ST95 is the only one of the five to support H.264 codec, providing up to 2-4 times longer recording capabilities.
Another $20 for the $150 ST90 buys an extra half millimeter of “slimness.”
At the top of this mid-range trio, priced at $199, the ST65 camera is about the same size as the $130 model, but you’lll get a wider lens: 27mm compared with 26mm. All three of these cameras have Samsung’s 5x optical zoom, 15 or 16 different landscape and portrait modes to choose from, and all are capable of recording HD video at 720p.
Samsung’s $230 ST6500 may be the one to catch your eye with an angled design, which Samsung says provides a more ergonomic fit, but it is the only camera in this release to offer a touch screen.
Like its $130 counterpart, the ST6500 has a 16-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom and HD video recording capability. The extra $100 buys a 3-inch LCD touch screen that can make navigating the cameras setting a lot easier than pushing tiny buttons, and what Samsung calls Magic Frame capabilities, a dozen templates formatted as postcards and posters. Finally, ST6500 owners will have video filtering features to add the same types of creative effects to video footage as they can to still photos.
The ST95, ST90 and ST65 cameras will be available in February. The ST30 and ST6500 will be available in March.
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