Samsung has stumbled on a winner with their compact consumer camera the ST700 as some vendors are having trouble keeping them in stock. Released in January of this year, recent price drops have lead to shortages. If the ST700 was a good deal at $279, apparently many consumers consider it a steal at $199.
The specs are impressive for a pocket size camera. A 16.1-megapixel 1/2.3 in CCD image sensor behind a 5x 26mm (26-130mm equivalent) lens with dual optical and electronic image stabilization.
The ST700 is definitely made for parties. On the back it sports a 3 inch touch LCD screen and has the added feature of a 1.8 inch front LCD screen for framing with the camera on self-timer.
On the software side the ST700 is packed with features like Magazine Album, Smart Face Recognition, Face Detection and Tracking and a bewildering host of in camera effects like soft-focus, fish-eye, miniature and cinema.
One feature that’s really clever is the ST700 will put posing suggestions on the front screen so all users have to do is align themselves with the outline on the front screen for great shots.
Video on the ST700 is limited to 720 at 30 fps and with the CCD sensor it’s a little weak on low-light performance, topping out at ISO 3200.
Since the camera has been out a while, there are plenty of user reviews out there. A few users have reported problems with the build quality and units that have quit working. Even users positive on the camera recommend getting a hard shell case and take care to keep dust away from the lens, but overall the camera gets high marks from users.
Make sure you can return it in case you get one of the bad ones, but for under $200 the ST700 is a great choice if you’re looking for a camera to take along to your bowling league or to give to the kids for their social events.
This camera is an upgrade to the ST600 and strong sales of the ST700 should just about insure an ST800 for next year.