As Samsung’s most petite camera, the appeal of the ST30 is a niche one to begin with. A slip of a gadget at 28mm wide, with a 2.4” TFT LCD screen, Samsung’s borrower sized device sounds an enticing prospect to those interested in an entry level experience. Without the unsightly pocket bulge that is.
Well, rest assured, the ST30 will bulge no pockets. Considerably smaller that the bulk of Smartphones, it’s more likely to flatter than falter the jean clad vision of your, no doubt, shapely hips. In fact, with a total weight of 87.7gramms it’s entirely possibly you’ll forget it’s even there.
But you won’t. You’re here to take pictures. And with a simple, easy to use interface, unencumbered with excessive modes and features, pictures aplenty you will take.
The ST30 is a cute little bugger, available in an array of complimentary colours. But arguably its best feature, in light of its refreshingly diminutive design, would be the asking price. You’re looking at a paltry €80 for one on these modest moment snatchers. That’s right, Samsung’s smallest camera is of a comparable mass with the actual notes you’ll shell out for it.
Actual Size... Maybe a little smaller...
Sounds like a good deal right?
Well, check your pockets. There’s probably already a gadget in there, of similar dimensions and functionality. It’s called a phone, and the overwhelming majority of them, in this day and age house, cameras. Better cameras.
Not technically superior mind, but the end result will likely be in their favour. Unfortunately for Samsung, despite its 10.1 mega-pixel image sensor, 3X Zoom Lens and TTL autofocus, the functionality of most camera phones is on par with the disappointing ST30.
And it should be noted, despite lower mp capacity, the vast majority of Smartphones will provide you with crisper, neater pictures. I’m not sure why a 10.1 mega-pixel camera produces such sub-par photos. I’m just sure it does.
As mentioned, the UI is indeed streamlined and easily navigated. But the trade off is a distinct lack of features. It has a, relatively, extensive scene setting mode but at its heart, the ST30’s mission is to point and shoot. Mercifully, I’d wager this is precisely the function the vast majority of buyers will need it for.
The ST30 boasts a range of accessories, none of which actually accompany it. Most of you will have made your peace with the lack of a tripod, but the absence of a micro SD card will seem more jarring. I’m no pictographical connoisseur, but the ability to actually take and store photos seems of paramount importance.
For all it's faults, you can't argue with its tinyness!
I have no intention of misleading anyone; the ST30 is perfectly serviceable. Plus it’s half the size and half the price of its entry level competition. It also, lamentably, takes pictures of roughly half the quality.
A few years ago this would have been more forgivable. But the fact that you can reach into your pocket and employ the camera on your phone to superior effect seems to negate the purpose of your purchase. No matter its price.