Samsung ST5000

These days, size is a criterion that's followed by most consumers when it comes to digital cameras. The saying "the bigger, the better" may be true for some things, but sometimes, it pays off to consider some of the small candidates. The Samsung ST5000 may be lacking in size compared to those behemoth DSLRs, but does it have what it takes to fight with the big bad boys and bring Pinoy consumers back to the compact realm? Let's find out.

This point-and-shoot camera has several characteristics that would appeal to a variety of users. Besides its compact size, Samsung has given the ST5000 a slanted shutter button and a physique that would make Facebook-worthy self-portraits much easier to snap. The svelte black shooter's design is streamlined; all the controls can be accessed via the 3.5-inch touch screen (which is, of course, a little tricky to operate for those with fat fingers), the HDMI/USB ports are nicely tucked away on the unit's upper right side, and the little Power/Playback buttons are positioned on its top portion.

The ST5000 also has some treats inside its thin form that would keep your fingers on the touch screen. It's quite easy to get the hang of the interface, and as expected, the unit lets you fiddle with various settings like exposure, white balance, focus, and metering. The Face Detection feature can be set to detect blinking subjects or adjust focus exposure settings for "recognized" faces. There are also several shooting modes usually associated with toy cameras, making this camera fun to use for both kids and adults; the Smart Filter feature provides users with lens effects such as tilt shift, vignette, and the popular fish eye.

This little Samsung shooter was ready to rock and roll 3 seconds after powering it up. We had no problems using and tinkering with it under very bright sunlight, and it performed satisfactorily in low-light environments. Noise can be expected at higher ISO levels, and video clips turned out alright, save for the sound inexplicably being cut off whenever we zoomed in on our subjects.

It may deliver when needed, but this camera fails in 3 departments, the first being battery life. Out-of-town trips require digital cameras to have enough juice in it for at least a day; this one managed to churn out approximately 250 photos in 4 hours before calling it quits. (Yes, it was fully charged and unplugged from the power outlet right before we left the house.) Granted, it may be a lot to ask from a camera, but there are older shooters that can go for much longer with the same grueling usage.

Here's the second downside. While the touch screen responds well to user commands and provides pogi points for aesthetics and convenience, there are times when it's a little too responsive. Since it takes up most of the real estate at the back, there isn't much room for a handgrip. Slightly brushing against the touch screen with your palm or thumb will activate the menu or throw your settings off, thus taking time away from capturing those special moments.

Lastly, don't expect this camera to be quick on the uptake. Expect a small lag between shots, even with Quick View turned off. Waiting for the flash to recharge doesn't help either, considering that other shooters in the same category will keep even the most impatient users at bay with its response time.

Overall, the Samsung ST5000 is a good option if you're looking for a point-and-shoot unit that can do most of what needs to be done. As long as you remember to bring your charger and have a good amount of patience, you'll be just fine. Nope, the big boys will crush this one.

Click here to see the Samsung ST5000 in the Buyer's Guide.

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  • Gorgeous minimalist design
  • Great feature selection and shooting modes
  • User-friendly interface
  • Poor battery life
  • Overly sensitive touch screen
  • Slight lag between photos
  • Sound issues while zooming during video recording
Bottom Line
  • Uberpretty and crams a lot of huge features into a tiny package, but falters in several crucial aspects
Editor's Pick No
Price P19,990
Tech Specs
  • Type: Point and shoot
  • Resolution
    • Stills: 14.2 megapixels
    • Video: Up to 1280 x 720p (30fps)
  • Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach
  • Zoom
    • Optical: 7x
    • Digital: 5x
  • Storage: microSD
  • Screen
    • Size: 3.5 inches touchscreen
    • Resolution: 800 x 480 pixels WVGA
  • Image Stabilization: yes
  • Face Detection: yes
  • Live View: no
  • ISO Range: 80-3200
  • Shutter Speed: 8 - 1/2000 sec
  • Aperture Range: f/3.3-5.5
  • Interface
    • Hot Shoe: no
    • USB: 2.0 Hi-Speed
    • HDMI: yes
  • Battery type: SLB-11A Li-Ion
  • Size: 103.8 x 58.3 x 19.6mm
  • Weight: 156.9g (body only)

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