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Samsung ST200F Overview

Posted: 01/09/2012

The Samsung ST200F is, says its manufacturer, a "compact, light and durable" travel zoom camera, and puts an emphasis on sharing straight from the camera, thanks to built-in wifi connectivity.

At the heart of the ST200F sits a 12 megapixel image sensor, which is coupled with an optically stabilized 10x zoom lens. Information on sensor type, focal lengths, apertures and the like wasn't available at press time. On the rear panel is a 3.0-inch display.

The standout feature of the Samsung ST200F is clearly its "SMART"-branded wifi functionality, however. This allows Samsung to offer an Auto Backup function that can upload photos to the newly-launched Samsung AllShare Play cloud service, which will work with all of Samsung's connected devices, from phones and tablets to TVs and even refrigerators, not just cameras. The ST200F also now includes a login browser, allowing use with wireless networks that require a web login before an Internet connection can be established--something particularly common on hotel and restaurant wifi networks--greatly increasing the number of venues in which the camera's wifi is useful.

As well as Samsung AllShare Play, the ST200F can also backup images on Microsoft Sky Drive. Additionally, it's possible to email images straight from the camera, share them on Facebook or Picasa, and even to upload videos directly to YouTube.

Features of the Samsung ST200F include a Live Panorama function similar to the sweep pano function found on some competing cameras, which automatically captures and stitches a panorama in-camera by simply sweeping the field of view across a scene while holding the shutter button. There's also a Smart Auto function which selects from a variety of scene modes, and identifies one that's closest to the current conditions, then configures the camera appropriately helping keep things simple for less experienced photographers.

Some more unusual features include a Split Shot function (which divides the screen into three separate sections, and lets you frame a different image in each, then combines the results), a Magic Frame function (which overlays your image on a background, with options including Wall Art, Full Moon, Magazine, and Holiday), and a Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you overlay one shot on another, choosing an area where the second image should be visible. Perhaps most curious though is the Funny Face function, which uses face detection to locate facial features and then warps them in real time on the live preview. By using the multi-controller on the camera's rear, you can create effects such as making your subject's head or nose larger. We understand the ST200F also includes in-camera image editing functionality, although specifics weren't available at press time.

As well as still image capture, the Samsung ST200F can also record high definition movies. Videos are saved at 720p resolution--that's 1,280 x 720 pixels--with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. There's also an unusual "Motion Photo" function, which overlays a moving subject on top of a freeze-framed background.

Pricing for the Samsung ST200F is set at around US$200, with availability in black, silver, red, and purple from next month.