* Prices may differ from that shown
As the title suggests, I am not a massive photographer or anything like that, but I use a camera for partys, when I'm out at concerts or on holiday, so will be reviewing from this angle rather than as a proper photographer.
First off, the main thing that drew me to this camera is the amazing 3.7 inch touch screen which dominates the back panel of the camera. In fact, there are no buttons on the back, just the touchscreen which you input into. This may sound inconvenient, but in practice is actually really good because of two things. The screen is extremely responsive, and so you always get what you want, where with buttons you may skip past what you wanted (for instance, choosing level of megapixels). Secondly, the screen is so large that you have a multitude of options at your fingertips, not hidden away in loads of sub menus allowing quick changes. This is a real bonus when you're at events such as concerts.
The camera takes a decent photo also, which is fairly important. Going up to 14 megapixels, it has all the options in between so allows for a variety of options. If you're simply at a party with the intention to load to facebook, then there is a good setting for this, but if you want a detailed widescreen shot for a poster for instance, this is easily done too. Colours are bright, and the dark colours are distinguished. Lighting is dealt with with what seems reasonable efficiency, but as I say, I'm not a photographer as such and so while I view it as good, others may think it's poor. Anyway, at concerts I've been to, its more than held up to the mark with things such as Muse's massive screens and lasers, or in intimate gigs. There is really good optical zoom of 7x as well, so you can really get good zoom on objects in the distance (starting to feel out of my photography depth now)
There is an option for wi-fi on the camera which lets you sync with facebook and upload from a wifi hotspot, but with these a rarity, its usually as quick to go home and upload yourself.
The only things that disappoint me about the camera are battery life and lack of editing options on board. Sure you can use photoshop at home, but it's nice to edit on the go. It's a shame, but not a deal breaker, as there are some options, such as fisheye, just not many. In fact my mobile phone has more. Battery life will last you a day of heavy use, but if you're going on holiday you'll definitely need a second battery or your charger with you.
Overall, for people looking to use a camera for what I do, then it's a cracker. However, I feel it may not be quite up to scratch for the more serious photographers out there.
Ps. Apologies if this review doesn't go into enough depth, I'm just writing purely on my own experience with it and what I use it for.
This camera is perfect for a larger gift at either a birthday or Christmas for someone who wants and uses a camera lots and would appreciate its double screen for the cost of it.
The camera is fairly easy to use and has all the features of the majority of other cameras on the market including: night mode, face recognition, timer etc.. These features seem to be the next generation of personal photography and work very well on this camera and makes it easily accessible which is a bonus compared with other harder and complicated models.
The design and look of the camera is sharp and stylish and looks good when taking pictures ;) It is easy to hold and the screens are big enough to look at and use efficiently.
The battery life of the camera again, seems pretty standard with the market of today and is neither amazing long or short, so is not worth mentioning.
The main feature of this camera which is worth mentioning for its use and for the price of the camera is the double screen (the main big one on the back and a smaller one on the front). This is a cool feature as it makes taking pictures of yourself with others or landmarks so much easier as you can see what picture you are taking. This advancement is much like the transition from normal cameras to digital as you could see the picture straight after you took it. In this case you can see pictures of yourself before you take it!!
Overall this is a decent camera and is fairly standard for the market of today. The main feature of the second screen is what the extra money goes towards and if you really want that feature and to have a camera which is a little different from the rest and does help with self-pictures then it is worth the money. However, if you do not think you will use this feature all to much or you think it isn't that amazing then I suggest another camera on the market with a lower price tag but otherwise the same camera.
My boyfriend is so hard to buy for, as he is incredibly fussy, and if he wants something, he just goes and buys it himself. So... Christmas and birthdays are always difficult. Luckily this year I had a sign of what to buy him, which made it much easier. Before Christmas the TV was full of adverts for this camera. It was incredibly unique, I had never before seen a camera which had a screen on the front and the back.
I did some research and found out that there were two versions of this camera, the ST500 and the ST550. The ST500 was the slightly cheaper one as it had a smaller screen and the ST550 had a bigger screen so was more expensive. I decided to buy the cheaper one, and had some problems with it (see my other review!) and when I finally got my money back I upgraded to the ST550 as by then it wasn't much more expensive.
The camera is easy to use and has the normal features, sports mode, night mode, macro shots. This camera also has face recognition. It picks out faces in your shots and makes the more focused and central. With the screen on the front you can eaither turn it on to use or off, which is great as you don't use too much battery when you are not using it.
The screen on its front has great benefits for me and my boyfriend as we often go on holiday just the two of us and it allows us to take great shots without having to ask someone else to take the picture (which is actually quite risky if it is a stranger).
The camera has a great appearance, it just looks cool. It is sleek and fashionable, a cool rectangle with a big round lens off to one side. I chose the red and black one and the two colours work together really well.
Overall this is a good camera, I think you pay a lot more for the screen on front, so for the money it is only worth buying if you are going to use that, as otherwise you could get other features on a different camera for your money.