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I loved my old digital camera, it was a Samsung 7.5 megapixel(can't remember the exact make of it), it had a touch screen view finder on the back, 5x optical zoom, it was a fantastic camera and I used it a lot. I loaned it to my ex's mum and she loved it too, so I gave her it and decided that was the kick up the back side that I needed to start looking for an upgrade. I was looking for something similar; touch screen view finder, but capable of taking a better quality photograph. After some searching online, I came across this little gem; The Samsung ST700!
I paid £129.49 on amazon.co.uk; a good price considering the RRP of £249.99 and also the good news is that it has come down in price yet again to £91.51 + £4.48 delivery, you are getting a real bargain, so what makes this camera so special?
==What's in the Box==
Samsung ST700 Digital Camera in Black
1 x Lithium Battery( I also purchased 3 spare batteries from ebay for a good price)
USB Cable (USB Cable actually doubles up as a stand alone USB to camera cable or you can plug it into the AC Adapter to charge it via a plug socket)
1 x Touch Screen Stylus
Megapixel: 16.1 MP
Digital zoom: 5 x
Optical zoom: 5 x
Dual LCDs with 1.8" Front LCD
Smart access user interface
16.1 Megapixels and 26mm wide-angle with 5x optical zoom
Smart Filter for creative effects and Magic Frame
High Definition movie recording
Setting up the camera was relatively easy after charging the camera overnight to ensure the battery has a good charge in it. I turned the camera on and the initial set up screen appears and you basically follow it through using the touch pen. This sets up your phone to your personalised settings; Language, Time Zone, Date and Time and Touch Calibration.
Taking photographs with this camera is pretty easy. To zoom in on an object there is a little lever on the snapshot button that you pull in or out depending on the depth of the zoom you require. The camera also has three other buttons on top of the camera; F.LCD - toggles the front LCD display on or off, Power button(self explanatory) - turns the camera on or off and there is also a play button, which either plays a video recording or toggles through your photos with the latest one shown first.
The camera also has a Home button next to the rear touch screen to take you to a list of the various funtions on the camera and there is also a port on the side of the camera, next to the charger port for inserting an HDMI cable(this is a nice bonus for anyone with an HD ready television).
On the base of the camera is the battery slot/SD card slot(You really need an SD card with this camera, as the memory is really poor).
There are a whole list of functions that this camera has, probably too many to go through in this review, so I'll touch on the main ones that I actually use.
**1.8" Front LCD**
The front LCD is a great feature, as it enables me to capture some nice photos of myself and my daughter together without any guess work. I can see a mirror image of what I am taking a photo of and click hey presto and it's done.
This was a definite selling point for me as the main reason I have a camera is to take photos of the little one. The camera has built in animation, which shows up on the front LCD when the camera is in "Children" mode to catch a childs attention when taking a photograph of them, you can also edit this animation and even put your own little video in its place. I think this is great, as any parent will know how hard it is to get their child to pose for a photograph. The downside to this feature is that it would have been nice if they built in more than one animation, but I wouldn't let that put you off buying it.
**Smart Auto Mode**
In this mode the camera chooses the settings for taking a picture by automatically detecting the scene, quite a clever feature but this means you rely on the camera to do all the work and the camera is not always right.
**Jump Shot Mode**
This is a great fun function, an icon appears on the front LCD telling the person or people you are taking a photograph of when to jump, the camera then takes 3 photographs in quick succession. I don't use this function a lot but I have done on occasion and the results are really good.
This allows you to take a high definition video of up to 20 minutes long, you press the shutter button to start and stop recording and the on screen pause button to pause recording, pretty simple really.
This function is quite handy, you can record a voice memo and then add it to a photograph, quite good if you need something to remind you what exactly was going on, or where you were when taking the photograph
This camera also has face detection, so when taking a photo of someone it automatically adjusts the exposure, detects closed eyes and smiling faces, you can even use the face recognition tool to store faces you photograph regularly and it will focus mainly on that person/people.
Like I said, there is lots this camera can do and this review has barely touched the surface, you can also adjust resolution, set a timer, adjust the flash settings, set the video and the photo quality, edit pictures etc, almost everything except probably make your bed and wash the dishes.
Now I am not someone who knows a great deal about cameras, nor do I pretend to know a great deal. This camera has more functions on it than I will probably ever use, but the functions I do use and the ease of use of the camera make this one of my best purchases of the last two years. It is really simple to use and even transferring images to the computer is an absolute doddle, you just plug it in to the PC and copy the photos over. It is a slightly smaller camera than my last one(That was a brick) and it fits nice and snugly in my pocket, so I take it everywhere I go, you never know when a good photo opportunity will arise. For under a £100 this is a fantastic buy and in the hands of someone a little more camera literate than I, it would probably be an truly amazing purchase.