Samsung ST93 Review

3.5
January 31, 2012 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

Noise

We had to double take at the noise results at ISO 80 because the pictures we got were so bright and clean with excellent edge definition, so much so that we nearly missed the minor amounts of discolouration in the black parts of the picture. Now, we're talking full magnification so at normal viewing size, it's unlikely you can see it unless you're really looking for it. We certainly couldn't. ISO 100 is only a third of a stop up the scale so we didn't expect to see a difference in the results and we were right.

Again at full magnification, we notice a slight amount of sharpening begin to take place in darker areas at ISO 200. Mid tones and highlights aren't affected at this stage and they're not really at ISO 400 either although in less dark areas it can be seen to be creeping in. Edge definition starts to fade at this setting although it's fighting bravely.

At ISO 800, it's as though the noise reduction software is giving up. Purple and green colouring has taken over low key areas, edges are starting to blur and green blobs are appearing in lighter areas.

It has to be noted that at these higher settings, we've seen much worse results. The Samsung ST93 is performing very well for a camera at this price point and aimed at the entry-level market. There's a final ISO 3200 setting which is crawling with noise all over it and the whole picture has taken a cast to it.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
 

File Quality

The Samsung ST93 has 3 different image quality settings available, with High being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

16M High (6.56Mb) (100% Crop) 16M Medium (3.74Mb) (100% Crop)
   
16M Low (2.54Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Sharpening

We actually like how sharp the pictures come out of the Samsung ST93 but we did find that they benefit from a little sharpening in a photo editing suite such as Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

We're pleased with how the Samsung ST93 handles lens distortions such as chromatic aberration. It's caused by the lens not being able to focus all colours on the sensor and it shows as a coloured line along high contrast edges. Lens flare can be mistaken sometimes for chroma so it's worth checking carefully. We struggled to find an instance of it though.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The lens quality really shows through in the macro tests and with the Samsung ST93 it's a real mixed bag. Centre sharpness is excellent. We consistently got sharp pictures from the camera. The ST93 allowed us to bring the memory card close and while we know that close focusing doesn't mean it's a macro picture, it's more satisfying to see the memory card close up to the lens. Edge definition drops off towards the edges of the frame and lens flare also gets worse.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

On its own, the Samsung ST93's lens doesn't have any trouble with vignetting but this becomes an issue when the flash is turned on - especially at full telephoto.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (26mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (26mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (130mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (130mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto setting or the Red Eye Fix option caused any amount of red-eye.

Auto

Auto (100% Crop)
   

Red eye fix

Red eye fix (100% Crop)

Night

To get a decently exposed shot we had to put the Samsung ST93 into the night scene mode to take advantage of the longer shutter speed. The ST93 only has a long exposure of 1 second in program mode. Flicking it in to night shot, the exposure time extended to 8 seconds making it much easier to shoot a night photograph. The pictures are lovely and sharp as long as a tripod or support is used.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, compact, wide-angle, 720p, 16 megapixel, beginner, 2.7 inch LCD, 5x zoom, samsung, point and shoot, slim, thin, ultra-slim, st93, Samsung ST93 Review

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