Samsung ST150F Review

September 26, 2013 | Gavin Stoker |

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 5Mb.

Whilst it would be wrong to describe the pictures the Samsung ST150F produces as razor sharp, and certainly contrast could be improved to provide a bit more ‘bite’ in the JPEGs delivered straight from the camera, a fairly respectable performance is given nonetheless.

Ok, so as with any relatively inexpensive compact snapshot camera, familiar bugbears such as pixel fringing rear their heads, whilst at maximum wideangle setting we’re getting a slight fisheye effect and a smudging of detail into the corners. At maximum 5x telephoto setting, pictures are softer still, albeit only just, whilst panoramic images have the look of video grabs when zooming in to check detail. The brighter f/2.5 lens here also occasionally produces slightly washed out looking results and loss of highlight detail when dealing with strong sunshine.

As when using a smartphone for taking a snapshot, images in which you’ve filled the frame with the subject tend to work the best; when shooting wide, images appear to more obviously lack contrast and more greatly reveal their softened, washed out appearance that benefits from an application of Auto Levels in Photoshop to add a degree of visual punch missing from JPEGs straight out of the camera. Generally speaking though, for an inexpensive point and shoot camera, colours are well saturated and faithful to the subject and we’ve few grumbles aside from those outlined above.

With an ISO range stretching from ISO80 to ISO3200, plus the brighter f/2.5 maximum lens aperture at extreme wide angle setting, the ST150F might suggest itself as a jack of all trades for basic lower light photography even if you weren’t to use the flash. As one might expect however, detail is noticeably softer when stepping up from ISO800 to ISO1600, whilst at ISO3200 there’s a distinctly fuzzy, watercolour-like appearance. A snapshot camera behaving exactly like we’d expect a camera of its ilk to behave then!


There are 7 ISO settings available on the Samsung ST150F. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Samsung ST150F's 5x zoom lens provides a focal length of 25-125mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Samsung ST150F handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with limited purple fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The Samsung ST150F offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the Samsung ST150F are Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash off, and Red eye fix.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Forced Off - Telephoto (125mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (125mm)

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 (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red eye fix

Red eye fix (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Samsung ST150F's maximum shutter speed is 16 seconds in the Night Scene mode, which is good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1 second at ISO 400.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg