Samsung ST6500 Review

June 2, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16.1 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3Mb.

Despite being the largest electronics company in the world, Samsung aren't generally the first company to think of when considering a camera. However, image quality from the ST6500 is very good. Primary colours are saturated but not to an unrealistic degree. We especially like how red is recorded. It can sometimes lose its richness but the Samsung retains the correct values. We enjoy taking pictures of the garden in the nice weather we're having and the Samsung records really nice greens. We also noticed that the sensor is sympathetic to subtle hues and difficult colours such as purple.


The inclusion of ISO80 on a digital compact camera has always confused us simply because it makes such a small amount of difference to the performance of the ISO that there's little point. ISO performance is actually very good on the ST6500. We're most pleased with the low ISO settings and we're also impressed with the mid-range settings of ISO200 & 400. Image quality starts to degrade at ISO800 but we'd still use it because the loss in quality of the picture is only really noticeable when it's zoomed into. In fact, we even think the image quality at ISO1600 is passable. Sure, there's purple and green blobs of colour all over the dark and mid-range areas but it's not completely unpleasant.

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)


Focal Range

The Samsung ST6500's 5x zoom lens offers quite a versatile focal range, as illustrated by these examples:




Even though images straight from camera are nice and sharp thanks to a decent focusing system, we noticed that adding the standard sharpening in Adobe Photoshop gives a much better result.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

We found it difficult to see chromatic aberration on the pictures we took with the ST6500. We did notice chroma on the left edge of the compact flash card and we thought it was also present on the blue flowers in the sun but it looks more like flare from the sun reflecting off the petals.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


The macro quality of the Samsung ST6500 is around 5cm and this filled the frame with our test of a compact flash card. There's a degree of image distortion at wide-angle with the sharpness dropping off.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


Unfortunately, the built-in flash on the ST6500 isn't the best we've seen. There's a lot of light drop off at the edges when the camera is at wide-angle and the only difference we could see between the flash being on or off was that the light will be more centralised. We often tried a few shots using the fill-in flash and we think it over pumped the flash a bit too much.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (26mm)

Auto - Wide Angle (26mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (130mm)

Auto - Telephoto (130mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

There are two red-eye features in the flash modes. The first is a red-eye reduction feature that simply uses a pre-flash to reduce the size of the pupil and therefore reduce red-eye, but there's also a red-eye fix. This mode process the picture after it's taken, locating any red-eye and eliminating it in the photograph. However, we couldn't find red-eye even when both modes were turned off.


Auto (100% Crop)

Red eye fix

Red eye fix (100% Crop)


The Samsung ST6500 has a really cool night shot mode. After selecting night mode on the home menu, a small twin dial pops up at the bottom of the screen. By spinning the outer dial you can select a shutter speed from 1 second to 16 seconds. The inner dial allows you to select the aperture. There's only two options after auto for f/3.3 and f/9.4 and there's also a nice little aperture picture showing how open or closed it will be.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)