With an optional adaptor you can take advantage of the HDMI output capability and connect it to an HD TV. Indeed, the ST550 offers respectable video capture performance although the sound is mono. A real shame is that that the front LCD screen cannot be used in video mode. No doubt that will be rectified in future models.
Likeable in many ways, but needs refining
There were a couple of other disappointments too. Samsung’s decision to use micro SD cards for storage may keep things compact, but for many, it will involve investing in yet another flash memory format. Also, the ST550 has a very poor battery life, managing just over 100 shots with one battery charge.
While the photographic performance of this little innovator left me cold, I have to admit that the inclusion of a dual LCD screen does make taking self-portraits an all-together new and more creative experience. For this reason alone, I’d recommend this camera to any serious self-snapper and commend Samsung on introducing what will, no doubt, become a standard feature on many compact cameras. ®
Catherine Monfils is a professional photographer specialising in portraiture, lifestyle and fashion.
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For many people, they will never unplug the memory card and they will use the USB cable to transfer to their PC. Though I did see one user slightly flumoxxed by microSD at a Kodak instant print booth.
Though I wonder how many shots there will be of kids howling in fear at the evil clown picture :)
Have the cheaper ST500 and the touch screen cracked after being in my (front) pants pocket on a car journey. The LCD was fine but the touch screen seems to be a layer on top of it and it was completely cracked after being pressured against my keys in my pocket. I've never had that problem with any other touch screen device I've owned. Less then a month old but of course the warranty didn't cover it, despite a pocket camera not surviving it first trip in my pocket.
MicroSD? Could be worse
..at least people are likely to use those/have readers, unlike bloody Memory Stick. My phone, the flash card in my DS, and a few other things use MicroSD, so I have readers kicking about.
Obviously, I'd prefer plain old SD in a camera, though.
I think it's mostly historical ...
... in the "bad" old days, memory chips were expensive ... so if you'd bought a massive 256Mb memory card for hundreds of pounds, it was a real pain if your next camera used a different format card.
I remember the thrill of buying a 512Mb SD card from Jessops and getting the price down to £99 (wow!) but of course a 2Mp digital camera could get a fair few pics on 512Mb.
Now that the price of a 4Gb card is £10 or less, it's a lot less of an issue ...
... of course my laptop has an SD card slot (as does my DVD player at home) so I'd need to carry the microSD->SD adapter with me to make viewing/copying the images easy, but that's hardly much of a hassle, especially since one of my current SD card using devices is actually using a microSD card in the adapter as it was cheaper to buy it that way than a full size SD card.
I didn't read the full article, so I don't know, but if the front display works in video mode, then it makes the camera excellent for recording band rehearsals, solo music works etc. as you can look up and see what's in the camera's view :-)
I know I'm rare among the geeks on here (grin!)
... but I have a girlfriend!
And sometimes it's nice to get a picture of the two of you together (behave back there!) in front of the Eiffel Tower, or at a restaurant without worrying that that dodgy geezer you've handed the camera to is about to do a runner with your photographic memories (a la National Lampoon's European Vacation!)
Also, for those of you who don't have a girlfriend handy, sometimes you do want to take a good picture of yourself, better than the webcam in your netbook permits, and it's much easier when you can see what you're doing/what the final picture will look like ... and if it does a nice "3..2..1" countdown in big friendly digits, so much the better!
It's a pity the photographic quality seems not to be fantastic, otherwise this camera would be at the top of my wishlist to travel with me as a backup to the D-SLR or just as a camera to have in the side pocket of my daypack/computer bag for day to day snapping (better than most cameraphones anyway!)
Paris because that's where the Eiffel Tower is (and she has spent a fair time in front of the camera too!)