The Good Front-mounted LCD display has many uses; excellent 'haptic' interface; high-resolution display; high-definition movie mode.
The Bad Mediocre lens quality; pictures suffer from too much smoothing of fine details.
The Bottom Line The Samsung ST550 is extremely clever in some respects, but pretty ordinary in terms of picture quality. As an exercise in interface design and an electronic plaything, it's just fantastic. It's the number of ideas and the way they've been integrated into the design that impresses
Samsung's ST550 has received plenty of attention for being the first compact camera to have a second LCD display on the front. But this is only one of a number of highly innovative features that make this £250 snapper much more interesting than the average 12.2-megapixel compact.
We've got to start with that second LCD display, and we're pleased to say that it's not just a gimmick. Anyone who's tried setting up a self-portrait will know how difficult it is to come up with a good shot when you can't see your expression, or your hair's gone wrong, or your thumb's in the way of the lens. It really is quite a novelty to be able to see what you and your companions look like as you set up the shot. Just point the camera towards you, then tap the front to activate the display. That tap also activates the face-detection system.
That's not all this extra display does. It can display a countdown when you're using the self-timer, show an animated cartoon to distract very small children while you're taking their picture, and even tell your subjects when to smile, by displaying a smiling face when you press the shutter button halfway down.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.
This crazy camera could be a boon to VR filmmakers
Researchers have found a way to build a 360-degree camera that's compact but shoots high-quality video. It could be just the thing for virtual reality.
Live Planet camera system live streams in VR
With 16 lenses, this camera stitches together 360-degree footage in real-time for viewing on multiple VR platforms.
Samsung's Gear 360 camera goes on sale April 29 in Korea and Singapore
But there's no official word on price yet.
Facebook designs a $30,000 camera rig for 360-degree video
The social-networking giant wants to give filmmakers a hand with creating better immersive videos.
Light's bizarre -- and a little bit brilliant -- take on camera tech
This will either be the camera of the future or another toy to send to the island of misfit cameras.
Canon, Pentax power forward to lure high-end camera buyers
Trying to coax consumers toward a world beyond smartphones, camera makers at the CP+ trade show reveal plans for dramatically better premium products.
How a $47,000 camera learned to go mirrorless
The A-series cameras marry Phase One's digital sensors with Alpa's lenses. It's a new-era approach to an old-school photography technique.
For camera makers, hope lies in pricey devices for the few
As smartphones replace point-and-shoots, companies from Nikon to Fujifilm are scrambling to build premium product lines. That's great news for photo enthusiasts.
Pentax seeks turnaround with tiny Q, giant 645 cameras
The teensy Q cameras flopped in the US, but they remain central to Pentax's effort to rebuild its business and brand. Also coming: a big price cut for the K-50 SLR -- and leaf-shutter lenses for the beefy 645Z.
For cameras and camcorders, CES 2014 brings more Wi-Fi, wearables, 4K, fewer models
At this year's show, we learned that wearables aren't just for fitness and phones, action cams are plentiful, and camera lineups are thinning out, and that's probably for the better.
Canon PowerShot N100 rear camera makes every snap a selfie
The Canon PowerShot N100 makes every shot a selfie, packing two cameras for double the narcissism.