Group PR = Product Reviews


What kind of camera do you recommend for public relations and event photography?

That’s a frequently asked question I get from readers, clients and people at events.

In August, I upgraded from a higher-end point and shoot with a flip-out screen to a DSLR I purchased at Sears Electronics. Both cameras take video. Both attract attention as a serious camera and both require a minute or so of instruction before an image can be snapped by someone else. The DSLR is light, but large and is sensitive. Sometimes pictures don’t take. Sometimes they’re blurry. Foolproof is not a word you would use to describe either camera.

Although I’ve considered getting a compact camera, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind carrying around larger gadgets. For example the case for my iPhone is protective and bulky. It looks too big to be an iPhone, but too small to be an Android. Still, being able to slip a camera into a purse or a pocket has appeal – that’s where my iPhone comes in. Until now.

Thanks to Daniel Honigman, Samsung and Sears Electronics for inviting me to test out the new Samsung ST600 on a photo walk in drizzly downtown Chicago last weekend.

Full disclosure: Sears Electronics and Samsung gave each of the test photographers, all Chicago bloggers or photographers, a camera to keep. We also got coffee, donuts, a gift card [value to be determined] and reimbursements for parking payments. There was no requirement to post or review the camera in exchange for participating in the group review. I liked the concept and the camera and decided to share this experience via WiredPRWorks.com and TheSocialLens.com.

What intrigued me about this review opportunity was the group concept. We gathered at Sears’ State Street store in the electronics department and then walked out and around State Street, snapping away. [Disclosure: I am a former Sears contractor and managed the installation of Sears’ intranet in 1998 – among other projects.]

When the weather turned drizzly, we strolled through Block 37, a new shopping mall for many of us that invited discovery. At a pastry shop, the employees complimented me on the camera and wanted to know where to buy it. After riding up and down escalators and photographing an art exhibit, we walked back to Sears Electronics for a group video review. I’m looking forward to seeing how it turned out.

Group Testing as a Public Relations Project

How can use this concept in your business?

Consumers who are looking for a variety of opinions will enjoy group video reviews. Getting a range of perspectives is appealing, informative and can be entertaining. From the moment the cameras came out of the boxes, each tester took their own approach to usability. Just watching how people unwrap and discover how to use products is fascinating and can help companies understand how the relationship with the product unfolds.

One tester checked out the jump picture setting before we left the store. Another discovered the fish-eye filter. Although this camera is very intuitive, it helped to be in a group and compare how the camera worked for each of us. Everyone loved the dual LCD screens – how cool to have a screen on the front and the back!

Watching the other photographers find images was inspiring – I can’t wait to see their albums. Here’s my Samsung ST600 photo walk album. All images are as is, with no cropping or editing. Uploading the images was super fast compared to my other cameras.

After the photo walk, I slid the camera into a pocket in my backpack and drove off to a conference. This time, when I handed my camera over to someone to take a picture with a friend, I told the photographer to press a button and that was it. Wow! How easy.

A teenager at the conference saw the camera and asked if she could test it out. Guess what she wants for Christmas?

Samsung ST600
Pros
Ultra portable, full-featured, high megapixels, includes HD video, dual LDC screens, easy to use, fast data transfer, dual screen = definite cool factor

Cons
May be too small for some

Overall
Great back up camera for pros who want to travel light and perfect for those who want a full-featured digital point and shoot with video camera at an attractive price point, around $300.

Product Review Policy
Have a product or a service that you'd like to submit for review on Wired PR Works? Email corywestmedia @gmail.com or call/text 630.207.7530. All reviews must be relevant to entrepreneurs, PR or marketing. Products and services selected for reviews will be subject to our full disclosure policy. Prefer to advertise? Contact us at corywestmedia @gmail.com or call/text 630.207.7530.

Here are the camera's specifications. . . .

General:
Available Body Colors: Black, gold, hot pink, purple
Depth: 0.8 in
Height: 2.4 in
Product Type: Digital camera - compact
Weight: 5.2 oz
Width: 4.1 in
Other Features:
Auto power off: Yes
Shockproof: No
Weatherproof: No
Image Recording & Storage:
Image File Format Type: JPEG
Media Type: Internal Memory, Micro SD, Micro SDHC
Storage Type: Digital, internal memory, Micro SD, Micro SDHC cards
Flash Enhancements:
Fill-In Flash: Yes
Flash Off: Yes
Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Inputs, A/V:
Microphone Built-in: Yes
Main Features:
Color Support: Color
Digital Video Format: H.264
Digital Zoom: 5 x
Effective Sensor Resolution: 14,200,000 pixels
Exposure Metering: Multi-segment, center-weighted, spot
Exposure Modes: Program, automatic
Face Detection: Yes
Image Stabilizer: Optical
Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 80, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO auto
Max Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec
Min Shutter Speed: 8 sec
Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.33
Optical Sensor Type: CCD
Resolution: 14.2 Megapixel
Shooting Modes: Frame movie mode
Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, night mode, action, macro, back light, night portrait, natural green, children, blue sky, fireworks, sunset, backlight portrait, dawn, tripod, white, macro text, snow, macro portrait, couples portrait, beauty shot, macro colo
Special Effects: Soft, Cool, Negative, Vivid, Custom Effect, Fisheye, Sketch, Miniature, Normal, Calm, Classic, Forest, Retro, Vignetting, DeFog
Still Image Format: JPEG
Total Pixels: 14,400,000 pixels
Video Capture: H.264 - 1280 x 720 - 30 fps
H.264 - 1280 x 720 - 15 fps
H.264 - 640 x 480 - 30 fps
H.264 - 640 x 480 - 15 fps
H.264 - 320 x 240 - 30 fps
H.264 - 320 x 240 - 15 fps
White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets
White Balance Presets: Cloudy, tungsten light, daylight, fluorescent light (daylight), fluorescent light (warm white)
Shoot Mode:
Continuous shooting mode: No
Landscape mode: Yes
Macro Mode: 2 in. to 31- 1/2 in.
Smart Camera Mode: Yes
Picture Options:
Date Imprint: Yes
Panorama: No
Controls, Overall:
Primary Location: Top & back
Primary Type: Buttons & touchscreen
Focus, Framing & Exposure:
Exposure: Automatic
Face Detection: Yes
Focus: Automatic
Focusing Type: Automatic
Focusing Type: Auto
LCD Display: Yes
Maximum Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec.
Minimum Focus Range: 31- 1/2 in.
Preview LCD Monitor Size: 3.5 in.
Shutter Speed: 1/8 - 1/2000 sec.
Shutter Speed Override: No
Shutter Type: Automatic
Smile Detection: No
Viewfinder Type: None, uses LCD screen
Lens:
Aperture Opening: f3.5 - 5.9
Aperture Override: No
Focal Length Min - Max: 27 - 135mm
Magnification, Optical Zoom: None
Type (per Focal Length): Wide angle (35 mm or less)
Wide Angle (Min.Focal Length): 27mm
Zoom Type: Digital
Outputs, A/V:
Video Output: Yes
Dimensions:
Depth: 4/5 in.
Height: 2-3/10 in.
Width: 4-1/10 in.
Included with Item:
AC Cord: Yes
Compatibility Requirements:
PC/Windows Compatibility: Yes
Digital Features:
Amount Of Memory With Camera: 30 MB
Audio-Video Output Jacks: Yes
Battery Remaining Indicator: Yes
Bundled Software: IntelliStudio 2.0
Can Protect/Delete: Yes
Direct Printing Options: Pictbridge and DPOF
HD Video Capture: Yes
Image Stabilization: Yes
Index Playback: Yes
Movie Capability: MPEG4
Picture Effects Modes: 16 modes
Slide Show Mode: Yes
Connectivity, Interfaces & Ports:
Primary Interface: USB 2.0/Cards/PictBridge
USB 2.0 Compatible: Yes
Product Overview:
Camera Format Type: Digital
Color: Black
Features: Touch screen LCD,HD image capture,Image stabilization,Red eye reduction,Movie mode
General Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
Item Weight: .327lb
LCD Screen Size: 3 in. or more
Megapixels: 14 megapixels or more
Number of Megapixels: 14.2
Optical Zoom: Non zoom
Type: Rechargeable battery
Type: Digital
Viewfinder Type: LCD
Weight: 11.9 oz. or less
Image Capture:
Image Sensor Size: 1/2.33 in. CCD
Image Sensor Type: CCD (charge-coupled device)
Method: Image sensor
Sensor Max. Pixel Count - Effective: 14.2 million
Speed (Sensitivity): Auto. ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Speed Sensitivity (Max.ISO): 3200
Memory / Storage:
Image Storage: JPEG 4320 x 3240
JPEG 4000 x 3000
JPEG 3264 x 2448
JPEG 2560 x 1920
JPEG 2048 x 1536
JPEG 1024 x 768
Supported Flash Memory: microSD Card, microSDHC Card
Camera Flash:
Camera Flash: Built-in flash
Effective Flash Range: 1 ft - 11 ft
Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction
Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Flash:
Flash Type: Built-in
Operating Mode(s): Automatic
Color:
Overall Color: Black
Lens System:
Auto Focus: TTL contrast detection
Features: Built-in lens shield
Focal Length: 4.9 mm - 24.5 mm
Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 27 - 135mm
Focus Adjustment: Automatic
Lens Aperture: F/3.5-5.9
Lens Manufacturer: Schneider-Kreuznach
Macro Focus Range: 2 in
Min Focus Range: 31.5 in
Optical Zoom: 5 x
Type: Zoom lens - 4.9 mm - 24.5 mm - f/3.5-5.9
Zoom Adjustment: Motorized drive
Batteries:
Alkaline Battery Compatible: No
Cell Type: Lithium-ion
Class or Size: 720 mAh
Number Included: 1
Number Required: 1
Voltage: 3.7
Additional Features:
Additional Features: Audio recording, direct print, USB 2.0 compatibility, touch-screen control, built-in speaker, date/time stamp, DPOF support, sharpness control, digital image rotation, camera orientation detection, PictBridge support, cropping an image, resizing an im
Self Timer: Yes
Self Timer Delay: 10 sec, 2 sec
Display:
Display Form Factor: Built-in
Display Format: 1,152,000 pixels
Type: LCD display - TFT active matrix - 3.5 - color
Microphone:
Microphone Operation Mode: Mono
Type: Microphone - built-in
Connections:
Connector Type: 1 x composite video/audio output
1 x USB
1 x DC power input
1 x HDMI output
Expansion Slot(s): 1 x microSD
Software:
Software: Drivers & Utilities
System Requirements for PC Connection:
Operating System Support: MS Windows XP, MS Windows 7, MS Windows Vista
Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM drive
Miscellaneous:
Included Accessories: Wrist strap
Power:
Power Device: Power adapter - external
Battery:
Supported Battery: Samsung SLB-07
Supported Battery Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 760 mAh ( included )

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