The most remarkable thing about the Samsung WB700 is its 18x 24-432mm lens crammed into a body that's just less than an inch thick. Of course an 18x zoom will only get you so much attention, so Samsung's decided to lead with the camera's Smart Zoom feature that digitally extends the zoom range to 24x. (Judging by the sparse details in the press release, it sounds similar to Panasonic's Intelligent Zoom feature that basically crops in on a photo and then sharpens for better detail.)
In other zoom-related digital hocus-pocus, the WB700 has active noise cancellation for the lens movement when shooting movies. Generally, a motorized zoom lens makes some noise when it's moved while recording, which is picked up by a camera's mic. This feature apparently quiets that movement.
Other key features:
- 16-megapixel CCD sensor 1/2.3-inch type (14 megapixels effective)
- 3-inch LCD
1080p720p movie capture (H.264 file format)
- Full manual controls
- Raw capture
- HDMI output
- 4.1x2.3x.98 inches (WHD)
The WB700 replaces the HZ35W and HZ30W compact megazooms. I'm guessing GPS didn't work out well for Samsung as it's axed that feature from the WB700.
Look for it in April for $299.99.