For example, the WB150F has a big selection of photo filters, many of which are available for movies, too. They can be used before or after you take a photo, and Samsung gives you a live view of the effects when you shoot. Depending on the effect, images are either captured at full resolution or 5 megapixels, which is plenty for Web sharing or small prints.
Samsung also includes aperture- and shutter-speed-priority modes as well as a full manual mode on the WB150F. It's nice to have the extra control, but they're a bit superfluous given the camera's overall photo quality. Shutter speeds go from 16 seconds down to 1/2,000 of a second. Apertures are selectable from f3.2 to f7.2 at the wide end and f5.8 to f7.5 at the tele end. You also get sliders for adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, and noise. You get these options in the camera's Program mode, too, which is more control than you usually get at this price.
Shooting performance is a bit mixed. The WB150F's shutter lag is low for its class at 0.4 second in bright lighting and 0.7 second in dim conditions. It takes about 2 seconds for it to start up and shoot, which is about average for a lower-end compact megazoom. Shot-to-shot times are pretty long, though: 2.6 seconds without the flash and 3.5 seconds with. Its continuous shooting speed averages 0.6 frame per second. While these times aren't horrible, they will make taking photos of active kids and pets trickier. You'll get a shot, but it might not be the shot you were after and there's a good chance it won't be in focus.
The WB150F's design isn't anything out of the ordinary. Well, except for the mode dial on top, which has shooting modes as well as spots for Wi-Fi and general camera settings. If this isn't your first digital camera, it might take some time to adjust. The other oddity is the flash placement. It's partially in the grip on the right side of the camera. If you're not careful with your fingers, you can easily block it. And the textured rim around the lens barrel is purely for design.
The wireless features in general are easy to set up and use, though without a touch screen entering usernames and passwords can take some time. Thanks to a built-in minibrowser, Wi-Fi networks that require you to agree to terms and conditions before you can connect--such as those at hotels and airports--will work with this camera. You can upload to Facebook, Picasa, YouTube, and Photobucket. Up to 20 files at a time can be sent with the total size being 10MB or less. The catch is that photos must be 2 megapixels or smaller and video is limited to 30-second clips recorded at 320x240-pixel resolution. Photos shot at higher resolutions will automatically resize while uploading, but movies will not. Photos can be sent by e-mail directly from the camera, too, but have the same restrictions.
The Remote Viewfinder feature is very cool, but its overall usefulness is debatable. It's good for setting up self-portraits and group shots, but because there's a significant lag between tapping your smartphone's screen and the camera responding you have to remain fairly still to get the shot you want. The app (a free download on the Android Market) can control flash, timer, resolution (2 or 10 megapixels), and the shutter release. Once you snap a photo it's stored on the camera, but you'll also see a small version on your phone screen. Tap it and you'll see a larger version that can be saved to your smartphone resized to VGA (640x480 pixels) quality.
As for the rest of the camera, it has a Micro-USB port for connecting to a computer and charging its battery. Battery life is actually pretty good, though extended use of the Wi-Fi radio will cut into it. There is no Mini- or Micro-HDMI port, something I've come to expect even on lower-end models. If you want to connect to an external display, you'll need to use the wireless or the Micro-USB port.
Like Samsung's ultracompact from last year, the WB150F is a good value. Instead of using Wi-Fi to upsell consumers, Samsung just includes it, which is how it should be done. Unfortunately, the camera's photo quality isn't much better than you see from a smartphone camera. You do get the ultrawide-angle 18x zoom lens, though, and the camera is full of shooting options. If you're satisfied with your phone's image quality, but really want a long optical zoom and better control, the WB150F is worth considering.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
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