LAS VEGAS--A few years ago, putting Wi-Fi in a camera was little more than a gimmick. Now, with the smartphone explosion, it can actually be useful (even if it's still a bit of a gimmick).
After some success with 2011's SH100, Samsung decided to go all in, putting Wi-Fi into four new point-and-shoots: the WB850F, WB150F, ST200F, and theannounced last week.
So, what does the wireless get you? You can wirelessly save to a computer with an Auto Backup feature; save for free to Samsung's new cloud storage site called AllShare Play or to Microsoft SkyDrive; directly upload to Facebook, YouTube, Picasa, and Photobucket or send to an e-mail address; and control the cameras remotely via a Remote Viewfinder app. And if you need to connect at a public hot spot, a built-in minibrowser allows you to connect to get on networks with terms-of-service agreements such as those at airports.
Aside from wireless, all three of the newly announced models are compact megazooms; the 16-megapixel WB850F has a 21x zoom, the 14-megapixel WB150F an 18x, and there is a 10x on the 12-megapixel ST200F. The WB850F uses a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, while the other two have CCD sensors.
The WB850F also has GPS for geotagging, and you can download maps that, along with its built-in compass, can be used to navigate, say if you're wandering around on vacation. Other extras include a 3-inch AMOLED display and full HD movie capture.
Also announced were two, 16-megapixel ultracompacts--the ST76 and ST66--with a 5x f2.5-6.3 25-125mm lens, and 2.7-inch LCDs. The only difference between the two seems to be image stabilization; it's optical on the ST76 and electronic on the ST66.