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Hands on with the Samsung WB700 and NX11

Samsung has unveiled its full range of cameras for the first half of 2011, and we get some hands-on time with the superzoom WB700 and NX11 models.

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Lexy Savvides
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Lexy Savvides
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Show me the bokeh

Samsung has unveiled its full range of cameras for the first half of 2011, with models that were announced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year finally making their way to Australia.

The two hero models, the WB700 18x optical zoom compact and the NX11 interchangeable lens camera, are available on store shelves now. We had a chance to take both cameras out for a test run ahead of our full reviews.

All images have been taken straight from the cameras, with no adjustments made apart from resizing.

First up, the NX11 comes out for a spin. This is an interchangeable lens camera, almost identical in body shape and style to last year's NX10, with a few tweaks to the kit lens and additional features. It uses an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, the same size as found on conventional digital SLRs. Although the kit 18-55mm lens only has a maximum aperture of f/3.5, we were able to get some pretty nice-looking bokeh.

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Tether it up

The NX11 can be tethered to a computer via USB or to a TV via HDMI. When hooked up to a laptop, as seen here, images are stored remotely on the computer rather than on the SD card in the camera. When hooked up via HDMI to a TV, photographers can see the live image from the viewfinder or LCD on a big screen. The NX11 has firmware in the camera that will automatically launch the application to allow tethering.

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Sunshine and lollipops

Switching over to the 18x optical zoom WB700, now, as we make the most of a sunny autumn day. There are plenty of filters provided in the camera to change the look of images without the need for post-processing, including this one, the vignetting look.

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Stairs on film

More filter action, this time with a grainy film effect. This is a dynamic filter that changes the intensity of the film-like "scratches" and blotches when you move the camera around.

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Skinny mini

Where would we be without the requisite miniature effect? With a tilt-shift lens, probably. Anyway, the WB700 has a built-in miniature camera effect, too.

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Zooper Dooper zoom

The WB700 has an 18x optical zoom with an option to extend its reach to 24x using digital (or "Smart" zoom). Here's a visual demonstration of an image taken with the widest end of the lens (24mm).

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Zooper Dooper part two

Here's how far it can reach when zoomed in to its full 18x. The WB700 also comes with active noise cancellation, to quieten the noise of the zoom lens extending and retracting when filming video. To see for yourself if it works, you can watch a sample of the HD video (720p) here.

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Bring the sepia

This is the second of the WB700's film-like filters, adding more of a sepia tone to the image.

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Sweep me off my feet

The NX100 has a built-in panorama feature that automatically stitches together a horizontal shot made up of several images taken when the camera is panned across the axis. It was a little temperamental to start with, often saying that the camera was moving too quickly or not quickly enough, but once we got the hang of the movement required, it was very easy to create a panoramic image. The stitch-lines are almost invisible, too.

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Dot the "i"s

We conclude with a demonstration of one of the other filters on the WB700, the half-tone dot. This creates a rasterised poster-effect, most visible at full magnification (inset).

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