Samsung WB5000 review: Samsung WB5000

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The Good 24x zoom range; very good LCD display; can shoot raw files.

The Bad Weak continuous-shooting performance; image stabiliser isn't that effective; average definition.

The Bottom Line Chasing a bigger slice of the digital-camera market, Samsung's added a long-range superzoom to its range. But the WB5000 doesn't really add anything to this sector that other makers haven't done already, and it's not the cheapest device of its type, either

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6.5 Overall

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Samsung has joined the superzoom set with the 12.5-megapixel WB5000. It boasts a 24x, 26-624mm zoom, a high-definition movie mode, image stabilisation and manual controls. You can even shoot raw files, just like the pros. The WB5000 needs to be good, though, because, at around £280, it's not the cheapest superzoom on the market by any means.

The WB5000's strong points are pretty clear from its specifications, with its huge zoom range, manual controls and sheer versatility. The zooming is unusually fast for a lens with this kind of range, and the autofocus remains fast even at full zoom and in poor light. The LCD display is excellent -- it's sharp, saturated and quick to respond to camera movement. The electronic viewfinder is slightly less impressive, looking somewhat grainy under the magnification of the viewfinder eyepiece, and there's a slight colour difference (the EVF looks slightly redder).

In this test shot, there's not that much distortion or chromatic aberration, and the picture quality is good. Things start to go downhill once you get to ISO 400, though, and the ISO 3,200 and 6,400 settings are at a reduced resolution and very coarse (click image to enlarge)

Samsung's control layout works well. A function button takes care of white balance, ISO, face detection, image size and quality, metering pattern and more, so you won't need to use the main menu system much. If you do, you'll find it easy to navigate, although the way the camera switches to a new screen when you choose an option is slightly disorientating.

The mode dial on the top is easy to turn but clicks firmly in each position and there are buttons on the back for EV compensation and exposure lock. It's all very clear and logical. It's quite a light camera for a superzoom, too, probably because it uses a li-ion cell, rather than AA batteries.