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Samsung WB600 review: Samsung WB600

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The Good Great lens quality and zoom range; manual exposure controls; good value for money.

The Bad Average 720p movies; smile- and blink-detection modes could be better.

The Bottom Line Providing a massive zoom range and maintaining good image quality isn't easily achieved, but Samsung's done it with the WB600. The 720p hi-def movie mode might be slightly disappointing, but the stills are very good. The WB600 is one of the cheapest compact superzooms around, but it's also one of the best

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8.3 Overall

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The 12-megapixel Samsung WB600 has the longest, widest zoom range of any compact superzoom. Its 15x zoom goes from a super-wide 24mm right up to 360mm, and you get 720p high-definition movies and manual exposure control too.

You might expect the WB600 to cost a fortune then. But you'd be wrong. Just £210 is all it costs to get a compact camera that will give even a standard superzoom a run for its money.

Sharp shooter
It just so happens that the WB600 arrived in our testing laboratory at just the same time as Nikon's Coolpix S8000 superzoom with a 10x zoom. The differences between them are striking. You might expect that the WB600's longer zoom range would mean greater compromises in terms of quality, but it's actually the other way round. The WB600's lens is sharper, and produces good detail even at full zoom. It's sharp up to the edges of the frame and doesn't suffer from any significant chromatic aberration.

What a result. The WB600's lens delivers very little distortion, hardly any chromatic aberration and good sharpness even at maximum zoom. Noise does become an issue past ISO 400, though (click image to enlarge)

The WB600 only has 12 megapixels to the S8000's 14.2, but they're put to much better use. It looks like Samsung has cut back on the smoothing software, so there's slightly more noise, but there's also more detail. The WB600's pictures are crisp, clear and natural-looking, which is something of a result for any camera with a high-resolution, 1/2.3-inch sensor.

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