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Christmas Gift Guide

ISO comparison

Macro

Color

Lens distortion

Zoom range

Live Panorama

Smart mode

Filters and effects

These are 100 percent crops of photos of our test scene at each of the camera's available ISO settings. For the WB800F features come before photo quality. I'm not saying the photos are bad, just that if you're shopping by megapixels, you probably won't like the results when viewed at full size, limiting how much you'll be able to enlarge and crop. However, if your main concerns are getting better photos than a smartphone and a megazoom lens in a smallish body at a good price, then you're set with the WB800F.

Like many point-and-shoots with its price and features, the WB800F does well up to ISO 400, so you'll be able to get good-looking shots when you have plenty of light. Photos get noticeably softer from noise reduction at sensitivities above ISO 400; going above ISO 1600 isn't recommended as you lose too detail and colors desaturate. And ISO 1600 I'd only use in a pinch. That said, the built-in flash is actually useful since it can be angled up and bounced, getting you better results than you'd have without a flash or with a blast of direct light that you'd get from other camera flashes.

Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
If you like to shoot close-ups, the WB800F can autofocus as close as 4 inches from a subject. As long as you keep below ISO 200 and don't enlarge too much, you'll be able to get some very nice shots with fine details. This is a 100 percent crop of the inset image.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The camera produces bright and natural colors and fairly accurate, too. They remain that way up to ISO 800; above that they start to look slightly washed out, but still decent. Like many point-and-shoots, highlights are regularly blown out, though.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
For being so wide, Samsung does an excellent job of processing out any barrel distortion (top); there is some, but it's negligible. The same is true of pincushioning with the lens fully zoomed in (bottom).
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
The WB800F's lens goes from an ultrawide-angle 23mm (top) to 483mm (bottom), an optical zoom of 21x.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Along with the photo filters and the other novelty shooting modes is a Live Panorama option that lets you capture a panorama simply by panning the camera left, right, up, or down. Viewed at full size, the quality is on par with a video capture.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
If you like to have more control over your results, the WB800F does have aperture- and shutter-speed-priority modes as well as full manual. However, if you don't care much about taking control away from the camera and are just looking for an auto mode to handle a particular shot, Samsung's Smart mode has you covered. For example, among its 13 options is a Waterfall mode that takes long-exposure shots (6 seconds in this case, so you'll have to put the camera on a support). Similarly, there is an Action Freeze mode that will use a faster shutter speed to stop motion for pictures like the previous slide -- all without worrying about over- or underexposing the photo.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
Magic Plus mode is also where you'll find photo filters for you to play with when you're shooting photos and video. All of the filters are live view, so you can see what your final shot will look like before you take it. Take a closer look.
Caption by / Photo by Joshua Goldman/CNET
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