Samsung WB150F review, your WiFi-friendly travel camera
Digital cameras with WiFi support is not a road frequently travelled by manufacturers, however, Samsung already has 4 of them with the WB150F being one of the three “Smart cameras” launched a couple of months back.
In a nutshell, the Samsung WB150F combines a generous 18x zoom, WiFi features, manual controls, and Samsung’s wide array of fun modes and filters, all in a compact body. It’s a recipe for a nice travel camera, but is it the one for you? Find out in our review of the WB150F below.
The Samsung WB150F is a decently-sized compact camera. It may not be as compact as the Sony Cyber-shorts but this is still pocketable. The build feels solid and sturdy and has a curved grip for better handling.
The focal range on the Schneider-KREUZNACH Lens of this camera starts at 24mm and zooms up to 432mm (equivalent to a 35mm film camera). It gives you a nice wide shot for group photos or a tele-zoom shot from afar.
The top part has the power, zoom lever and the 8-mode dial. Aside from the usual modes, you will also access the WiFi mode here and also a special camera button for creative shots like Panorama, split-shot, magic frame, etc.
The back features a 3-inch LCD display (non-touchscreen) with a 460k dot resolution. I would prefer at least 920k dots for a sharper display when previewing images but it’s certainly better than the usual 230k for compact cameras. At the back you’ll also see some fairly intuitive buttons as well as the directional pad.
Above are a couple more views of the camera, including the bottom which has the slot for battery and SD card in one compartment.
Package contents for the Samsung WB150F includes a compact carrying bag with strap, wrist lanyard for the camera, microUSB to composite cable to connect to your TV, necessary charging cables and adapter, and also a generous 8GB microSD card with an SD card adapter. Quite loaded so you don’t have to buy any accessories anymore.
I won’t delve much with the basic functions of a digital camera so I’m going to give you some sample photos taken with the Samsung WB150F in auto mode right away before talking about the fun features.
Quality is decent for a point-and-shoot having a modest 1/2.3-inch CCD. Photos appear bright and colorful in good lighting conditions. ISO reaches up to 3200 but 400 is the limit for usable stills. If you’re controlling the shot by aperture, the most you can get is f3.2 at the widest range.
The camera does have dual-image stabilization to help you take sharp photos even on those shaky moments. It’s a feature that you should definitely look for when choosing a digital camera.
This camera can only take 720p videos by the way and you can use the zoom while in the middle of filming but it’s a bit sluggish to focus.
Let’s get creative
Now the fun part. If you haven’t used one of Samsung’s camera lately, they take pride into allowing users to get really creative by putting a lot of fun features and filters available in their cameras.
Switch to the “Camera with a Star” icon in the mode dial to get to these settings: Live Panorama, Magic Frame, Split Shot, Picture in Picture, Artistic Brush, Photo Filter, Movie Filter, and even a Photo Editor.
Magic Frame lets you add an artistic border on your shot, like fitting your shot into a magazine cover background. You’ve probably seen this as an online service but now you can do it straight from your camera.
Split Shot is something that I really like. There are a few templates on how you can split your picture, then take a photo for each portion and the WB150F will stitch them all together (see sample above). Here’s an idea. 3 different jump shots of yourself on the same background scene, how’s that for a cover photo?
Now Photo Filter is where all the goodies at. There’s quite a number of filters available to make your photos more artistic (or to mask the crummy shots you’ve been taking). I’m a fan of Miniature, Vignetting, and Fisheye effects.
Here’s a few shots taken with some of filters applied:
The power of WiFi
Have you ever took a really good photo and want to show it immediately to your friends in Facebook, but you can’t because there’s no computer anywhere in sight? Well you won’t have that problem with the WB150F as long as you have wireless internet available.
The Samsung WB150F can connect to wireless networks (even secured ones) just like your phone does. It can even launch a browser for authentication.
Switch to WiFi mode and you’ll see what the camera can do with WiFi. There’s Social Sharing, Email, MobileLink, Remote Viewfinder, Cloud, Auto Backup and TV Link.
Social Sharing lets you log in to your social network accounts such as Facebook, Picasa, YouTube, and Photobucket. Perhaps the most useful is Facebook and YouTube but be prepared to use the keyboard with that directional pad.
MobileLink lets you transfer photos from your camera to your Android phone or iPhone. It requires the MobileLink app installed on your phone. The camera will broadcast its own WiFi network so you don’t need a wireless internet here. I prefer this method for uploading since you’ll have more destination options and a better keyboard.
Remote Viewfinder lets you capture photos on the camera using your phone and also requires the Remote Viewfinder app (Android and iOS) installed. Just like MobileLink, you only need to join your phone to the camera’s own network.
This is a cool feature as it lets you situate the camera somewhere to get a creative angle, and you can use your phone as the viewfinder to frame and take the shot. You can only adjust the flash, timer, zoom and resolution settings with this app though and there’s a slight lag whenever anything moves on the camera’s view. Still, it’s a great feature if you want to take candid shots.
Cloud lets you backup your photos to Microsoft’s SkyDrive while TV Link lets you stream photos and videos to your TV as long as both devices are connected to the same wireless network.
No doubt the Samsung WB150F is a fun compact camera with a combination of nifty features not found in other brands. The super zoom can be useful for an everyday camera. The filters and creative shot options will make sure you’ll never take boring photos. And the WiFi support makes it easy for you to transfer and upload photos. You won’t get DSLR or ILC-quality photos but you will surely have fun using this camera.
Having an SRP of Php11,990, the Samsung WB150F is quite a steal for its features.
|Samsung WB150F Specs:|
|1/2.3″ (Approx. 7.76mm) CCD image sensor|
|Schneider-KREUZNACH 18x zoom lens, f/3.2 (W) ~ 5.8 (T)|
|3.0″ TFT LCD (460k dots)|
|Control: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual Exposure|
|ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200|
|Shutter Speed: Smart Auto : 1/8 ~ 1/2,000 sec., Program : 1 ~ 1/2,000 sec., Night : 8 ~ 1/2,000 sec., Manual : 16 ~ 1/2,000 sec.|
|Metering: Multi, Spot, Center-weighted, Face Detection AE|
|Video Recording: up to 1280×720 (30fps, 15fps)|
|Dual Image Stabilization|