Samsung: Three new travel zooms including smaller, lighter WB30F, plus DualView camera and more
posted Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 10:53 PM EST
Korea's Samsung brought no less than seven new camera models to the Consumer Electronics Show this year. The consumer electronics heavyweight updated two of its existing long-zoom Smart-branded cameras with new versions, and added a third model to the line that's smaller and lighter than past efforts.
Other additions to the line included a new DualView model and an affordable entry-level camera, plus a couple of new models outside the Smart lineup.
Starting with the model offering the most resolution and zoom reach, the Samsung WB800F follows on from last year's WB850F. It shares a passing resemblance to that model, although its body has been redesigned from the ground up. Aimed at photographers who want a relatively compact camera that's well-suited to travel, but which doesn't sacrifice on zoom range, the WB800F retains its predecessor's Wi-Fi wireless networking connectivity, but looks to have dropped the built-in GPS receiver. The imaging pipeline is largely the same as in the earlier camera, with a backside-illuminated, 16.3 megapixel CMOS image sensor, paired to a 21x optical zoom lens providing a 35mm-equivalent zoom range from a healthy 23mm wide angle to a powerful 483mm telephoto.
The Samsung WB800F ships in the first quarter of 2013, with pricing set at around US$300. Three body colors are planned: white, cobalt black and red. Learn more in our Samsung WB800F preview!
The Samsung WB250F is, according to its maker, the new flagship model of the long-zoom WB camera series -- interesting, because it's actually not the highest-priced model, and has a little less resolution and zoom reach than the WB800F. That said, it certainly offers quite a bit of both. The WB250F follows on from last year's WB150F, but its body has been totally redesigned. The WB250F targets photographers in need of a travel camera with a fairly generous zoom reach, easy Wi-Fi sharing, and a reasonably compact body.
Compared to its predecessor, there's one important difference in the imaging pipeline. Where last year's model used a standard 14.2 megapixel CCD image sensor, this year it's a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor with similar resolution, a change that should provide a fair bit better performance and noise characteristics. The lens would appear to be the exact same unit used in the earlier camera, but has been stripped of its Schneider-Kreuznach branding, and now bears Samsung's own brand instead. It provides a generous 35mm-equivalent zoom range from a healthy 24mm wide angle to a powerful 432mm telephoto.
The Samsung WB250F ships in the first quarter of 2013, with pricing set at around US$250. Four body colors are to be available: black, white, red or gunmetal. More details in our Samsung WB250F preview.
Travel zoom cameras offer a pretty handy size advantage over most SLR-like ultrazooms and interchangeable-lens cameras, even mirrorless models. That makes them quite well-suited to trips where you need to pack light, but they're still not the smallest cameras around. The Samsung WB30F, though, aims to trim as much fat as possible from the long-zoom WB camera series. It's not a direct successor to any particular model, but rather a new concept that Samsung describes as a "mini model". Like its nearest siblings, it includes Wi-Fi connectivity, and to ease the process of setting up a connection, there's a Wi-Fi Direct Link button dedicated to the task.
The Samsung WB30F pairs a 1/2.3-inch, 16.2 megapixel CCD image sensor with a 10x optical zoom lens. The sensor's sensitivity range covers everything from ISO 80 to 3,200 equivalents.The lens carries Samsung branding, and provides a healthy 35mm-equivalent zoom range from a 24mm wide angle to a 240mm telephoto. Maximum aperture starts off at a f/3.1, and falls to f/6.3 by the tele position. Optical image stabilization is included in the design.
The Samsung WB30F ships in the first quarter of 2013, with pricing set at around US$180. Five body colors will be offered: black, white, purple, pink, or red. The story continues in our Samsung WB30F preview.
For consumer photographers, there's a big demand for getting themselves into the photos they take. That's where Samsung's DualView camera series comes in, and the aluminum-bodied Samsung DV150F is the company's latest DualView model. Samsung DualView cameras feature not one LCD monitor, but two: the traditional one on the rear panel that you use for most shooting, and a second display on the front panel alongside the lens to which you refer when shooting self-portraits. This display is -- of necessity since the camera's lens dominates the front panel -- quite small. On the DV150F it has a diagonal of just 1.5 inches, as compared to 2.7 inches for the rear panel. That does mean you'll need to be fairly close up to get a good idea of framing and pose, but for the arm's length shots so beloved of social networking fans, that's not a big problem.
Behind a 5x optical zoom lens sits a 16.2-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CCD image sensor that yields an ISO sensitivity range from 80 to 3,200 equivalents. The lens, meanwhile, provides 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from a useful 25mm wide angle to a modest 125mm telephoto. The maximum aperture starts off from a fairly bright f/2.5 at wide angle, but falls to a dim f/6.3 at telephoto. Thankfully, optical image stabilization is there to help out in fighting camera shake-induced blur at the lower shutter speeds that aperture will yield at telephoto.
The Samsung DV150F ships in the first quarter of 2013, with pricing set at around US$150. Five body colors will be offered: black, white, purple, pink, or green. More info can be found in our Samsung DV150F preview.
Intrigued by Samsung's Smart-badged camera lineup, but don't have a lot of money to spend? The Samsung ST150F is the most affordable to join the family so far this year, and it looks to have quite a bit in common with the DV150F, although it lacks that camera's secondary, front-panel DualView display.
The Samsung ST150F's imaging pipeline is very similar to that in the DV150F. Behind a 5x optical zoom lens sits a 16.1-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CCD image sensor that yields an ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 3,200 equivalents. The lens, meanwhile, provides 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from a useful 25mm wide angle to a modest 125mm telephoto. The maximum aperture starts off from a fairly bright f/2.5 at wide angle, but falls to a dim f/6.3 at telephoto. Sadly, there's no true optical image stabilization to help out in fighting camera shake-induced blur. Instead the ST150F relies on digital image stabilization, which simply raises sensitivity (and noise levels) to get a faster shutter speed.
The Samsung ST150F ships in the first quarter of 2013, with pricing set at around US$130. Four body colors will be offered: black, white, silver, or pink. Our Samsung ST150F preview will tell you more.
Alongside these new Smart-series cameras, there are two models announced that don't merit that branding. We only have a few details on the Samsung ST72 and WB2100 so far.
The Samsung ST72 has a 16 megapixel sensor, 5x zoom lens with an f/2.5 maximum aperture at wide angle, three-inch LCD, and includes Vivid Live Panorama Shot, Smart Filter, and Magic Frame functions. Priced at US$120, it ships in the first quarter of 2013 in black, white, red, or purple versions.
The Samsung WB2100, meanwhile, has a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, a 35x zoom lens, a three-inch tilting LCD display, and a movie zoom toggle built into the lens. It's capable of Full HD (1080p) video capture, and can also shoot stills in Program, Priority, or Manual exposure modes. Priced at US$330, it will ship from -- you guessed it -- the first quarter of 2013.