Product Type: Samsung digital cameras
Newest Review: ... of clicking around to find out what the camera does well and what it doesn't do so well. In a good light, the zoom on the Samsung WB150 ... more
An average snap using an average camera
Member Name: cr01
Advantages: Reasonable price and easy to use
Disadvantages: Not fantastic quality images
I take a lot of photographs, and although my image are rather more functional than art, I can rather modestly say I've had images published in the New York Times, in a German daily (the name escapes me) and in educational books and calendars.
I usually own two cameras; one is a heavier fairly good quality camera for fancy holidays (at the moment I have a £400 SLR digital Sony). The other is a comparatively cheap little "snapper" for more everyday events where you might just want a little camera in your pocket. Unless you have a fancy mobile (and I don't as I trash them), the quality on the camera phones aren't yet good enough.
Once my trusty little Panasonic had taken its very last squeeze earlier this summer (it had done sterling duty), I decided to downscale a bit and sunk £90 on a little Samsung to replace it. It's a camera that gets a hard life in my pocket and risks being left on a table in puddles of beer, so I didn't want to spend a fortune.
Camera Samsung WB 150
The Samsung WB 150 seemed to fit my requirements. I don't want huge images that blow the memory on my PC and take ages to download (how often does one need to produce an A1 sized photo quality image anyway?) so the 14.2 megapixels on offer here seemed ample.
The astonishing thing about the lens on the WB 150 is that as well as being wide angle (I take pictures of "things" and landscapes more than portraits so I like a wider angle lens) is it has an impressive sounding 18x zoom. I am naturally wary of such gimmicks as camera shake usually makes such extravagant functionality pointless, but I have to say that as long as the light is good then the anti shake mode does a good job on this camera.
The Samsung WB 150 therefore seems to offer a good spec for the money. While I'm happy with my camera as a "second string", it's a shame that the whole doesn't quite match the component parts.
As always with a new camera the trick of good photography is to do a bit of clicking around to find out what the camera does well and what it doesn't do so well. In a good light, the zoom on the Samsung WB150 is impressive, but in poorer lights you are much better taking a wide angle photo. I won't describe the Samsung as unusual in this; many compact cameras still have the same poor half light functionality, but this one seems worse than average. Too much lighting too can be a problem; the camera really doesn't like bright light and washes out the colours pretty easily.
More disconcertingly I find the focus a little patchy; on landscapes I can sometimes find little spots of indistinct focussing. I guess the auto focus isn't that clever.
I tend to use this camera on the smart setting; i.e. the automatic settings but this is definitely not the camera for the enthusiastic amateur as it doesn't allow much playing around with lighting and focus to create a different mood or image. My old Panasonic was much better for that. To be truthful it's not a problem for me as I use my fancier camera for such things, but occassionaly when carrying my little camera about only I find myself regretting not having better bespoke functionality
The battery is charged via a lead from the usb point rather than having a separate battery charger. I guess you may well be able to buy a separate battery charger and spare batteries (which are detachable) but with the product as supplied it makes carrying around spare batteries a bit more tricky.
The battery life is adequate, but I find that sometimes the charge has run down rather quickly and randomly. I've been places without electricity for a week (for example hiking in Madagascar, Borneo, Thailand and Morocco) so notwithstanding that it doesn't quite offer the best quality images; it's not a camera that would be reliable in more rural parts of the world.
The camera looks good (whereas my primary camera is a very plain ugly beast) so my beloved prefers to wander around with this one, and the casing has taken a few knocks without issue.
I do find the dial on the top which allows the limited camera options do move around in the case, so it's worth giving that a quick check before snapping away. The power button can take a couple of presses before it connects, but the image screen is perfectly good. Overall I don't have too many grumbles about the camera build quality.
Camera Summing Up
I like my camera for what I bought it for; a little camera to take a few inconsequential shots and it is certainly small and light enough to fit into any pocket. As a main camera however this little fellow just wouldn't quite hit the spot for me.
Summary: OK for snapping photos but don't expect fantastic results.
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