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I never thought I would find myself writing a camera review but I am about to do just that, this review will probably have the guide that recommended the camera to me cringing but here go`s.
The camera in question is the Samsung WB650, it was recommended to me by Dooyoo`s photography expert and guide Colin (known to us as the bigc1690). I had read his review on it and then messaged him to ask if this would be better than the camera my wife had been thinking about buying and in his opinion this was the one to go for and I have to say both my wife and I are delighted with it.
The first thing I noted about this camera was that it was a very good looking camera and for all that it had to offer it was surprisingly compact measuring only (W)106.6 x (H)60.5 x (D)28mm and weighing only 214.6g without the battery.
Now I have to admit the £210 price tag this camera carried when we bought it was about £60 more than we were looking to spend but I feel the extra money was well spent, this camera has given me a new interest in photography due to what it has to offer and learning all the features has been real fun.
The Samsung WB650 has a 12 megapixel sensor and a very big zoom function (15Xoptical) with further digital zoom which means my wife and I have been able to take photos at distance for the first time, with our previous camera only having a 3x optical zoom function.
The other big thing this camera has let me do for the first time is to set things like the aperture and shutter speed for myself instead of using the auto function for every shot, now I am by no means any sort of expert in this field but I am taking more and more photos with my own settings and enjoying the challenge.
One of the features that I have found to be very good is the GPS, it is used by the camera for something known as geotagging which basically means that you can see where your photos were taken as well as when, this is a great feature if you travel a lot and being retired now my wife and I do get about a bit.
The screen on the rear of the camera is a very large 3 inches and it is very clear and gives you a very accurate view of the picture you have taken which allows you to take the photo again if you are not happy with what you see and then delete the rubbish to clear space on your memory card which by the way in this camera is an SD card.
There are lots of pre set settings on this camera too such as Daylight, Portrait, Landscape and the basics and there is also the option to use the facial recognition feature which makes sure that any faces in the photo are the main point or points of focus.
The camera can also shoot very decent HD video although the light has to be good for this function to be of any use as anything videoed in poor light can be very grainy.
Overall I have been very, very impressed with the looks, build quality and functions of this camera as well as the fact that it is very easy to use and come`s with a very useful manual to explain the settings in an easy to understand manor. Added to that the final images are beautiful, full of colour and detain and really leaps and bounds better than any camera I have used in the past.
So it is a big thank you to Samsung for producing this brilliant little camera and a big thank you to Colin for recommending it, I hope this review hasn't been to awful LOL and I hope that if you are looking for a camera then you will take time to check this one out because I cannot recommend it highly enough!
it is just amazing, i love taking pictures with it, its funny because everything on this site i find to be having and will do more reviews, like i haven't said yet, i love electronics so much, its just my passion, i love taking pictures and be on the web, its just knowledge we all need and lets not forget we all need memories. theSamsung's WB650 is one of many high-resolution compacts currently available, but the 15x zoom lens and built-in GPS help it stand out from the crowd. Although a fair amount of compression artifacts are visible when zooming in on detail, we were generally pleased with the quality of our test shots. Having to download and install the mapping software manually is a pain that we could have done without, though, and Samsung should have included some dedicated internal memory. . lets not forget we all need memories and i believe that this camera does it for you and its just good overall. most people like samsung, this company has everything you could imagnie.
The Samsung WB650 digital camera is a great holiday camera! It has a 12.1 megapixel camera that takes excellent quality photos, and the quality is retained even when you zoom into the photo after it has been taken, which is helpful when making an image larger to make the viewing of something in the distance better, or when editing the photo for example.
The 15x optical zoom is an excellent feature that is probably one of the stronger points about the camera. The 15x optical zoom means that if you want to zoom into something even 100 metres in the distance, it will look as if it's only 7 metres in the distance and the image will retain the same high resolution as an image that could be taken close up which my family and I find useful when on tours or cruises because occasionally the things that we want to take photos of aren't that close to us.
The camera also supports SD and SDHC cards, which is greatly helpful because they are very common and a 4 GB SDHC card will cost only £9.97 in Asda, and similar prices in other supermarkets. The most helpful feature of the camera is actually the built-in GPS map-viewer which will let you know where you are in the world when you're taking photos or on the move (although it can sometimes be slightly off, but it's extremely easy to work out you are on the map the camera gives you).
Also, a feature of the camera that I usually find very helpful is the AMOLED display that makes pictures clearer to see, even when you're holding the camera in sunlight or in bright light conditions.
A disadvantage to the camera is the battery life as it only lasts about two hours when using it constantly although for some reason dooyoo doesn't offer the option of rating the battery life on this product, so please be warned about that! :)
I have been away from Dooyoo and Ciao for a few weeks now and hopefully you have missed my camera reviews and are now eagerly awaiting this (but probably not).
I am sure by now many, most or all of the members of Dooyoo and Ciao are aware of the fact that I am a professional photographer and that I also regularly test cameras for my local camera club and then give seminars on their usefulness or lack of it as the case sometimes is but for those that do not know it didn't hurt to mention it.
I decided a while ago that as I was testing all these cameras I would also write reviews on them on Dooyoo and ciao in order to make money for a charity close to my heart, new members and outside readers of these reviews may not have known that but they certainly do now.
The camera I am reviewing for you all today is the Samsung WB650, another fantastic offering from Samsung who until recently were better known for mobile phones and televisions but are now getting bigger by the day in the world of photography.
The Samsung WB650 is a very stylish, highly functional, 12 megapixel compact camera that I have to admit really surprised me when I put it through its paces, I have been surprisingly impressed with some Samsungs in the past but none more so than this one.
This particular camera is given the title of travel camera, Samsung say this is because it has a high megapixel and a superzoom, offers many of the settings DSLR`s offer but comes in a compact size so it is ideal for traveling with, this does seem like a made up bracket to make this stand out from the other compacts but in truth it makes sense.
Samsung's previous offering at this level was the WB550 , launched late last year, this too was a very competent camera that impressed me greatly but it lacked a bit on the design front and even on the functions offered and in truth couldn't compete with the flagship models of Samsungs biggest competitors (ie) Sony and Nikon, so they have beefed up the settings and functions and made the design sleeker and come up with a camera that might just have the Sony Cyber shot shaking in its boots.
This unit is priced around the £250 mark which I think will put a lot of people off but to be honest it is only about £20 more expensive than others in its category and better looking than most, there are a few cameras that offer pretty much what this one does at a slightly lower price but they fail to match this one on picture quality, looks and robustness so do not be tempted, and anyway this will fall in price quite quickly as all cameras do so if the asking price is a little high for you right now then be patient and it is likely to shed about £50 in a few months.
Ok so just what do you get for your £250, well you get the afore mentioned 12 megapixel sensor and you also get a very impressive 15X optical zoom which is very powerful yet extremely compact, you also get optional manual exposure controls, built-in GPS geotagging, and an ultra-sharp three-inch high-tech AMOLED monitor screen, which probably has many of its competitors thinking "why didn't we think of that"?
The controls on this camera are very easy and comfortable to use which is one major improvement on the WB550, the shutter button is positioned further forward and angled slightly for greater comfort, and the mode dial has moved a little to the left making it easier to access and use quickly.
The features and functions in this little camera are very impressive, along with all the usual settings on compact cameras you get the ability to set apertures and shutter speeds manually and there are some digital filters and an automatic contrast balance, which boosts shadow detail in high contrast situations, all of which makes it easier for the user to get a much more professional looking shot and add a bit of variety to their photography, but don't worry there is still the good old fashioned auto setting for those less keen on trying new things.
To explain the GPS on this camera which Samsung are making a big deal out of, most of you will know that GPS is already a common feature on mobile phones, and it is appearing on more and more cameras. It is used for "geotagging", or in other words locating travel pictures on applications such as Google Earth. The WB650 also uses its GPS for a built-in map feature, which can show your location on a map displayed on the monitor. The maps have to be downloaded from Samsung's website and manually installed on the SD card and having done this I can tell you it isn't the easiest of things to do but then Samsung rarely make anything easy.
However once you've got everything into the right folders it works very well and the map location is very accurate, the map can be zoomed in and out, street names and road numbers are shown, and there are symbols showing locations where you have taken photos, as well as for things like doctor's surgeries and train stations, but some of the symbols are not obvious and are not explained in the manual, I liked the ability to see where I had taken photos but I would rarely use this GPS for anything else.
The biggest stand out feature for me was the 3 inch monitor which is AMOLED instead of the typical LCD, AMOLED screens use less power and are less prone to glare from the sun and this one has an incredible pin-sharp resolution of 614,000 dots, which is better than most entry level DSLR`s and gives you a great idea of how good or otherwise the shot you have taken is before you see it on the computer screen or in print.
As with most compacts these days you get a very quick start up time with the Samsung WB650, it can be started and ready to take a photo in less than three seconds, it also has a very fast and fairly quiet autofocus which operates well in all lighting conditions, for lower light conditions the WB650 has an AF assist lamp with a range of about three meters.
I have heard a few people say that they were not as impressed with this Samsung as some of the others when it came to the actual image quality but I have to say I was very impressed with it, perhaps others were expecting too much from what is essentially a compact camera and perhaps comparing it to what DSLR`s can produce but I compared it only with other compacts and it faired very well in my opinion.
There was little or no optical distortion or chromatic aberration at any focal length, and the overall level of recorded detail was excellent, the dynamic range is better than average and colour reproduction was very good in fact the only thing that I found to be a bit poor was the images taken at higher ISO`s but this is a common thing with most compacts other then the top of the range Sony Cyber shots or the superb Panasonic TZ10.
Amongst many other things I was also very impressed with the battery life in this little camera, it is powered by a 1130mAh Lithium Ion battery which I much prefer to the dreaded AA`s, I took over 250 shots with this camera and had a good look through what I had taken and a little play about with the GPS and all that on a single charge, and once the battery does run out it takes less than an hour to charge back to full power.
So Samsung like to call this a travel camera and I have to say I can see why, a long zoom, a very accurate GPS system, a robust build quality, it is lightweight and best of all it has a very good battery life, so it does seem like a very sensible camera to have around when you are travelling and of course as with most high end compacts these days it can also record HD video but be warned it is poor quality video unless you have very good light to shoot it in.
THE CAMERAS HIGHLY IMPRESSIVE SPECIFICATIONS:
Image sensor Type 1/2.3" (1.10cm) CCD
Effective Pixel Approx. 12 Mega-pixel
Lens Focal Length Schneider Lens f = 3.9 ~ 58.5mm (35mm film equivalent : 24 ~ 360 mm)
Digital Zoom Still Image mode : 1.0x ~ 5.0x
Play mode : 1.0x ~ 12.5x (depends on image size)
Focusing Type TTL auto focus (Multi AF, Centre AF, Selection AF, Face Detection AF, Face Recognition AF, Object Tracking AF) Focus Area, Manual Focus
Physical Specification Dimensions (WxHxD) 106.6 x 60.5 x 28mm
Weight 214.6g (without battery and card)
Display Type AMOLED
Flash Modes Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash off, Red eye fix
Recharging Time Approx. under 4sec.
Range Wide : 0.3m ~ 5.0m, Tele : 0.5m ~ 3.0m (ISO AUTO) (TBD)
Storage Media Internal Memory : TBD External Memory (Optional) : SD (up to 2GB guaranteed) SDHC (up to 8GB guaranteed) (1)
File format Still Image : JPEG (DCF), EXIF 2.21, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0 Movie Clip : MP4 (H.264 (MPEG4.AVC)) Audio : WAV
Image Size 12M : 4000 x 3000 pixels, 8M : 3264 x 2448 pixels, 5M : 2560 x 1920 pixels, 3M : 2048 x 1536 pixels 1M : 1024 x 768 pixels, 9MW : 3840 x 2160 pixels, 2MW :1920 x 1080 pixels, 10MP : 3984 x 2656 pixels
To sum up:
Well I am sure you have gathered from what you have read thus far that I like this camera very much, I am still unsure whether or not it is worth its £250 price tag but it certainly offers its owner or user some great features and functions and a very decent final image quality.
I think there are better looking cameras out there and I think there are some in the price range that offer slightly better image quality and there are even one or two that have more functions and features but is there a single camera that offers all that this one does for this money, one that feels as robust is as easy to use and has as many functions and features, no I don't think there is at this time so if you need a compact camera with a powerful zoom and a robust build that you would not be embarrassed to be seen with and will produce photos you will be proud to show off to your friends then I think this might just be the very camera for you.
It does have its limitations and even a few little niggles, such as red eye from the flash, not working well at high ISO`s and the video function that needs bright sunlight to produce half decent videos, but they really are so small and also so common in most compacts that I won't even bother to mention them in any detail, I would recommend this camera to a friend and I would be happy to use it as a back up to my DSLR and that is pretty high praise from me.
LOOKS - 8/10
BUILD QUALITY - 9/10
EASE OF USE - 8/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 8/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 9/10
VALUE FOR MONEY - 8/10
OVERALL - 8/10
Thanks for reading.