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Samsung WB150F Ultra Zoom Review

Samsung WB150F Ultra Zoom Review - Samsung's WB150F features an 18x optical zoom lens, 3inch screen, manual controls and built in Wi-Fi. Find out how it performs in our full review.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Samsung WB150F
Price : £89
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification


Samsung WB150F Front
Samsung WB150F Front

The Samsung WB150F is the latest pocket zoom from Samsung and features an 18x optical zoom lens, 3 inch screen, 14 megapixel sensor and built in Wi-Fi for uploading and backing up photos amongst other things.

Samsung WB150F Features


Samsung WB150F Front On
Samsung WB150F Front On

The Samsung WB150F features an ultra wide-angle 18x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24mm to 432mm in 35mm terms and features full manual control, as well as a 3inch screen, metal body and 720p video recording.

Key Features

  • 18x optical zoom lens, 24mm wide angle
  • 14.2 megapixel sensor
  • 3 inch screen
  • Manual controls
  • Textured grip surrounding the lens
  • Metal body
  • 720p video (mono sound), zoom available
  • Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi features in more detail:
  • Social sharing: Facebook, Picasa, Youtube, Photobucket
  • Email: enter email address to send to
  • Mobile Link: Download from camera to smartphone (iPhone or Android using app)
  • Remote viewfinder: download remote viewfinder app from app store to control the camera from your mobile phone
  • Cloud: SkyDrive Backup (Photo only)
  • Auto Backup - transfer recent files to a Windows computer wirelessly using the iStudio program
  • TV Link
These features are the same on the DV300F, ST200F and WB850F as well.

Samsung WB150F Handling

Samsung WB150F Top
Samsung WB150F Top

Handling - The camera has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and takes SD cards. The mode dial on the top makes it easy to change modes and the dedicated video record button lets you quickly start recording a video. The front of the camera has a smooth grip, while the back has a slightly textured thumb grip helping you to hold the camera. If you use two hands to hold the camera then the lens ring has an excellent texture helping you keep a firm grip with your left hand.

Samsung WB150F Back
Samsung WB150F Back

Menus - The camera has an easy to use menu system with the camera providing quick access to options thanks to the screen overlay. It has a backlight mode (that fires the flash) but not an HDR mode. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) is improved using icons so that modes and options can be clearly seen making it very easy to use. The set-up menu and Wi-Fi settings have its own position on the mode dial.

Wi-Fi connectivity: The WB150 has a number of Wi-Fi options, including social sharing to sites including Facebook, Picasa, Youtube and Photobucket. Connecting is fairly straightforward, although if there is a password on the Wi-Fi connection then you will need to set this up in the Wi-Fi settings before trying to connect. The camera doesn't automatically detect the type of security on the Wi-Fi network either so you will need to find this out before connecting. One issue is that it will not send panoramic photos to Facebook or email, which seems a little odd. Email sends a resized image - giving you a 2 megapixel copy or backup of the image and this makes it easy to send images without clogging up someones inbox with huge images. Images uploaded to Facebook appear in an album with the same name as the camera model, in this case, the WB150F as shown below:

Samsung Facebook Upload

Further Wi-Fi options include MobileLink: For Android phones only so far, with the iPhone version coming. Remote Viewfinder: This requires you to enable the Personal Hotspot on the iPhone, something that not all mobile phone networks support, so we were unable to test this. SkyDrive will backup photos to the Microsoft cloud service - the logon process uses a mini web browser, although the logon process timed out for us for some reason and a few attempts could not get it to work. AutoBackup requires you to connect the camera to your PC and install Samsung's iStudio program to setup the backup and once setup, allows you to backup wirelessly. TV Link will let you show photos and videos on a TV that is connected to the same wireless network as the camera.

Samsung WB150F Bottom
Samsung WB150F Bottom

Battery Life - We were able to take over 150 shots before the battery went flat. This is reasonable considering we were testing the Wi-Fi features, as extended use is likely to drain the battery more rapidly and a spare battery is recommend if you're likely to be away from a charger. The camera uses USB charging so if you are near a computer or laptop then you will be able to charge the camera.

Samsung WB150F Front Lens Extended
Samsung WB150F Front Lens Extended

Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot to shot time, continuous shooting etc and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.

  Samsung WB150F Sony A77
Shutter Response 0.05 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.45 0.1
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.7 0.15
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 3.3 0.7
Shot to Shot (without flash) 1.8 0.4
Shot to Shot with Flash 3.0 0.8
Continuous Shooting (JPEG) 1.4s Full Resolution
6fps VGA
7.5fps (14 shots)
12fps* (14 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash) N/A 0.6
Continuous Shooting (RAW) N/A 7.5fps (13 shots)
12fps* (14 shots)

Focus speed was a little sluggish at the telephoto end. Switch on time could be better. Shot to shot with flash was a little slow, with the flash charge time occasionally becoming noticeable and slowing down shots.

Samsung WB150F Performance

Here we've taken a number of sample photos taken in a variety of situations, including real world as well as studio test photos. Additional sample photos and information can be found in the Equipment Database.

Samsung WB150F Sample Photos


Sample photos - The photos produced by the camera are bright and punchy with saturated colours and reasonable levels of detail. Flash performance is good with the camera producing a good portrait shot.

Samsung WB150F Lens test images


Lens Test images - The camera has impressively close macro focus. Purple fringing can be seen in the shots of the clock particularly in areas of high contrast in the tree branches.

Samsung WB150F ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is lowest at ISO80 and ISO100, although some noise is noticeable in shadow areas. ISO200 Noise noticeable. At ISO400 noise is much more noticeable. ISO800 noise increases again and it's probably best to use ISO800 or lower. Noise gets pretty unpleasant at ISO1600, although images could be used resized or converted to black and white. ISO3200 is best avoided.

Samsung WB150F White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto white balance performs reasonably well under tungsten lighting, giving a warm result, with the tungsten preset giving a better result. Under fluorescent lighting the auto white balance and fluorescent preset both give good results.

1/500 sec | f/7.2 | 4.0 mm | ISO 160
1/500 sec | f/7.2 | 4.0 mm | ISO 160 - Panoramic example - the camera takes a 3760 x 670 panoramic image and automatically stitches the image together while you are taking the photo.

Samsung WB150F Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a large number of Smart Filters and scene modes, with some of these shown above.

Video - Optical zoom is available while recording 720p videos with mono sound.


Value For Money

The Samsung WB150F is available for around £179. The pocket / travel zoom market of compact digital cameras with 10x or more optical zoom is one of the fastest growing markets and therefore there is a lot of competition and also choice. Alternatives to look at include the Samsung WB750, Pentax Optio RZ18, Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR, Olympus SZ-10, Canon Powershot SX240 HS, Sony Cybershot HX10V, to name a few, although none of these feature built in Wi-Fi. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Samsung WB150F Verdict

The Samsung WB150F is a solid camera with a good range of features including Wi-Fi for backing up images or uploading to the internet. The 18x optical zoom lens performs well and the camera has colourful images, which should mean it produces good results the majority of the time. However, with only 720p video, it makes it slightly less appealing when compared to other pocket zooms with full HD and high speed shooting. If you are interested in a compact ultra zoom camera with built in Wi-Fi, then this camera would make a good choice, particularly for those who like sharing photos online.

 
  A nice compact, ultra zoom that has a wide variety of built in Wi-Fi options that make it really appealing.

Samsung WB150F Pros

Easy to use
Wi-Fi will upload straight to Facebook
Impressive macro mode
18x optical zoom lens
Bright colourful images


Samsung WB150F Cons

Could not get SkyDrive to work
Flash charge time
Purple fringing

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
VERDICT

Samsung WB150F Specifications

ManufacturerSamsung
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.2 - f/5.8
35mm equivalent24mm - 432mm
Optical Zoom18x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels14.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4320
Pixels (H)3240
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)6.16mm
Sensor Size (height)4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest16sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30, 15
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable battery : SLB-10A
CIPA RatingNo Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera, Wrist Strap, USB Cable, USB Wall Charger, CD-Rom
Dimensions
Weight188.2g
Width106.5mm
Height59.9mm
Depth23.4mm

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Photographs taken using the Samsung WB150F

Niquette Bay State Park In WinterBeantownThe Boston Commons Music MancloudHigh LineA Cute Newtflowergreen geometryKia New Zealandfleur
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Comments


good review

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initx 2 Hungary
8 Apr 2012 4:52PM
Great review! So what to buy instead, if I need the wifi + instant sharing options but want better image quality in the same category?
25 Sep 2012 3:17AM
Smile good quality pictures
Heretic 8 11 United Kingdom
25 Sep 2012 9:59AM
"So what to buy instead, if I need the wifi + instant sharing options but want better image quality in the same category?"

Buy an eye-fi card and put it into any camera that takes SD cards (my preference is for Nikon) but there may well be others. There may be others than eye-fi - it's an SD card with wireless capabilities as well as storing all your pictures.

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