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Samsung WB350F Review

Samsung WB350F Review - We review the new Samsung WB350F, the latest pocket zoom from Samsung with a 21x optical zoom lens and built in Wi-Fi and NFC.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Samsung WB350F
Price : £249
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Samsung WB350F White (4)

The Samsung WB350F updates the Samsung WB800F, and adds NFC, as well as giving the camera a more compact body, yet still retaining the same 21x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, full HD video recording and manual controls, as well as a 3inch touch screen.

Samsung WB350F Features

Samsung WB350F White (5)

The Samsung WB350F offers a wide-angle 21x optical zoom lens equivalent to 23-483mm in 35mm terms, a 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and optical image stabilisation for improved low light performance. On the back is a 3inch touch screen so that you can set options as well as set the focus point, or alternatively there is still the usual number of buttons found on a camera, so that you have the choice of control methods. Full manual controls are available with the camera featuring P, A, S, and M shooting modes.

Another headline feature it has is built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, making it possible to share your images quickly and easily to places such as Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket or by email directly from the camera. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube. The camera even has a new "Baby Monitor" mode that lets you remotely monitor what the camera is viewing from your smartphone.

Samsung WB350F White (3)

Key Features

  • 16mp backlit CMOS sensor
  • 21x optical zoom lens, f/2.8-f/5.9, 23-483mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3inch touch screen
  • Manual controls
  • ISO80 to ISO3200
  • Full HD video recording
  • HDR and panoramic shooting
  • Wi-Fi connectivity, NFC
  • Lithium Ion battery
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Available in white or "cobalt black" / deep blue

Samsung WB350F Handling

Samsung WB350F White (6)

The Samsung WB350F has a decent textured body, and although there is no raised grip on the front, there is a rubber area on the back for your thumb. Build quality appears good although the camera is made entirely out of plastic, and the bright white design of this version may not be to everyone's taste.

The controls and handling of the camera are good, with the buttons all arranged within reach of your right hand, with the zoom control on top surrounding the shutter release button. There are a number of buttons on the back and you can operate the camera easily without having to use the touch screen if you don't want to. On top a mode dial gives access to shooting modes, as well as dedicated setup, and Wi-Fi menus. The small pop up flash is opened with a mechanical button, and to close you simply push it back down.

Samsung WB350F White (7)

The menus are well laid out with clear text, that is large and easy to read with built in guidance that pops up, and the Fn (Function) button on the back will bring up a control panel on the screen to give you quick access to settings. This can either be controlled and adjusted using the 4-way controller on the back or alternatively using the touchscreen. The screen is clear and responsive to touch, although viewing it in bright sunlight can be difficult.

Wi-Fi connectivity: You can share photos from the playback mode, directly to KnowHow, Facebook, Picasa, Dropbox, MobileLink, Samsung Link, and Email. On top of the camera is a Direct Link button, which can be set to MobileLink, Remote Viewfinder, Baby Monitor, Autobackup, Email, SNS+Cloud, and Samsung Link. Videos can be uploaded directly to YouTube, and the camera has a built in web browser for logging on to social network sites, or to open Wi-Fi networks when needed. This means you can get connected quickly and easily from almost anywhere with a Wi-Fi signal.

Samsung WB350F White (1)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 310 shots according to Samsung / CIPA test results, this is quite good for a compact camera, although extended use of Wi-Fi is likely to reduce the number of shots possible. 

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Samsung WB350F
Shutter Response <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.2
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.6
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.1
Shot to Shot with Flash 3.0
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
6fps (6 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A

Flash charge time can be very slow, with the camera taking a long time to charge the flash when you first switch it on, however the camera performs quickly the rest of the time. 

Samsung WB350F Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Samsung WB350F Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Flash performance is good with a well illuminated subject and virtually no red-eye visible, although in other test shots some was visible. Colour is good, and exposure is reliable, although occasionally at full optical zoom some exposure compensation is needed to avoid over-exposure. The HDR mode does a good job extending dynamic range by combining a number of shots.

Samsung WB350F Lens test images


Lens Performance - Detail is reasonably good, although at the wide-angle end of the lens images can sometimes appear soft, particularly in the corners. Distortion is quite low with very little signs of vignetting or barrel distortion, although there is some distortion visible at full zoom. Macro performance is reasonable, with the camera focusing on subjects 10cm away from the lens. Purple fringing can be seen nearer the edges of the frame, in areas of high contrast, but for most photos this is not an issue. 

Samsung WB350F ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is well controlled at ISO80 and ISO100 with low levels of noise and reasonable levels of detail. As the ISO setting increases to ISO200 and ISO400 there is a slight increase in noise and a slight decrease in detail. At ISO800 detail drops more noticeably, and at ISO1600 where noise increases again and colour suffers. Noise is at its highest at ISO3200, as would be expected, and we would advise avoiding this setting.

Samsung WB350F White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten and fluorescent lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a slightly warmer result, and the fluorescent preset giving a slightly better result. 

Panoramic | 1/750 sec | f/4.0 | 4.1 mm | ISO 320
Panoramic | 1/750 sec | f/4.0 | 4.1 mm | ISO 320

Panorama mode - The panoramic mode lets you press the shutter button and simply pan the camera from one side to another. Results are reasonable, although quite low resolution.

Samsung WB350F Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a wide variety of photo and movie filters, as well as magic frames, motion photo, effect artist, colour brush and photo editor. Effect artist lets you apply an effect, and using the touch screen remove a section, as well as draw onto the image, it also saves the photo with just the original effect and it's up to you whether you remove or add to the photo, with examples shown above. Colour brush lets you draw on the screen the sections you would like to be in colour with the rest being black and white. Photo editor lets you resize, rotate, crop, apply effects, change colour as well as correct for red-eye. 

Video - Optical zoom is available when recording videos, and you can pause the video while recording, as well as take photos. Video is recorded in Full HD, and quality is good, however sound is recorded in mono.


Value For Money

The Samsung WB350F is available for £249 which makes it more expensive compared to the competition although we would expect the price to drop over time, as a number of alternatives feature more optical zoom, as well as built in GPS. Alternatives to consider include the following cameras:

Panasonic Lumix TZ60, 30x optical zoom, GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, £229
Sony Cyber-shot HX50, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £242
Olympus Stylus SH-50, 24x optical zoom, £189
Canon Powershot SX280 HS, 20x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, GPS, £209
Nikon Coolpix S9500, 22x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, GPS, £180
Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR, 20x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £159
Samsung WB800F, 21x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £155

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 WB350F Verdict

The Samsung WB350F gives a 21x optical zoom, and a lot of connectivity options with one of the best implementations of Wi-Fi on any camera, making it extremely easy to share photos directly to Facebook and other social network sites. The addition of NFC makes it easier to connect to a compatible smartphone, however the price of the new model does make the previous model, the WB800F, seem like excellent value for money if you don't mind the lack of NFC.

Although image quality is not the best in the class, for those that want it all, the Samsung WB350F is a good option, particularly for sharing to social network sites where the cameras colour performance is good, although a number of the competitors offer built in GPS or additional zoom. 


 
 

Samsung WB350F Pros

Good touchscreen
Excellent Wi-Fi connectivity
Lots of editing options and features
Good colour reproduction
Reasonably good noise control
Decent macro performance
High speed continuous shooting

Samsung WB350F Cons

Mono sound on videos
Some corner softness
Lacks orientation sensor

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Samsung WB350F Specifications

ManufacturerSamsung
Lens
Max Aperturef/2.8 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent23mm - 483mm
Optical Zoom21x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest16sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Cloudy
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card Type
  • Micro SD
  • Micro SDHC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion SLB-10A
CIPA Rating310
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight216g
Width113.6mm
Height65.1mm
Depth25mm

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