Samsung WB750, a 12.5-megapixel compact camera featuring an 18x zoom Schneider-Kreuznach lens and full HD video recording, which is currently available from high street retailers for less than £160. In many ways, the WB750 is the camera that the Optio VS20 would have liked to have been.
Samsung WB750 Cameras Specification :
- Manufacturer : Samsung
- Model : WB750
- Image sensor : 12.5MP BSI CMOS, 1/2.3in
- Max resolution : 4096 x 3072
- Zoom : 18x optical, 4x digital
- Focal Leght(35mm) : 4-72mm (24 - 432mm equiv)
- Max aperture : f/3.2 - f/5.8
- Shutter speeds : 16 - 1/200th sec
- Auto-focus : N/A
- Exposure control : Auto,P,A,S,M Scene modes
- Exposure metering : Multi / Spot / Centre Weighted / Face Detection AE
- Image Stabilisation : Dual IS, optical and Digital
- Iso Range : 100 - 3200
- LCD Monitor : 7.62cm (3in) 460,000 dots
- Viewfinder : N/A
- Flash : Max range 3.5m, 11sec recharge time
- Driver model : Single, 8-frame burst3,5 and 10fps
- Image Formats : JPEG
- Video : Full HD 1080p, 30fps, stereo audio,20 min lenght
- Memory card slot : SD/SDHc/SDXC
- Supplied Memory : 8.3MB internal
- Battery : 1030mAh li-on rechargeble, approx 300 Shoot
- Ports : Micro USB2.0,HDMI type D
- Dimensions (W x H x D ) : 105 x 61 x 33mm
- Weight : 218g inc. batteryand card
- Accesories : Wrist strap, Charger, software CD
- Software : None supplied
- Warranty : 12 months
Price : £160
Like most distinct types of camera, long-zoom compacts have evolved a standard set of design features over several generations, and the WB750 ticks all of the boxes. Physically, it's close to average for the breed, measuring 105 x 61 x 33mm closed, or 75.6mm deep with the lens fully extended, which is approximately the same size as the Optio VS20 and also the class-leading Panasonic TZ30. It weighs 218g including battery and card, which is a little heavier than the TZ30 and about 15 per cent heavier than the VS20.
The shape incorporates a small but functional handgrip, covered with a textured plastic surface, with the flash built into the front panel just far enough away from the grip to avoid knuckle shadows (Pentax please note). Like most travel cameras, the lens retracts into a bezel that stands about 8mm proud of the body line. The edges are bevelled (a bevelled bezel!) so it slips into your pocket quite easily and as usual, the lens has an automatic cover.
The overall design of the WB750 is rather utilitarian, with no decorative frills or flourishes, and it is available only in black. The body is half metal, half plastic, and the build quality is adequate, although it does creak a little if given a good squeeze. The control layout is sensible, with a main mode dial prominently positioned on the top panel, and a D-pad with a rotary bezel on the back surrounded by four well spaced-out single-function buttons. The labels on the buttons are grey rather than white, which on the black background makes them a little hard to see in low light, but they're fairly easy to remember so this isn't a major problem. I'm not usually a fan of rotary bezel controls, but the one on the WB750 is actually very good. It is just stiff enough to resist accidental jogs, while still being easy to use.
As you might expect from the world's largest manufacturer of flat-panel displays the monitor is very good, a 3in screen with a 460k dot resolution and a glare-reducing surface. It is very sharp and bright enough to use even in bright sunlight, and the viewing angle is excellent in all directions except, rather annoyingly, downwards, where the colours invert beyond about 45 degrees. The menu system is very well designed, with a nice clear high-definition font and full colour pictorial icons. Most of the camera's functions can be accessed very quickly via the "Fn" button menu, and changing settings is refreshingly easy.
Despite its relatively low price the WB750 isn't short on features. It has multiple exposure modes, including aperture and shutter priority and full manual exposure, which is a rarity on a camera in this class. It also has a range of automatic scene modes, including HDR capture and a 3D mode that apparently synthesises a stereoscopic image from a single frame, but you need an expensive Samsung 3D TV to view the results. Other creative features include spot, multi-zone and centre-weighted metering, single-point, multi-point and tracking AF, and a range of creative filter options.
The WB750's overall performance is also much better than one might expect for the price. It can start up and take a picture in under three seconds, and in single-shot mode, the shot-to-shot time is approximately 1.8 seconds, which is pretty quick. It has no continuous drive mode as such, but it does have several burst shooting modes, which can shoot eight frames at 10, 5 and 3fps. It also has a "precapture" mode that shoots a continuous buffer of eight frames between a half-press and a full-press of the shutter button, so you won't miss a vital moment due to slow reflexes. It also has a multi-function bracketing option, which takes three photos with different brightness, style and white balance settings, although a simple exposure bracket might have been more useful.
The autofocus system isn't the fastest I've ever seen, but it is at least consistent. It takes approximately one second to focus at all focal lengths and in virtually all lighting conditions. It does stumble occasionally in very low light, but it has a bright amber AF assist lamp with a range of about two and a half meters, so it can focus in complete darkness at close range. At least if it can't focus it has the courtesy to let you know immediately rather than hunting around for several seconds.
Battery life is often a problem on long-zoom compacts, but not so for the WB750. It is powered by a fairly beefy 1,030mAh li-ion rechargeable, which is more powerful than most of its rivals. Over the course of a week, I took about 200 test shots starting from a full charge, as well as some video and a number of flash shots, and it was still showing one bar out of three on the level indicator at the end. I'd estimate the duration to be around 300 shots.
The WB750 is the latest camera to forego the trend towards ever-increasing sensor resolution, and is instead equipped with a 1/2.3in 12.5-megapixel back-side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor. Back-side illumination is supposed to improve low-light performance and reduce noise at higher ISO settings by increasing the amount of light getting to the photocells, and in this case it does seem to work. Although there is some slight colour mottling even at 100 ISO, the WB750 produces usable images at 1,600 ISO, and even the maximum 3,200 ISO setting isn't completely terrible. Samsung has wisely avoided the temptation to add extended pixel-binned higher ISO settings.
The WB750 is a true jack of all trades, although it is master of none. It has good overall handling and performance, still image and video recording quality is good enough for most purposes, and the addition of manual exposure modes and other creative features gives it some welcome versatility. While it's a bit dull to look at, it's a pleasantly easy camera to use and an excellent all-rounder. It's also good value.