Click, select, upload to your social network account and share with your friends. This is the latest regular trend we see with users of the smartphones, but when the same comes in digital cameras which capture crystal clear pictures and you don’t have the hassle of moving them to your computer’s hard drive before you could share them with your friends, the things are the easiest and time saving.
The 14-megapixel lens when zooms the object to the 18X level, it makes you wonder how beautiful and productive the little WB150F digital camera from Samsung is. And apart from that, taking the advantage of the built-in Wi-Fi feature in the camera one can not just share the captured pictures on the social network like Facebook, it can be emailed to your friends, and can be viewed on the TV, and to make things a lot better for the smartphone users who own an Android phone or an iPhone because users can download the photos directly to their phones.
Let’s see how well does the $230-priced Samsung WB150F fares in the stream of loads of digital cameras.
Design and buttons
For the measurement of zoom the camera gives, the thickness is too less but it provides what any good level digital camera can, and although you could use the Autofocus option for the capturing, there are enough physical options to manually focus and capture the best areas and have a better control while capturing the pictures.
The physical buttons that lie beside the screen are the Video recording button, Menu, Gallery, Back, Delete all around the central circle that has five options – Self Timer, Macro Mode, Display option and Flash control. The central key is for selecting, i.e. OK button. While the screen is on, and you are ready to capture the picture, hitting the Menu key would open a list of options to have a control on the exposure, color balance, ISO and the other most basic and most changed options in the camera. Held vertically, the WB150F has the following keys on the top right area – Power with the simple on/off function, and the 360-degree circular rotating button, which is the Mode-dial button in the corner having the modes – Program, SCN, Wi-Fi options, Video recording and the smart settings.
Beside the circular button lies the zoom pull and release button which is to justify what the camera is best for – Zooming to the 18th level.
One problem with the zoom button is that it is prone to go out of function very soon, because we already are seeing some glitch in the automatic positioning of the key back to its place after we rotate it to zoom in.
Interface, On-screen options
There are loads of options, and the best part of all this – These are easy to find and use. Nothing can be called hidden if you are able to understand the Menu and Mode Dial options and their need based on the surrounding light conditions. Of course a digital camera can’t easily provide what an SLR camera does, but the best setup of options can make it better than the many other similar leveled digicams. The camera has a 3-inch LCD that provides a neat quality of picture before its clicked, and after the capture, zooming is what would show what actually is clicked. The screen fits well on the back, leaving no space on all the sides except the right side having those functional physical keys.
Let’s check out the Menu key in detail. While the camera is turned on and you aren’t clicking a picture or capturing a video, hit the Menu key and these are the options you would find:
- White Balance – Auto White Balance, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent High and Low, Tungsten, Custom Set, Color Temp which sets the color temperature to match the hue of the light source.
- ISO Level – Auto, ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200.
- Flash – Auto, Off, Red-eye reduction, Fill in, Slow Sync to light up both the subject and background, Red-eye fixing.
- Focus Mode – Normal Autofocus mode, Macro mode.
- Face Detection – Off, Normal, Self-Portrait, Smile Shot, Blink Detection.
- Photo Size – Ranges from 14MP to 1MP – 4320×3240 pixels is the highest resolution, and the minimum is 1024 x 768 taken when 1MP is the resolution selected.
- Picture Quality – Super Fine, Fine, Normal.
- ACB – On/Off
- Metering – Multi, Spot, Center-weighted
- Self Timer – Off, 10 Sec, 2 Sec, Double
- Image Adjusting – Adjusting the sharpness, contrast and saturation.
- Movie Size – 720p, 480p, 240p and 320p for web sharing
- Voice recording – Sound Alive On, Sound Alive Off, Mute
The options like Flash, Mode of picture, Self timer are all available through the physical keys too, but the Menu would bring them all at one place. Just like the various options, the interface is pretty easy to use, and the video recording is possible through the dedicated key provided on the top right side.
Various Zoom Levels of Samsung WB150F Digital Camera
Performance and Battery
All the impression that the Samsung WB150F had held till now with the beautiful design and neat interface, is quite lost when the performance is given a test. Making a user wait for a few seconds before the first click is done after hitting the Power On button, would not be impressed at all. Our test showed an instant click after powering on, at around 3.2 seconds of gap and there is even a shutter lag that we noticed.
As a note of comparison, there is a Samsung WB750 camera which gives a better performance, with 200% faster speed in clicking the picture after starting up, and the shutter lag is almost 1/4th of what the WB150F has, and to make it even harder for the latter to compete, the WB750 has got the same 18x optical zoom and 720p video recording.
Video recording is of max 720p quality, and although it is not a 1080p HD quality, the 30fps speed at 720p quality captures a neat video in MP4 format. One of the best features while recording the videos is that you can zoom in and out when the recording is in progress, and the camera does the focusing on the object automatically after the zooming is done.
The battery is of 1050 mAh and you get to click a few low hundred pictures without the flash using the battery on full charge. Using the Flash / Wi-Fi reduces the battery levels pretty fast, and there is no battery charger included as the battery in the camera gets charged when the camera is connected to the power via the Micro-USB connection.
Connectivity – Wi-Fi, Micro USB
One of the best features of the WB150F camera – Wi-Fi connectivity for the social sharing and much more. The Wi-Fi settings are available through the Dial Mode, and there are easy options to set up the connection, select the available hotspot and it connects unless a password is required. Entering the password is possible, and it’s needed just once as the camera stores the entered passwords.
Remote controlling of the camera is possible through the Android applications, which we tried to work with through the Android 4.0 phone, and it worked pretty fine where we could use the camera functions directly from the phone and a few include tipping the shutter, zooming in and out but none of the internal settings can be changed through Wi-Fi. The app named Remote Viewfinder app is available for both Android and iOS through their respective app stores, but we haven’t tested the same through an iPhone, also at the same time have seen quite a few complains about the proper functioning of the app in iOS.
The storage is through the SD card, in a slot just adjacent to the battery socket, both of which are exposed when the bottom panel is opened using the push button.
Consider the Samsung WB150F when you want a step ahead of the mobile phone camera, and want to have the social sharing features just like your smartphone had. The manual controlling, the autofocus with the video recording features with zooming and focusing, the wireless sharing and the options on the screen makes this digital camera a must-purchase one when compared to even the other brands, but one can put the final decision between this one and WB750 which has quite a few similar features but a few advanced ones too. For those who set a certain line of budget, the $230 Samsung digital camera would be a neat choice.