Compact Digital Cameras With Viewfinder – Samsung WB350F 16.2MP CMOS Smart WiFi & NFC Digital Camera with 21x Optical Zoom and 3.0″ Touch Screen LCD and 1080p HD Video (White)
Compact Digital Cameras With Viewfinder
- Share your best photos instantly with Family and Friends with Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
- SMART features – Social Media Upload, E-mail, Photo beam, Direct Link, Mobile Link, PC Auto-backup, Remote Viewfinder, All Share
- 21x Optical Zoom for great shots up front or from a distance
- 1080p HD Video
- microSD card required.
The WB350F is the perfect companion for photo-sharing enthusiasts everywhere thanks to its next-generation NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity. Equipped with Samsung”s brand new “Tag & Go” technology, the WB350F can connect to smartphones by simply touching the two devices together. Once paired, users have access to a host of intuitive features which make sharing images fun and simple. Photo Beam instantly transfers images being viewed on the camera to the paired smartphone, while with Auto Share, images
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December 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm
Best Pocket Super-Zoom Currently on the market,
The WB350 is definitely a pocket sized camera but not the smallest pocket super-zoom camera on the market. It is about the same size as the Canon SX700 and a bit taller than most other pocket zooms including the Canon SX280.
The WB350 has several features not usually found in a camera in this price range and target audience; exposure bracketing (sort of), built in bounce flash, flash intensity compensation (controls the strength of flash), manual shutter and aperture setting controls and completely manual (Kelvin) white balance. The last feature (manual white balance by K#) is not found on some good mid level DSLR cameras (i.e. Nikon D5300, Canon Txxi).
This camera has a small sensor so anything shot past ISO 800 is not very good. Noise (graininess) is present even at ISO 400. But ISO 800 is usable which is pretty good for this type of camera. Also, the lens is pretty bright, (at wide angle focal lengths), with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 helping to avoid the necessity of using higher ISOs in better lighting conditions. There is no dedicated ISO button. In any event if you primarily shoot in dim lighting requiring an ISO over 800, you really should look at something with a larger sensor (ie Sony RX100 or a compact system camera).
Images taken in good lighting (i.e. outdoors or good indoor lighting) are very, very good. The automatic white balance and metering almost always get it right. I was surprised that the images are a bit nicer and more vibrant than the (excellent) Canon SX280.
The movable flash head can be pivoted to simulate an external flash being tilted to “bounce” the flash. This results in softer lighting and much more pleasing exposures. However, this is a small camera with a small and relatively weak flash. Using an indirect flash weakens the intensity more so. Consequently this feature is really only useful in reasonably bright rooms where the subject is reasonably close. Lower F stops and Longer shutter speeds also help.
The 23mm wide angle end of the lens is wider than most cameras especially anything this small. Although there is serious distortion in videos when shooting at 23mm, incredibly, the .jpgs are almost distortion free at this extreme wide angle.
I am not a big touch screen fan, but the touch screen works quite well. The retro grainy-leather look exterior looks pretty sharp but some type of grip would have been helpful.
I would have only given 4 1/2 stars if this was available because of the ridiculous decision to use Micro-SD cards instead of standard SD cards like everyone else. This card (so small that an ambitious ant could walk away with one) requires the use of an SD adapter every time a card reader or computer/laptop card slot is used. Did Samsung suddenly decide that a standard SD card is just too heavy?? Too big?? The genius at Samsung who dreamed this brain-storm up should be fired immediately. Of course, a micro SD card or even an adapter for micro-SD cards are not included. Nor by the way is a battery charger (the battery must be charged while inside the camera; an inconvenience and a savings of about 11 cents to Samsung).
In any event, overall this is a terrific camera when used in decent lighting conditions. The great image quality, movable flash head and other advanced features put this camera at the top of its genre. Like all cameras, the most important component is the skill and imagination of the photographer.
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Bob Tobias "Robert Tobias"
December 20, 2014 at 8:53 pm
Compact, great automatic features, access to manual controls and… takes great pictures,
Compact, great automatic features, access to manual controls and… takes great pictures
With each generation, Samsung makes the “WB” series easier to use and still get great results. Like its predecessors, this one fits into my front pants pocket (or the case I recommend toward the end of this review). That point alone may make this the best camera you own; having a $5k DSLR doesn’t do you much good if you left it home because it wasn’t worth the effort to lug it along.
However, unlike many other small cameras, Samsung had designed a camera that works with, rather than trying to compete with, your phone or tablet. They do this without sacrificing either features or quality. Even low-level manual control, things like setting shutter speed, lens aperture, ISO, are available *without* being buried deep inside menus. However, it is done in a way that doesn’t get in my way when I don’t want to bother with it. This camera is designed to leverage convenience and technology while still providing control when I want it.
The camera body has a sleek appearance and a solid feel. The pebbled finish that covers most of the camera looks like leather and, more importantly, aids in getting a secure grip. And, if you don’t care about the “mechanics”, it makes for a very nice looking camera.
One issue with all small cameras is the built-in flash. They are underpowered and create red eye. Both problems are caused by the need to keep the camera small; the flash needs to be small and positioned close to the lens. Samsung addresses in a number of ways. Firstly, they include a powerful (for a compact camera) flash to pop up and out of the camera at the press of a button. Secondly, the lens is designed to let in a lot of light so I don’t need as bright a flash in the first place, Thirdly, the “sensor” is very accurately captures pictures even when there isn’t a lot of light available. The result is an image that is remarkably sharp, even in low light. In fact, I can take pictures in a well-lit room without having to use the flash at all.
What sets this camera apart is how well it integrates with a phone or tablet. In my case, these are iDevices and I haven’t tried it with any of the Android options available. However, with iPhones/Pads, it is a matter of downloading a free multi-purpose app. After that, transferring photos from my camera to my phone/tablet is as easy as pressing a button on the camera (it is a real, honest-to-goodness hardware button) and starting the app. From there I can quickly send one or a bunch of pictures from my camera for editing, embellishment, and probably posting to Facebook. There are a boatload of other wireless capabilities like using the camera as a baby monitor and using my phone as a remote viewfinder and camera control. To me, though, the biggest and most heavily used feature is the ability to easily and quickly move pictures from the camera to a device that can “send them off” from anywhere in the world.
Things of note:
– This camera does not have a GPS. Based on my experience with other compact cameras that do have that feature, they tend to shorten battery life dramatically and I don’t miss it.
– This camera uses a mico-SD card. That’s not a bad thing, you just need to know to have one on hand and now you do. My recommendation is to get a relatively fast card with a large capacity. I’m using the SanDisk Ultra 16GB MicroSDHC and it works just fine. The time between shots is about halved when I use a SanDisk Extreme Plus 32GB MicroSDHC instead. For nature shots it’s not such a big deal. However, if you are taking pictures of people, and especially kids, I would definitely recommend the faster card.
Some other suggestions that apply:
Normally at this point, I would put in some details about manually setting ISO or selecting a color space. However, for most people buying this camera, it just isn’t relevant. You are buying this camera because you want to take great pictures without having to worry about that stuff. The good news is the Samsung WB350 has several “automatic” modes where it makes those decisions for you and does a great job at it.
However, as I mentioned above, this camera stands out among others in its class in putting this level of control at your fingertips when you care to use it. If you do want to “take your photography to the next level then a great resource is the…
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