Breaking free

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: May 2012

SAMSUNG WB150F
Price: Rs 12,900
Specs: 14.2 MP, 7.76-mm CCD Image sensor; Schneider-KREUZNACH 18X zoom lens; Optical image stabilisation; 3-inch 460K hVGA LCD; ISO 80-3200; 1280×720 (30fps) HD video; Full manual mode.

WI-FI
The camera lets you select Wi-Fi from the control dial itself and there is no need to go to the menu for this. Users can upload photos and videos directly to social networking sites like Facebook, Picasa, YouTube and Photobucket as well as mail it. The network can also be exploited to connect the camera to your phone, using which you can even click phone remotely. The Wi-FI can also be harnessed to upload photos to a SkyDrive account or to back up your PC. You can type the login ID and password through the virtual keyboard using the control dial. It is not as tough considering you will have to do it only once.

CAMERA
The 14.2 megapixel WB150F has all features you would expect of a point-and-shoot. But it exceeds the brief as far its zoom capabilities are concerned. It has an 18x optical zoom, with the telescopic lens really stretching itself. Then the digital zoom takes it up to 90x, which despite the slight pixilation at the extreme end, is superb for any camera. So you can have a frame with a tree in a corner and another focusing on a leaf on the tree, all standing at the same point. We will have to thank the 4.0~72mm Schneider Kreuznach lens as well as the optical image stabilisation for the results. Like many new cameras that have HD video capabilities, this one too comes with a separate record button for video, though the trigger button too can initiate shooting.

FUNCTIONS
The Scene mode comes with many settings ideal for regular use. And for a change, the camera has real pictures for icons. In the Smart mode the camera decides which is the best setting for the shot and switches automatically. There is also the Magic mode where you can do predetermined things like split images, picture-in-picture as well as do some basic editing or add filters and frames. If auto is not your thing, there is also the A-S-M modes with Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and full Manual. In shutter priority we were stumped at the realisation that this camera had a 1/2000 maximum shutter speed, very unusual for automatic cameras. However, while a touch screen could have been handy, an HDMI port was sorely missed.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT? The best buy at this price range with superb features and usability.

Courtesy:Gadgets and Gizmos

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