Samsung WB2000 compact camera
Samsung WB2000 compact camera review: An innovative little Samsung camera with manual features and high-speed video
The Samsung WB2000 digital camera is an interesting model to consider. It's a compact camera with manual features, but what stands out most is the retro-style dials atop the camera body, which indicate the status of the battery's charge and the SD card's capacity. It's something we haven't seen before in a camera's design and it gives the WB2000 a little charm. As for the camera's overall performance, it's good, but it won't knock your socks off.
- Manual and semi-automatic modes, high-speed video mode, f/2.4 lens, smart filters
- Controls could be better, colours look too harsh, noticeable softness at the edges of photos
The Samsung WB2000 has some unique features that make it stand out in a crowded compact camera market, but it's by no means a perfect camera. Its colours could stand to be more vibrant and natural and its overall image clarity could be better, and some of its controls could also be better. But in saying that, it's a versatile camera with a slew of fun features that include smart filters and an ability to capture slow motion video.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
See more compact cameras with manual features in our round-up of the Best small cameras with manual controls.
The WB2000 is well built and it has a bright and sharp AMOLED display for framing your shots. You can use auto mode, a semi-automatic mode, a scene mode or manual mode by turning the dial, and there is a thumb control on the rear so that you can quickly change settings. There are a couple of different menus you can go through to change the camera's settings — the main menu and the Fn menu — and it' not a difficult camera to get the hang of.
The most irritating part of the camera's design is the loose dial next to the right thumb-rest. This dial can be used to change shooting settings (single shot, burst mode, video recording mode, and timer settings) on-the-fly, but it's very loose — it just keeps turning and turning without any resistance, which makes it unintuitive to use.
It is a different control, to be sure, and Samsung has never shied away from introducing different control interfaces to its cameras. For example, the company's NV24HD had a dedicated button for each function located next to each setting's corresponding on-screen position, and the more recent NX100 has a function button located on its lens barrel. Another annoying aspect of the WB2000's controls is that you have to turn the dial toward the left to increase the shutter speed and right to decrease it. We are used to doing the opposite on most cameras we've reviewed.
The WB2000 has a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, which sits behind a fast (f/2.4) 5x optical zoom lens. The lens has a wide angle of 24mm and it can zoom up to 120mm. It's a good all round lens, but the best aspect of it is the large f/2.4 aperture, which means you can shoot in dark conditions without going overboard on the ISO speed (anything above ISO 400 will produce noticeable noise) and without having to use too slow a shutter. However, the aperture will close to f/5.8 at full zoom.
The picture quality of the WB2000 is a mixed bag. On the one hand, images look reasonably crisp and clear (especially in the centre of the frame), but on the other hand, they have harsh colouring and aren't very vibrant. This may suit some people's taste, but we would have liked the images to have a little less contrast by default and more natural colour. The other thing that was apparent during our tests was the fall off in sharpness at the edges of images, which was very apparent when images were viewed at large sizes. Overall, though, the camera's image quality is more than decent, especially for taking happy snaps that will be shared online with friends.
Some creative modes are available in the camera's menu settings, including fish-eye and vignetting effects. There is also a panorama mode that works in a similar way to the panorama mode of the Sony DSC-WX5 camera: you hold down the shutter button as you sweep the camera in one direction. You can also record video footage at up to a resolution of 1920x1080, but its quality isn't great if you hold the camera, as shaking hands will make your shots look terrible; audio quality also isn't great. What we do love is the high-speed video mode, which allows you to shoot at up to 1000 frames per second. Like the Casio Exilim EX-FH100, the best results are obtained at 240fps. It's a feature that's a lot of fun to use.
While the overall picture quality of the Samsung WB2000 isn't great, it's definitely passable. For the most part images will look clear and sharp. We just wish the camera's colour reproduction was better and that the fall off in clarity at the edges of photos wasn't so noticeable. We like the design of the body and the retro dials at the top of the camera, but we wish the controls were a little better. We also like the fact that you can record at up to 1920x1080 in video mode, and also that you can record high speed video at up to 240fps with good results. Basically, there is more to like than to dislike about the WB2000, but it could use some improvements.
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