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Samsung’s Zoomy Wi-Fi Camera

By // January 12, 2012 // Posted in Camera & Lens, Gear & Equipment, Photography

It’s not news that smartphone cameras have gotten so good that even tiny, excellent point-and-shoot cameras for all their benefits can seem, well, a little unnecessary. Samsung’s WB850F hopes to change your mind with an incredibly zoomy lens and improved Wi-Fi integration.

Your smartphone doesn’t and probably won’t ever have optical zoom, and if that’s something you’re looking for, the WB850F gives you a 21x optical zoom. That’s way more zoom zoom than its competitors.

The other key selling point on the Samsung WB850F is Samsung’s sweet Wi-Fi features. Wi-Fi isn’t new to Samsung cameras, but it’s worth noting how well the SH100 played with your other toys. Samsung’s Remote Viewfinder application, for example, allows you to use your Galaxy S or Galaxy Tab as a remote control the SH100 camera. Similarly the built-in Wi-Fi makes it easy to share your photos and videos on Facebook, Picasa, and YouTube directly from the camera.

Will Samsung's Zoomy, Wi-Fi Cameras Beat Out Your Smartphone For Your Love?Samsung’s new “SMART Wi-Fi” technology builds on what the SH100 offered adding auto back-up and making it easier to ge your photos wherever and whenever you want them. Once you’ve synced your PC with your camera one time, your photos will automatically back-up every time your camera and your computer are connected to the same network. You can also set your photos to upload to Samsung’s AllShare Play cloud locker service or Microsoft SkyDrive. Another cool incoming feature is Samsung Mobile Link, which makes it easy to port your photos over to your Samsung phone, tablet, or internet connected TV.

As for the key image quality and performance specs the WB850F has a 16.2 Megapixels CMOS—most likely a 1/2.33″ sensor—1080/30p or 60i video, and a 3.0 VGA AMOLED display. The specs are nothing to go bananas over, but hey, it’s a lot better than what’s on your phone, and as for the lens, there’s really no competition. There will also be two lower-end models with the same connectivity features. The WB150F has a 14.2 megapixel sensor and 18x optical zoom. The ST200F has a 14.2 megapixel sensor and 10x optical zoom. Both shoot 720/30p video. [Samsung]

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Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rangefinder magazine and the author of Wedding Photography Unveiled: Inspiration and Insight From 20 Top Photographers (Amphoto Books, 2009); and The Luminous Portrait (Amphoto Books, 2012). The second-generation native New Yorker cherishes her Sunday mornings hunkered down with The New York Times, fresh bagels and a great cup of coffee.

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