Steve's Conclusion

By

Steve's SnapShot
Thumbnail image for WB2200F_003_Right-Angle_Black_1.jpg
  • 16-Megapixel BSI CMOS Imaging Sensor
  • 3.0-Inch LCD Screen
  • Electronic Viewfinder
  • 60x Optical zoom lens: 20-1200mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Dedicated Video Record Button
  • Auto mode
  • 10800p HD video recording
  • WiFi
  • NFC Communication
  • Dual Grip for shooting horizontally or vertically
  • Li-Ion battery
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card compatible
Pros
  • Program mode produced pleasing images when shooting outdoors in daylight conditions
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • WiFi and NFC make connecting and sharing images a snap
  • Dual grip is very comfortable and easy to shoot both Horizontally and Vertically
  • Optical Image Stabilization is very helpful with the large zoom
  • 60x optical zoom gives amazing versatility
  • Bright, 3.0-inch LCD screen
  • Good shooting performance
  • Excellent Battery Life
  • Competitively priced
Cons
  • LCD screen makes images look overexposed or washed out
  • Metering was inaccurate with our indoor images
  • High levels of noise in all images
  • Weak pop-up flash
  • Audio stops recording when zooming
  • One of the biggest "compact" digicams we have seen
  • Camera starts incredibly slowly
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 4.8 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused  = less than 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = approx. 3/10 to 7/10 of a second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 0.88 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay w/flash = 1.50 seconds
  • High Speed Burst = 8fps for 8 images
  • All of our tests were completed using a 16GB UHS-1 microSDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO auto, flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise. 

Bottom Line
The Samsung WB2200F is an incredibly versatile digicam that is loaded to the brim with features. Its unique shape will definitely draw attention. It lacks a little in image quality and has average performance. 
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for the most versatility you can possibly get out of a digicam. It is also great for anyone that is looking to easily share images that were not taken from a smartphone.
Samsung's WB2200F "SMART Camera" is a super-zoom model that is loaded with the latest useful features that they have to offer. Sporting a 16-Megapixel BSI CMOS imaging sensor, 60x optical zoom lens, Tag & Go (NFC & WiFi), Dual Grip shooting capabilities and a 3.0-inch LCD screen, you will some features that are almost unmatched for a camera in this class. The unique shape of this camera is very comfortable and will definitely draw attention from your fellow photographers. It will also be one of the most versatile cameras that you will find with the 60x zoom range. To round out the more important features; Samsung has also included full 1080p HD video capture, their iFn shooting settings, optical image stabilization and a stereo microphone. 

The Tag & Go feature allows you to share your images with ease. Using either WiFi or NFC, you can share your images with a smartphone or tablet wirelessly. Once you have connected, you can view and even transfer the images that are saved on the camera's memory. With the assistance of Samsung's Smart Camera App, you can even take control of the camera, using your phone as a remote viewfinder and shutter release to shoot with. This allows you to place the camera in a place you cannot hold it, then zoom and shoot via the phone. It will even allow you to save a smaller copy of each image you capture directly to the phone. Connecting to the camera is incredibly easy with both connections, by just placing the phone against the camera for NFC or using the Direct Link on the camera to connect via WiFi to non-NFC devices. 

One of the first things you will notice when looking at the WB2200F is its odd shape. It has been built to represent a dSLR with an extra battery grip. While this does not include an extra battery for this camera, it does allow the additional shooting controls. A second shutter release, zoom control, command dial and exposure compensation button give you almost the same amount of control when shooting vertically (portrait), versus horizontally. There is also switch that turns these controls on and off, so you don't have to worry about accidentally hitting them when you are not using them. 

All of the other controls on the camera are pretty standard, except for one. Having the settings menu as a spot on the mode dial threw us off. While there is a shooting menu that is available while in the shooting modes, the camera menu must be accessed by changing the shooting mode. This "feature" really seemed to slow us down whenever we were looking for a setting. There is no reason that we could think of to make you leave your shooting mode to make a settings change. 

Composing your images can be accomplished with either the 3.0-inch, 460k dot LCD screen or the EVF (electronic viewfinder). Both show the same amounts of shooting information about your images, but the EVF gives you the true dSLR feel of looking through a viewfinder; and no glare when shooting in bright settings. This EVF is not as high resolution as some that we have seen, and doesn't give that true-to-life image reproduction. For that matter, neither does the LCD screen. This is one of the lower resolution LCD screens that we have seen featured on any camera lately, and it just takes away from the entire shooting experience when the LCD is grainy and lacks detail. We also noticed that you cannot judge what your images look like just from how they appear on the LCD screen. Many of our images looked washed out and overexposed on the screen, but ended up being good images once we were able to see them on a computer screen.

Performance from the WB2200F is good. The camera starts a little slow, capturing its first image almost 5 seconds after pressing the power button. When the camera is pre-focused, shutter lag is almost non-existent. Allowing the AF system to work ranged between 3/10 and 7/10 of a second to capture an image, depending on the amount of light and zoom. Shot-to-shot delay without the flash was less than 1 second, coming it at 0.88 seconds between shots. With the flash it slowed to 1.5 seconds between shots. For burst shooting, the camera has 3 modes that claim to capture images at 3fps, 5fps and 8fps. All three of these modes lived up to expectations, but they all quickly filled the buffer, only allowing them to capture 8-10 images at a time. All of our tests were completed using a 16GB UHS-1 microSDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO auto, flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise. 

Looking at our outdoor images shows a slight problem with the exposure. When the camera featured high contrast scenes, it slightly overexposed our images. When the image did not feature a high contrast ratio, the exposures were much better. All of the images also produced some slight aberrations in high contrast areas as well as edge softness. All of our outdoor images were shot in both Auto and Program shooting modes. Outside of the slight overexposure, the program images looked good, showing just a slightly higher than normal amount of noise for an ISO 100 image. The Auto images on the other hand have a much higher contrast and deeper colors that go a little too far in our opinion.

For composing your images, Samsung has included their amazing 60x optical zoom lens. It sports a 35mm equivalent of 20-1200mm, far outdoing any detachable lens, making it one of the most versatile available. With a zoom of that much, it was hard to keep the lens steady when shooting handheld, even with the optical image stabilization. We see this on all of the super-zoom cameras these days, as the O.I.S. systems are good, but not enough for these lenses at full telephoto. A support (tripod, monopod, etc.) is highly recommended if you want sharp results at the telephoto end.

Noise levels stand out even more on our indoor images. Even at ISO 100, the image is full of noise and lacks some of the fine details that we are used to seeing at this level. Look in the shadows and color chart for easiest examples of what we do not like to see. The exposures in our samples also seems to vary from one ISO setting to the other. This lack of consistency is also disappointing.

Assisting with your low-light and indoor images is a compact, pop-up flash unit. This is a manual pop-up flash, so you have to press the button in order for it to be ready, it will not pop up on its own like some cameras when it is needed. It has a range of approx. 20ft. at ISO auto (W), which is decent, but this range will shrink quickly as the ISO goes down or the zoom gets extended. Shooting full telephoto at a respectable ISO will leave this flash coming up short.

Samsung's face detection software works very well, detecting and following any faces that appear within the frame. The camera also does an excellent job of setting the exposure and AF to correctly expose the face over everything else. Our sample images came out very well, only being brought down by the high amount of noise that the camera produces. This noise takes away the details of the face and the rest of the image.

The WB2200F features a dedicated video recording button that allows the camera to capture video in most of its shooting modes. If you plan to get creative, there is also a dedicated video shooting mode that gives you more control over your videos. The full 60x optical zoom is available while recording, but with a catch. When you use the optical zoom, the audio will stop recording. This is something to remember if audio is important to you. Looking at the quality of our video samples, exposure and color look good. The video quality isn't the greatest, as you can see in our sample, the image just is not sharp enough. The AF system is not able to keep up when using the zoom either. Our sample did play back smoothly for us  on both the camera and our computer. These videos can be played on any HDTV with the use of an optional HDMI cable. 

Powering the WB2200F is a 7.6V, 1410mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery was more than enough for us to complete all of our testing, capturing almost 200 images and several short videos, and testing the other features as well. This bodes well for the 600 images that Samsung claims the camera is capable of on a single charge, and shooting only with the EVF, this seems possible. Remember that when using the Wi-Fi feature, the camera will burn through the battery faster. Charging the battery has to be done inside the camera via USB and the included AC adapter. This makes it more difficult to keep a spare battery charged and on hand, but we still recommend it, especially if you are headed on a big shooting trip. 

Bottom Line - The Samsung WB2200F Smart Camera is a full-featured, uniquely shaped digicam. Featuring a 60x optical zoom lens, 16-Megapixel BSI CMOS imaging sensor, WiFi and optical image stabilization give you everything you could want in a camera. Image quality leaves you wanting a little more from this very large camera though. With a MSRP of US $449.99, this camera showed a ton of potential, but in the end there are numerous other cameras in this price range with comparable features that offer better image quality.


Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.