Timing Test Results
|The Samsung WB750 is a powerful compact package which boasts some unmatched features in this size and price range. With a plethora of creative options, good image quality, and blazing fast performance, the WG750 is touch to beat in the compact Super-zoom category. It does however shot a bit more noise than we'd like to see. |
Pick This Up If...
|You're looking for a compact solution that still gives you great flexibility in framing, not to mention full HD and 3D capabilities. |
Like most of the Samsung digicams we test, the WB750 feels very well built in your hands. The smooth metal body and black finish make it a looker also, and the enlarged hand grip helps it stick to your right hand. This grip also helps you hold the camera more steady when using the 18x zoom capabilities. While not labeled a rugged camera, it seems very sturdy and is sure to stand up to the day to day life of an average user. The controls are all placed in pretty standard positions, and each button or control is labeled well for easy identification. The size of each is also good, and I had no issues pressing specific buttons, along with no accidental manipulations. I'm a big fan of having the zoom control mounted around the shutter release, and was glad to see the WB750 uses this method for adjusting the zoom. The LCD screen is large (3.0-inches), clear, and bright. Resolution is not noted on their website or the WB750's manual, however they do note hVGA (480x320). Samsung is known for their displays, and the unit on the WB750 was a pleasure to use in various lighting conditions. In lower lighting, it gains up the live feed nicely, allowing you to see better in marginal conditions. You have four brightness settings to choose from, Auto, Bight, Normal, and Dark.
When looking over the WB750's specifications list, the feature that jumps out the most is the 18x optical zoom lens. This is a very impressive lens to be stuffed into a camera of this size. The equivalent focal range is from 24mm-432mm, giving you near unmatched framing versatility from a camera of this size. You have a nice wide 24mm extreme for group shots and vast landscapes, while the telephoto capabilities help you tightly frame subjects, or bring distant objects up close and personal. The lens is quite nice, providing sharp results at various focal lengths, with minimal aberrations or distortions at both the wide and telephoto extremes. While the WB750 boasts Dual IS, this is actually a scene mode, not a system that is active at all times. However, the OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) system is active at all times; unless you turn it off. When shooting long telephoto shots off hand, the OIS system will help you capture sharper results; but it's not magic. We still recommend you use some form of camera support when shooting at the telephoto extremes, such as a monopod or tripod.
When it comes to image quality, the WB750 can deliver. Shooting outdoors in the bright sunlight produces good exposures with plenty of sharpness and detail. When shooting scenes with snow on the ground, it did tend to blow out the highlights a bit. This is very common however, so I don't discount the WB750 much for it. Whether we were shooting at wide angle, mid telephoto, or full telephoto, the camera was able to produces appealing results. Colors look great, however they are just a touch more saturated when using the Smart Auto mode. That's not a bad thing per say, but colors are a bit more vivid than what the actual scene looked like to the naked eye. Sharpness and contrast are pleasing at the default settings, however you can use the Image Adjust menu option to adjust Saturation, Contrast, and Sharpness; when using P/A/S/M modes. This allows you to fine tune the camera so the output is just how you like it; something that's not available on most cameras in this price range. For those who are extremely creative, Samsung has included various Smart Filters with the WB750 that allow you to really explore your creativity. From Sketch to Oil Painting, there's bound to be some fun filters for you to enjoy. These filters can also be applied after the fact in playback mode, which I actually prefer using so I can keep an original file that's unedited, then apply the filter and save as a new image. Overall we were pleased with the WB750's IQ, with our only complaint being that noise levels are a bit higher than I'd like to see. When pixel peeping our images (viewing at 100% on a monitor), even at the lowest ISO setting of 100 we can see some smudging of fine details, along with luminous noise. This did cause images to seem a bit "soft" when pixel peeping. Noise levels stay pretty consistent up to ISO 400, however at ISO 800 we see a clear shift in color. From ISO 400 to 800, the image gets much warmer. It then changes again at ISO 1600 (a bit cooler). Overall, I think the camera handles noise well up to ISO 1600. The 3200 setting will actually be fine for small prints, however when blown up you can see a good deal of fine detail loss from the increased noise and noise reduction processing.
Moving indoors, you'll likely want to keep the lens at wide angle. This is because typically lighting is not the best indoors, and as you extend the focal length, this is usually exacerbated even further. The built-in flash helps, but with a 432mm zoom lens, it's not going to help at the more extreme telephoto lengths. When shooting close-up portraits, zooming in slightly to frame in the subject's face, I saw pleasing results. Flash exposure was good, and the subject's face shows good detail. One annoyance we encountered was red-eye. It was quite common in our outdoor photos with the flash set to Smart when using Smart Auto mode. I was surprised that this "Smart" setting didn't apply some form of red-eye reduction mode, however there are some simple ways to correct this either in-camera or on your PC later. In P/A/S/M modes, you have two options to help combat Red-eye; Red-eye reduction flash or Red-eye Fix. The first uses a pre-flash to help reduce red-eye, however it can add a slightly longer delay in capturing a photo; which could cause you to miss a spontaneous shot. The latter setting actually detects red-eye in the photo, then uses processing algorithms to remove it from the image. Both should help reduce these annoyances, and we recommend you use one or the other when shooting indoor people photos.
Another impressive feature on the WB750 is its burst mode options. The camera can capture full resolution images at several frame rates, all the way up to 10fps. You can choose to shoot at 3, 5, or 10fps, and there's even a Precapture setting. Precapture snaps 8 frames in the time between you press the shutter halfway and fully depressing the shutter release. This helps ensure you captured the action; even if your reaction time isn't the best. In any case, it's best to use these settings outdoors where you have abundant lighting. If not, you'll likely get some movement blur in your burst photos from the shutter speed being too slow.
The WB750's video options are plenty, from standard definition 640x480 up to full 1080p HD. The frame rate of standard movies is fixed at 30fps, however the camera does offer some high-speed options. You can bump the frame rate from 30fps to 250 or 440fps, giving you some cool slow-motion type video. The size is reduced as you increase the frame rate, so at the 440fps mode your field of view is narrow (224x160 pixels). These high-speed options are not available when you have the mode dial set to Smart; just like with the still photo burst mode settings. No matter what mode you are in, the dedicated movie record mode button on the back allows you to start recording video at any time. While video is recording, you can also press the still image shutter release to capture a a still image, without interrupting your video recording. This image is captured at full resolution, instead at the same resolution as the video. Audio is recorded in Stereo, thanks to left and right microphones located on the top of the camera. The quality of audio is pretty typical for a point-n-shoot, however with the mics being located on the top they pick up even the slightest breeze. Some of our outdoor video has a lot of wind noise, although there was a decent breeze the day we were shooting. The optical zoom is operational during video, giving you the ability to change your field of view while recording. The only downfall is that you can hear the zoom motor. Overall the WB750's HD video results were great for a point-n-shoot. The video it captures is great for sharing with friends and family, and they play back well on a PC or a HDTV using an optional HDMI cable.
Battery life from the WB750 is about average for a point-n-shoot. Samsung claims you can capture about 220 photos on a single charge, which we feel is quite accurate. The cold weather can reduce this number, which is common with most any device that's powered by a Li-ion battery. We captured around 175 files, the majority of which were still images with several short video clips, before we depleted our first pack. This included extended use of the menu and playback systems as we evaluated the camera, along with capturing photos of the menu screens for our Record and Playback pages. The battery is charged in-camera, which is getting more and more common these days. The problem with this setup is you can't charge a spare pack easily while using another; the camera has to sit plugged in for the battery to charge. On a positive note, you can charge the camera from just about any standard USB port; the rate is just much slower than when using the AC adapter.
Bottom Line - we enjoyed using the Samsung WB750. This compact powerhouse is packed with some nice features, and it has an exposure mode to fit the needs of just about any user. Whether you're a noob, or an experienced photog, the WB750 is sure to have an exposure mode that will allow you to enjoy using the camera. With its versatile 18x zoom, you should have no problem framing, and its high-speed burst and video options will help you capture the action. While the WB750 gets mostly positive marks from us here at Steve's, noise levels were a bit higher than we'd like to have seen. While the negative effects of this noise may not be apparent to most users, those who plan on large prints may find it rearing its ugly head. That said, with a street price of about $175.99 USD (MSRP of $279), the WB750 offers great bang for your buck!
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