Please excuse the quality of these screen captures. The WB800F does not come with AV cables, so we photographed the display.
Smart Auto mode is the camera's most automatic shooting mode. One of the eight selections on the mode dial ("Auto"), it selects most settings, allowing the user only to change touch AF mode, file size, and whether to use the flash (but not its mode). You can also choose to use the timer function.
The icons at bottom left indicate that Smart Camera wireless sharing is turned off, and that tracking AF is in use.
Pressing upward on the four-way control gets rid of all information on the display, except for the top left icon indicating the automatically selected scene mode.
Program mode looks much the same as Smart Auto mode, though many more settings can be adjusted. At top you'll see an exposure compensation indicator, and the small face icon at center right indicates that face detection is in operation. Like in the first image, the icons at right show flash mode, file size, and optical image stabilization, and below is added a metering mode icon.
When auto focus locks onto your subject, the AF box turns green. Note also that if you're in low light, you'll likely get a camera shake warning just below the AF box.
Instead of calling them scene modes, Samsung calls its selection of scene-specific settings the Smart Mode. This has its own position on the mode dial, and then you use the menu to choose your scene.
Smart Mode menu:
- Beauty Face
- Continuous Shot
- Action Freeze
- Rich Tones
- Low Light Shot
- Light Trace
Rather than be a choice within the Smart Mode menu, Best Face mode has its own position on the mode dial. In this mode the camera takes five successive shots and then shows you a selection like that on the explanatory screen above. For each face, you get five choices and tap on the corresponding box to see them and select your favorite.
The camera uses the first shot as the background, so for this feature to work well, the camera must remain very still. One caveat: The success of this feature requires that face detection work, which failed when I contorted my face for comic effect.
The Magic Plus mode adds a little creativity beyond the standard shooting modes. It also has its own position on the mode dial for quick navigation. These six selections are pretty straight-forward, and described below. The first five are shooting mode effects, but in an odd combination of shooting and editing, the Photo Editor is offered here for editing an existing photo. (You can also find it under the playback menu). There are 12 filters, which may sound like a modest number, but they are tastefully done. And, keeping the number manageable makes for easier menu navigation.
Magic Plus Mode menu:
- My Magic Frame: Take a background photo to frame a second shot
- Split Shot: Take two or three photos displayed side by side horizontally or vertically
- Motion Photo: Takes a series of photos; you select an area to animate in an animated GIF
- Photo Filter: miniature, vignetting, ink painting, oil painting, cartoon, cross filter, sketch, soft focus, fish-eye, classic, retro, zooming shot
- Movie Filter: miniature, vignetting, sketch, fish-eye, classic, retro, and four palette effects
- Photo Editor: resize, rotate, crop, smart filter (from filter list above), color, ACB (backlighting), brightness, contrast, saturation
Photo Filter menu:
- Ink Painting
- Oil Painting
- Cross Filter
- Soft Focus
- Fish Eye
- Zooming Shot
The My Magic Frame effect allows you to take a background picture to frame a second photo. Unlike another Samsung camera I reviewed, the MV900F, this camera does not include artsy frames such as a newspaper or a classic TV. Instead, you take the frame shot.
The creative options here include the shape of the frame (see icons at left) and the size of the frame (icons at right). You can also draw a custom shape, which you choose with the bottom left icon, as shown on the screen above. And, one final adjustment, you adjust how transparent you want the frame shot to be when overlaying the second shot within it, which can great a ghostly effect.
Perhaps the best feature of having a touch screen on a camera is the ability to simply tap your focus area. Shown here is the touch AF menu in its entirety. This camera does not offer a multitude of multi-area AF modes (simply multi and center-weighted, if you have face recognition turned off). But who needs them if you can simply tap on your intended subject?
One note, however: Continuous shooting and timer settings are disabled when tracking AF or one touch shot are enabled. This is important to know because the camera does not inform you of this when you launch the drive mode menu - the continuous shooting options are simply hidden, with only the single shot option displayed.
Touch AF menu:
- Touch AF
- Tracking AF
- One touch shot
Here is the continuous shooting menu, which is launched by pressing right on the four-way control. You can shoot at 8fps or 3fps at full resolution, and get two timer durations.
The Wi-Fi menu gets its own position on the mode dial, for easy access. There are six options here for sharing, sending and displaying your images over a Wi-Fi network, or sending them directly to a compatible smart phone.
- MobileLink: send files to an iOS or Android smartphone
- Remote Viewfinder: use your smartphone as the camera's viewfinder and shutter release
- Auto Backup: transfer files automatically to a PC on your WLAN
- Email: share photos and videos via email
- SNS & Cloud: Upload to file sharing websites (Facebook, Picasa, Youtube, SkyDrive)
- AllShare Play: for displaying images and videos on AllShare-compatible devices
The trash button below the four-way control doubles as a function button in shooting mode. This gives you quick access to a dozen parameters that might otherwise be cumbersome to navigate to in a traditional on-screen menu. As with all on-screen menus, you can tap and swipe the touch screen or use the four-way control to navigate through the items. Notice the Adjust icon at bottom right - it indicates that once you select a parameter, you need to use the zoom ring to adjust it if you don't want to use the touch screen (swiping across these small icons to see additional options can result in an accidental tap that makes an unintended selection).
Function button menu items:
- Shutter speed
- Exposure compensation
- White balance
- Metering mode
- Auto focus mode
- Focus area
- File size
- Drive mode
- Flash setting
- Movie size
Pressing the dedicated menu button above the four-way control launches the shooting menu (if you're in shooting mode). Note that the first option is AutoShare instead of a camera setting. Rather than wait until after you've taken shots to select and share, you can set up the camera to share or backup images on the fly.
- AutoShare: on, off
- Exposure compensation: +/-2
- White balance: auto, daylight, cloudy, fluorescent H, fluorescent L, tungsten, color temp. (3000k-10,000k), custom
- ISO: auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
- Flash: off, auto, red-eye, fill in, slow sync, red-eye fix (+/-2 adjustment in all settings)
- Focus: normal AF, manual, macro
- Focus area: center AF, multi AF
- Touch AF: off, touch AF, tracking AF, one touch shot
- Face detection: off, normal, self-portrait, smile shot, blink detection
- Photo size: 16M, 14M, 12M, 10M, 8M, 5M, 3M, 2M, 1M
- Quality: super fine, fine, normal
- ACB (auto contrast balance): off, on
- Metering: multi, spot, center-weighted
- Drive/timer: continuous 8fps, continuous 3fps, single, 2 seconds, 10 seconds
- AE bracket settings: +/-0.3, +/-0.7, +/-1, +/-1.3, +/-1.7, +/-2
- Image adjust: sharpness (+/-2), contrast (+/-2), saturation (+/-2)
- Optical image stabilization: off, on
- Intelli zoom: off, on
- Movie size: full HD (1920x1080), HD (1280x720), VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240), 240 Web
- Voice: Sound Alive on (reduces zoom noise), Sound Alive off, mute
You can record movies using the dedicated movie button at top right on the back panel, regardless of what mode dial selection you've been using for still photos. Or, you select the My Magic Mode position on the mode dial to delve into the video effects.
To combat the sound of the zoom motor in the audio recorded with videos, there is a feature in the menus called Sound Alive, which is on by default, though you can turn it off. The video on the Samples Page was shot with Sound Alive turned on, and even so the sound of the motor zooming is audible. In a less noisy environment, the buzz of the motor is still audible while zooming in and out.
In the Movie Filter menu, there are 10 treatments for your videos. Note: Using a Movie Filter limits your resolution to VGA (640x480), while using the dedicated video record button can record at 1080p.