Features & Controls

Samsung has done a good job over the years of creating thin cameras with mid-range zoom lenses, and the WB250F is another in that line of models. The WB250F has an 18x optical zoom lens with some limited wide angle capabilities (24 - 432 mm equivalent).

When the camera is powered down, the lens retracts completely inside the camera's lens housing, and a plastic covering protects the glass. When the camera is powered down, the WB250F measures 1.28 inches in thickness at its thickest point, which includes the lens housing and the right hand grip. With the camera powered up and the lens at the wide angle setting, the camera measures about 2 inches in thickness. And when the lens is at its full 18x optical zoom setting, the camera measures about 3 inches in thickness.

The camera requires about 2.5 seconds to move through its entire 18x zoom range. If you're someone who likes to shoot in the mid-zoom range, you're going to be disappointed in the lack of precise settings in that range, as the WB250F has no precise zoom setting between 7.4x and 12.8x.

The WB250F uses a TTL (through the lens) focusing system, and you can pick from a variety of focus modes, including center AF, multi AF, face detection AF, and touch AF; which is available because of the touch screen LCD found with this Samsung camera.

Effective AF range:
  • Normal: 31 in. (80 cm) to infinity (wide), 11.5 feet (350 cm) to infinity (tele)
  • Macro: 2 to 31 in. (5 to 80 cm) (wide), 5.9 to 11.5 feet (180 cm to 350 cm) (tele)
  • Auto Macro: 2 in. (5 cm) to infinity (wide), 5.9 feet (180 cm) to infinity (tele)
  • Manual: 2 in. (5 cm) to infinity (wide), 5.9 feet (180 cm) to infinity (tele)
Samsung includes an optical image stabilization system with this camera, allowing you to prevent camera shake.

The WB250F has a small image sensor, as it makes use of a 1/2.33-inch CMOS image sensor. A slightly larger image sensor may have helped this camera create higher quality images.

Flash view wide.jpg
The WB250F's popup flash unit isn't quite centered on the camera body because of the large lens housing, but because it extends up and forward, the flash is able to avoid any vignetting problems in flash photos that you sometimes find with thin cameras that have large zoom lenses.

You must open the flash manually whenever you want to use it by pressing a button on the top panel of the camera. If the popup flash is closed, you won't have access to any of the flash settings in the on-screen menus, and an on-screen message will remind you to open the flash. The flash range is 1 to 11 feet (0.3 to 3.38 meters) at wide angle settings and 1.6 to 5 feet (0.5 to 1.51 meters) at telephoto settings.

The available flash modes with the WB250F are: Auto, Auto & Red-eye Reduction, Fill-in Flash, Slow Sync, Red-eye Fix, and Flash Off. The flash needs a couple of seconds to recharge after each use, which is a pretty good performance for a camera in this price range. A small green light on the back of the WB250F flashes while the flash recharges, letting you know when the camera is ready to use again.

Top buttons left.jpg
Although there aren't a lot of buttons on the left side of the WB250F's top panel, you may find yourself using these buttons quite a bit.

On the far left is the Direct Link button, which provides quick access to the WB250F's Wi-Fi capabilities. Although using built-in Wi-Fi with some digital cameras can be very confusing, Samsung has simplified things as much as possible here. Samsung has been including Wi-Fi in its point-n-shoot cameras for a few years now, and the company has really gotten this feature right in the WB250F. Depending on which Wi-Fi features you want to use, you may need to download a few apps onto your smartphone and download some software on your computer and camera to make the Wi-Fi work properly, but you have quite a few options with this feature. Your Wi-Fi options include remote control of the WB250F through a smartphone, automatic backup of your images to your home Wi-Fi network, e-mailing of images through your home Wi-Fi network, or sending images to social networks and online backup sites.

The power button is in the middle of the top panel, and it's a comfortable size to use. Because the power button is in a location by itself, it's easy to find and press this button when you're in a hurry.

Right side buttons.jpg
The right side of the top panel contains the popup flash compartment (visible here as the large rectangular outline on the left side of the photograph). You open this compartment with the button marked with the flash icon along the lower area on the top panel.

In the upper area is the shutter button, which is surrounded by the zoom ring. By having the shutter button at the edge of the right hand grip, it's easy to reach this button with your index finger.

Finally there's a mode dial on the far right of the top panel, providing access to eight different functions. The mode dial options are:

  • AUTO - Smart Auto mode
  • P - Program mode
  • ASM - Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual modes
  • S - Smart/Scene modes (Beauty Face, Continuous Shot, Landscape, Macro, Action Freeze, Rich Tones, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Low Light Shot, Fireworks, Light Trace)
  • Best Face - Select the best photo of each person's face
  • Effects (marked by camera icon with a star inside) - My Magic, Split Shot, Motion, Photo Filter, Movie Filter, Photo Editor
  • Settings - Main camera menus
  • Wi-Fi - MobileLink, Remote, Auto Backup, Email, SNS Cloud, AllShare Play

LCD view.jpg
Samsung has included a top-end TFT LCD screen with the WB250F, measuring 3.0 inches diagonally and offering 460,000 pixels of resolution. This screen is sharp and bright in all shooting situations. You can choose from three levels of LCD brightness.

As an added benefit, the Samsung WB250F's LCD screen is a touch screen, allowing you to make menu selections by touching the screen. You also can select a portion of the image to focus on or activate the shutter using the touch screen. Having a touch screen LCD is a great way for beginning photographers to learn to navigate the camera.

The WB250F's touch screen is extremely responsive, and it's pretty easy to pick the exact function that you want to use because of the accuracy of the touch screen. This is one of the highest quality touch screens you'll find in a camera with a retail price of around $200.

Back buttons.jpg
If you'd rather control the WB250F through the more traditional control buttons, Samsung has placed all of the relevant options on the right side of the back panel of the camera. These buttons are of a good size and are raised just enough away from the WB250F's body to make them comfortable to use.

At the top right corner of the back panel is the movie button, through which you can start and stop video recording.

Below the video button is the Menu button, through which you can open a popup menu with commands related to the currently selected shooting mode. (If you want to gain access to the camera's settings menu, you'll need to select the Settings option on the mode dial.) To the right of the Menu button is the Back button, which you'll use when navigating the Samsung WB250F's various menus.

The four-way button on the WB250F surrounds the OK button and provides quick access to some commonly used features. The top of the four-way button controls the current display, the right side controls the burst mode and self-timer, the bottom controls the macro and focus modes, and the left side controls the flash modes (as long as the popup flash is open).

Along the bottom of the control buttons is the Playback button on the left and the Delete button on the right.

USB port view.jpg
A hinged hard plastic door protects the USB port on the right side of the camera. The WB250F does not offer an HDMI port.

Battery and memory card.jpg
Samsung placed the battery and memory card slots on the bottom of the camera. The battery compartment is protected by a hinged hard plastic cover that locks in place.

The rechargeable battery included with the WB250F is a thin model, but it provides quite good lifespan per charge. My tests found that you can expect to shoot 200 to 300 photos per charge, depending on how much you use the built-in Wi-Fi feature, which will drain the battery much more quickly.

You must charge the battery inside the camera as Samsung didn't include a separate battery charger with the WB250F. For a camera with an MSRP of $250, it would be nice to have the separate battery charger included with the WB250F, as it would allow you to use a second battery while charging the first one. Because the battery life with this camera is pretty good, though, you probably can get by with a single battery most of the time.

The WB250F can make use of SD style memory cards.

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