The Samsung WB150F isn’t your average compact camera, for two reasons: first, there’s a large 18x optical zoom to get you closer to the action; and second, you get built-in Wi-Fi to make sharing your shots easier – a definite boon if you’re a cable-hater.
Samsung WB150F – Wi-Fi uploading
The Wi-Fi isn’t simply for sending photos direct to your PC (although you can do that using the backup mode). You can share optimised versions of shots (or videos in some cases) to Facebook, Photobucket, Picasa and YouTube, or email them to any address. You can backup to the cloud, beam photos to your Android or iOS device , or use said device as a remote viewfinder, tapping on-screen icons to take a shot, zoom or alter basic settings.
Samsung WB150F – hitting the limits
All that sounds very exciting – and it brings compacts vaguely in line with where smartphones are – but there are issues. The wireless backup only works with Windows PCs, and while the remote viewfinder and mobile phone sharing ran fine on iOS, neither app would play nice with our Android phone (the brand new HTC One S). A more minor criticism is that typing in email addresses and social media logins is laborious using a cursor – a touchscreen may have been a better choice here.
Samsung WB150F – camera skills
Wi-Fi aside, this is an impressive little camera. There’s a nod to enthusiasts with the inclusion of manual controls (no RAW shooting though), while those less inclined to fiddle with settings can flip through the usual scene modes, employ a range of Instagram-style filter effects or simply turn the dial to the fully automatic ‘Smart’ mode and let the camera do the thinking for you.
Samsung WB150F – picture quality
Picture quality is decent, with vivid colours (red in particular leaps out with the default settings), but a little more contrast would make things punchier. There’s 720p HD video too, and again, it’s acceptable without being outstanding – although you can use the full optical zoom range while filming, which isn’t something all cameras can do.
Samsung WB150F – build and design
The metal-bodied WB150F is a little chunkier than some compacts – possibly to make room for that big zoom lens – but will still squeeze into the average jeans pocket without forcing you to limp like a mad scientist’s assistant. There’s a reasonably sharp 3-inch screen on the back, along with the usual range of controls, while a dial at the top lets you quickly switch between different shooting and settings modes.
Samsung WB150F – verdict
The Samsung WB150F is certainly more interesting than the average point-and-shoot, but while the big zoom is welcome, those Wi-Fi skills could benefit from a bit of honing.