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By 4 September 2012 | Categories: gizmos

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In tune with an increase in quality of their notebooks, Samsung’s compact camera range has also seen improvements over the past two years. And while their mirrorless cameras (their NX-range) have won us over, the new WB850F is leading the way on the compact side.

This 16.2 megapixel compact hides a very impressive Schneider-Kreuznach 21x optical zoom. It’s basically equivalent to a 23 – 483 mm regular (35 mm) lens and will become your new best friend in nature reserves, bird sanctuaries and regular holidays. At this long range the shakes usually hinders a steady shot, but Samsung includes both optical and digital image stabilisation.

Which brings us to the question of why the WB850F is called a smart camera? This is because of the onboard Wi-Fi, which allows you to email pictures, upload to Facebook, Picasa, SkyDrive and Photobucket, or simply download to your PC via a Wi-Fi network without the need for cables. Unfortunately, on many attempts the  Wi-Fi downloading got interrupted, making us think it’s actually easier to simply take out the SD card and copy photos to the PC. And while there is GPS onboard too, we had difficulties getting it running, plus maps are stored to SD card and obviously do not work when you load another SD card.

In general the WB850F’s image quality is very impressive and we would not have minded spending more time with it based on lens and image quality alone. But while there are a number of added features, we’re not quite sold on the Wi-Fi and GPS. It comes at a decent R3 300. 

This article first appeared in TechSmart 108, September 2012

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