Samsung WB500 Review

Mid Zoom Digital Cameras

Picture
Samsung WB500 Ease of Use 8
Features 8
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 9
Style 8
Lowlight 9
Macro 9
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
10x Zoom
2.7 inch LCD Screen
105 x 61.4 x 36.5 mm
219g

Overview

The Samsung WB500 is a 10 megapixel digital camera with a 10x optical zoom lens. The WB500 gives you a lot of zoom capacity in a relatively small body. The lens also offers plenty of flexibility with an ultra wide angle available. Other attractions include optical image stabilisation and the ability to shoot High Definition movie clips. A basic manual exposure control is also built in.

Why Buy The Samsung WB500

The WB500 is a very good digital camera. I was very impressed with the picture quality and I also like the range of features. If you are looking for some extra zoom power or a wide angle lens then this is a good choice.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

10
10x
2.7 inches
105 x 61.4 x 36.5 mm
219g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

10cm
Yes
Yes
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD/SDHC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): The most impressive point about this shot is the overall sharpness of the picture. The WB500 manages to produce a sharp image even away from the centre with the trees in sharper focus than I am used to seeing. Colours remain true as well.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): It is immediately obvious just what a wide angle this camera offers. The WB500 captures more of the scene than I am used to seeing. I was pleasantly surprised with the sharpness of the shot. Most digital cameras with a wide angle lens tend to struggle for sharpness when the zoom is not being used at all.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): Based on the first three test shots the WB500 is an impressive camera. There is a slight fall off in sharpness towards the right hand side of this shot, but it is not to any significant level. I like the brightness this camera manages to produce.

Outdoor 4 (Building): Overall I would give this camera 9 out of 10 for sharpness. It has impressed me in all my outdoor shots. In this one the brickwork on the building stands out. When the picture is blown up you have no problem making out the individual bricks.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: The WB500 adds a bit of extra pink to the skin tones. I don't mind this as it makes the picture look a little more vivid. There are no problems with the sharpness of the shot and you should be able to produce plenty of pleasing portrait shots.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: In my view this photo works extremely well. The combination of brightness from the flash, the evenness of the lighting and the amount of colour retained under the lighting conditions is hard to beat.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: Without flash you are still left with a very good effort. There is a slight colour caste, but you may feel this adds some warmth to the shot. Again there is plenty of brightness in the shot.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: This is a cracking close up shot. There is plenty of definition and high levels of clarity. The WB500 has also managed to get the colour spot on.

Colours: Samsung digital cameras turn up the power of the colours in places. It is a matter of personal taste whether you like colours to look a touch stronger or not. Personally I think the colours and brightness of the photos taken with the SB-500 work well.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600: Obviously there is noise in the shots as you step up the ISO level, but noise levels are handled quite well. On top of this the colours remain true with little evidence of them breaking up.

Summary

Recently I have tested a number of cheaper digital cameras. The WB500 shows that if you are able to spend that bit more you can get a lot more quality. This is a set of bright, sharp test shots that has really impressed me.

See sample images link arrow

Style

Although the body is relatively compact it is still too large to slip into a pocket. The extra size means you can take a good hold of the camera when taking a shot.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.37 seconds
10.52 seconds
0.55 seconds
15.04 seconds
2.68 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par If you choose to you can use the WB500 as a point and shoot camera. To make full use of all the features available will take more time. I found the text in the menu system small and not always easy to read.

Points I Like

Picture quality - manual exposure mode - size and design - High Definition movies

Where it Could Improve

Size of menu text

Verdict

I really like the Samsung WB500. The pictures it produces are bright and sharp. The lens offers great flexibility and the camera has a compact size.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

playback functions

effects menu

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Nikon Coolpix S9300 Rating 86/100

For a camera that is small enough to take anywhere the Nikon Coolpix S9300 has a lot of features packed into it. If you are planning to take a holiday GPS tracking will tell you where you were when a picture was taken. The length of the zoom lens also gives you plenty of scope when it comes to picture opportunities. Although there is plenty of completion in this category the picture quality on offer here combined with the features makes this camera very attractive indeed. Recommended.

Read Review: Nikon Coolpix S9300 Review

Canon Powershot SX260 HS Rating 86/100

The Canon Powershot SX260 HS is one of the very best digital cameras in this category. In fact if you are happy to miss out on features such as 3D photography and 360 degree panoramas it is very hard to beat. It has a great set of features packed into its relatively compact body size and picture quality helps to make it stand out from the competition. Although it is one of the more expensive cameras in this field it still offers good value for money.

Read Review: Canon Powershot SX260 HS Review

Panasonic DMC SZ1 Rating 84/100

If you are looking for a simple, pocket camera that gives you some extra zoom and takes high quality snapshots the Panasonic Lumix DMC SZ1 is a very good choice. Compared to other cameras with similar features available at around the same price this camera has the edge when it comes to picture quality. It takes sharp, colourful photos and offers excellent value for money. Recommended.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC SZ1 Review

Related Pages

Samsung WB500 Review Samsung WB500 Specification Samsung WB500 Sample Images Samsung WB500 Features Samsung Digital Cameras

Review Date

April 2009

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