The WB1000 is part of a growing and very welcome trend toward compact cameras aimed at more experienced users. It has a number of features that enable a more creative approach to photography, including program auto, aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual exposure. Menu options include adjustable contrast, saturation and sharpness, a wide range of picture styles and adjustable RGB colour balance, as well as spot, centre-weighted and matrix metering and a range of AF options. Automatic shooting options include a range of scene modes, full auto and Smart Auto, an automatic scene recognition mode.
One of the WB1000's key features is its three-inch AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) monitor. This is a new type of display screen technology that has a number of advantages over conventional LCD displays. It uses less power, meaning longer battery life, it is sharper, brighter, has a faster refresh rate, much higher contrast and can be viewed from any angle. It is also a lot tougher, and can actually be made on a flexible material. The monitor on the WB1000 is superb, with an ultra-sharp resolution of over 518,000 dots and is clearly visible even in bright sunlight. If AMOLED is the wave of the future then this example certainly bodes well.
The WB1000 also has a very good video recording mode, shooting at 1280 x 720 resolution at 30fps, and recording stereo sound via built-in microphones. The optical zoom can be used while recording, although audio recording is muted while zooming to prevent the motor noise appearing on the soundtrack. Video is recorded in the popular H.264 format, with a maximum recording time of 20 minutes. Optical image stabilisation is also active while recording video.
The WB1000 also has some nifty features in playback mode, including the ability to apply colour corrections and picture styles to shots, including the dynamic-range boosting ACR feature. There is also a Smart Album feature which can search for images based on file type, date or by colour.