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Most superzoom cameras serve as a half-way point between compact cameras and digital SLRs, and the WB5000 features the extensive creative options of the traditional “bridge camera”. It has the option of aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual exposure control, with three stops of aperture control and shutter speeds from 16 seconds to 1/2000th of a second in increments of 1/3EV. Exposure control is adjusted by a rotary bezel on the D-pad, which is not one of my favourite control options but in this case it does work well, with a nice positive action and just enough tactile feedback to work. The menu system is similar to the WB500, and is very clear and easy to use.

The other controls are also well thought out, with separate buttons for exposure lock and exposure compensation, and a dedicated button to instantly start video recording. The zoom control is a rotary bezel around the shutter button, and is a little jerky, but it has a dual speed function allowing careful framing.

As one might expect from one of the world's biggest manufacturers of LCD panels the monitor is good too, very clear and bright with a good refresh rate, but it has a reflective plastic cover which does make it difficult to see in bright sunlight. The LCD viewfinder could also be a bit better. The resolution isn't really sharp enough to check focus and it also lacks dynamic range, with very little shadow detail.

The video recording quality is excellent, as is the audio quality. The stereo microphones are mounted just above the lens barrel, but despite this they don't pick up much noise from the zoom motor. Picture style colour modes are available in video mode. Clips are limited to 20 minutes and are are recorded in MP4 format.

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March 2, 2010, 5:17 am

A photograph of children outside a primary school?! How dare you, I'm off to form an angry mob right now! We'll be looking for you outside Exeter Cathedral's West Window tomorrow, complete with flaming torches and misspelt placards..

More seriously though Cliff, are you sure that "Samsung has never made a superzoom camera" before? What about the (quite good) 15X Zoom Pro815 you reviewed in August 2006?


March 2, 2010, 7:03 am

I saw samsung just announced the HZ50W in the PMA 2010 which should be the successor of this model I think.


March 2, 2010, 9:51 pm

... err does it have a viewfinder? Another thing it seems there are no super superzooms as image quality is often around the "7" mark...? Going back awhile I remember that fixed focus lenses were considered way better quality than zoom lenses... Nevertheless superzoom cameras are fun and capable of some really good photos.

Cliff Smith

March 5, 2010, 8:30 pm

Noodles - Your memory is clearly better than mine, I'd forgotten all about the Pro815. What a bizarre contraption that was; two LCD monitors, one of them 3.8 inches, a 15x zoom with no stabilisation and the slowest AF ever. Pretty decent picture quality for the time though.

Kai - Yes, you're probably correct. The photos I've seen of the HZ50W do look a lot like the WB5000, and the speed with which Samsung has been updating its camera range recently make it likely that an updated 14MP version will appear soon.

Terry - 3rd paragraph, page 2. It has an electronic viewfinder, although not a particularly good one.


March 6, 2010, 12:14 am

Terry - Another thing it seems there are no super superzooms as image quality is often around the "7"

my thougths too, until I remembered this:


March 6, 2010, 12:45 am

@Cliff: Hah, the only reason I remembered it existed was because of it's complete and utter breeze-block like weirdness. Almost bought one once, but ended up being boring and got an S9500 instead..


March 6, 2010, 8:41 pm

Thanks for the link Splogbust... and another thing!... why do electronic "viewfinders" have to be such a shoddy compromise on an instrument where optics take prime place...? A camera is all about the "view" before your eyes surely? I have a superzoom that has an awful electronic viewfinder...


March 7, 2010, 5:48 am

I struggle with the review.

Why award the camera 8/10 overall when the thing that is most important - the image quality - is so poor I wouldn't change my Fuji S602 (now 6 years old) for it as the images look at least as good as the Samsung, if not better!

I can't even understand how it got 7/10 for image quality when the test shots are clearly poor by any standard, especially the ISO tests - mottling at 64ISO???

If that was me it'd be marked down a couple of points on image quality alone and at the price I'd say it was pretty poor value for money.


March 7, 2010, 8:08 pm

The price is very good actually, consider the feature it offers. Many other superzooms are more expensive than this one.

For image quality, I'd mark down one point to 6. but 7 is still fair. We should understand the score is relative. When u look at the score of compact camera, u are comparing to other compact camera. When u look at score of entry-level DSL, U are comparing to other entry-level DSL. as well as superzooms, When u look at the score, it is comparing with other superzooms. The score is not a absolute value for all kinds of camera.

And most superzooms have lower image quality. So the standard is also lower.


March 9, 2010, 4:08 am

... time to find your 35mm SLRs, buy a roll of film, put your fixed focus 28mm or 50mm on the front and take some quality photos...?!

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