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Samsung WB600 - Ergonomics and Features

By Gavin Stoker



Our Score:


To prevent the blurring effects of hand wobble/camera shake at maximum zoom, the WB600 comes equipped with dual (optical/lens shift and digital/software enhanced) image stabilisation. As per usual, though, we'd turn the software option off as it can degrade image quality. You can also turn the optical version off if so desired but generally you can leave it on all the time.

The most important physical controls here are logically enough located on the WB600's top plate, set into a glossy chrome strip that runs its length and continues down to its base at either side. A large, slightly forward-leaning and springy shutter release button is encircled by a chunky zoom lever with a ridged forward facing 'lip' that provides just enough of a purchase point for the forefinger. Next to this, and slightly more inset, is a five pence coin-sized shooting mode dial, with just enough poking out either side of the chrome strip to get your forefinger and thumb around and give it a wiggle to your desired choice.

There is a gamut of in-camera options tailored toward taking people pictures, with face detection, smile and blink detection all featured. Faces can also be registered and lists of faces subsequently edited, which is quite neat.

To make the most of the unit's 1280x720 pixels at 30 frames per second video recording, the WB600 features mini HDMI output. As per usual, the 4:3 aspect ratio screen image automatically crops to 16:9 when recording begins. A supplied cable can be used for hooking up the camera to your PC via USB, and also doubles up as a power lead, slotting into the adapter plug provided in lieu of a charger. This means that its rechargeable lithium ion battery needs to be recharged with the camera itself. So, even if you buy a spare battery, the camera will need to be out of action whilst you recharge it, which kind of defeats the purpose.

Press the WB600's slightly recessed top plate power button and the WB600 readies itself for action in just under two seconds, which is commendably swift for its class. The rear screen blinks into life to provide a means of composition in the absence of any optical viewfinder whilst the lens barrel extends from storage flush with the body to maximum wide angle setting. As one would expect, there's only the option to shoot JPEG here, with RAW off the menu, but you do at least get three compression levels to choose from.

A half press of the shutter release button and auto focus (AF) points are highlighted in green. It must be said that the WB600's operational noises are, well, noisy, so we appreciated the opportunity to turn them off within a couple of minutes of first using it. Go on to take a shot and a full resolution, least compression JEPG is committed to memory in just over a second or so. Impressive stuff.


February 1, 2011, 5:18 pm


Can you tell us if you will be altering the ISO tests in the future? I recommend a subject that has an area of fine detail as well as the smooth area so we can see the effect of increased ISO usage on both parts. How the camera applies its noise reduction on fine detail is of interest.

Also could you include a full frame of the last ISO shot so that we can see the effect of the ISO increase on the full image? Sometimes, noise can resemble film grain which is normally pleasing but you can't see at 100%.



February 1, 2011, 5:34 pm

What's the flash / indoor performance like then? If low light performance is poor is the flash capable of doing anything to compensate?

This is something I miss in general in TR reviews of point and shoot cameras. There's a good chance a camera like this will be used indoors for family snaps and the like - how does it do at that?

Hans Gruber

February 1, 2011, 7:26 pm

Please can you retain a separate rating for image quality. Performance to me means general ease and responsiveness of use and may include such aspects as autofocus reliability, continuous shooting speed etc.

Image quality would cover ISO 'performance' and noise reduction (as indicated by Joose) as well as resolution/acutance, distortion, vignetting, chromatic aberration etc. I think it's a pretty important factor in determining whether a camera performs well or not to have its own separate score. A camera might be blazingly fast at taking poor quality pictures but what good would that be?


February 2, 2011, 4:26 am


For 100pd and produces such excellent images shown here I would wholeheartedly recommend this model without hesitation. BTW I bought one unit for my son, I like it very much obviously it has its deficiencies. Overall I would buy it again and fully recommend it to anyone as a travel camera or general purpose photography.

An excellent P&S camera at such a low price.


February 2, 2011, 9:31 pm

As an owner of this camera I would like to point out to any potential buyers there is a menu option to keep the microphone on while zooming in video mode - it is the first setting I altered! Since TR saw this as one of the main negatives, hopefully this will help make up some people's minds. Obviously you can hear it zooming, but it's not that intrusive and certainly not as annoying as the sound cutting out.

Also a fairly minor point although one end of the charging cable is USB the end that plugs in to the camera is proprietary so if you are travelling you may be able to share the plug with your mobile phone/other gadgets but you will need to take the cable.

One more thing, if you look around the web you will see the GPS feature of the WB650 is idiosyncratic to say the least so unless you are desperate for the AMOLED screen you should save yourself the money and get this one.


February 3, 2011, 2:44 pm

Forgot to mention the hideous chrome effect around the outside of the shell - it's like a 1950's car.

Ian Porter

February 4, 2011, 8:45 pm

I have to agree with Joose. Even at the lowest of ISO settings the toy cars look out of focus to me. Wouldn't a straight line pattern, something akin to the old BBC test card be better. Until the cars look in sharp focus I cannot judge ISO properly.


February 14, 2011, 10:30 pm

to all potential buyers, having red a review a few months back I suggest to get wb600 over the wb650, if picture quality is the top priority for you over GPS/AMOLED screen...the simultaneous laboratory tests had shown slightly better picture quality of wb600, initially I didn't believe but after having a closer look to sample pictures taken in various shooting environments (the same objects) by both cameras I could see the difference clearly ...the crops out of wb600, when zoomed in, were less 'blurry' with a little bit lower amount of noise...overall slightly better looking...anyway whatever choice you'll make out of these 2 - wb600/wb650, hope serves well ... :-)

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