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Samsung WB600 - Test Shots: ISO Performance

By Gavin Stoker

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

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The WB600's ISO range starts as low as ISO80. We wouldn't expect to see noise creeping into shadow detail at this stage, but if you look for it, it's there... even if subtly so.

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The same framing at ISO100 and noise is beginning to become more noticeable, particularly across the body of the light blue car.

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OK, so it may be subtle, but even at ISO200 the image is becoming more noticeably grainy over ISO100.

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We're at ISO400 and noise is visible across the whole of the image, though the red car disguises it better.

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ISO800 and there's noise, with matters getting incrementally worse.

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Looking at ISO1600, and we find a setting that would be best to avoid using unless pushed. We're getting an overall sandy appearance and notably losing edge definition.

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...At ISO3200 it appears as if we're viewing our test image through frosted glass as the frame takes on a distinctly impressionistic appearance.

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joose

February 1, 2011, 5:18 pm

Hi





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%.





Thanks

Epic

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?

tean

February 2, 2011, 4:26 am

Hi,





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.

TheFlyingGerbil

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.

JDunn

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.

salamoon

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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