Most helpful critical review
110 of 121 people found the following review helpful
It's an alright camera
on April 23, 2013
I purchased this camera (the white one) locally at a Sams Club because it came with a kit for the same price as Amazon. Not really a great deal, but did it anyway. It came with a small case (useless as its too small to really fit the camera) and an 8gb Samsung sd card. (Woopy do, I saved $6 there) The build quality seems good. With one exception, the popup flash. I can bet anything this will eventually break. If it doesn't break due to users accidentally snapping it off, it will wear out from popping up and pushing it down. It is a little tricky pushing it back in too. I base this opinion on other cameras I have used.
I found the cameras photo settings to be straight forward and easy to understand for most people. Full auto works ok, but P is the way to go for your best exposure. The flash worked reasonably well to about 12 feet or so. Any further in a less then normal to dimly lit room, and you will find your subject under exposed. On the other side, any closer then 4 feet and you will find your subject over exposed. The camera has a flash fill setting, but I found no difference between fill and auto.
The image quality is best at 16mp (the highest setting) I would have rather used 10 or 12mp but the drop off in clarity was too great. The color was accurate and images were sharp. As long as you held really, really still. I found the camera to use a much slower shutter speed then the average person can hand hold. I don't think the anti-shake works well at all. I have used better. Especially with any amount of zoom.
I was very disappointed with the response of the camera. It would often not take the picture when I pressed the shutter button. Example: I turn the camera on, point it at a person or object, press the button and get nothing. I had to resort to the slightly depressing the button to allow the camera to focus first, wait for the center green box or the face detecting boxes(depending on which setting I used) turn green, then press the button the rest of the way to take the picture. For a camera in 2013 I feel this is unexceptionable. Especially in this price range. It doesn't always do this, but it did most of the time.
The other thing that really disappointed me was the WiFi feature. First the good. It connected to my Samsung S3 phone perfect. My S3 could control the camera to take photos, off load images, and use the remote view finder. It was easy to connect to Picasa and SkyDrive to offload images to the cloud. I assume Facebook and emailing would be the same. You can connect to your phone while outside of a local area connection. In other words, driving down the road or in the middle of nowhere with no wifi router in sight, you can connect to your phone. Nice feature for offloading images and using your phones internet connection to upload. The Direct Link button on the back of the camera can be programmed to do any of the WiFi functions with just one press.
Now the bad. I was excited to program the Direct Link button to connect to Picasa and upload images. Well, when you press the button, it brings up 4 options. Facebook, Picasa, Email, and SkyDrive. I then have to press Picasa. It then opens up a gallery of images. I start selecting the ones I want to upload (there is no select all. That's stupid) and I get stopped at 12 selections with a message saying I have reached the limit. That makes this feature useless to me. To make matters worse, it doesn't even tell me where I left off so I don't select ones I already uploaded. The wifi is fast enough to upload the 12 images in about a minute or two (depending on your ISP's speeds) so I don't get the limit here.
Some other thoughts: Image quality at higher iso's is pretty good. I took several shots at 400 to 3200 iso and was ok with the noise in the 1600 and 3200 iso range. 400 iso is the sweet spot I think. The camera's auto iso wants to hang aroung 100 iso which is why several of my shots without flash were blurry. If I were to keep this camera, 400 or 800 iso is where I would leave it.
The menu system in general is very good. Its easy to find your setting and the option to use the touch screen or d-pad is nice. In fact, I think the UI is probably the best part of this camera. I found the settings I needed to change were quick to find and the flow of using the touch and the d-pad were perfect.
Here is a quick example of why I am not keeping this camera besides the (in my opinion) botched WiFi uploading. I wanted to photograph my daughter holding her 1 month old cousin. I pull out the WB800f, point and.....nothing. Press the button again and great. It took the shot. Its blurry because the camera was set to auto iso and it used too low of an iso. I try a few more setting the iso to 800. Well, its almost there, still a little blurry with the camera set on P. The shutter was just a but to slow. I pop the flash up. I press the button, nothing. Press again and it takes. Overexposed because I am about 4 feet away. I back up and try and pop off several shots. Its not real fast at this. I manage to get off 3 shots. Now, just for fun, I pull out my Samsung S3 phone. Hit the camera icon and pop off about 8 shots (no flash) in the time it took me to take 3 with the WB800f. "Ok" you say, "thats great". "But I bet the quality is better on the WB800f". And you would be correct. But is it enough for me to justify the purchase of this camera? Not for me. I could easily get a decent 8x10 print out of either the S3 or the WB800f of my daughter and her cousin. The WB800F needed a flash to get the decent shot though. Unless I spent a bit more time bumping up the iso and messing with shutter speed.
I was just a little taken back that my phone was able to pop off 8 decent shots better then this dedicated point and shoot camera. I think that says something.
I didn't expect this to be a Canon G12. But I did expect it to do better then my Canon A720IS. It is not faster, it is not better image quality, its marginally better in low light as long as YOU adjust the iso up to 1600 or 3200, and the added features just don't warrant the price.
If you can get this for $200 and you are ok with the limited WiFi uploading, then go for it.
One thing to note is that this camera is firmware upgradable. In fact, I received a firmware/software upgrade during my brief time with the camera. I don't know what it fixed. I found nothing that it added. But I bet things like added Cloud sync options could be easily added. Perhaps they will remove the limited uploading.