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on May 9, 2012
I've had this camera for three days but I've owned a lot of cameras so I will give you my initial impressions. (Note: Updates after one month of ownership are attached at the end)

This is a great camera overall. I will talk about the features. You will probably find other reviews that will give you more details of photo and video quality but in a word the picture quality is excellent. I have a Canon T3i with a Tamron 18-270 lens. That was my favorite camera before the WB850. The T3i is more fun and easier to use but it has one big drawback. You can't put it in your pocket. It's big and it's heavy and travelling with it can be a pain. So I sought another pocket camera. I have been using a Canon TX1 as my pocket camera when I didn't want to carry the T3i which was becoming more frequent. The TX1 is also a great camera but it is 7MP and only shoots 720 video. I wanted a pocket camera that shot full HD. To be honest, I think the megapixel spec is overblown and overemphasized, unless you are printing really big pictures which in truth only pros do and even most pros don't print poster sized pictures. They only print 8x10's most of the time. On my computer monitor (a 32" monitor) I really can't tell the difference in quality between my 5MP Galaxy Nexus phone pictures and the 18MP photos from the T3i. So I'm not a pixel counter, anything 5MP or larger looks great on my monitor. Now on to my impressions of the Samsung WB850.

I had several specs that I wanted.

1. Big zoom. Boy does this camera have a big zoom. It effectively goes from 23-483mm and that's huge. My Tamron lens which has one of the widest ranges that you can find (and it costs $600+) only goes from 18-270 so the WB850 zoom is absolutely fantastic. Plus the lens is fast at 2.8. The Tamron is 3.5 and the extra speed of the WB850 lens makes a difference. For those who don't know, by fast I mean F stop which means the WB850 lens is brighter than the Tamron with the same amount of light. This means better low light performance. The zoom action is smooth. It takes 5 seconds to go from wide to full telephoto. Even during movie mode, the zoom motor noise is noticeable but fairly quiet. The zoom can lag sometimes before moving when you press the zoom lever.

2. Great screen. The screen is very bright and super sharp. I had ordered a WB750 but before it shipped I read where the 850 was being released soon in the U.S. The 750 had the problem of a mediocre screen so I cancelled the order for the 750 and ordered the 850. I'm probably one of the first to get the 850 in the U.S.

3. Micro USB charging port. This was a BIGGIE for me. I've tried to standardize on microUSB ports for all of my electronics. My phone, car GPS and external battery pack all charge via microUSB ports. This allows me to carry one charger and it works for everything. I can carry a cigarette pack sized 8400mah external battery Anker Astro2 Dual USB Output 8400mAh External Battery Pack and Charger with Flashlight for iPhone 4 / 4S / 3GS, iPad, iPad 2, The New iPad (iPad 3), iPod (require your own cable for Apple); Android Smartphones: (Samsung Galaxy S2 / Galaxy Nexus / Galaxy... and plug it into the WB850 and it will both power the camera and charge the camera battery. There is a battery icon on the screen when not plugged in that shows the remaining battery level. When you plug in the microUSB to power, the icon changes to DC. With this feature, I don't have to worry about carrying spare batteries or an additional charger. As long as I have the external battery, I can literally shoot all week. The 8400 mah external battery is equivalent to 8 regular WB850 batteries.

Those are the major features that interested me. There are other unique features such as the magic scenes that allow you to photograph with some neat special effects but in truth I'm not going to use those.

These are some of the software features of the camera that I will use:

Smart Auto: Most cameras have presets for portrait, sports, landscape, night, etc. The WB850 has a smart auto mode that automatically selects the proper preset. It's kind of an advanced Auto mode. It seems to work fairly well.

Flash: When I read up on the WB750, many complained that the flash pops up under your thumb and you must get used to it and keep your thumb out of the way. True, but the 850 has a button that you push to pop up the flash. When you pop up the flash it automatically switches the flash on in Smart Flash mode. I like this much better than having to navigate in the menu to turn the flash on and off. If you want the flash on, just push the button, it pops up, and it's on. If you want it off, just push the flash down. The T3i had a flash off mode on the dial. I like the WB850 implementation better. You know the flash is off when it's down and you know it's on and in auto mode when it's up. Simple and better.

Low Light Performance: The low light performance is really good. Both pictures and videos are light enough even in low light. The pictures are grainy though which is normal as most cameras boost the ISO to compensate for low light. To me, the WB850 has better low light photos than the T3i but I haven't done a side by side comparison.

The biggest negative of the WB850 is the cycle speed between photos. With the T3i I could shoot practically as fast as I could press the shutter button. I'm not talking about continuous mode, just single shot mode shooting like a semi-automatic gun. With the WB850 in single mode shooting the fastest that I can take pictures is approximately one picture per second. Once you take a picture, you have to wait for about a second until it processes and then you can take another picture. I tried turning the picture review off but it still took the 1 second processing time. That's the biggest drawback that I could find. You can't just press the button and shoot fast. Even my phone, a Galasy Nexus will take pictures as fast as you can press the button. Sooner or later, this is going to cost me some missed pictures.

The slow single shot recycle time is why I give this camera four stars instead of five. NOTE: I initially gave the camera four stars but changed my rating to five stars after owning the camera for ten days.

There is a Drive Speed wheel that allows you to very easily cycle between 10 frames/sec, 5 frames/sec, 3 frames/sec and single. This works fine but it still doesn't give me the control that I want to be able to just push the button and take pictures as fast as I can push the button. It also has a limit of 8 pictures and then it takes about 12 seconds to process those 8 shots. If you take 3 pictures using this mode, it still takes 3-4 seconds to process the pictures once you are done. I wish it just had a very fast single shot mode.

You can also take very high res stills while shooting a video and unlike the TX1 or the T3i, it doesn't pause the video while the still is being taken. So the video remains uninterrupted while you take stills. The drawback is that you can only take 6 stills per video. Once you stop the video and start a new video, then you can take 6 more stills.

The video is also limited to a maximum of 20 minutes. It does not matter what the video resolution is or the size of the SD card (I have a 64GB 10X SDXC card in the camera) you cannot shoot a video longer than 20 minutes. The limitation on the T3i video is 12 minutes so it is almost double on the WB850. Once the 20 minutes are up, you can push record again and record for another 20 minutes. A 64GB card reads 9 hours and 12 minutes on the available record time meter on the screen for Full HD.

Also, the remaining picture count is not accurate. With a 64GB card with no pictures on it, (only a 1.1GB map database) it reads 7518 pictures remaining. At 4mb per photo average, that's almost 16,000 pictures remaining so the remaining photo counter is not accurate with a 64GB card. Maybe it is with smaller cards but not with a 64GB. This doesn't really matter that much anyway. I will clear the card long before I have taken 7,500 pictures.

The map data for the GPS for the entire U.S. takes up 1.15GB that is stored on the card so allow for that. You must install the map database from the website for the GPS to function properly. You have the option to download maps for each foreign country or individual states in the U.S. or the entire U.S.

The T3i is known for its great video quality. It is great because it makes the colors more vivid than true life but the auto focus tracking on the T3i is just horrible. The auto focus tracking on the WB850 is pretty good so overall if you have to video something where the focus will vary, you are going to have a much better video because it will be in focus with the WB850.

There is no external mic jack so for real pro stuff, super quality sound is out.

The Remote Viewer is cool. On my Android Galaxy Nexus, I can see on the phone what is on the screen of the camera and even take a photo from the phone and it will transfer instantly to the phone. That's an impressive feature and perhaps someday I will find a use for it.

There is no one button way to turn the GPS on and off. That would be a nice addition as all GPSs burn battery pretty fast.
Wifi works well but I won't use that much either but it is there if you need it.

I have owned a dozen cameras and this one is by far the best overall camera that I've ever owned.

After using the WB850 for three days of sightseeing and jogging in Charleston S.C. I am posting new info and pictures.

The battery life is actually very good. I shot over 400 pictures before the battery went dead and this was with the GPS ON. This is a fairly small and thin 1,100mAh battery. Once you get used to the GPS feature, you probably won't want to turn it off. With the GPS off, no doubt the battery life would improve significantly. I thought that I wouldn't use it because it would be redundant info (after all I should know where I am or was when I shot the picture) but not so.

The downloaded database doesn't just list City and State, but it lists the POI (Points of Interest) that you are either near or at. This is on the top of the screen and recorded in the picture metadata so it's actually good info to let you know exactly where you are. For example, when I was taking a picture of the submarine outside of the museum, the camera said, "Charleston Museum...". Once I saw it in action, I wanted the data embedded in all of my pictures and I wanted to see it on the screen.

The only problem is my old photo browsing program won't display the new embedded location data so I will need to upgrade that program.

Samsung WB850 Battery performance
Total pictures taken: 422 (402 w/o flash 20 w/flash)
Screen on time: 2 to 2.5 hours
Video recorded: 2 minutes
On/Off cycles: approx 50

Overall, I was very impressed with the battery endurance. The TX1 will only shoot about 125 pictures before the battery dies so the WB850 had over 3X the battery life. The T3i however is still the battery champ by far as long as you use the optical viewfinder and not the screen.

I got used to the way it handles. I still like photographing with the T3i better but remember the T3i is many times the weight and size and over three times the cost with the lens.

The zoom can be a little slow to intially respond but overall I think this is an awesome camera. From looking at the pictures, they seem to be every bit as good as the T3i/Tamron pictures and the colors may be richer.

The remaining picture count with a 64GB card decreases by roughly .6 pictures for each shot. For the count to go down 10 pictures you must shoot 16 pictures so at least the relative number of pictures remaining is a little more accurate. This will probably be fixed in a firmware update.

I was looking at other tourists lugging around big cameras and thinking that they are carrying around those big bulky cameras and did not have half of the zoom that I did and most did not even have the megapixels. For the non-pro, I believe this camera and its type spells the beginning of the end of the big SLR.

Pictures at 7tw.com/charleston2012

There may be some concerns about the 4X digital zoom. The digital zoom takes the zoom from 21X to 84X.

First, the digital zoom is not available in the Smart Auto mode with face detection or AF Tracking on. "The Digital zoom is not available with the Face detection option, Smart Filter effect, Tracking AF option, Burst option, or Manual Focus."

Second, I have no intention of using the digital zoom even if it was available. Come on, 21X is enough and digital zoom always degrades the quality I don't care what camera it is. From my now three days of use, I am becoming increasingly pleased with this camera and far less likely to ever carry my big T3i again. The pictures are fantastic, the ease of operation is great and fairly simple, the zoom is amazing at 21X, the battery takes over 400 pictures and an extra battery is small and easy to carry in case you wanted to shoot 800 pictures in a day. I am also ordering a right angle microUSB cable just in case I want to plug it into the external battery. If you do get a cable, make sure it is right angle and left handed so the cable angles down and not up when inserted.StarTech 3-Feet Micro USB Cable - A to Left Angle Micro B (UUSBHAUB3LA)

Other than the lag when taking single shot pictures (which I've gotten used to) this camera seems perfect.

UPDATE: I've now had the camera for ten days. I am changing my rating from four stars to five. Although it does have the single shot lag, there is simply no other camera that in my opinion even comes close to the features of this camera. So if it's the best that's available, even with flaws it deserves five stars. I looked back at the T3i pictures and then at the WB850 and the WB850 pictures to my eye are BETTER. The colors are richer and they simply look better.

The battery does drain fast while shooting video but if you use the external battery microUSB cable combo you can shoot video for a very long time.

It does need a quick GPS off/on button or feature. It does not have assignable quick buttons like some cameras but button space is at a premium here. The GPS will not register indoors at all so it burns battery searching for a satellite. If you are indoors you might as well turn it off. The camera needs a quick way to do this without several button pushes.

In a nutshell, I am VERY GLAD that I bought this camera.

These are the accessories that I bought and am happy with:
1. Camera case: This case holds the camera, the usb cable and the spare battery. It has a shoulder strap and belt loop. It is available in black, red and blue.
Lowepro Ridge 30 Camera Case (Arctic Blue)

2. Spare battery: You do need a spare battery or external battery especially if you are shooting video. This one works well and it includes a charger.
SLB-10A Battery + Charger for Samsung SL202 SL420 SL620

Video battery test:
It seemed that videoing used up the battery fairly fast so I ran a test to see exactly how long did the battery last with video. These are the test conditions. I zoomed the camera in on a television show so that there was constant movement on the screen. The room had subdued lighting so if the camera screen brightness varied by ambient light the screen would be at the lowest brightness.

The battery indicator has four levels: Three segments and then a red outline when the three segments are gone. I used the Full HD video setting, GPS and continuous autofocus were on. You can only video for a maximum of 20 minutes per video. At the top of the screen is a counter and bar that lets you know how many minutes and seconds you are into the 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes the video will shut off and PROCESSING will come on the screen. The PROCESSING screen lasts for three seconds and then you can press RECORD again to start another video segment. This means that for a one hour video you would have at least two 3 second gaps in the hour.

Battery meter results: 0-34 minutes = 3 bars, 35 minutes = 2 bars, 41 minutes = 1 bar, 64 minutes = red outline, 83 minutes = shut off

20 minutes of Full HD video varied between 2.9 to 3.0GB of space.

You can get 83 minutes of video out of single battery charge. This is a battery that was freshly charged so this is as good as it gets but 83 minutes was not bad.

The battery meter however isn't very uniform. Three bars were indicated for the first 35 minutes, two bars for the next seven minutes, one bar for 24 minutes and red for 20 minutes. A percentage or time remaining indicator would be far better.

Five point update after one month of ownership:
#1 (Con) - If you need to transfer a large amount of movies or pictures from the camera, take the SD Card out and put it directly into your SD slot on your computer. The transfer rate via the camera connect via USB with a Class 10 card is roughly 3.5MB/s. When I took the card out and put it directly into the computer the transfer rate was 18MB/s or over five times faster. This makes a big difference especially when transferring video.

#2 (Con) - Take the battery out of the camera when you are not using it. There is a defect in the camera that causes the battery to go from full to dead in two days with the camera off. From reading the forums, Samsung is aware of the problem and their tech support tells you to take the battery out when not using it. Of course that's not acceptable but there is no other choice for now if you want a working battery after two days. I updated the firmware and it still goes dead in two to four days with the camera off. The only solution is to take the battery out when storing the camera for any length of time. Hopefully this will be fixed with another firmware update.

Note: This problem has been fixed in the June 7, 2012 F205256 firmware update. I kept the battery in the camera for four days and it is still registering full. If your camera was manufactured in mid June or later then you won't have this problem. I have detailed the firmware update procedure at the end of this review. It is a good idea to check if your camera has newer firmware available so follow the procedure at the end.

#3 (Con) - Camera operation with USB charging with some external batteries does not work nor does it work with the 2amp USB port of my external battery. My external battery has two USB ports, a 0.5 amp port and a 2 amp port. The camera will operate fine and change from the battery level icon to DC when plugged into the 0.5 amp port. When connected to the 2 amp port it says "Connecting Computer" and you CANNOT operate the camera while connected. It charges the battery but you CANNOT operate the camera. Some other external batteries also won't let you operate the camera while connected so some external batteries will let you operate the camera while charging and some won't. It depends upon the USB port power and/or connection configuration. Perhaps Samsung will correct this also in a future firmware update and allow you to select Connect Computer or Operate Camera.

#4 (Pro)- The good news. I needed to video an event and had an employee with my T3i there to video it. The T3i video was darker in the ambient room lighting. I pulled out the WB850. Fortunately I had it with me because I keep it in my notebook bag which is easy to do since it is small. The battery was dead (forgot to take it out) but I had a spare one and the external battery.

The difference in the lighting between the T3i and the WB850 was noticeable and you could see the difference. This ONE feature of MUCH better low light performance makes a big difference. Picture taking has the same difference. I have rarely needed a flash with the WB850 and pictures come out with very little grain. Most of the time I prefer the no flash picture over the flash picture with the WB850 in low light situations. With other cameras using a flash in those situations is mandatory.

#5 (Con) - I also did a direct comparison of the zooms. The Tamron 18-270 lens that I have on the T3i has MORE zoom than the WB850. Even though the specs say 23-483mm the zoom equivalent it is still not as powerful in terms of bringing a subject up close as the Tamron 270. I would estimate the WB850 zoom is equivalent to a 240mm zoom compared to the Tamron 270mm but not a 483mm as claimed so it's half. I'm not sure how they figure the equivalent zoom for these cameras but in practical use it is simply not that strong compared to a standard DSLR attachable lens so the mm equivalents are NOT directly comparable. It is still a great zoom but it is NOT nearly double a standard 270mm.

I still must rate the WB850 five stars even with the drawbacks simply because there is still nothing that beats it in that size range. I still would not buy anything else, substitute it for any of my current or former cameras nor am I even remotely considering returning the camera.

Still a great camera!

Read the text below only if you have purchased the camera and need to update the firmware.

These are the instructions to update the firmware. It is a little twisty because camera firmware does not update fully by itself with the Samsung photo program Intelli-studio like camcorders do. You will have to follow a few extra steps that are not immediately obvious. Firmware update number 205256 fixes the battery drain issue so make sure that you have this update or newer (higher number) on your camera. When you perform the update procedure below it will tell you if you have the latest firmware.

Make sure that you have a fully charged camera battery and at least 200MB of free space on your camera SD card. That's 200MB not GB. It takes 1,000MB to make one GB so if you have a multi GB card you should have at least 200MB free.

1. Install Intelli-studio on your computer from the disk included with your camera. Start Intelli-studio and click "Web Support" on the upper toolbar then click "Upgrade Intelli-studio" to upgrade Intelli-studio to the latest version. If you don't upgrade Intelli-studio the firmware update may not work. All of this is free so don't worry about cost.

2. After Intelli-studio is updated, connect the camera to your computer, turn the camera on and start Intelli-studio then click "Web Support" then "Upgrade firmware for the connected device"

3. Follow the screen prompts and wait until the firmware is downloaded to your camera.

4. Once Intelli-studio tells you the firmware has been downloaded disconnect the camera from the computer and turn off the camera.

5. Turn the camera on again. The camera will recognize that new firmware is available and put a notice on the screen. It will ask you to press the shutter button to upgrade the firmware. Press the shutter button. Wait until the camera turns off by itself.

6. Turn on the camera again. The camera will again place a prompt on the screen about a GPS update if a GPS update is available. Follow the prompts. Once the camera turns off by itself turn it on again and the firmware updates should be complete.

If your camera was manufactured after June 7, 2012 then it will have the firmware that fixes the battery drain issue but it's a good policy to check for new firmware when you get your camera.
4444 comments|222 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 26, 2012
I am not a photographer, but I like to travel and play with my camera taking creative photos. This camera has not disappointed.

On the positive side it takes very clear pictures, and is easy to use in the smart mode. I have had the camera for a week now and have used it at my son's college graduation and a trip to Disneyland. The zoom was amazing at graduation. I was able to get sharp photos from a long distance some if which were in low light.

It also excels in low light. Both at the graduation and Disneyland I was amazed at the pictures I took that required no flash. I really prefer natural light to flash enhanced pictures. I took many indoor pictures and never used or needed the flash. When I did need the flash I appreciate that it is popped up manually. Once it is popped up you can set it on automatic. I have read several reviews of other cameras where people were frustrated that the flash placement was inconvenient and it often did not work because it popped up under their hand automatically.

The camera has a lot of features and automatic settings. The panorama setting is great. You push the button and sweep the camera across your subject matter. The panorama photos were easy and fun. I also took photos of my son surfing using the rapid fire shutter. The pictures required a fair amount of zoom, but were still sharp. There are a lot of other specialty settings and you have more manual controls than I know how to use. I had a lot of fun playing with the different settings and seeing the results.

The only criticisms I have may be a function of my ignorance, but more time with the camera will reveal whether that is the case. When I first got it I played with so many of the settings that the battery life was not as long as I would have liked. The more familiar I became with the camera the better the battery life, but I did end up buying a spare battery and charger. The camera should have come with an external charger, but it does not.

When using the smart setting, I have not been able to figure out how to set the flash so that it is always on. Sometimes in low light I wanted to use a fill flash because the subject matter was dark relative to the surrounding light. You can set it for flash, but the camera has to be in program mode and it was cumbersome to set it always on. I don't have time to play with adjustments in many cases and I think that the smart mode could be better with regards to the flash. This criticism however may be more operator error. I will learn more and post an update.

I have not played with either the GPS or the wireless functions yet. I will get to it, but I want to learn the camera first and take the best pictures. I did not buy this camera for it's wireless functions. It was an added bonus.

I know this is not a technical review, but rather a review by a novice who likes to have fun. Overall I am thrilled with this camera. The more I use it the more I love it. My family has also been impressed with the quality of the pictures. I am excited about learning how to use all of the features of this great point and shoot.

May 29th Added Note: Big Problem

The battery seems to drain when the camera is turned off. I fully charged the battery and then did not touch it for two days. When I tried to use the camera the battery was completely dead. I will leave my star rating until I get some answers from tech support. I hope it is a faulty battery, but I am suspect that is not the case. I checked a Samsung Forum and others are having a similar problem. At least one person tried another battery and it also drained.

July 6th Update

I have hopefully fixed the battery drain issue by updating the firmware. Unfortunately that led to other complications that took me another two hours to fix. I have spent way too much time just trying to get this camera to function normally. The tech support was terrible and rude. The only reason I was able to find a solution to my problem was by going on forums and reading the post of the previous reviewer. His review is very accurate and whereas he left his rating at 5 stars I changed my rating because I don't think I should have to spend that much time trying to get a camera to operate at the most basic level. I do like the quality of the photos and I like the zoom feature. I just hope I don't have any more problems, but if I do I have zero confidence in Samsung's support.

February 2013 Update
This camera has continued to disappoint. I am now having problems with the lens getting stuck. It happens sporadically and is difficult to determine when and why it will occur. I continue to consider Samsung the worst customer service I have ever experienced. I will NEVER buy another Samsung product. This camera is useless.
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on June 6, 2012
In addition to a lot of videos about this camera on Youtube, I am simply amazed at what this camera does right out of the box, so easy to use and this Amazon bundle package is a pretty good deal-

The picture quality is outstanding and the "zoom" phenominal!

And yes, when connected to WiFi- there are a number of ways you can email or send your photos or videos to friends, your PC, Facebook etc and even your Smartphone.

I have installed the free App from the Android Market "Microsoft Sky Drive" on my Smartphone (Samsung Epic 4G) and set up the free account and this allows you to sync not only your photos, (from the camera) but documents as well to your Smartphone and PC simultaneosly.....wow!
(and it is so user friendly!)

The only cons I could possibly think of with this camera-
1. Dropping it....(would be devastating....buy a padded case to protect it)
and
2. It is a little pricey, but you get what you pay for....and this product in my opinion is well worth it!

Quite an amazing bit of technology--5 Stars no question.
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on December 8, 2012
I bought this camera for a couple of reasons:
1. Wi-Fi
2. Ability to take photos while capturing 1080 video.
3. Big Zoom

Yes, it does have Wi-Fi, but I find that I use my iPhone more than the camera to upload point and shoot photos - so this was a waste of $ for me.
Take great video and the photo are "okay" when you are capturing them during a shoot. So kudos on this.
Yep, has a big zoom, but I've discovered that if you zoom too far the photos are blurry.

My biggest gripe - the battery life. I've turned everything off and it doesn't last more than a couple of days. It's very disappointing.
2nd biggest gripe: Night shots. You can't see the subjects you are taking a photo of - so, you press the button and hope the shot is good.
More night shot gripes: It takes forever for the camera to take the photo. So, half of the time you miss the shot. Very frustrating!!!

Photos - in light are great! That is the ONLY thing I like about this camera.

Am going to sell this camera and replace it for something better.

I would not buy it again or recommend it.
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on December 4, 2012
The product description for this camera on Amazon really does not do this camera justice at all. I really like this camera. I bought it just a few weeks ago to take on a trip to China. I was already taking along my Canon G12 but I also wanted a compact camera with a really long zoom. Before the trip, I tested both cameras at home and found the Samsung to take quality pics compared to the G12. The G12 noticeably better low light pics (without flash) but the Samsung often took better pics in regular light. The G12's flash is also very strong and tended to wash out subjects while the Samsung did not. Also, because the Samsung's 21x zoom is so much greater than the G12's 5x, I was able to capture many more pics from a distance. And that's really a key point.

I also really liked the micro USB charging, because it was 1 less dedicated charger than I had to lug on the trip. Pics on the 3" OLED screen are bright and gorgeous. The camera is not a small compact but it could comfortably fit in the front pocket of my jeans.

I didn't use the GPS functionality during the trip to save battery life and didn't have time to install the software anyway. I toyed with the wifi functionality briefly before the trip and liked it but didn't use it during the trip. The sweep panorama mode was also very useful. The G12 does not have this sweep panorama feature. However, I do really like the Miniature Mode, Color Swap and Color Accent features on the G12. During the trip, I used the Samsung about 90% of the time and the G12 about 10%. The bottom line is that the camera that was in my pocket and readily available, and could zoom in to distant subjects was the camera that got used the most.

The only reason that I don't give this 5 stars is that the shutter speed is a bit slower than the G12. However, I got this camera at the local French Fries at a HUGE discount, well under $200, and was well worth it. The fact that it got so much more use during an overseas trip than the $500 G12 is a testament to how much I liked it.
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on November 18, 2012
Frimware was suppose to be updated as of June but I got mine in Oct and it was not. Battery life goes dead in one day if left in camera with out update and it will not connect wifi to anything without it. Took 4 hours on phone with 3 tech to update it. Images are blurry if subject is moving at all.
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on November 30, 2012
Bought this at a warehouse store, first you have to install the software to update firmware and load maps for GPS. You can only use Wndows based computer to this. Mac OS is not supported to load this although you can transfer pics to your Mac PC. It took 290 pics with flash on some pics on a full charge plus 2 minutes video. The GPS n wifi works fine and easy to setup. You have to turn off the GPS to conserve battery life. This is just day 1, will try to use video for 20 minutes continues and see what happens on a full charge. I'm using a class 6 8gb Pony. Just ordered 32gb Sandusky class10 from Amazon. The best part if you have a Samsung smart tv, you can view your pics through Wfi. Will update again on this review soon
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on October 9, 2012
I love to take pictures as a hobby so I wanted to find an easy to use but take great pictures camera. This camera does exactly what I wanted. After I update with the firmware, my battery lasted so much longer than before. I use the smart mode the whole time and use the zoom a lot. It takes great pictures really quick so I snap and snap and snap like those paparazzi snapping pictures at whomever they were chasing. I've loaded some shots while on the road so you guys can see.

Haven't used the Wifi, GPS or panorama mode yet so I can't comment. But this is an excellent camera for amateurs and beginners like me.
review image review image review image
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on November 9, 2012
Nice solid, campact & powerful pocket camera. With 21X optical zoom and and 16MP it takes great outdoor pics. Lots of nice editing features, and with WIFI pics can be uploaded to social media or emailed easily and directly from camera. The remote shutter feature is nice, for including yourself in a group shot, or getting wildlife pics upclose and personal. Entering text is a bit combersome but doable. This camera would be even better with a touch screen like my Samsung Galaxy III which I also use for lots of spur of the moment shots. Indoor action pics with limited light are difficult, unless close enough for the flash option. This camera is worth the money. I look forward to the updated version with a touchscreen.
11 comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 19, 2012
The pictures were very clear and clean. The flash seems to be pretty powerful for a small camera. The flash photos had a blue tint to them though, that I had to correct in post processing.

Those are the good. Here's what I didn't like. The included documentation is very poorly written/translated. The flash takes an unusually long time to recycle. When you first pop up the flash it won't charge up. It charges up the first time you click the shutter release after popping up the flash, so it won't take the first picture right away after popping up the flash. Also, it refuses to take a photo randomly. When the shutter release is clicked, it won't focus. It just shows a white square and does nothing. I don't understand why it does that.

I was willing to live with all that since I got a great deal on the camera, but a couple days after using the camera the lens cover started opening up half way or sticking and then opening. It was random, but it was failing to open up most of the time. I returned it, and didn't get a replacement. The picture quality was good, but the rest of camera didn't seem to have quality and thought put into it.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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