on April 3, 2013
I must say instead of purchasing from Amazon I couldn't wait and tested out cameras in Best Buy and was completely sold on this camera and paid $20 more +tax. It feels a little on the cheap side? Maybe just because it's light weight which I do like. It was very easy to connect to security enabled wi-fi and send pictures to facebook and email. Some things I believe require you to connect to a computer. The camera is very intuitive and hints automatically pop up on the screen to further explain what a feature can help you with. I have not picked up the manual yet. As another reviewer said the flash is odd but works very well. I think the way the flash is lends me to lean toward that cheap feeling because it seems as though it could be broken easily the way it is attached. However, the camera detects if you open it and then will allow for auto flash when open or flash off if it's closed.
I wondered how point and shoot cameras were going to keep up and this camera is an excellent example. This camera is by far better than any cell phone just with the wide angle and zoom capabilities. With the added sharing, touch screen, and intuitiveness that is integrated it makes it an very neat relatively compact device. It's not as compact as some but way smaller than the larger zoom cameras and is a great compromise.
I have seen a couple cameras with gps and I know one was powered by android. Nice features but I did not see the benefit of having a lot of those features on my camera when I have them on my phone? Also, the price of that camera was significantly more.
Also something to note. This camera actually has a low light sensor that compensates for the light level versus detecting the light level and adjusting the shutter speed. When your shutter speed is slower to allow more light in this gives you more time to move the camera and means image stabilization has more to process. In other words it doesn't work very well. The samsung has a quick shutter speed in low light situations and does a nice job of compensating for the light therefore also making your pictures clearer and brighter. This is from my experience and the BB rep gave me a demonstration of it when I had narrowed my choices between a canon elph with wifi and the samsung.
on July 1, 2013
I was planning on purchasing this camera from amazon, but ended up with a good deal on an open box at Best Buy. I've tested the camera out and have to say for what I bought it for it looks excellent.
This was my main consideration when buying a new camera. I have to say that the camera does not disappoint me at all. I've taken indoor low light pics, as well as outdoor pictures of my dogs running around at full speed with only the automatic settings, and the pictures have all come out better than expected. Action shots are frozen and crisp, and close up portraits are significantly better than I expected, not $1200 DLSR quality, but for a sub $200 point and shoot, WAY better than expected - I doubt the average person could tell the difference. The portraits show clear subject, no distortion, excellent color and shallow depth of field just like a DLSR and all on auto settings.
Video quality is good, the 1080p video looks decent - the image stabilization is good but not great. The main drawback is that there is a very noticeable noise picked up by the microphone when zooming. - again for a cheap point and click to use for occasional video the quality is good. To use as a primary video camera and create your next masterpiece, not so good.
One nice thing about video is that you can just press the red video button on the back of the camera to begin recording. You don't have to find a special setting etc... so it's very quick and easy to go into video mode. The other nice thing is that while videoing you can still take pictures with no effect on the video.
The photo features are what you would expect for a camera in this range. It does also have on camera editing, for cropping, "Instagram Like" effects can be carried out in the camera etc...
One very nice feature is the touch screen. I have a Galaxy Note 2 and really like the feature of touching the spot on the screen that I want focused on in camera mode. This camera has the same feature. So if the camera is focusing on something in the foreground or background, you just touch on the subject on your screen and the camera changes focus to the right spot.
Wireless / Remote connection to phone
This is truly the best part of the camera. It has built in wireless connectivity, so you can e-mail photos, upload to facebook, picasa, upload videos to youtube, etc... directly from the camera. No more waiting until you get home and connecting to your computer to do something with the pictures.
The coolest part of this functionality is the connection to your smartphone. Download the samsung app, and you can use your smartphone as the viewfinder and take pictures without using a timer, or touching the camera. This is great for taking pictures of yourself with your kids.. seriously, I have hundreds of pictures of my kids and I am not in any of them because I'm always taking the pictures, I think this will change that.
It also can be used to download pictures from your camera right to your phone so any pics taken on the camera appear in your phone's gallery in seconds. That means you can e-mail, text message, facebook etc... from your phone just like you are used to. I LOVE this!!!
Build quality could be better, but what do you expect at the price point? The only thing I really wish it had that it doesn't and I'm a little disappointed in is the tripod threading is all plastic, instead of metal. I'm worried that using on a tripod will damage the threads and not be able to use a tripod again. I'm also leery of tightening the tripod too firmly because of this.
I was considering buying the Galaxy Camera - but at double the price, I get the similar image quality, it appears to be running android internally although I can't play angry birds on my camera - which for me was not a huge selling point anyways... So considering the price difference, this seemed to be a much better deal for the same basic photo, video, wireless features. It is a very pocketable size, the photo quality is excellent - way better than I expected, and automatically downloading pictures to my phone - and computer wirelessly are exactly what I wanted.
I am happy with the camera so far, but gave it 4 stars because of the following:
- Tripod threads plastic not metal
- Zoom noise during video recording.
- Remote viewfinder app is amazing, but I wish it gave full control over the camera - changing scene modes, burst shots, etc... The feature is great, but could use a little polish.
on April 5, 2013
I carry a compact camera in my pocket quite often and generally prefer the older models with CCD sensors over the glitzy newer models with their 1/2.5 inch CMOS sensors. For the past 2-3 years, I've looked to upgrade for the wider 24-25 mm lenses and the 12-20x zooms on newer cameras, and had hoped that at least one manufacturer would put in a rotating LCD screen (or even a viewfinder, for those glaring sunny days) in a compact pocketable camera. I am not a pixel-peeper and I try to avoid post-processing on the computer. I do not expect to print any larger than 8x10 inch, so I have reasonable expectations from a compact travel camera. Hopefully, that gives you an idea about my perspective on photography with a point-and-shoot compact.
I'll touch on some points below, having already posted some thoughts in replies to other reviews here and on the older WB150F model's pages. Your opinions might obviously vary from mine, but please TEST the camera before you question/comment :-)
With the WB250F, image quality is quite good. I've used the P (program) mode, the Auto and the Scene modes. I'm planning to post pics on Google+ using the hashtag #POAB and maybe even a comparison with the Sony HX10V and my older workhorse compact, the Samsung v70 (1/1.8 inch CCD sensor).
For indoor use, I set ISO to 200. The flash power was adequate and image quality was good, too.
The ability to change settings using the physical buttons, the touchscreen or a combination of both definitely makes this WB250F camera fun to use - and it's often faster than scrolling though menus.
The placement of the pop-up flash, closer to the middle of the body is much more ergonomic than many other cameras. Unlike the Sony and Canon travel zoom models in/above this price range, you can grip the camera quite nicely with BOTH hands and not have to worry about having a finger over the flash. You have to press a button to pop the flash up. I'm sure users' feelings are mixed about having to manually pop the flash.
I'll agree with C. Bruce that the WB250F does pretty well in low light mode: it takes a short burst of pics in low light, then flattens them into a single image with fairly good detail. In my experiments, the ISO climbed to 1280 but the image remained usable. Some cameras like the Sony HX10V might easily climb to ISO 3200 in low light mode, but the pics become noisy.
This WB250F camera has a "Rich Tones" mode that uses HDR. In my tests, mostly on dawn and sunset skies, the HDR result seemed a lot more "real" as compared to the red-shifted "watercolor painting" that I got from a Sony in HDR mode. I like a vivid pic as much as anyone else, but the Sony's HDR went overboard and seemed too fake to me (I prefer "real" over overprocessed photos designed to elicit "oohs" and "aahs").
Macros come out fine. Colors are pleasing, and without over-saturation.
You can adjust sharpness and contrast via the menu.
Video quality at 720p, MP4 settings seemed good to my eyes, but I haven't tested extensively. The dedicated video button is located close to the raised thumbgrip. Zooming during video is possible, but you risk "focus hunting" even if you zoom as slowly as possible.
In playback mode, the touchscreen allows swiping to move back or forth. Not a huge thing, but an obvious touch (pun intended) coming from Samsung's giant footprint in smartphones. Toggling the "display" button (the top of the four-way controller) quickly shows a histogram and the exposure, etc data. One major frustration in playback mode is that the lower ~1/8th of the screen in playback mode gets partly obscured by a panel containing two "soft" buttons. So, unless you patiently wait a few seconds, you cannot see the entire photo in playback. Utterly irresponsible of the Samsung designers. Rather, incomprehensible, given how many other things have been nicely thought through and implemented in the touchscreen user interface.
The WB250F's 18x optical zoom is snappy but poorly implemented: it doesn't zoom in reasonably smooth increments. I wonder if the zoom is too fast by intention, or is the zoom lever too sensitive? The initial optical zoom between 1x - approx 5x is fine. However, after 7.8x, it jumps to about 12x, then about 15x, finally 18x. With the jerky zoom, I find it hard to frame a pic at just the right zoom for the scene. Also, the camera often hunts for focus, even when set to center focus. I've played with Program, Manual, Auto and the zoom issue persists. The zoom only gets smoother once in *digital* zoom at 19x and above (but pic quality will suffer if using digital zoom).
Focus hunting is fairly common with this camera. This happens sometimes even with good light when focusing on objects without sharp lines, e.g. clouds. Knowing that multi-point focus is more work for the camera, I keep it set to center-weighted focus. So, I'll lock in focus on a distant tree, then point the camera at the cloud. In some (but not all) cases, the camera focuses faster when set to "action shot" using the S mode on the selector dial. Focusing needs improvement - hope Samsung is listening.
If anyone else here can comment on their camera's optical zoom and its smoothness on the WB250F, I'd appreciate it. Not sure if Samsung can make the zoom smoother with a firmware update, but I'd love the camera if it had a decent usable range in optical zoom and faster focusing.
on July 25, 2013
I have been doing amateur photography for over 20 years. Yes I have that big Nikon Digital SLR with fancy lenses, and yes it takes the best pictures, plus more creative work. BUT, the Samsung WB250 is really shines. I did not want to take my big camera to Disney World, so I took this one instead. WHAT FANTASTIC PICTURES.
Picture Quality - Excellent for Point and SHoot
Zoom - excellent resolutions and clarity
ISO - Very Good except at higher speeds but that is expected
Speed - Excellent - no lag between shutter and recording
Video - Very Good
Cons: Some of the programs such as fireworks, sunset are ok, but not great. Fireworks setting is less than average
For Size and Funcationality is well worht this very low price especially in this digitial age. (It is several steps ove your cell camera and maybe 1 or 2 down from a Digital SLR).
Recommendation: Learn to take good pictures. Then in your hands a camera will be awesome.
on November 19, 2013
The camera is OK and has lots of features. Its also fairly easy to use in a getting started mode, without reading too much of the manual. But be sure to download the full manual. It is really annoying that manufacturers don't want to spend the few bucks to include a decent printed manual for basic use.
There is a serious flaw however if you are buying this camera for its WIFI features. The Samsung remote shutter AP does not work with the Samsung Note 3. When the Camera tries to mate with the Note 3 and this Samsung AP, the Note 3 tries to find an internet connection. The Note 3 then says: "Checking quality of internet connection" waits a bit, and then says: " Network disabled because internet is slow."
I have searched the web and find that others have mentioned the same thing. Apparently there does not seem to be a way to tell the Note 3 that on a WIFI connection to this camera that it should only run peer to peer with the camera, and forget the internet.
I have been able to get the camera to mate with my home WIFI network and email a picture. This seems to work, although the picture file size was compressed in the process.
I have not been able to use the WIFI auto-backup function, since this has a bug as well that causes timeout. It shows up as a connection quality issue on the camera and PC, even when they are close to each other. I suspect its similar to the one above. i will have to research more.
I have spent a couple of hours already on the chatline with Samsung, and find that they do not understand these issues well. I finally gave up with them, and learned more on the web.
My virus detector also noted a virus threat in the Samsung PC launcher software, although it seems to work OK. The Samsung launcher did successfully update the firmware in the new camera.
Overall, the WB250F appears to be a decent replacement for my dead Cannon Elph. BUT DONT BUY IT FOR ITS WIFI. Researching WIFI fixes and patches is not what I had in mind when I made this camera purchase decision.
My background: Electrical Engineer
The problem with the SAMSUNG remote viewfinder using the SAMSUNG NOTE 3 and the SAMSUNG WB250f seems to be widespread. I went to the XDA developers forum and found a good discussion of it using the Search: "WiFi problems: "Network disabled because Internet connection is slow". Some people say to uncheck the "always allow scanning" box on the Note 3 WIFI advanced page. In my case,that was already unchecked. BUT when I unchecked the "Auto network switch" box on that same page, the WB250f started to mate properly with the Note 3, and the remote viewfinder worked. Be sure to recheck it when through, if you want to have a data connection away from a WIFI network. P.S. My note 3 is Verizon.
Many Thanks to XDA Developers Forum!!!
SAMSUNG tech support and chat could save many frustrating hours of their and customer time if they learned about this.
on April 7, 2014
I bought the Samsung WB 250 F camera after returning a Canon ELPH 330 HS, when I couldn't get its Wi-Fi to work.
To some extent this review will compare the two cameras.
I wanted a camera that had a number of features:
1. It could fit easily in my pocket.
2. It had Wi-Fi so that I could email and upload my pictures from the camera. to web storage.
3. I wanted a good zoom.
4. It had useful features.
5. It took good pictures.
Points of comparison:
2. Less than one minute after I had put the battery in the Samsung WB 250 F, I took a picture, pushed the Wi-Fi button, found my home network, entered my WEP number, my email address, and saw the email on my computer with the photo.
What a simple pleasure. That alone sells the Samsung over any other compact camera.
1. The Samsung is a little larger, and heavier, but it still fits easily in my pocket. One advantage of the slight increase in thickness is the handy hand-grip on the right side of the Samsung. The Canon was so slight and smooth that it could easily slide out of your hand. Of course for any of these small cameras, never use them without the wristband.
3. The Samsung has a larger zoom, but seems to go in steps rather than smoothly, as does the Canon.
I can live with this feature of the Samsung, because the 18 zoom is impressive. It is hard to hold the camera steady at this zoom, so I will be getting a tripod.
4. Now that I have tried both cameras I find the Samsung more user-friendly, although using advanced features on either camera requires careful use of the user's manual. It is important to me that the Samsung has aperture and shutter priority, which the Canon, for some reason, lacked. Each camera has some features that the other one lacks, but the aperture and shutter priority are the most important for me.
5. I had not originally chosen the Samsung WB 250 because several professional reviews had said that it's photographs were not too good, especially compared to the Canon 330. But I am happy enough with what I see, even on a computer screen, with my Samsung. I think the professional reviewers, to their credit, use all kinds of sophisticated software to find technical imperfections in the camera's pictures that I can't see. I do not expect that I will want large professional posters, so I am satisfied with what I have seen.
Whatever camera you buy, you have to do a number of things before starting.
1. Order an SDHC memory card in the same order as your camera. I bought a Sony SDHC 15 GB class 10 card for about $15 from Amazon.
2. Download the manual from the camera website, and start getting acquainted with the camera.
3. Make sure the battery is charged before starting with the camera.
4. Format the memory card. It is a little hard to find out to do this in the user's manual.
5. Make sure you save all the original wrappings in case you have to return the camera.
Good luck with whatever camera you buy. One good point is that it is so easy to work with Amazon.
on September 19, 2013
I am so far very pleased with the camera. I am enclosing a few facts that may not be clear from the specification.
() The weight of the camera (including the battery and a memory card) is 7.3 ounces.
() The size of still-image files (jpeg) is between 4MB and 5MB.
() The camera needs a reasonably modern memory card. If you have an older card (say, Class 2), it may be too slow, especially if you are planning to make movies.
() The flash has a manual pop-up button, and then needs to be manually "folded" back into the camera, which a minor inconvenience. The camera does not pop it automatically.
on July 7, 2013
I've had this camera for about 3 months now and have used it on a regular basis. First off, this is not my one and only camera but an EDC- everyday carry. I purchased this camera as a compact camera that I can fit in my bag and take everywhere, everyday. I previously owned the WB150f, and I was very pleased with its performance. As I stated in that review, if you are looking to purchase a camera with spectacular IQ akin to DSLRs or even IQ on par with high end compact cameras, this camera is not for you. However, if you're looking for a camera that takes pretty good pictures, has the convenience of WiFi to upload quickly to FB to share your photos with your friends/family, has the capacity to quickly transfer photos between your camera and your smartphone and has a great optical zoom range, you might want to consider this camera.
When I was trying to decide what compact camera to buy this year, I brought my choices down to: 1) WB250f 2) Canon Powershot SX280 hs and 3) Samsung Galaxy Camera. The Canon was tempting because admittedly, it probably has better IQ than either of the Samsung cameras. However, it lacked the touchscreen that WB250f has, and I know that inputing passwords and email info on a non-touchscreen was too much of a hassle for me. Truthfully, the Samsung Galaxy Camera was my number one choice. It has full Android on board with 3G/4G service. It has everything that the WB250f has plus more. BUT, it came with a bigger price tag on what is essentially last year's technology. The Galaxy Camera is basically a WB850f merged with a Galaxy S3 smartphone minus the call feature. After much thought, I decided to get the WB250f since the price was cheaper, and I couldn't justify paying the early adopter tax for last year's technology. The CPU and RAM is better on my Galaxy Note 2. The screen is bigger on my Note 2 than the Galaxy Camera. Considering how easy it is to connect my Note 2 to my WB250f, I am pleased that I made the right choice for me.
Since there are quite a few detailed reviews of the WB250f on tech/photo sites, I'll just touch on things that I noticed while using this camera for the last 3 months.
Great IQ comes with a price tag. The IQ, for the price of this camera is absolutely fine with me. Sure, if this was a high end compact camera or a DLSR lens, I would've been disappointed. But for a sub-$200 compact, I have no complaints. The photos are sharp enough, and if you want it sharper, there is an option to increase the sharpness under image adjust. There are many options to increase the vividness of the color- you could select the Vivid option in smart mode or even set the contrast and saturation higher in image adjust. Low light performance is great for its size. High ISO tends to be grainy but I think it is usable up to ISO800. Also, the low light option under smart mode does a pretty good job although some images might appear soft depending on how dark the environment is.
I love the optical zoom! To have this much optical zoom in a camera this tiny is very useful for me especially when I am hiking and run into wildlife. As someone else mentioned, the zoom is not smooth so micro adjustments are hard to make. It's not a deal breaker for me- I can live with it.
The WB250f hunts for focus at full zoom in darker environment or at very close macro. Since I usually use ASM mode most of the time, I just set the focus manually.
I don't use automatic mode so I can't comment on the effectiveness of that. I really enjoy using the ASM mode or the Smart mode depending on the situation, and I have been pleased with the results. I also use the tilt-shift filter here and there for fun. Also, this camera takes gif so I've had lots of fun making them straight from the camera.
I have had no issues connecting my phone to the camera using the Samsung Smart Camera App. File transfers are quick, and the remote viewfinder works great. I have also connected the camera with my iPad without any problems. The camera connects seamlessly to my Netgear router, and I have had no issues uploading my photos directly to FB.
The WB250f is a great, fun camera if you purchase it knowing its limitations. It will never give you DSLR-like nor high end compact camera IQ. If IQ is the single most important factor for you, then it's probably better to spend a little more money and buy a different camera. If you're just looking for a compact camera that is fun to use, has connectivity features and produces good photos then you might want to give this camera a go. Since pictures speak a thousand words, you might want to do a search on Flickr for the camera and see what everyday users have uploaded.
on January 10, 2014
Update 12/10/15: There's a bug in the firmware for this camera that causes the display to continually flip between modes for a short time right after the camera is turned on. After flipping for a while, it will return to the correct mode, but you have to wait for the flipping to stop before you can take a picture, which is painful. It doesn't happen every single time you turn the camera on, but it happens often enough to be annoying. I've updated the firmware on the camera a couple times, but that hasn't fixed the problem. If it weren't for this bug, this camera would be decent enough to use. But since Samsung can't seem to fix this bug, I wouldn't recommend purchasing this camera.
I bought this camera in Gun Metal for my parents. It's a nice looking camera with a lot of features, but I mainly bought it for its ability to email pictures directly from the camera. In addition to their regular camera, my parents had been using their iPad on vacation to take pictures so that they could email them to show me. I always felt that it must be awkward holding a huge tablet like a camera while standing at the top of a scenic lookout point. I had visions of a strong gust of wind blowing their tablet over the edge of a cliff. So I started looking for something with the form factor of a regular camera that they could use instead. As long as it took decent pictures (not blurry, good colors) and functioned in a way they could understand, they could use it as their main camera.
- Assuming you're connected to a wifi network, emailing photos is pretty easy because it doesn't require setting up an email account beforehand, and there's no login required. You only need to enter your return email and the email to send to, and the photos are sent (up to 20 at a time) using Samsung's email servers. You can set up a default return email, and it remembers a number of recent "send to" emails that you can optionally choose from a list. If the photos are large, they're shrunken down to a manageable size for sending but are still a good quality for viewing.
- The hybrid touch screen makes it a little easier to choose options, since my parents always found it hard to use the more cryptic buttons on other cameras.
- It's easier for my parents to equate "flash on" with "popped up flash" and "flash off" with "no popped up flash". There are ways for customizing this setting, but I set it up this way for them. Now they don't need to call me to ask how to turn the flash on/off as they used to with their previous camera.
- The 18x optical zoom is powerful and will let you take pictures much closer than the naked eye can see.
- Pictures outdoors in bright light are nice and crisp.
- The camera is somewhat buggy. On two occasions, the camera would not turn on even though the battery was charged. Fix: Pop the battery in and out, and the camera turns on again.
- Sometimes the camera will not connect to a remembered wifi connection for some unknown reason. Fix: Forget the wifi connection, and set it up again by re-entering the password.
- Sometimes the camera will not connect to a remembered backup PC for wifi photo transfer. I hope this doesn't happen often because I don't know of a reliable, easy fix, and it will be painful talking my parents through it over the phone.
- It's harder to connect to a wifi network at a public location where you need to accept a login agreement. The camera shows you a small browser window, but the check boxes are often too small for fingers to press, and you need to use the physical buttons to navigate and press check boxes. This is harder because it once again requires the use of the more cryptic buttons.
- The 18x zoom only functions in certain large increments, so you don't get the full incremental range of zoom up to 18x. Also, at high levels of zoom, it takes a while for the camera to auto focus. The scene will be blurry for a couple seconds before it comes into focus.
- Pictures indoors with no flash or in low light are more blurry than other cameras. You need to hold the camera extremely still for a good chance at a non-blurry picture.
- The DIRECT LINK button is located in an area where the camera is commonly held (upper left corner), and thus can be easily pressed by mistake.
- The USB cable that comes with the camera is very short. I replaced it with a longer one to avoid the possibility of the camera being knocked off a table while charging.
This camera has some good features, but it has bugs that make it not as ready for primetime as it could be. Hopefully, future software updates will solve some problems. Note: My review only covers the more basic features that my parents use.
on June 6, 2013
I bought this camera for my trip to Hawaii, what a deal! the camera is light and small enough to fit into my purse. The buttons are big enough and very easy to use. The pixel and zoom on this camera is one of the best for the price! Only down side is the flash has to be opened before use manually by a simple button. Its not a big deal but annoying when your taking pictures and forget to open it. ...although once in the habit of doing so you forget and its not really such a pain. I also notice most newer cameras have this feature so all in all I would buy this camera again and definitely recommend it to friends and family. Again great price for a really well rounded camera!