Samsung introduced a new ultra-zoom P&S digicam, the WB2100, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. Ultrazooms are a relatively new class of digital cameras that feature exceptionally long zoom lenses, typically 30x to 50x. A digital camera with a zoom lens that can go from true wide-angle to super telephoto allows photographers to cover virtually the entire spectrum of outdoor photographic genres–from expansive landscape shots to tightly framed portraits. I’ve reviewed ultrazoom digital cameras from Nikon, Olympus, Samsung, Fuji, Panasonic, and Canon and all of them share similar shortcomings–slow maximum apertures (typically f3.5 or f4.0), very complex multi-element zoom formulas (which reduce contrast), noticeable barrel distortion (straight lines bow out from the center of the frame) at the wide-angle end of the zoom, increased purple fringing (chromatic aberration), more image noise than most other classes of digital cameras, and fuzzy/soft pictures at the telephoto end of those monster zooms. The WB2100 (with 35x zoom) is guilty on all counts, but Samsung digital cameras often provide better value/features/performance than their competition. That’s the case with WB2100, which doesn’t offer any truly compelling features lacking in its competitors, but is substantially cheaper than either Nikon’s new P520 (with 42x zoom) or the industry leading Canon SX50 HS (with 50x zoom). Based strictly on the Pinnochio factor (zoom range) the WB2100 comes in somewhere near the bottom of the ultrazoom pack, but deciding on which ultrazoom provides the best bang for your camera buying buck is not as simple as just buying the camera with the longest zoom. How does the WB2100 stack up against the competition? The camera sells for $328 at the time of this review.
- Neutral color quality-not oversaturated
- Fairly sharp telephoto images
- Cheaper than the competition
- No EVF
- Video start lag
- LCD is subject to above average glare
Quick TakeThe Samsung WB2100 is a good option for families and aspiring photographers, but the maximum aperture is not the fastest--especially indoors.
Read Our Full Review: Samsung WB2100 Review
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