The Samsung WB250F is a general purpose camera for the casual shooter. It produces average to good image quality. For those looking for a higher end compact point and shoot with better image quality, I would suggest the Samsung EX2F. However, those looking for a budget friendly model that will get two thumbs up from the kids, the WB250F might be the right option for you.
The camera powers up quickly and easily. I had no problems reaching for the camera and having it respond quickly when I wanted a fast snapshot. I generally left the camera in auto mode and it performed well in this mode. I found that the camera did a good job of choosing the appropriate shutter speed and aperture for each image. Accessing the manual modes was not difficult, but I rarely found myself trying to use these functions. The camera utilizes TTL (through-the-lens) autofocus and manual focus. While in TTL autofocus, several AF functions can be utilized including center AF, multi AF, tracking AF, face detection AF, and touch AF. The various types of autofocus responded quickly and without issues. The WB250F features a shutter speeds from 1/8 of a second to 1/2000 of a second. Depending on the environment, the camera will choose the correct shutter speed. Although the auto mode generally produced good results, low-light photography was one area that the camera was lacking. It would try to push the limits of hand held shutter speeds with lack luster results. Indoor images at low shutter speeds would result in blurred images. Obviously, this is a normal occurrence, but as point and shoot cameras get better in low light, people expect to be able to hand hold at lower shutter speeds. Just be aware that the WB250F is not a great performer in this category. In addition, the camera has an ISO range of 100-3200. This also contributes to the camera's sub-standard performance in low light. It simply does not have an ISO range that can support dark situations.
The flash was only OK. It tended to leave the subjects way too bright or not bright enough. I also experienced an edge blur effect on several of my flash images. I checked to make sure the slow sync was not activated. It was not, but this effect did result when I was in very low lighting.
The battery is charged in-camera through a micro-USB cable attached to a wall adapter. The battery, which is a Li ion rechargeable, allows users to take approximately 300 images before needed to be recharged.
The WB250F offers an 18x zoom lens with the equivalent of 24-432mm. This is a great zoom lens, especially when you realize how compact this camera is. If you choose, you can use the camera's Intelli-Zoom feature and get even closer to your subject. But beware, the camera's additional zoom feature does not yield the sharpest results. The lens has an aperture range of f/3.2-5.8. Although this lens cannot be considered a fast lens, it is quite average for a point and shoot camera in this price range. One of my complaints with the zoom lens is the sizeable lag that occurs when you start to zoom in or out. Even for a lower priced point and shoot, the lag is more than I expected.
Wi-Fi functionality works well. It easily connected to my iPhone after I downloaded the free Samsung Smart Camera app. Images quickly transferred to my phone without hesitation. My only gripe about the Wi-Fi is that when you are downloading images to your phone, Wi-Fi connection from your phone is inaccessible.
Image quality was average to good. I would easily place this up against other mid-range point and shoots. Clearly, this camera's images do not have the same clarity or color expected from a high end DSLR, but that also would not be a fair comparison. For this sized sensor, the camera image quality rendered as expected. The WB250F functioned well across all ISO ranges. The camera showed very little grain even at high ISOs. Overall, however, the higher the ISO, the softer the images became due to noise reduction software. The macro feature was nice, but also left images a bit too soft for my taste.
One of the best features of this camera was all of the fun in-camera effects. Especially appealing to the younger generation, these effects offer hours of enjoyment and laughs. The motion photo effect was a fan favorite in my house. The motion photo effect allowed us to take about 3-5 seconds worth of images. The camera would compile these images into one. We could choose which parts of the image we wanted to have motion by "erasing" that section of the image. The result would be a moving image that the camera saved as a GIF file. We spent way too much time playing with and laughing along with this feature! However, the end result was a memorable experience with my son. I could easily see purchasing this camera for my child. At this price point I would feel comfortable getting him this for Christmas or his birthday. And any camera that fosters a child's love of photography is a huge bonus for me.
In addition to the motion photo effect is a myriad of actions located in the Smart scene mode. These effects are equally as fun and allow for a variety of creative shooting techniques. Freeze action and magic plus effects are tops on my list, giving users the ability to edit and create specialty images with ease.
Generally, I would prefer to use this camera outside. But the bulk of my test shots were indoors due to inclement weather during the two weeks I had with this camera. I think the camera would have produced even better results if I could have used it more outdoors.
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