After announcing a new Compact System Camera just a few days ago, Samsung took the wraps off of seven new point-and-shoots, along with a pair of camcorders. Long zooms and Wi-Fi are the digicam specials of the day, and Samsung didn’t disappoint with five wireless-enabled cameras and a model with a 35x zoom. All new models will arrive by April. Of note is the opening price for a Wi-Fi-enabled Samsung camera, which has dropped to $129; last year it was $199.
Samsung’s entry into the ranks of mega-zooms is the new WB2100 with 35x optical zoom (shown above). This is certainly powerful, but there are many long zooms rated 40x, 42x, even 50x. This spec seems very 2010 by comparison, but at $329, it’s competitively priced. More in line with its 2013 competition is the fact it has a 16MP CMOS sensor and takes 1080p Full HD videos. The WB2100 has a Movie Zoom toggle built into the lens, a 3-inch tilt display, and is available in black, white, or red.
Wi-Fi Comes On Strong
The new WB800F SMART camera ($299) is a variation of the best-selling WB850F from 2012. It features built-in Wi-Fi and a new Direct Link button to connect to a network more quickly instead of having to dive through deep menus. A 3-inch touchscreen LCD also makes entering Wi-Fi passwords a lot easier. The WB800F has a new Hybrid Touch user interface, a 21x optical zoom, and a 16MP CMOS sensor. Full HD 1080p movie recording is a standard part of the package.
For $50 less, the WB250F SMART drops the resolution to 14MP while the lens is 18x – still pretty potent for a compact body. It has the Wi-Fi Direct Link button, Hybrid Touch UI, a 3-inch touch display, and grabs 1080p videos.
The WB30F SMART is even more affordable at $179 with a 10x optical zoom in a really thin body that’s only 0.65 inches thick. Focal range is 24-240mm, and it has a 3-inch LCD, Wi-Fi, Direct Link, and Full HD video recording. This one is available in black, white, plum, pink, or red.
The most affordable Wi-Fi camera of the bunch is the 16MP ST150F ($129). It has the Direct Link button, a 5x f/2.5 optical zoom, and a 3-inch LCD.
Samsung made quite a splash several years ago with its Dual View digicams featuring one screen on each side of the camera. The front screen makes taking self portraits much easier since you can actually see if your face is in the frame. Smartphones have eaten into the Dual View’s appeal, so there’s only one new model in this lineup, the 16MP DV150F for $149. To counterattack, the camera has Direct Link Wi-Fi connectivity and an f/2.5 5x optical zoom. The front screen is 1.5-inches while it’s 2.7 on the back.
The company also introduced a very basic point-and-shoot: the $119 ST72. It has 5x f/2.5 optical zoom, a 16-megapixel sensor, and 3-inch LCD.
Full-featured camcorders are also taking it on the chin, thanks to encroaching smartphones that make taking/sharing video clips as easy as a walk in the park. Nonetheless, Samsung announced two of them, also due before April. The Wi-Fi enabled QF30 is kind of cool since it offers live streaming over the UStream service. How well this works, we haven’t a clue, but as soon as we get our hands on one we’ll let you know. The QF30 has Samsung’s Switch Grip II technology so you can use either your left or right hand to hold it. The camcorder records 1080p/60i video, takes 5MP stills, and has a 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD.
The new F90 also takes 1080p/60i video, has a 52x optical zoom with a wide aperture of f/1.8, and a 2.7-inch LCD. Prices of the camcorders are to be announced.