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Samsung WB700 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £178
inc VAT

Comprehensive manual controls and a generous 18x zoom, but it can't compete for image quality or performance


1/2.33in 14.0-megapixel sensor, 18.0x zoom (24-432mm equivalent), 203g

The WB700 is an update to the Samsung WB600, an impressive compact ultra-zoom camera that undercut its competitors on price without compromising image quality.

Things have moved on a great deal since summer 2010. The WB600’s 15x optical zoom was the biggest ever to grace a compact-shaped camera. The WB700 has an 18x zoom, but that’s not so remarkable by today’s standards. Nikon got to 18x first with the excellent S9100 and the Olympus SZ-30MR recently smashed that record with its 24x zoom.

Samsung WB700 top

Samsung’s camera should be a little cheaper than its rivals, but with the Nikon S9100 currently available for £200, the minimal difference is unlikely to sway many shoppers. The WB700 looks distinctly budget, though. The 3in, 230,000-pixel screen looks blocky, the back of the camera makes no concessions for aesthetics and the etched button labels are hard to see.

Samsung WB700 back

We like cameras that respond quickly to user input. Sadly, this isn’t one of them. Just over two seconds to switch on a take a picture is acceptable, but 4.2 seconds on average between shots is far too slow. Switching from Smart to Program mode improved shot-to-shot time to 2.9 seconds, but that’s still twice as slow as the Nikon S9100. The lack of an orientation sensor is another obstacle to expedient use, as it means that portrait orientated photos must be rotated manually after copying to a computer.

The amount of photographic control is more impressive. Technically minded photographers will appreciate the full complement of priority and manual exposure modes, manual focus and even automatic exposure bracketing. Casual users aren’t forgotten, with a range of fun effects such as Soft Focus and Old Film. However, considering that selecting Old Film adds animated scratches to the live preview, it’s disappointing that it’s only available for photos and not videos.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 14.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.33in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 18.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 24-432mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,320×3,240
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; MP4 (AVC)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 23MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 220 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, micro HDMI
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB cable
Weight 203g
Size 62x105x33mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £178

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 16 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.2-7.3 (wide) f/5.8-7.6 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual, custom
Additional image controls smart filter
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 3cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, flexible spot, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket