Samsung WB100: Compact Digital Camera with 3.0″ AMOLED Display

Samsung WB100 Specifications

Sensor: 1/2.33″ CCD, 12.2M Effective Pixels, 12.4M Total Pixels
Image Size: 4000 x 3000 (Max)
Movie: 1280 x 720 at 30fps (Max)
File Formats: RAW (Image), MP4/H.264 (Movie)
Lens: 24-120mm 35mm Equiv., 5x Optical Zoom, f/4.3-21.5mm
Image Stabilization: OIS and DIS
ISO: 3200 (Max) 
Display: 3.0″ AMOLED (Active Matrix OLED) with 640 x 480 Pixel Format

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Samsung Digital Imaging announced its WB100 compact digital camera on February 23, 2009. The 12MP shooter features a 5x optical zoom and an ultrawide 24mm lens. Samsung claims a world’s first for the integrated 3.0″ AMOLED display sporting a 640 x 480 pixel format. The 3.0″ AMOLED display should look very nice but I wonder how it will perform outside when it is bright and the sun is shining directly on the display. Samsung states that the AMOLED “out performs conventional TFT LCD screens with better contrast and a brighter screen that really helps when shooting in both bright sunlight and dark conditions.” Even the best displays suffer in bright sunlight so we will need to wait for actual reviews to decide whether or not the AMOLED performs well when the sun is out in force.

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As you can see from the picture above, the 3.0″ AMOLED makes up a large portion of the back of the WB100. What would have been better: a touch-enabled AMOLED. I wonder what the ‘h’ in hVGA refers to.

The WB100 captures 720p movies at 30fps and stores them as MP4 files encoded in H.264. A cool feature on the WB100 is the ability to ‘Pause and Re-record’ videos, a function that is Samsung patented. Image stabilization is solid with both optical and digital functions–a feature that should be great for taking pictures in low-light situations. OIS and DIS is great but what could have been much better is a faster lens: with an aperture of just f/4.3 at 24mm it will be difficult to get great shots in dim-lit environments even with both optical and digital image stabilization. A f/1.8 at 24mm would have been perfect.

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An interesting feature of the WB100 are the two analog dials that show battery life on the left and memory capacity on the right. Gimicky but kind of cool in a retro way. I’m excited that Samsung decided to put in a largish 3.0″ AMOLED into the WB100. The 720p at 30fps video capture in MP4/H.264 is a great feature as well. However, I have my doubts that the WB100 will be a great shooter with a mediocre maximum aperture of f/4.3 at 24mm even with both digital and optical image stabilization.

Source: DPReview

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