The Samsung WB2000 is the second compact camera I’ve reviewed from Samsung this week, and like the waterproof WP10, the build quality is admirable.
Out of the box, it impresses with its matte black surround, which makes it easy to hold (along with a raised textured panel on the right) and its fantastic AMOLED screen. ‘Real’ photographers will appreciate its RAW file support, and from an aesthetic point of view I loved the retro dials on its top edges, which indicate memory and battery status. The power button (also on the top edge) features a glowing blue surround when it’s turned on – handy in the dark. While the power button is recessed, it’s easy to turn on with the flat of a finger (or gloves if you’re outside in this weather).
The menu is very intuitive – finding everything from modes to your choice of image size is really simple, using the jog wheel that has been placed for easy thumb operation.
Along with all the auto modes, which I’ll get to in a second, there is plenty of real control to be had. You’ll find program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual settings. It also offers dual image stabilisation to prevent blur from camera shake if you zoom in or are shooting in low light.
You can also shoot video in scene and 1080p modes. A one-touch button on the back is useful to start video shooting, although it takes a couple of seconds to get going, so be prepared.
The flash offers options such as auto, fill-in, slow-sync and red-eye correction, you can shoot images at up to 10fps and choose manual focus – great for taking pictures at the zoo through cages! It offers similar modes to those on the WP10 – beauty, portrait, beach/snow, backlit, sunset, dawn and many more. The panorama mode makes it easy to take shots of a wide area – just hold down the shutter and pan slowly – there’s also a mode for taking panorama action shots. Styles for having a bit of fun include sketch and retro – which makes images look a bit like those slightly washed-out affairs we called colour back in the 70s (for those of you old enough to remember).
Like the WP10, the only disappointment is the battery life – you’ll get around 140 images from a fully charged battery.
I often regret taking out my compact in favour of my DSLR, but in the WB2000, I think I may have found a really viable backup camera. At a smidge under £300, it’s not cheap, but you are still getting quite a lot for your