Samsung WB850F review

Smarter than the average camera

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Low sensitivity images straight from the Samsung WB850F are punchy and vibrant. In its default settings, however, it is prone to over-saturating some colours. It also seems to struggle to reproduce the full tonal range of some red subjects, which can end up looking rather uniform in tone and sometimes a little too pink or cherry red.

On most occasions we found that the automatic white balance system did a good job during our test shoots, but we have one sequence of two shots where one has an inexplicable shift in colour.

Even at the highest sensitivity setting (ISO 3200), noise isn't a major issue in images from the Samsung WB850F, but the impact of its removal is noticeable at 100 per cent on the screen (actual pixels). At this magnification, ISO 3200 images have a stippled texture and some details are smudged. As usual, these issues are most noticeable in shadow areas.

Samsung WB850F review

However, the images make acceptable prints provided that they are kept below around A4 (around US letter) size. Images taken in the range ISO 100-800, though, can be used to make decent A3 (16.5 x 11.7-inch) prints.

Comparing images from the Samsung WB850F with those from the 14MP Panasonic TZ30 and the 18.2MP Sony HX20 reveals that it can't quite match the detailed resolution of the Sony camera.

Samsung WB850F review

The Panasonic TZ30 also has a slight edge at higher sensitivity settings, but the shadows don't bear close scrutiny in images from both cameras at ISO 3200.

We also found that the Samsung WB850F's GPS often takes longer to get a satellite signal than the Panasonic TZ30's, and this eats into the battery life – we only got 169 images in a short period of time from one charge when it was on most of the time.

Samsung WB850F review

The Wi-Fi connectivity, however, works well, and we were able to email images and upload them to Facebook without any fuss once we had connected to local Wi-Fi hotspot.

On the whole the autofocus system works well, but it starts to struggle when subjects get quite close. Subjects closer than 80cm require the macro focusing setting, and annoyingly this is set via the Fn menu.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.2 Megapixel
Product FamilyPerformance
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital (SD) Card
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom21x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameSamsung
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer, Face Detection, Manual Control, Face Recognition, Blink Detection, 3D Panorama
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)232 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeOLED
Height61.9 mm
Width109.6 mm
Depth24.9 mm
Focal Length4.10 mm to 86.10 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
Product ModelWB850F
Product NameWB850F 16.2 MP Smart Camera
Product LinePerformance
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual Exposure
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberEC-WB850FBPBGB
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Shoot with clarity,
store and share with ease

  • Instantly share and save photos online with built-in Wi-Fi
  • Capture clearly with Schneider-KREUZNACH optics
  • See it all via 21x optical zoom and 23mm wide-angle lens
  • Plan and record your travels with GPS functionality
Package Contents
  • WB850F 16.2 MP Smart Camera
  • AC Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Strap
  • User Manual CD-ROM
  • Quick Start Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year