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New Samsung WB100 and WB550 wide-angle cameras

Samsung introduces two new wide-angle digital cameras. The 12 Mp WB100 (TL320 in the US) features an ultra wide-angle 24mm Schneider lens with 5x optical zoom and a 3" AMOLED screen. Compared to a regular TFT-LCD screen, the AMOLED consumes less power and offers a higher contrast ratio of 10,000:1. The new 12 Mp Samsung WB550 (HZ15W) is a step-up model from the WB500 (HZ10) (released at CES 2009), and offers you a 24mm ultra-wide angle Schneider lens too, but now coupled with a generous 10x optical zoom...
New Samsung WB100 and WB550 wide-angle cameras - digital camera and photography newsSamsung WB100 digital camera

Samsung Digital Imaging Co., Ltd. today unveiled the new 12 mega-pixel WB100, a compact and stylish point-and-shoot digital camera featuring an ultra wide angle 24mm Schneider lens and 5x optical zoom. In addition to the camera's impressive lens, the WB100 also raises the bar for innovation in digital imaging as it offers high definition video recording and incorporates a three inch AMOLED screen, the largest AMOLED screen on a digital camera to date.

As a leader in AMOLED technology, Samsung strengthened its position at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, showcasing its revolutionary AMOLED television offerings. As a consumer electronics manufacturer, synergies exist among Samsung's various business units which present the company with a host of unique competitive advantages in the digital imaging industry. Leveraging those advantages, especially in display technologies, Samsung was able to incorporate a large, three-inch AMOLED screen in the WB100. Utilizing the same advanced technologies found in Samsung's revolutionary AMOLED televisions, the WB100's AMOLED screen helps enhance the overall digital imaging experience for the end user.

Compared to a traditional TFT-LCD screen, the WB100's AMOLED consumes less power and offers a higher contrast ratio of 10,000:1, producing darker black levels, more vibrant colors, and a brighter display which can easily be viewed outdoors, and even in direct sunlight. Additionally, unlike a TFT-LCD, the WB100's AMOLED screen has the ability to display images that can be reviewed at any angle, while fully maintaining the same color gamut.

Samsung's new WB100 also offers advanced high-definition video recording at a resolution of 720p, as well as HDMI connectivity through the use of a cradle to viewone's video and photos in HD clarity on an HDTV. The camera's 5x optical zoom can be used while recording, and because the camera utilizes H.264 compression (a codec for high-definition video that yields three to five times the recording length than that of MJPEG video)  users can record HD video for longer periods of time with the WB100.

For added stability and blur-free images, Samsung has outfitted the WB100 with both Optical and Digital Image Stabilization. The shooter has the option of simply using Optical Image Stabilization or choosing Dual Image Stabilization, combining the strengths of Optical and Digital Image Stabilization.

“The WB100 clearly represents the competitive advantages afforded by the related business units at Samsung,” said ChoongHyun Hwang, vice president of Strategic Marketing at Samsung Digital Imaging Company.  “Samsung fully leveraged these strengths in the manufacture of the new WB100, especially in the design of the camera's three inch AMOLED screen and high-definition video recording mode. When combined with the camera's impressive lens and automatic features, the WB100 is easily one of the most advanced compact digital cameras in Samsung's lineup of digital imaging solutions.”

For the more advanced user who prefers to have more control over camera settings, the WB100 offers aperture priority, shutter priority, as well as full manual shooting modes. Samsung also includes its unique Advanced Picture Mode in the WB100. With Advanced Picture Mode, users can fine tune color tones by adjusting the color temperature from 2,800-10,000K, in 100K increments, or by manually configuring the camera's color space shift.  

For users looking for simplicity when it comes to taking digital images, the WB100 offers a comprehensive suite of automatic controls designed to help them capture better images with ease, including the camera's Smart Auto mode. When in use, Smart Auto will automatically choose from one of the WB100's 11 scene modes, selecting the most appropriate mode for the environment the user may be shooting in. For example, the WB100's Smart Auto feature will automatically set the camera to its Landscape scene mode if the user is taking an image of a mountain range, and then switch gears and automatically select the Portrait scene mode if the user proceeds to take an image of an individual. No manual interaction is required.

In addition to Smart Auto, the WB100 also incorporates Samsung's proprietary Smart Album program. Smart Album allows users to search through the various files they have saved on their memory card for a specific image. Smart Album automatically organizes the user's digital images and gives them the ability to narrow their search based on the date or month the image was taken, the file type, the overall color tone and whether it's a photo, video, or voice memo.

Users can also take advantage of the WB100's Face Detection, Blink Detection, Smile Shot, and Beauty Shot technologies. Designed to help capture better portraits and group shots of family and friends, Face Detection technology detects up to ten faces and automatically adjusts focus and exposure to ensure better composition and image quality. Smile Shot automatically triggers the WB100 to take a photo only when the camera detects smiles on the faces of subjects, and Blink Detection will automatically fire two consecutive shots if the camera detects that a subject's eyes are closed. Beauty Shot is a unique functionality that automatically brightens and evens out skin tones as well as removes blemishes.

The WB100 also puts an end to inadvertently lost images with a new feature called the Recycle Bin - a unique function that allows consumers to retrieve images which were deleted by mistake. When the Recycle Bin function is in use, the WB100 automatically creates a “trash” folder on the internal memory card which stores any image deleted from the camera. This special feature allows users to shoot, delete and restore images without the fear that they will be lost forever.

Featuring a brushed stainless steel finish, the WB100 is as stylish as it is advanced. The camera offers a compact form factor highlighted by two analog dials found on top of the WB100's body. The two dials give the WB100 a retro look and provide users with the ability to quickly glance down at the camera for an approximate readout of remaining battery life and memory capacity.


Samsung WB550 digital camera

Samsung Digital Imaging Co., Ltd. today announced the 12 mega-pixel WB550 - the company's second high zoom. The WB550, a step-up model from the company's flagship model, WB500 introduced at CES 2009, offers consumers one of the most powerful lenses on a compact high zoom camera, featuring a 24mm ultra-wide angle Schneider lens coupled with a generous 10x optical zoom. With impressive wide-angle and telephoto zoom capabilities as well as an appealing feature set, the WB550 is sure to stand out from the crowd and draw much attention from consumers in search of a compact and full featured digital camera.

Like the WB500, the WB550 puts high-definition video recording in the palm of users' hands. Consumers have the ability to record high-definition video at a resolution of 720p and utilize the camera's full 10x optical zoom. Samsung also incorporates H.264 compression, a codec for high-definition video that yields three to five times the recording length than that of MJPEG video. The WB550 also offers true HDMI connectivity, which allows the camera to be connected directly without using cradle to an HDTV to enjoy one's photos and video in HD clarity.

Photographers of various skill levels are sure to find WB550's advanced optics a great convenience and luxury. The ideal companion for the traveling photographer, sports enthusiast, busy parent, or social teenager, the WB550's ultra-wide angle 24mm Schneider lens gives users the ability to capture more of a desired image or scene into a single shot, paving the way for greater creativity and flexibility while shooting. The camera's 10x optical zoom is also key tool which allows users to capture images from a significant distance. The WB550's 24mm-240mm focal length (35mm film equivalent) is essential for those consumers who are unaware of what their next shooting scenario may be.

For added stability and blur-free images, especially when using the WB550 at its maximum zoom, Samsung has incorporated both Optical and Digital Image Stabilization. The shooter has the option of simply using Optical Image Stabilization to help reduce blur caused by hand shake, ideal for well lit environments, or choosing Dual Image Stabilization and combining the strengths of Optical and Digital Image Stabilization by activating them simultaneously. Dual Image Stabilization is ideal for low-light environments where the use of a flash is not desired.

The rear of the WB550 is dominated by a large, ultra-clear three-inch LCD screen, offering a resolution of 230,000 pixels. A high-performance display, the WB550 gives consumers the ability to easily frame their shots and review their images and video in any condition, even in direct sunlight.  

The WB550 features a highly intuitive suite of automatic controls to help improve one's ability to take great digital images. The camera's advanced automatic shooting options include Face Detection, Smile Shot, Blink Detection and Beauty Shot:

■ Designed to help capture better images, specifically portraits and group shots of family and friends, the WB550's Face Detection technology detects up to ten faces and automatically adjusts focus and exposure to ensure better composition and image quality.

■ Smile Shot automatically triggers the WB550 to take a photo only when the camera detects smiles on the faces of subjects.

■ Blink Detection will automatically fire three consecutive shots if the camera detects that a subject's eyes are closed – a useful feature as it's often difficult to distinguish closed eyes when composing a shot on an LCD screen.

■ Another unique functionality of the WB550 is Beauty Shot, which will automatically brighten and even out skin tones as well as remove blemishes.

“With the growing popularity and importance of digital photography, it's necessary for Samsung to continue to develop newer, more advanced digital imaging solutions suited for a range of photographers,” said ChoongHyun Hwang, vice president of Strategic Marketing at Samsung Digital Imaging Company.  “With the WB550, we've taken into account the need for a larger zoom and wide-angle lens, as well as the practicality of high-definition video recording, considering the prominence of HD in the lifestyle of today's consumer. These distinct and valuable features, along with a host of user-friendly and technologically advanced shooting modes, truly position the WB550 in a league of its own.”

The WB550 is also highlighted by Samsung's new Smart Auto feature, which takes ease of-use to a new level, underscoring what it means to be a premium digital camera. When engaged, Smart Auto will automatically select one of the WB550's 11 scene modes, selecting the most appropriate mode for the environment the user may be shooting in. For example, the WB550's Smart Auto feature will automatically set the camera to its Landscape scene mode if the user is taking an image of a mountain range, and then switch gears and automatically select the Portrait scene mode if the user proceeds to take an image of an individual. No manual interaction is required.

In addition to Smart Auto, the WB550 also incorporates Samsung's proprietary Smart Album program. Smart Album allows users to search through the various files they have saved on their memory card for a specific image. Smart Album automatically organizes the user's digital images and gives them the ability to narrow their search based on the date or week the image was taken, the file type, whether it's a photo, video, or voice memo, and the overall color tone.

The WB550 is available in black or silver, with silver trim and measures 105mm x 61.4mm x 37.2 mm.  The camera will be showcased at PMA09 Digital Imaging Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
February 24, 2009
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