Time to take a break from all those smartphones I’ve been featuring so I can cater to all those photography-enthusiasts on a budget. Samsung recently launched the WB100 in the Philippines, adding to the prestigious WB line of compact cameras that are known for their superior image quality despite a smaller form factor. The WB100 features a 16mp sensor coupled with an exceptional 22.3mm-579.8mm lens, allowing it to capture ultra-wide angles, as well as zoom in from incredible distances. Of course, it’s hard to get a stable shot when you’re zooming that close, so the WB100 also features dual image stabilization to go with that sturdy looking grip. Round that up with a Live Panorama Mode, 3D photo capture and HD video recording at 720p while weighing in at only 403 grams (without the 2 AA batteries to power it) and that’s a lot of bang for buck, making this a worthy addition to the WB series.
So how does the WB100 do all this without costing as much? For one thing, the sensor isn’t as large as what you would find on even a budget DSLR. That means the body and lens can be constructed to be much smaller while still achieving those unbelievable ultra-wide angles and ultra-zoom levels. Alternatively, if you were try to get that same focal range on a DSLR, you would have to pay something like Php24k for a kit that included the body and an 18-55mm lens, then another Php38k-60k for another set of lens that would go up to 500mm! I’m really trying to emphasize bang for buck here if it isn’t obvious yet.
The WB100 fits into a class of cameras known as “superzooms” or “bridge cameras”. I think “bridge camera” is the more appropriate descriptor, since they bridge that gap between compact point-and-shoots and DSLRs. This makes them a great option for people who want to transition to more serious photography without splurging on a DSLR. Also, existing DLSR owners can pick one up as a secondary camera when they don’t feel like lugging around their heavy primary. Bridge cameras range from Php7,990 to Php15k and beyond. The most affordable bridge camera I recently saw in the Philippine market was the GE X500 (shown above) for Php7,990, but it only had a 15x zoom lens. If you’re looking to pick up the WB100 for your next out-of-country vacation, it’s available in either black or red.