|Samsung WB500 wide-angle lens
The zoom lens of the Samsung WB500 starts with a true wide angle; 24mm even. Until recently, this was unheard of, especially in this format. However, also in this field, competition is starting to increase. Especially Panasonic, who has been specializing in wide angle zoom lenses for compact cameras, innovates with huge leaps. Samsung however, remains number one for now. The 24mm wide angle zoom lens with a range of 1-x is not (yet) available from the competitors. The front of the camera is dominated by the fairly large lens. The flash is found on the left side along the lens, rather close to the handgrip. This position can lead to underexposed pictures when using the flash, on occasions where you place your fingers just a tad too high on the handgrip. Something that happened to me a few times during the test period.
Samsung WB500 command dial & release button
The top side of the WB500 camera features a reflective plastic strip containing several buttons. Entirely on the right, there is a command dial, rotating all the way around, giving an audible click at every setting. Right next to it, the shutter release button is placed. It is fairly big and fits nicely underneath your finger. The pressing point is brief and felt by a click. In the center of the top side, the on/off switch is positioned. Everything looks well-structured, and even though it has a new design, it still looks familiar.
|Samsung WB500 handgrip & compartments
The handgrip of the camera is unobtrusively present. It's only the taper angle of the handgrip that makes the Samsung WB500 somewhat thicker, automatically forming the handgrip, which is nicely integrated in the camera's design. On the handgrip, an upright rubber part has been integrated in order to provide a better grip, and with it, more stability. The bottom of the handgrip contains a compartment with an included Lithium-Ion battery and a card slot that supports SD and SDHC memory cards. The cover is made of plastic, like the rest of the housing in fact. The universal tripod mount of the WB500 is positioned next to the cover, which means it is not possible to change the battery or memory card without demounting the camera from the tripod.
2.7" LCD monitor & Multi-control button
The back of the Samsung WB500 carries a fairly large sized monitor of 2.7 inch with a resolution of 230,000 pixels. Not particularly special, yet still fine to work with. The Samsung WB500 lacks a viewfinder. An optical one is not possible due to the large zoom range, and an electronic viewfinder would come at the cost of the compact size. The multi-controller on the right side of the monitor, functions as navigator for the menu and to set the various functions placed on the button. The symbols are silver-colored just like the button itself. The disadvantage of this is that the symbols can hardly be seen when shooting in direct sunlight.