|Upon arrival of a Samsung WB500 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data of the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Samsung WB500 compact camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed.|
|Samsung WB500 color reproduction
The color reproduction of the Samsung is a little warm and deviates slightly from the reference color chart of the Gretag Macbeth Color Checker. Many users of the Samsung WB500 camera will actually appreciate a warmer color, but in practice it will cause the skin tones to be less natural. Still, this approach with the warmer tones remains positive compared to the color reproduction that tends to be a tad too saturated. Skin tones tend to be too pink in that case. The white balance of the Samsung WB500 performs acceptably, although it encounters some problems in abundant incandescent light. This causes color cast to appear. Manual white balance facilitates neutralizing of color cast, but will cost the average user more effort and brainwork.
Large optical zoom range
Compact cameras featuring a large optical zoom range are usually equipped with tiny image sensors. Currently, this is the way to put a large optical zoom range in a camera that is this compact. The fact that limits are easily reached this way, is simply inevitable and an issue the R&D department has to deal with, since it's not only the interesting specifications that are demanded; it's also quality. The support of an optical image stabilizer and intelligent algorithms to keep noise under control are examples of how measures are taken to keep the quality as optimal as possible.
Samsung WB500 noise reduction
Designers usually have to battle fiercely to keep noise under control. Something tricky, since you could question whether noise is an actual problem if you equip the camera with an effective optical image stabilizer. This system is able to settle for a few stops slower shutter speed, which means you're not likely to a sensitivity higher than ISO 400, which is the limit before noise usually becomes visible. That is, for the average compact camera; for current DSLR cameras, even 1600 ISO is (almost) free of noise. However, the Samsung WB500 camera shows some side effects. The internal noise reduction influences the low ISO values resulting in loss of detail. Usually, we see this effect occur only with the higher ISO values. Using a value higher than ISO 400, the Samsung WB500 is only able to provide a reasonable result, and noise and loss of detail really become a problem.
|Samsung WB500 chromatic aberration
The performance when it comes to chromatic aberration is remarkable. The lens of the Samsung WB500 is almost free when it comes to output, of the annoying purple edges around subjects with a lot of contrast. The algorithms, which have to correct chromatic aberration before the raw file is converted to JPEG, really do a great job. The 24mm wide angle lens means for the Samsung WB500 that this mega zoom is currently providing the most interesting wide angle. For telephoto, there is more competition, yet it is the wide angle that can really make the difference. The lens hardly suffers from blur in the center or towards the edges. In wide angle, the loss of sharpness at maximum aperture may be measured in the lab; but in practice it is virtually negligible.
Image quality of the Samsung WB500
The Samsung WB500 is in fact the first generation mega zoom compact camera from the Samsung camera series. Although the Samsung is a well-equipped camera with a solid design, some improvements can be made when it comes to the image quality. In particular the signal/noise ratio suffers from a too aggressive noise reduction system, which causes the loss of details. Samsung could try and improve this for the next generation.