H.264 codec (MPEG 4 part 10). This may sound geeky, but it’s a very good way of encoding video files at equally high quality to previous compression types, but with amuch smaller file size. Perfect for saving space and sharing files without the fuss of transmitting gigantic amounts of data.The Samsung WB550 supplies scene modes – including Smart Auto, Auto,Programme and Manual – in abundance; ensuring the right mode for any occasion.The dominant modes are available via a quick rotation of the WB550’s topthumbwheel, whilst some simple menu-digging will reveal the more specialist options(such as ‘Café scene mode’). The manual mode is a nice touch, though with thelimitation of only a couple of apertures on any occasion it’s only a little more sugar-coated than the P mode’s already decent offering.Whilst Samsung has introduced an OLED screen to the WB1000 series, the WB550,contrary to a number of reports, does
add this to the spec sheet. Perhapsdisappointing, but the 230K dot 3in LCD is more than ample and, for this price point,it seems unlikely that an OLED screen would be added to the equation.
Samsung WB550 review - Design & Performance
For all its merits, however, the Samsung WB550 unravels itself somewhat by itsdesign. Primarily it’s the placement of the flash that undoes an otherwise stronglooking spec sheet – it’s placed to the right, exactly where your fingers go to restwhen shooting. The result is that, when using flash in low light, your fingers will blockthe flash, thus obscure half exposed snaps are commonplace. The shutter button isplaced on the WB550 body in such a fashion that it becomes an issue to not cover the flash when pressing – it’s a flaw that’s been thoroughly overlooked by the designteam. Tut tut. Furthermore the battery flap can be very easily slid open, which canbecome an issue when storing in a tight pocket, given it can flap open uponretrieval... Precarious indeed.On the upside the thumbwheel – for selecting scene modes – clearly illustrates your selection on the WB550's LCD screen. Face, smile and blink detection all feature.The standard wide/tele zoom function on top of the camera is effectively responsiveand the lens feels stable at all zoom ranges. The body is sturdy and, whilst relativelybulky, is of a sensible size considering the zoom prowess that the WB550 offers.This is all dressed in a tidy black or grey finish with elegant silver-like buttons andcontrols, along with the power button’s blue illumination. All in all its an aestheticimprovement over the previous NV series, but the new layout struggles and menusare less intelligible - an oddity, given it would make sense for the design to pushforward rather than taking a step back.The WB550 has a rechargeable battery which can be charged in-camera - whether wired to a plug socket or, by conveniently removing the plug head, a USB cable(which, admittedly, is absurdly short) can be popped directly into the computer. AnHDMI port on the camera’s left side allows for convenient HD output too – be thatimages or 720p video (as shot in camera at 30fps).