As is increasingly the case with compact cameras, there is no separate mains chargerincluded in the WB700's box. Instead we get a mains plug into which slots a shortprovided USB cable, the other end attaching to a vacant port on the camera. Thisobviously means that if you did decide invest in a spare battery, the camera would stillbe out of action each time you needed to recharge it. However it could be argued that atthis lower end of the market it's hardly an issue.We're pleased also to see the WB700 has stuck with the SD card as its media of choice,as recent models such as the SH100 have opted for the tiny and fiddly microSD as in itssmartphones.The solid feel WB700's lens starts out at a usefully wide 24mm and, with a nudge of thezoom lever that surround the shutter release button, arrives at a 432mm (35mm equiv.)4-5 seconds later. It's optically image stabilised to avoid the blurring effects of camerashake from hand-holding towards the telephoto end of the zoom, and we were able toget some good results in normal daylight at this setting. With a maximum lens apertureof a so-so F/3.2, the headline stills resolution is 14.2 megapixels from a 16-megapixel1/2.33-inch CCD, which suggests some pixels have been lost in the mix somewhere,and there's high-def video here too.Press the power button and the Samsung readies itself from cold for the first shot in 2seconds, lens extending to maximum wide angle setting followed by the rear LCDblinking into life so the shot can be framed up. A half squeeze of the shutter releasebutton and there's a brief moment's visible adjustment before the image snaps into focus,green autofocus square appearing on screen with a bleep of confirmation that the user isgood to go and take the shot.
Controls and performance
You'd expect there to be few manual controls on the WB700 and while that's the casethere are at least some. The eight-option shooting mode dial that sits atop the camera,nestled between the power button and the shutter release encircled by the zoom lever,includes not only the fall-back of a subject-recognising Smart Auto option for pure pointand shoot operation but also the creative quartet of program, aperture priority, shutterpriority and manual settings.More expected perhaps is a dedicated camcorder-style video record button top right ofthe backplate, where it readily falls under the thumb as you grip the Samsung in the righthand. Press the red button and filming commences, conveniently no matter which modehas been selected on the top plate dial. The progress of the zoom in this mode is slowand steady, which lessens the effect on the (mono) audio of the mechanical buzz of itsadjustments, plus Samsung claims it has also deployed noise-cancelling technology tofurther lessen any such distraction.