Traveling Light with the Samsung WB200 Smart Camera

Traveling Light with Samsung Smart Cameras
Before I was a mom, I hauled around a SLR with me wherever I went – first the film variety, then a DSLR – and made good use of my photography degree.  In those years I took amazing pictures of our adventures while traveling, around our house with family and friends, and exploring the many sights around the Pacific Northwest. 

But all that changed in 2008 when I exchanged my small purse for a diaper bag and a baby, and suddenly my hands were full.  Ironically, this came at the same time that I wanted to take pictures more than ever before, as I wanted to document all those important firsts of my baby girl.  So, I compromised by taking the camera only on days out as a family when my husband could help haul all our gear, but I always felt like I was missing all the really amazing shots of our everyday life.

Obviously, the solution is to get a smaller compact system camera that can fit in my purse or diaper bag and go everywhere with me.  But, the problem with that is that I have a really hard time going from my DSLR on manual to a standard point and shoot where the camera makes all the decisions and I’m stuck with whatever it decides. 

I’ve been sitting here holding out for a compact camera that can be
used in manual mode, and I finally found it with the Samsung WB200. 
Sure, it’s got all the fancy auto modes and scene selections that make
it fun, but it also can be used in all manual mode, shutter priority,
and aperature priority that allows me to control the exposure, color
balance and depth of field when I feel like it.

Samsung WB200F closeups
{Random Rave: see where the power button is in the top of the camera?  IT'S AWAY FROM THE SHUTTER.  It never fails that whenever someone picks up my camera to shoot a picture they press the power button instead of the shutter, which means everyone is sitting and posing in front of a camera that is turned off.  Samsung heard our groans and they have moved the button away from the shutter to avoid all confusion.  THANK YOU!}

And, besides giving me a huge amount of options to get the picture just how I'd like it every time, this camera is also super cool in its own right.  Starting with the fact that it has a touch screen control right on the back.  No more digging through menus and pressing up/down and right/left arrows to select your option because now you can merely tap your selection and be done.  Seriously, why did this option take so long?

Secondly, the Samsung WB200 has Wi-Fi capabilities, which makes it easy to share, back up, or email the pictures right from your camera.  Awesome, right? No wonder they call it a smart camera!  I'm horrible about downloading my pictures and even worse about sharing them, so this camera is absolutely perfect for me.  I can't even tell you how many times I'm snapping pictures of the kids and their friends and everyone begs me to email them my pics when I download them.  Now I can simply connect to a Wi-Fi network and email them or share them on the go, which means it might actually happen. 

Picture Modes
Want to know something else super cool?  You can actually use your smartphone as a remote to control the camera from a distance.  I can throw away my long cable release and give up setting up the camera and running into the shot, because now I can
actually see what my camera sees directly on my phone.  I haven't played with this much as of yet, but you can bet I will be come Christmas picture time!

I had so much faith in the Samsung WB200 that I actually left my DSLR home on a trip to Idaho this past weekend.  Knowing that we would have plenty to carry without adding the bulk and weight of my full-size camera, I happily ditched the weight and went with the Samsung WB200 that could fit in my purse. 

Hitting the road with Samsung WB200
But, with four days of extended family fun, a day at Silverwood, and four generation pictures planned, going point and shoot to capture it all was a very big step for me.  Thank goodness the pictures turned out really well, even with the action shots and unpredictable lighting of an amusement park day. 

Silverwood Theme Park
The photographer in me is very, very happy that I could take fun shots like this with my Samsung point and shoot without blowing out the exposure. 

Bright backlit sun
Or this backlit photo at sunset that still shows all the sand and dirt on my little guy's cheeks.  Because, isn't that what childhood is all about?

Sunset with detail
This isn’t to say that I don’t shoot all auto sometimes, but I really like having the option to override the settings with a simple spin of a dial to create beautiful images like this one of our gorgeous blue Seattle sky. 

Beautiful blue sky
But, when I am shooting in auto, I love that there are so many options available to play with.  For instance, retro, vignetting, miniature effect, etc. that allow me to simply select the look I’m going for and have the camera do all the rest. 

Train at Silverwood
I love macro shots, so being able to get shallow depth of field with the press of a button is pretty awesome.

Macro mode
There's also fun effects like the retro filter that I really love to play around with.

Retro filter
I also played around with the miniature effect and the zooming shot effect while we were testing the camera and took some funny shots of the kids.  Although it's not something I would use a lot, I had to admit it was really fun.

Zooming shot effect
All this and the camera can fit on a tripod the size of a small flashlight!  I picked up the Gorilla Pod at Walmart when I realized the camera was $20 cheaper than I had budgeted for and I was so excited.  With how small and light the camera is, I love that it can now attach to trees, perch upon just about any surface, and store right in my pocket! 

Samsung on Tripod
Speaking of tripods, my photography background makes me very flash-adverse on point and shoots so I love that the flash doesn’t automatically pop up.  To use the flash, you simply press the lightning bolt button on the top and the cool-looking flash pops up, ready for low light photography.  I only used it a few times because it was simply too powerful for what I was looking for, but if I had been doing larger shots, I think it would have been nice to have. 

Fast moving action shots
Really, the only time I wasn’t that impressed with my pictures was when I was shooting in dark places that were too low light for the camera to handle without the flash.  Most people would have turned on the flash and dealt with the blown out faces, which I probably should have when I

Low light no flash
was meeting the lovely Jessica from And Then There Were More for the first time.  While my pics turned out okay even in a dark bar, they would have turned out a lot better with more light or with flash. 

But, this picture below was taken after the sun had set and the sky was growing dark quick.  It was also in low light and it turned out beautiful. Go figure.

At Sunset
But, the daylight is when the Samsung excels.  It consistently produced clear and crisp images, even up close or with moving subjects in all the auto modes and in manual mode.  I was able to capture these images of my children with their great grandparents over the weekend to help us always remember how much fun we had exploring Coeur d’Alene together. 

Grands and Greats
When it was time to head home from our vacation, I even snapped some pictures in the car while going freeway speeds to document the many sights we saw along our scenic route.  They turned out surprisingly well, and are some of my favorite shots.  
Gorgeous Day for a Scenic Drive
But, as great as the Samsung WB200 is for trips and more, I really like that it's perfect for days out with the kiddos when I've already got my hands full.  Normally I would just leave the camera at home and head out with the kids, but then I risk missing shots like this that show how much they adore each other.  

It may not take up much space, but it can capture the moment *almost* as good as my DSLR can.  Seriously.
Compact Samsung camera

Samsung WB200 14.2 MP 18x Optical Zoom WiFi Digital Camera specs:

  • 14.2 megapixel resolution with high-quality still images and video recordings
    Featuring SMART Mode, 720p HD Movie Recording and SMART Camera 2.0 functionality
  • Samsung 4.0-72.0mm zoom lens with 18x optical zoom
    Equivalent to a 24-432mm lens on an analog camera with Normal AF, Macro, Auto Macro, Manual Focus
  • 3.0" TFT LCD screen with image editing features
    Featuring Hybrid Touch User Interface
  • Built-in flash with Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In Flash and Slow-Sync Flash

You can buy the Samsung WB200 at Walmart right now for $179, which I think we can all agree is a steal.  You can see more camera specs at the Samsung Smart Camera site if you like things like facts and comparisons, or you can check out my Google+ album to see my take. 

Connect with Samsung on Twitter and Facebook to find out more about their products as well as tips and tricks of the pros. 

Leanne Signature 2I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This
shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for
Collective Bias and their client. #SocialCamera

15 thoughts on “Traveling Light with the Samsung WB200 Smart Camera”

  1. You’ve played with yours WAY more than I played with mine, but I’m so so excited to see all the features of this camera. I agree, it will be nice to ditch the DLSR on quick trips!

  2. This camera looks seriously amazing! I love all of the awesome features and I’m so glad that you could use it on your trip! 🙂 It was so fun to meet you and even though that picture is blurry, I still think it’s cute!

  3. I really like this camera. I like the built in filters a lot, plus the size its great. I don’t take my DSLR out with us as often as I should because it’s so clunky. Great review.

  4. I love all of these pics and thanks for the specifics on the camera – it definitely gives me more info since I’m in the market to purchase new one!

  5. This camera does take lovely photos. I use a dSLR but often take my small point and shoot that I got from Costco. I don’t like the photo quality though. This one is so much nicer. Thank you for sharing!

  6. hi… does this camera have image stabilization? Thanks. I already bought the camera but could not find the feature. Please help?


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