Samsung HZ35W (WB650)
Following the HZ10W, released last year, the GPS-equipped HZ35W is Samsung's latest attempt to produce the ultimate all-in-one compact camera. To that end, it features the most broad-spanning lens of all of the cameras in this group, from a wideangle setting of 24mm to a telephoto of 360mm (equivalent). At 15x, this is a remarkably powerful optic, and its wide range is reflected in the camera's large size, relative to most competitive models.
The HZ35W turns in a very good performance, both in our tests, and in day to day use of the camera. At low ISO settings is delivers amongst the best pixel-level image quality of any camera in this segment of the market, and unlike some previous Samsung compact cameras that we've used, noise reduction is well-controlled, and colors are accurate, with no unpleasant color casts or white balance issues. The only aspect of the Samsung's performance that is genuinely disappointing is the implementation of its GPS system, which we've found is idiosyncratic at best, and at worst, non-functional.
|Max resolution||4000 x 3000|
|Effective pixels||12 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200|
|Focal length (equiv.)||24–360 mm|
|Min shutter speed||16 sec|
|Max shutter speed||1/2000 sec|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Internal|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||245 g (0.54 lb / 8.64 oz)|
|Dimensions||107 x 61 x 28 mm (4.21 x 2.4 x 1.1″)|
The Samsung HZ35W gets the joint-highest score in this test because of its excellent all-round performance and impressive feature set. Ironically, the Samsung's 'headline' feature of built-in GPS is one of its few weaknesses, but there are easily enough good points to put the HZ35W at the top of the pile, and there is no doubt that it is one of the strongest contenders in this category.
Good for: Pretty much anything. The HZ35W has arguably the strongest feature set in this group
Not so good for: Geotagging - the HZ35W's GPS integration doesn't feel finished.
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