Travel zoom compact cameras offer the best of both worlds – a pocketable size and a host of features, which, in this case, include a wide zoom range. Samsung’s WB700 supersedes the WB600, bringing a slimmed-down look, more pixels and a wider 18x optical zoom, which equates to a class-leading 24-432mm.

Build and handling

There have been a few tweaks to the body design, but the WB700 is similar to its predecessor. It is made from a conventional tough plastic with a smooth finish, which is expected from a camera at this level.

In fact, it is very similar to Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TZ20. At 24.9mm, the body is 20% thinner than Samsung’s earlier WB models, although with its contoured grip and lens it measures closer to 33mm deep. Meanwhile, the grooves that help the thumb grip the camera have been moved from a fairly natural place to a slightly awkward position on the right edge.

All buttons are well placed, although I find their build quality a little on the flimsy side. A function button provides access to key controls, and while the custom button is set to exposure compensation as default, it can also control ISO or white balance. PASM control is via the dial on top, although when using one of these modes the camera has a tendency to prompt the user to switch to the smart auto mode, which can be frustrating.

Users familiar with more highly specified Samsung models will soon get used to the WB700. It offers a similarly intuitive menu, and can display the histogram in live view and post-capture. Likewise, there are plenty of controls both pre- and post-capture, including the ability to apply all smart filters to still images. However, some smart filters, such as ‘old film’, are not possible with the video mode.

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