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Valley Quail Mar 11, 2009 4:56 PM

The Samsung WB500 seems to be one of the most promising dual use cameras on the market, at least on paper. The only thing that seems to hold even more promise, is the WB550. There are few reviews available. In fact, the best source of information on the WB500 is this forum. So, that's why I'm here with a few questions you haven't already addressed in forum discussions.

Things such as image quality and video quality are very subjective and will eventually be covered in reviews. My interests, before ordering from Amazon, are more practical handling questions. I'm hoping a user will take a few minutes and answer these questions for me.

1. Can the WB500 be taken from a shirt pocket, turned on and used through full zoom range with only one hand?

2. Does the autofocus work smoothly during video zooming or does it hunt noticeably like some other cameras do?

3. Is there a way to trim or shorten the video clips in the camera?

4. Is the sound good? I don't much care if it comes through with noticeable stereo effects, but I do like good clear sound.

By way of background, I have a Canon TX1, a truly fine and compact little dual use camera. I find it great for Little League games and other events where my subjects are relatively close and still. However, the small LCD and awkward handling characteristics limit it's utility somewhat. Finding a moving subject at a range of more than a few yards is nearly impossible.

I'm a quail hunter and need a camera that I can put into use quickly and with one hand to get pictures and videos of my bird dogs in action. It's a specialty use but one that is very important to me. I use an old Canon A710 now and like it but I'm hoping to find something with HD and video zoom.

Thanks for any input you can offer on the WB500!

celsius2 Mar 12, 2009 9:34 PM

1. Not really, because it is quite thick at 33mm. It goes comfortably in a jacket pocket. You have to try it yourself to see if you can operate with one hand. Some can do it, some cannot. It is not easy with this camera (or any compact in this form factor)but it can be done. Theeasiest one-handed operated video/compact is the pistol grip type of Sanyos.

2. Autofocus in video is slow (do not ak how slow or relative to something else)but smooth as far as I can tell.

3. Yes you can trim the video in camera. It adds a trimmed file preserving the original. That is as far as you can do regarding editing.

4. You already mentioned it is very subjective (as is no. 2). I find it OK.

You will find more detailed information/reviews (official?) here:

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