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Best Overall: Samsung NX3000 at Amazon
"While the look may be vintage, the specs are very cutting edge."
Best Budget: ST150F at Amazon
"It’s a fantastic pocket camera for those who don’t have deep pockets."
Best Connectivity: Galaxy Camera 2 at Amazon
"The photos are saved and can be distributed any number of ways."
Best for Selfies: NX Mini at Amazon
"Just wink at the camera and it takes the picture for you, no stretching your hand to hit the button."
Best for Video: NX30 at Amazon
"It shoots life-like photos thanks to its 20.3MP CMOS sensor."
Best Zoom: WB2200F at Amazon
"It has dual grips that make it easy to shoot both vertically and horizontally, so you can capture almost any shot you want."
Best Wide-Angle Lens: NX3300 at Amazon
"Ideal for photographers interested in architectural, interior and landscape photography."
Courtesy of Amazon
Share your photos instantly with this powerful mirrorless camera from Samsung. The NX300 sports a smart retro design with a textured black case with metal accents, reminiscent of 1970s and 1980s cameras. But while the look may be vintage, the specs are very cutting edge. First, it packs a powerful 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that captures lifelike colors and stunning images in the highest resolution in its class.
And no matter whether you are shooting at dawn, dusk or midday, the ISO range of 100-25,600 means you can capture great images in any range of light and shadow. The wide range is complemented by a lightning fast shutter speed of 1/4000 and capture rate of five fps. Get closer to the action with a 16-50mm zoom lens that excels at wide-angles and portraits.
Other modern touches include a host of Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity that allows you to AutoShare or transfer entire albums with ease. So if you use the three-inch flip-up display to snap the perfect selfie, it can be on social media instantly. If you want to take some time to edit your photos, no worries. The camera comes with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 to help you turn a snapshot into a photograph.
For those on a budget, this compact point-and-shoot is much more wallet-friendly. While its 16.1MP CCD sensor isn’t terribly impressive, it takes sharp photos in a wide range of settings thanks to its ISO range of 100 to 12,800. The lens starts at a wide 35mm-equivalent focal length of 25mm and has a built-in 5x zoom so it can reach up to 125mm for close-ups.
With built-in Wi-Fi, you can transfer and share your photos easily, and even print them wirelessly. Samsung's Smart Camera App, available for iOS and Android, pairs seamlessly with the ST150F so you can take advantage of features like AutoShare, which transfers all photos directly to your smartphone, and Remote ViewFinder, which lets you preview images, adjust camera settings, frame the scene and more from your smartphone screen. Its features are a bit limited beyond that, but it’s a fantastic pocket camera for those who don’t have deep pockets.
Samsung rode the wave of popularity garnered by their Galaxy phones into the camera market, releasing the Samsung Galaxy Camera, an Android-powered smart camera that can download the millions of apps on Google Play. Now when your smart phone’s camera doesn’t have the zoom or resolution you desire, you can just take this camera along and instantly upload your photos to Instagram.
The Galaxy Camera 2 has a 16.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and a powerful 21x Optical Zoom that works well with close up shots. The photos are saved and can be distributed any number of ways. First, you have the Android Jelly Bean 4.3, which gives you the option of sharing your photos to social media. NFC connection, photo beam, autoshare and groupshare also distribute your captures with ease, while a tagging feature inputs GPS location and other fun info.
The NX Mini has the size and look of your run-of-the-mill point-and-shoot, but it has way more going for it. First, it carries the NX’s trademark quick flip 3-inch touch display that has an excellent UI, so taking the perfect wide-lens selfie is easier than ever. Just wink at the camera and it takes the picture for you, no stretching your hand to hit the button.
The picture captures in a high-def 20.5-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, grabbing way more vivid color than other cameras its size. And with a high-end shutter speed of 1/16000 second, the mini won’t miss any of the action. It has an M Mount for an NX lens, allowing you to take any photo your heart will imagine. As soon as you have the right shot, just upload it to the Web via NFC or AutoShare.
If you want a camera that can do both, check out the mirrorless NX30. It shoots life-like photos thanks to its 20.3MP CMOS sensor and also captures 1080p full HD videos. It has a max shutter speed of 1/8000 of a second and a super fast autofocus feature which combined let you shoot continuously at nine fps, meaning you’ll never miss a second of the action. Its Smart Range+ technology “gives tonal detail a boost,” according to Samsung, to optimize contrast
The body itself measures 3.76 x 5 x 1.64 inches (H x W x D) and weighs 0.83 pounds. It comes with a 18-55 lens for standard use and its three-inch AMOLED touch screen display swivels out to simplify shooting from awkward angles. A reviewer on Amazon also praises its flexibility, saying: “EVF can also move and tilt upward allowing you further freedom of composition.”
It you’re craving a closer shot, give the WB2200F a spin. Its lens covers a 60x range, but that’s a bit misleading because it doesn’t reach farther than 50x competitors. Rather, its wide angle 20mm lens means that it has a longer zoom ratio. It has a 1/2.3-inch sensor, similar to that of most compact cameras, which means it covers a 20-1,200mm range. (That’s assuming an aperture that starts at f/2.8 and narrows to f/5.9 at full zoom.)
Considering its bulk, the WB2200F is actually fairly light, weighing about 1.3 pounds. Its pictures are on the soft side and it doesn’t have a hot shoe either, so the built-in flash will have to suffice. Still, it has dual grips that make it easy to shoot both vertically and horizontally, so you can capture almost any shot you want.
Wide angle lenses allow more of the scene to be capturedin the shot, which makes them ideal for photographers interested in architectural, interior and landscape photography. If those are up your alley, consider the NX3300, which is a slight update to the NX3000 in terms of design and firmware. The two cameras look very much the same on the outside, with identical dimensions, shape and control layout. They house the same 20.3 megapixel, APS-C sized CMOS image sensor, both have ISO ranges of 100 to 25,600 and have a three-inch LCD display that flips up 180 degrees. This model comes bundled with a 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 ED II lens, which is perfect for shooting at distances. Overall, it’s a fairly lightweight camera that delivers high-quality photos and a superb value.