BREAK­ING FREE

THE DIG­I­TAL CAM­ERA IS FI­NALLY BREAK­ING FREE OF THE SHACK­LES THAT BIND IT TO A COM­PUTER. THE POINT-AND-SHOOT NOW HAS WI-FI AS A BUILT-IN FEA­TURE, LET­TING USERS EMAIL PHO­TOS OR UP­LOAD THEM DI­RECTLY TO FACE­BOOK WITH­OUT THE NEED TO PLUG IT INTO A COM­PUTER. TH

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH - TEXT BY NANDAGOPAL RAJAN & PHO­TO­GRAPH BY RA­JWANT RAWAT

WI-FI

The cam­era lets you se­lect Wi-fi from the con­trol dial it­self and there is no need to go to the menu for this. Users can up­load pho­tos and videos di­rectly to so­cial net­work­ing sites like Face­book, Pi­casa, Youtube and Pho­to­bucket as well as mail it. The net­work can also be ex­ploited to con­nect the cam­era to your phone, us­ing which you can even click phone re­motely. The WI-FI can also be har­nessed to up­load pho­tos to a Skydrive ac­count or to back up your PC. You can type the lo­gin ID and pass­word through the vir­tual key­board us­ing the con­trol dial. It is not as tough con­sid­er­ing you will have to do

it only once.

CAM­ERA

The 14.2 megapixel WB150F has all fea­tures you would ex­pect of a point-and-shoot. But it ex­ceeds the brief as far its zoom ca­pa­bil­i­ties are con­cerned. It has an 18x op­ti­cal zoom, with the tele­scopic lens re­ally stretch­ing it­self. Then the dig­i­tal zoom takes it up to 90x, which de­spite the slight pix­i­la­tion at the ex­treme end, is su­perb for any cam­era. So you can have a frame with a tree in a corner and an­other fo­cus­ing on a leaf on the tree, all stand­ing at the same point. We will have to thank the 4.0~72mm Sch­nei­der Kreuznach lens as well as the op­ti­cal im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion for the re­sults. Like many new cam­eras that have HD video ca­pa­bil­i­ties, this one too comes with a sep­a­rate record but­ton for video, though the trig­ger but­ton too can ini­ti­ate shoot­ing.

FUNC­TIONS

The Scene mode comes with many set­tings ideal for reg­u­lar use. And for a change, the cam­era has real pic­tures for icons. In the Smart mode the cam­era de­cides which is the best set­ting for the shot and switches au­to­mat­i­cally. There is also the Magic mode where you can do pre­de­ter­mined things like split images, picture-in-picture as well as do some ba­sic edit­ing or add fil­ters and frames. If auto is not your thing, there is also the A-S-M modes with Aper­ture Pri­or­ity, Shut­ter Pri­or­ity and full Man­ual. In shut­ter pri­or­ity we were stumped at the re­al­i­sa­tion that this cam­era had a 1/2000 max­i­mum shut­ter speed, very un­usual for au­to­matic cam­eras. How­ever, while a touch screen could have been handy, an HDMI port was sorely missed.

A SCENE AT FULL WIDE AND (right) THE SAME AT 90X ZOOM

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