Samsung's new batch of Wi-Fi-enabled digital cameras, which the company announced at CES in January, are now on sale through U.S. retailers.
The new Samsung cameras include the $150 DV150F and the $230 WB250F. Both cameras are part of Samsung's “Smart Camera 2.0” line-up, which allow users to easily offload their photos to a phone or computer, or upload them directly to the Internet. (They're not to be confused, however, with Samsung's Galaxy Camera, a 4G-connected device powered by Android.)
The WB250F is a 14.2-megapixel camera with 18x optical zoom, an f/3.2 to f/5.8 aperture lens, and a BSI CMOS sensor. It has a 3-inch LCD display on the backside and a pop-up flash that can be tilted forward and backward.
The DV150F is a 16.2-megapixel shooter with 5x optical zoom, an f/2.5 to f/6.3 aperture lens, and a CCD image sensor. It has a 2.7-inch LCD display on the backside, but its namesake feature is a 1.5-inch front-facing LCD for self-portraits. The front-facing screen also has a “Child Mode” that displays colorful animations in hopes of keeping kids fixated during photo sessions.
Both cameras can connect with Samsung's Smart Camera app for iOS and Android. The app allows users to automatically offload their camera photos to a smartphone or tablet. It can also be used as a remote viewfinder and shutter for the camera.
Samsung has touted the cameras' built-in sharing functions, including email, transfer to Microsoft SkyDrive, direct uploads to social networks such as Facebook, and automatic backups to a PC or Mac.
Camera makers have been slow to equip their gear with Wi-Fi and sharing features, but they're starting to warm to the idea. In addition to Samsung, Canon and Nikon announced several new Wi-Fi cameras this year, and Sony showed one new camera model with built-in Wi-Fi. Still, consumers may not see the feature as a necessity, as they turn to their smartphones for those shareable moments instead.