14 megapixels; 18x optical zoom, 24x enhanced zoom; 24mm wide-angle; 720p HD video; Optical image stabilization; 3-inch LCD monitor; Full manual controls; Captures to SD/SDHC media cards; Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Samsung's flagship compact-zoom WB700 has quite a long zoom range: 18x optical, and 24x "smart" zoom (which means that it has a little bit of software assistance; several Panasonic cameras it as well). It's presumably an update to last year's HZ30W, also known as the WB600 outside of North America. That camera suffered from image quality problems, but for $249, it was a reasonably good value. Even if Samsung has addressed those issues, we predict that most potential compact-zoom buyers will look toward a CMOS-based model this year, since those cameras perform pretty well in poor lighting. (The WB700 uses a run-of-the-mill 1/2.3" CCD sensor). Still, the 18x zoom should get the attention of folks who are impressed by big numbers.