Samsung WB1100F Review

June 27, 2014 | Jack Baker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


If you’re after a camera with the ergonomic feel of a traditional DSLR, but also the ease of use of a point-and-shoot compact, the Samsung WB1100F could well fit the bill. It sports a 16.2MP CCD sensor with a sensitivity range of ISO80-3200 and a 35x optical zoom lens with a focal range equivalent to 25-875mm (in 35mm-camera terms). The camera is designed to appeal to novice and creative photographers alike, thanks to a combination of a scene-detecting Smart Auto mode and a variety of special effect settings. Capture light trails and panoramas, or make your mark with six Smart Filters including miniature and fish-eye effects. Despite a relatively modest price tag of £249.99 / $249.99, you still get HD 720p video recording, plus extensive wireless image sharing options with the convenience of NFC pairing.

Ease of Use

The WB1100F’s DSLR-like form makes it a refreshingly comfortable camera to operate if you’re used to fiddling with tiny compacts. Buttons are kept to a minimum and hence those you do get are large and well-spaced around the sizable body. Build quality is impressive for the money too, and although black plastic is the order of the day, it’s a similar feel to that of an entry-level DSLR. At 464g ready to shoot, the camera is also a comfortable weight in the hand, yet light enough not to causing your shoulder grief when you’re on the go.

Some may see the WB1100F as a bridge camera, as it certainly looks like one. However, where a bridge camera is designed to bridge the gap between a point-and-shoot compact and a DSLR; the WB1100F’s bridge camera credentials are only skin deep. You don’t get aperture or shutter priority modes, let alone full manual control, and there aren’t any control wheels to help adjust shooting settings in Program auto mode either.

A proper mode dial is present though, containing the Program auto mode that’ll let you control ISO sensitivity and white balance, plus the default Smart Auto mode which automatically detects scene conditions and applies optimal shooting settings. Move to the ‘S’ symbol to reveal Smart mode presets designed to help capture tricky shooting scenarios. Options include a Beauty Face mode which enables touch-up options when shooting portraits, a Light Trace setting that’ll hold the shutter open to capture light trails from night-time traffic, and the Action Freeze feature for getting sharp shots of fast-moving subjects.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90
Front Rear

An automated panorama mode is also available and this gets its own position on the mode dial for easy access. It’s also easy to use: just press and hold the shutter release, pan the camera left or right and release the shutter when you’re done.

You can also apply Movie Filter effects to video recording by selecting the star icon on the mode dial. Many of these mimic the Smart Filter still image effects, like the Miniature, Fish-eye and Retro looks. There are also an extra four colour styles to choose from, however not all these effects can be applied to HD-quality recordings.

The remaining three settings on the mode dial include the movie mode option, as well as a position dedicated to camera settings. And last but definitely not least, we find the Wi-Fi mode. Samsung has crammed the WB1100F with its latest wireless image sharing technology, including features like Photo Beam which allows you to transfer an image from the camera to your smart device by simply tapping the two together. It’s a neat trick made possible by NFC, so you’ll need an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet to get in on the action. The camera also incorporates Samsung’s AutoShare feature that’ll wirelessly share images as soon as you snap them, as well as Remote Viewfinder technology to let you control the WB1100F wirelessly from your smartphone. Just download Samsung’s Smart Camera app to your smartphone or tablet to start using these features. If you find yourself using a particular wireless trick frequently, then the Direct Link button alongside the mode dial can be configured to access it instantly.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90
Front Top

Apart from this control, it’s pretty much business as usual atop the WB1100F, with the zoom ring, shutter release and power button where you’d expect to find them. The lens barrel is home to a more unusual button though, entitled ‘Speed Control’. Sounds exciting, but it simply changes the zooming speed. Press it whilst adjusting the zoom ring when shooting stills and the camera will zoom faster, or do the same in video mode to slow things down instead.

It’s certainly a useful gadget when you need to zoom in fast on a fleeting subject, especially given the WB1100F’s extensive focal range. Sure, this is no match for the cutting-edge ultrazoom bridge cameras offering upwards of a 60x range, but it’s enough telephoto reach to get distant subjects filling your frame from a typical vantage point. Likewise, the 25mm maximum wide-angle setting should be enough for keeping large groups in the picture and shooting architecture at close range. Samsung’s optical image stabilisation system also works its magic, helping to iron out camera shake for sharp shots in low light and at longer focal lengths.

The 3.0”, 460k-dot screen is less impressive though. At this price point you can’t really expect it to sport touch-sensitivity, and it doesn’t. The outright resolution is nothing special either, but it’s acceptable for the money. However, viewing angles are sub-par, making it tricky to accurately judge contrast and colour during a shoot.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90
Side Battery Compartment

The monitor quality is at least high enough to show off Samsung’s attractive menu system and on-screen display. Where many camera manufacturers still use dated and uninspiring interfaces, the WB1100F benefits from clear, modern menus and attractive icons which help make controlling the camera a pleasant and intuitive experience. It’s a system that’d benefit from touchscreen controls, but nonetheless works well with the camera’s standard directional buttons.

However, it’s a pity the WB1100F isn’t as enjoyable to shoot. Press the power button and the screen and lens spring into life almost instantly, but the camera refuses to snap a shot for 2-3 seconds. This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s an annoying delay that’s easily long enough to miss a fast-moving subject, especially as the zoom controls are also frozen during this period so you can’t even compose your shot whilst you wait.

This frustrating flaw also affects the WB1100F’s bigger brother, the WB2200F, and can hopefully be fixed with a future firmware update. But where that camera picks up speed with nippy autofocussing, the WB1100F has to make do with a slower system that’s quick enough in good light, but makes a meal of locking on to subjects in dimmer conditions. Focus accuracy also leaves something to be desired, with some of our test shots appearing slightly out of focus despite the camera having apparently focussed correctly in the field.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The WB1100F’s 1/2.3” CCD sensor is a common size found in most compact and super-zoom cameras, and with 16.2 megapixels on tap it should be capable of decent results. Sadly this particular device is average at best and only resolves good detail at very close range. Pull back to around a metre from your subject and fine detail is already being blurred by image noise reduction. The problem is further exacerbated when shooting distant landscapes, where the extent of this smoothing effect can make fine detail appear rather painterly.

At least the camera’s vibrant colour reproduction gives images some instant appeal, though the auto white balance can occasionally scupper colour accuracy when shooting in mixed lighting conditions. The camera’s exposure metering is also good but not perfect. It usually produces the best balance of highlight and shadow detail from the sensor’s underwhelming dynamic range, but has a tendency to slightly underexposure in overcast conditions, leading to shots that look darker than they should.

Noise is also a problem for the WB1100F. Grain is visible even at the ISO100 sensitivity setting in shadow areas, along with minor colour speckling. By ISO400 noise levels are largely unchanged, but noise reduction processing has smeared noticeably more detail. It’s losing the battle at ISO800 where grain becomes more obvious, and by ISO1600 both grain and detail smearing are noticeable even when viewing at 50% image size. Colour speckling is well controlled though, however at the maximum ISO3200 setting it too is clearly visible. This setting is best avoided due to the atrocious levels of image noise, as well the miserable 3MP capture resolution enforced at this sensitivity.

The camera performs a bit better optically, with minimal lens distortion and reasonable corner sharpness. Unfortunately chromatic aberration is an issue, resulting in areas of purple fringing being relatively prominent on boundaries between high-contrast tones. Though rarely distracting, you don’t have to be the pickiest of pixel peepers to spot it.


The WB1100F has seven sensitivity settings available at full resolution, ranging between ISO80 and ISO3200. However at ISO3200 images are only captured at 3 megapixels, and despite this downsizing, they still look very noisy.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg  

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg  

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg  


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Focal Range

The camera’s 35x optical zoom lens gives you a focal range of 25-875mm (in 35mm-camera terms) and an aperture of f/3.0 at wide angle, to f/5.9 when zoomed in.



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

File Quality

Three JPEG compression options can be selected: Super Fine, Fine and Normal. These result in file sizes around 5.5MB, 4MB and 2.5MB respectively.

16M Super Fine (5.09Mb) (100% Crop) 16M Fine (3.07Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
16M Normal (2.60Mb) (100% Crop)  

Chromatic Aberrations

The Samsung WB1100F handled chromatic aberrations only fairly well during the review, with some obvious purple fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The WB1100F boasts a Super Macro mode that lets it focus down to 1cm from your subject. You’ll need to keep the zoom set to maximum wide angle to achieve this and expect plenty of barrel distortion when shooting subjects this close. You’ll also need plenty of light to compensate for the inevitable shadow cast by the camera.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The camera’s built-in flash includes six modes: Off, Auto, Red-eye, Fill in, Slow Sync and Red-eye fix. This last setting fires two flash bursts as in standard Red-eye mode, but also uses internal processing to remove red-eye.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (875mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (875mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

In our testing with the WB1100F successfully avoided red-eye and the flash produced only minor wide-angle vignetting from a distance of 1.5m.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red Eye Fix

Red Eye Fix (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The camera’s Smart mode includes a Night setting that’s designed to capture low-light scenes with reduced image noise.  This shot required a 2.5-second exposure time at ISO80, hence a tripod is essential to avoid blur from camera shake.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Image Stabilisation

Samsung’s optical image stabilisation (OIS) system does a great job at ironing out the effects of camera shake. It’s vital for maintaining sharp shots in low light and at the telephoto end of the WB1100F’s focal length range.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Image Stabilisation Off (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation On (100% Crop)

1/23 sec / 25mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg

Smart Filters

Samsung equips the WB1100F with just six Smart Filter effects: Miniature, Vignetting, Fish Eye, Classic, Retro and Cross Filter.



smart_filter_01.jpg smart_filter_02.jpg



smart_filter_03.jpg smart_filter_04.jpg


Cross Filter

smart_filter_05.jpg smart_filter_06.jpg


The WB1100F will automatically capture panoramic shots by pressing and holding the shutter release whilst sweeping right, left, up or down. Unlike many cameras which force you to keep panning for at least 120 degrees, the WB1100F will let you stop the pan wherever you like. But whatever the width, the end result will be under 700 vertical pixels in size, and that’s low even by the class standards.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Samsung WB1100F camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Superfine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1280 x 720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 18 second movie is 16Mb in size.

Product Images

Samsung WB1100F

Front of the Samsung WB1100F

Samsung WB1100F

Front of the Samsung WB1100F / Pop-up Flash

Samsung WB1100F

Side of the Samsung WB1100F

Samsung WB1100F

Side of the Samsung WB1100F

Samsung WB1100F

Rear of the Samsung WB1100F

Samsung WB1100F

Rear of the Samsung WB1100F / Image Displayed

Samsung WB1100F

Rear of the Samsung WB1100F / Main Menu

Samsung WB1100F

Top of the Samsung WB2200

Samsung WB1100F

Bottom of the Samsung WB1100F


Samsung WB1100F

Side of the Samsung WB1100F

Samsung WB1100F
Side of the Samsung WB1100F
Samsung WB1100F
Front of the Samsung WB1100F
Samsung WB1100F
Front of the Samsung WB1100F
Samsung WB1100F
Memory Card Slot / Battery Compartment


Entry-level superzoom bridge cameras don’t tend to set the world on fire with stunning performance or funky features, and the Samsung WB1100F is no exception. Sure, its wireless connectivity is a step above the competition in this sector and the camera has a slick interface, but there’s little else to set the WB1100F apart from rivals like the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS, Nikon Coolpix L830 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30.

Underwhelming image quality with noticeable detail loss at ISO400 and above doesn’t do the WB1100F any favours either. Shots taken at ISO1600 are only just passable due to extensive detail smearing and grain noise, whilst the maximum ISO3200 sensitivity is practically useless.

A sluggish start-up time and an autofocus system which is similarly slow in low light further blunt the camera’s appeal, as does its average screen quality, limited special effects and severely-downsized panoramic images.

Good ergonomics and build quality are plus points for the WB1100F though, and the camera does have a final trump card: price. The initial RRP of £249.99/$249.99 seems steep for such a mediocre offering, but you can already pick one up for much less.

Consequently the WB1100F now offers a lot of camera and zoom range for the money and hence it’s likely to appeal to photographers wanting decent versatility on a budget. However, if you’re at all concerned with image quality and low-light performance, even a cut-price WB1100F could still disappoint.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3
Value for money 4

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Samsung WB1100F.

Canon PowerShot SX600 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX600 HS is a new travel-zoom camera with an 18x zoom lens in a slim and compact body. The Canon SX600 also offers 16 megapixels, a 3-inch LCD screen, built-in wi-fi and 1080p HD movies. Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot SX600 HS review to find out if it's the right camera for you...

Fujifilm FinePix S9400W

The Fujifilm FinePix S9400W is a new bridge camera with a massive 50x, 24-1200mm zoom lens. The Fujifilm S9400W also offers built-in wi-fi, full 1080p movies at 60fps with stereo sound, a 3 inch LCD screen, electronic viewfinder, 10ps burst shooting and a 16 megapixel back-illuminated EXR sensor. Read our Fujifilm FinePix S9400W review now...

Kodak PixPro AZ521

The new Kodak PixPro AZ521 super-zoom camera features a massive 52x zoom lens with a focal range of 24-1248mm. Other highlights of the affordable Kodak AZ521 include a 3 inch LCD screen, full 1080p HD movies, and a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor. Read our in-depth Kodak PixPro AZ521 review now...

Nikon Coolpix L830

The Nikon Coolpix L830 is a budget super-zoom compact camera with a 34x zoom lens. The 16 megapixel bridge-style Nikon L830 has a tilting 3-inch LCD screen, 1080p movies and uses AA batteries. Read our Nikon Coolpix L830 review to find out if this is the right super zoom camera for you...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 is an affordable super-zoom camera featuring a 35x zoom lens with a huge focal range of 25-875mm. Other highlights of the Panasonic LZ30 include a 3 inch LCD screen, 720p HD movies, Manual shooting mode and a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 review now...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 is a new superzoom compact camera with a incredible 63x zoom lens. The Sony H400 also features a 20 megapixel CCD sensor, 720p HD video with stereo sound, 3-inch screen, electronic viewfinder and a range of manual shooting modes. Read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 review to find out if it's the right super-zoom camera for you...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Samsung WB1100F from around the web. »

The Samsung WB1100F is a mid-range bridge camera with a 35x optical zoom lens, a 3inch screen and built in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for instant sharing. It is available in black or red for around £219.
Read the full review »


Network and Wireless Connectivity

  • NFC Yes
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n

Image Sensor

  • Type CCD
  • Sensor Size 1/2.33″ (Approx. 7.73mm)
  • Effective Pixel Approx 16.2


  • Focal Length f = 4.5 ~ 157.5mm (35mm film equivalent : 25 ~ 875mm)
  • F No. 3.0~5.9
  • Optical Zoom 35X
  • Digital Zoom Still Image mode : 1.0X ~ 35.0X(optical) / 1.0X~2.0X(digital) Intelli-zoom : 2.0X Play mode : 1.0X ~ 14.4X (depends on image size)


  • Type TFT LCD
  • Size 3.0" (7.5 cm)
  • Resolution 460,000

Image Stabilisation

  • Type Optical IS


  • External Media SD (up to 2GB guaranteed), SDHC (up to 32GB guaranteed), SDXC (up to 64GB guaranteed)
  • Internal approx. 21MB

Physical specification

  • Dimension (WxHxD) 124,5 x 86.5 x 92.00
  • Weight 464g


  • Capacity 1030mAh


  • Speed Smart Auto : 1/8 ~ 1/2,000 sec., Program : 1 ~ 1/2,000 sec., Night : 8 ~ 1/2,000 sec.


  • AF-Assist Lamp Yes
  • Type TTL Auto Focus (Center AF, Multi AF, Tracking AF, Face Detection AF, Selection AF)
  • Range Normal : 80cm ~ Infinity (Wide), 150cm ~ infinity(Tele) *Macro : 10cm ~ 80cm (Wide), 150cm ~ 350cm (Tele) *Auto Macro : 1cm ~ infinity (Wide), 150cm ~ infinity (Tele) *Super Macro : 1cm (Wide)

Drive Mode

  • Mode Single, Continuous, AEB, Motion Capture
  • Self-Timer Off, 2 sec., 10 sec., Double(10 sec., 2 sec.)


  • Digital Output Connector USB2.0
  • Audio Microphone : Mono / Internal Speaker : Mono
  • Video Out AV, NTSC / PAL (user selectable)


  • Control Program AE
  • Metering System Multi, Spot, Center-weighted, Face Detection AE
  • Compensation ±2EV (1/3EV steps)
  • ISO Equivalent Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200


  • Mode Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash Off, Red-eye fix
  • Range Wide : 80cm ~ 6m (ISO Auto), Tele : 1.5m ~ 3m (ISO Auto)
  • Recharging Time Approx. 5


  • Still Miniature, Vignetting, Fish Eye, Classic, Retro, Cross Filter
  • Movie Miniature, Vignetting, Fish-eye, Classic, Retro, Palette Effect 1, 2, 3, 4


  • Mode 1) Smart Auto, 2).Program, 3) Smart, 4) Wi-Fi, 5) Panorama 6) Magic plus, 7) Set, 8) Movie
  • Smart Beauty Face, Action Freeze, Sunset, Landscape, Silhouette, Fireworks, Night, Macro, Light Trace
  • Image Size 16 M: 4,608 x 3,456 / 14 MP: 4,608 x 3,072 / 12 MW: 4,608 x 2,592 / 10 M: 3,648 x 2,736 / 8 M: 2,832 x 2,832 / 5 M: 2,592 x 1,944 / 3 M: 1,984 x 1,488 / 2 MW: 1920 x 1080 / 1 M: 1,024 x 768

Image Play

  • Type Single image, Thumbnails, Advanced Slide Show, Movie Clip

Date Imprinting

  • Date Imprinting Date&Time, Date, Off (user selectable)


  • Image Size 1280×720, 640×480, 320×240, 240web
  • Frame Rate 30fps
  • Sound Voice recording : On/Off/Zoom Mute
  • Format MP4 (Video: MPEG4, AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC)


  • Application iLauncher inside

System Requirement

  • Macintosh Power Mac G3 or above / Mac OS 10.5 or above
  • Windows PC with processor better than Intel Pentium4 3.2 GHz / AMD Athlon FX 2.6GHz or higher / Windows 7 / 8 / 250MB or more hard-disk capacity (over 1GB recommended)/ 512MB RAM (over 1GB recommended)/ nVIDIA Geforce 7600GT or above / ATI X1600 series or above/ 1024×768 pixels, 16-bit color display compatible monitor/ (1280×1024 pixels, 32-bit color display recommended)/ USB 2.0

Special Feature

  • Special Feature Speed Control Key

Operating Environment

  • Operating Temperature 0 - 40
  • Operating Humidity 5 - 85

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