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September 02, 2009

Samsung HZ25w (WB5000) is a 24X RAWzoomer with manual exposure

A few days ago CNet Asia broke the news of a new Samsung mega-zoom with RAW. As fate would have it, there was a big wave of Canon, Panasonic and Leica, and the new WB5000/HZ25w went into the background. So now that the excitement has cooled off, it is time to re-introduce this new RAWzoomer!

A few years ago Samsung fired a warning shot at the Japanese establishment, claiming that their goal is to become #1 in market share. And you certainly can't blame Samsung for trying. They have delivered unique "Engadget" type of cameras one after another. However, trying is only half of the grade, the other half is implementation and that has been their Rain's heel so far ;-)


So now Samsung shows that they want to be taken more seriously in fixed-lens cameras, by offering a 24X megazoom with full-manual exposure and RAW (DNG 1.1), the HZ25W aka WB5000. The lens starts at 26mm wide and has optical image stabilization. It also offers manual focusing (don't see a ring, so probably via menus), and bares the name Schneider-Kreuznach.

Other features include 30fps 720p video (H.264 compression), a 3-inch LCD, EVF (230K), custom white balance (3K to 10K), and the usual assortment of consumer-friendly features (face recognition, smart-*, etc).

Power is provided by lithium-ion battery, but there is no CIPA estimate.

And it goes without saying, the sensor is your usual 12-megapixel 1/2.X" that is everywhere these days.

But we have to give Samsung credit for offering RAW, manual exposure, and custom white balance, which is always a step in the right direction.

The camera is expected to come out in October with a starting price of $400, which is where the Canon SX20is and Panasonic FZ35K start at.

Further Reading
+ Press release at Imaging Insider
+ The original reveal at CNet Asia
+ Samsung's own emo-blog
+ three giant body pictures at DC Resource

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