Korean manufacturer Samsung has unveiled the WB5000, a 12.5-megapixel camera that comes with a chassis that looks more like a Digital SLR than a compact which is the category Samsung is pigeonholing it.
The camera comes with a huge 24x zoom courtesy of lens specialists Schneider-KREUZNACH combine with a 26mm wide-angle focal length. The camera's electronics is powerful enough to allow it to record 720p HD video in H.264 format.
It also features a 3in (640x480 pixels) resolution display and a maximum equivalent ISO of 6,400 (at a resolution of 3-megapixel).
To further highlight its quasi DSLR credentials, the WB5000 comes with aperture and shutter priority, raw file shooting and manual shooting option. On top of that you can choose between two in-built stabilisation systems; optical or digital.
Official pictures released show a classy device with a significant amount of rubber placed at strategic locations to improve grip and stability. The controls are also well placed but the WB500 doesn't come with any shoe-horn for external flash. Instead, users will need to rely on the pop up one.
Samsung has also confirmed that the camera will be shipping with Lithium-ion batteries, with a suggested retail price of £350 and nationwide availability by the end of September.
The Samsung WB5000 is going to face some hefty competition from many household names. Nikon for example has the CoolPix P90 which has roughly the same specs but is available for less than £275. Ditto for the Olympus SP-590UZ which is available for even less (£215). The Pentax X70 black is also a viable candidate at £270 while the Easyshare Z980 from Kodak could well prove to be a tough cookie at £232.