ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Although four new digital still cameras were front and center for Samsung Electronics’ recent PMA Show introductions, a pair of pocket- sized camcorders also created a some buzz, as the lines between the camera and camcorder categories continue to blur.
Samsung extended its family of ultra- compact camcorder models with the HMX-U20 ($249 suggested retail) and the HMX-U15 ($229), which are both slated to ship in the spring.
Both pocket-cams capture FullHD 1080p video and high-resolution still photos. They also are the fi rst models to introduce into Samsung’s ultra-compact camcorder series a built-in USB connection.
The HMX-U20 and HMX-U15 include 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensors capable of recording 1,920 by 1,080 FullHD resolution video (30p/H.264). In still photo mode, the HMX-U20 will capture 7.8- megapixel and 10-megapixel digital still images, while the HMX-U15 shoots 14- megapixel digital stills.
The camcorders also include Hyper Digital Image Stabilization.
Both models offer time-lapse recording with preset intervals of one image every one, five, 10 or 30 seconds.
The step-up HMX-U20 also features a 3x optical zoom lens, which is unusual for the pocket camcorder category and price point.
The built-in USB connection can be used to recharge the camcorder’s battery, and an HDMI output is included for connection to HDTV sets.
Also included in both models is a playedit- sharing program, called Intelli-studio, which runs on a PC to enable editing and playing video without having to install supporting software. A one-touch “upload” button enables sharing videos and photos online using an Internet connection and links directly to sites including YouTube.
Highlighting company’s new digital still cameras at the show was the new f lagship point-and-shoot. The TL500 (shipping this spring at a $449 suggested retail) features 10-megapixel highperformance image sensor, a full-range of advanced features, and a bright 3x Schneider Kreuznach f/1.8 24mm wide-angle zoom lens.
The camera incorporates a 1/1.7-inch CCD image sensor with high sensitivity (up to ISO 3,200 at full resolution). Together with Samsung’s re engineered DRIMeIII imaging processor, the TL500 captures high-quality images in virtually all lighting conditions.
To reduce image blurring the TL500 includes Dual Image Stabilization technology, while a 3-inch swiveling AMOLED view screen allows easy shooting at multiple angles.
Other features include RAW fi le support, shutter priority, aperture priority and full manual shooting modes, Smart Auto 2.0 (still and movie) scene recognition technology, and video capture at (640 by 480/30fps/H.264) resolution.
The TL350 (available this spring at $349) is a 10-megapixel compact camera with 1080p, FullHD video recording, capable of shooting video at up to 1,000 fps. Also included is an up to 10 fps burst shooting mode for full size digital stills.
Other features include Advanced Panorama Shot with Object Tracking, and Dual Capture mode, which allows users to simultaneously take 10-megapixel still images while recording FullHD videos.
The camera includes an advanced CMOS sensor and re-engineered DRIMeIII processor for improved low light performance and high-speed shooting.
The camera includes a 5x 24mm ultrawide- angle Schneider Kreuznach zoom lens, Advanced Panorama mode with Object Tracking that will further enhance the camera’s wide-angle capabilities. For blur-free handheld images, the TL350’s lens is also paired with Samsung’s Dual Image Stabilization technology.
The TL350 is equipped with a 3-inch AMOLED screen, providing users with a high contrast ratio, deep colors and less power consumption.
Other features include smart and manual controls, intuitive Smart Auto 2.0 (still and movie) scene-recognition technology, and RAW file support.
Samsung also introduced two 12-megapixel active-user-designed all-weather cameras in the waterproof AQ100 (shipping this spring at $199), and shock-resistant SL605 (shipping this spring at $129).
The AQ100 features a the slim (0.78- inch-thick) body design, water resistance to 10 feet, strong low-light performance, 5x optical inner-zoom lens, Digital Image Stabilization, and a 2.7-inch TFT-LCD screen for framing and reviewing images.
The AQ100 will also record 720p HD video and offers Smart Auto scene-recognition technology, which fi ne-tunes both video and picture settings.
The new SL605 (spring, $129) offers an anti scratch mask, a 2.7-inch TFTLCD (230,000-pixel resolution), dustand dirt-resistant rubberized body, a 5x 27mm wide-angle lens, standard-defi nition VGA video recording and Smart Auto scene-recognition technology.
Also included in the SL605 is a Smart Night mode for shooting in poorly lit areas.