Samsung TL320 12.2MP Digital Camera with 5x Schneider Wide Angle Dual Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0 inch OLED Screen (Black)
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- 12.2-megapixel effective recording
- 5X optical zoom (5X digital/25X total zoom)
- 3" AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) viewscreen for improved contrast ratio and better power efficiency
- Dual Image Stabilization (optical and digital)
- Wide-angle lens for shooting landscapes and large groups
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Here's a camera that makes everyone smile! The Samsung TL320, with a 5x optical zoom and 24mm ultra wide lens, breaks ground by featuring the world's first 3.0-inch VGA AMOLED screen. The organic LED screen out performs conventional TFT LCD screens with better contrast and a brighter screen that really helps when shooting in both bright sunlight and dark conditions. The 960k pixel packed screen also shows fantastic detail when framing the shot and in playback. The 12 mega pixel TL320 also includes 720p HD movie capture so you can "Pause and Re-record" high definition videos and super sharp movie-quality recordings in one movie clip - a Samsung patented function. The cameras also include "Smart Auto" (Scene Recognition) technology: 11 optimized picture pre-settings such as Portrait, Night portrait, Macro and Macro Color, to help take the perfect shot regardless of the conditions. 3.0 AMOLED screen is brighter than LCD and uses less power HD 720p video recording - Want to shoot videos? You can, and with sound, at up to 1280x720. View them in HDTV 720p resolution on your widescreen TV Video - H.264 compression (a codec for high-definition video that yields three times the recording length than that of MJPEG video) Smart Auto - automatically choose from one of the TL320's 11 scene modes for best results Smart Album - automatically organizes the user's digital images and gives them the ability to narrow their search based on specific criteria Face Detection technology - up to nine faces and automatically adjusts focus and exposure to ensure better composition and image quality Smile Shot - the TL320 takes a photo only when the camera detects smiles on the subjects' faces Blink Detection - fire two consecutive shots if the camera detects that a subject's eyes are closed Beauty Shot - a unique functionality that will automatically enhance and balance skin tones as well as remove blemishes Advanced Pict
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The 3 inches AMOLED LCD screen is very clear and nice to look at especially indoor. But when I use the camera outdoor, like other compact cameras, it still have problem under bright light condition. Glare and reflection obstruct your view, and it can be annoying when you are composing the picture . The LCD screen has 4:3 ratio instead of 3:2 ratio that we usually see in DSLR.
Sensor and Image resolution
One other thing that important to mention is the sensor and image size. The sensor size is 1/2.33 inch (1.09cm) CCD and 12 megapixel maximum resolution. The sensor size is considered small for advance compact camera. Competitors such as Canon S90 IS has 1/1.7 inch and Award winning Panasonic LX3 has 1/1.63 inch. AS a result, image in ISO 400 and above are not that clean. But to be fair, those competitors have a $100-150 higher price tag.
There are several aspect ratios we can choose. But to get full resolution (12 mp or 4000 X 3000) we need to shoot in four thirds (4:3) ratio. If you want to shoot in 3:2 ratio, you will get only 10 mp. and if you shoot in 16:9 ratio (wide screen), you will get 9 mp. Samsung suggests that 9 mp image is good to print up to A2 size and 12 mp is good up to A1 size.
Body and Handling
Samsung TL32 has a sleek, compact body. The lens is fully collapsible when camera is off. The size is relatively small compare to other advance compact cameras and it is very pocket-able.
Samsung also has rotating / round dial, which is use to navigate menu and changing aperture, shutter speed or other setting. I personally like it because I've used Canon EOS 40D and Canon G series before, and they have the same concept.
Build quality is relatively good. Its outer casing is made by metal which exudes confidence. However, the round dial (Samsung calls it smart dial) is a bit flimsy. Ironically, the tripod mount is made by plastic instead of metal. But it won't bother me because I won't use tripod when shooting with this camera 99% most of the time.
The body design is cool, especially the top part of the camera. It has two analog indicators of battery and memory card capacity. Some people might thing it is redundant, but I feel it is very informative. The color of the top plate is black, but in the body is primarily dark brown.
Operation and Auto Focus
Overall, this compact camera is very responsive. Start up time is about 1 second. Auto focus is fast. The whole camera operation is almost silent.There are three kinds of AF system you can choose: Full automatic, multiple focus points and user selector.
Changing basic settings of the camera such as AWB, ISO, photo style, face detection and exposure compensation are very easy and relatively fast. You only need to press Fn (Function) button, and then do the adjustments.
The camera also have macro focusing capability (focusing very close to fill small object to the frame). Unfortunately, the macro focusing is limited to 5 cm. So you can't get really close to the subject. It also affect depth of field. You can't really blur everything out of sight in macro mode. It is partly because of the limitation of macro focusing and also the because of the tiny sensor size.
Like other compact cameras, locking focus on fast moving subjects remain a challenge. If you are planning to shoot that kind of photography, I will suggest to get digital SLR camera instead of compact camera.
Image Quality and ISO Comparison
Samsung TL320 image quality is excellent in bright light and base ISO 80. The color is nice and the auto white balance is accurate. Shooting indoor, the camera does not disappoint. Thanks to the wide aperture of f/2.8 at the wide end and image stabilization which enable you to shoot in slower shutter speed.
Image quality up to ISO 400 is very good. At ISO 800, the camera starts to apply noise reduction software, as a result, the image becomes a bit soft. ISO 3200 is basically unacceptable because the appearance of noise is really apparent and the color of the image becomes dull.
Samsung TL320 is able to record 1280×720p high quality video with stereo sound. Depend on the size of the video, you can record at 15, 30 or 60 fps. In addition, you can choose photo style/filter to apply to your movie to convey the mood.
Fujifilm Finepix F200EXR Price: $339- 12 mp camera that automatically process your images to reduce noise or increase dynamic range at the expense of image resolution. It also has a slightly bigger sensor 1/1.6', But it has slower lens (28-140mm f/3.3-5.1).
Panasonic Lumix LX3 Price: $499 - 10 mp camera that has very big aperture but short zoom lens (24-60mm f/2-2.8) The fast aperture and larger sensor (1/1.63) is making LX3 a better camera for low light situation. It also has a hot shoe to attach external flash or viewfinder. But LX3 is not pocketable because of the protuding lens. You can shoot in RAW mode as well.
Canon S90 IS Price: $425 - 10 mp camera that also have fast aperture in wide end (28-105mm f/2-4.9). It is not as wide as Samsung or Panasonic LX3. The design is as cool but simpler than Samsung. It is also pocket-able.
Samsung TL320 / WB1000 is an interesting and fun to use digital compact camera. It is very light and pocketable, very easy to handle, has nice design and interface, produces very good image quality and has high quality LCD screen. It is also good for low light situation due to the fast aperture of f/2.8 in the wide-end and built-in image stabilization. It also cheaper than most competitors.
I recommend this camera for enthusiasts who like to to have a camera that is affordable, pocket-able, and has manual control plus wide lens for creative composition and control.
Subjective Rating - Relative to advanced compact camera
Image Quality : 4/5
Features : 3/5
Performance : 5/5
Body and Handling : 5/5
Value for Money : 5/5
Please check out my website for sample images, iso comparison and other reviews
Pros: Shirt-pocket small, light weight, solid metal feel, wide-angle zoom lens, f2.8, optical stabilization (in addition to optional digital stabilization), absolutely sweet OLED screen, optional fully manual controls for the photog in me, optional automatic controls for the pull-it-out-of-my-pocket-and-shoot photog in me, long battery life, quick startup, "drive' mode for ~1 frame per second bursts, surprisingly useful flash, excellent color and contrast quality, really sharp lens, 2000 x 3000 pixel images for magazine pub quality, quick response to shutter button, very good 720p video and audio with zooming possible during shooting video), plenty-good-enough-for-me 5x optical zoom, little/no spherical aberration at full wide angle (for architectural shots), decent low light usefulness (but not a D3, for sure), and so on.
Biggest Pro: Due to Samsung's announced TL-350 replacement model, dealers are selling these at cost.
Cons: Very Low light is a bit noisy, similar to others of this genre.
Bottom line: Do not think I could be happier with this purchase. At <$200, you'll have to pay twice as much for a Nikon or Canon with equivalent features. Highly recommended.
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I recommend this one strongly.