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Samsung TL350 Overview

Posted: 02/20/2010

The Samsung TL350 couples a 10.2 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor with Samsung's PRIMeIII image processor and a Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan-branded 5x optical zoom lens with a very generous 24mm wide angle. The TL350 includes Samsung's Dual Image Stabilization technology, which couples both true optical image stabilization, and software-based anti blur techniques. On its  rear panel resides a roomy 3.0-inch AMOLED display. Compared to traditional LCD displays, AMOLED panels generally offer lower power consumption (and hence better battery life), greater viewing angles, greater contrast, and more vivid color.

The TL350's standout feature is probably its speed. As well as a 10 frames-per-second burst rate at full resolution in still shooting, the TL350's video mode is equally highly specified. The TL350 is capable of recording at up to a maximum resolution of high definition 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels, non-interlaced) with a rate of 30 frames per second. Drop the resolution to 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels) or 4:3 aspect ratio VGA (640 x 480 pixels) and the frame rate doubles to 60 frames per second. At either 19:9 aspect 608 x 342 pixels or 4:3 aspect QVGA (320 x 240), the rate increases to an impressive 240 frames per second. Finally, two further non-standard 16:9 aspect modes offer postage stamp-sized video at nonetheless truly impressive framerates - 420fps at 316 x 178 pixels, or 1,000fps at 138 x 78 pixels.

All these features lie on the inside, but the Samsung TL350 is a rather eyecatching camera on the outside as well, thanks to a feature inherited from its 2008 model year predecessor, the Samsung TL9. Two analog gauges reside on the camera's top panel. The needles in these rotary gauges indicate the camera's currently remaining battery and flash card capacity. They're the kind of design feature you'll either love or hate, but you'll certainly notice one way or another - and will likely receive comment on every time the camera comes out. Some other unusual features of the TL350 include a Dual Capture mode which allows ten megapixel stills to be captured during HD video shooting (although it isn't clear whether or not this involves an interruption to the video), and a Panorama function with object tracking capability.

A couple of features of the TL350 cater to advanced amateurs and enthusiasts. The TL350 includes a fully manual shooting mode that allows the photographer to control both shutter speed and aperture, as well as a Raw file format for when the maximum versatility in post-capture processing is desired. There's also an Advanced Picture mode which allows manual adjustment of color tone. For those times when you just want a quick snapshot, the TL350 also offers Samsung's Smart Auto 2 scene recognitition function, which works with both still image and video shooting. Not only face detection, but also face recognition is offered, capable of identifying up to twenty specific individuals and prioritizing their faces when determing exposure variables.

Connectivity includes an HDMI output for viewing images on the latest high-definition displays. Interestingly, the TL350 also includes PC image management / editing / viewing software on-camera in its internal memory, ready for installation without a CD-Rom disc being needed.

The Samsung TL350 ships in a black body color only, from Spring 2010. Pricing is set at around $350.