Samsung CL65 Review
|Full model name:||Samsung CL65|
|Dimensions:||3.9 x 2.4 x 0.7 in.
(100 x 61 x 19 mm)
|Weight:||5.5 oz (156 g)|
The Samsung CL65 features a 12.2 megapixel 1/2.33" CCD image sensor behind a Schneider Kreuznach Varioplan-branded 5x optical zoom lens. The CL65's lens has actual focal lengths of 6.3 - 31.5mm, and 35mm-equivalent focal lengths of 35mm - 175mm - a rather tight wide angle through to a useful telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from F3.6 to F4.8 across the zoom range. The CL65's lens includes optical image stabilization, which should help reduce the likelihood of blur caused by camera shake, as part of what Samsung terms "Dual Image Stabilization". The other part of the function is Digital Image Stabilization, which combats blur using the camera's firmware, automatically raising the camera's ISO sensitivity (and noise levels) as needed.
There's no optical viewfinder, with images being framed on a 3.5-inch wide screen LCD display with 1,152,000 dots of resolution, which equates to around 384,000 pixels (likely an 800 x 480 pixel array). This unusually high-res display dominates most of the camera's rear surface, and also features a touch panel through which most control is achieved. The Samsung CL65 offers what Samsung calls a "Smart Gesture" user interface; when specific gestures are traced with a fingertip on the touch panel, the camera recognizes and responds appropriately. For example, tracing your finger in a cross mark on the screen will delete the current photo, while tracing a circle will instead rotate it. To switch between photos, you simply drag your finger to one side across the panel. In addition, the Samsung CL65 include an orientation sensor, and allows switching between photos by tilting the camera body to one side or other. The LCD touch panel is also used in record mode, with a tap of the finger on your subject being all that's needed to manually set the focus point. Holding your finger over the subject for two seconds will set focus and then trigger the shutter; alternatively you can press the shutter button immediately after focus lock is achieved. In addition, the CL65's display offers haptic feedback, which uses a slight vibration of the display surface as a method of tactile confirmation when the user presses an on-screen control. This vibration is accompanied by a beeping sound as a further form of confirmation.
Despite its slim 0.7-inch thick body, the Samsung CL65 is unusually feature-rich, including a built-in GPS receiver, as well as both wireless LAN and Bluetooth connectivity. The GPS receiver is used to automatically tag images as they're captured, recording into the EXIF headers the location at which the photo was shot (or when indoors away from GPS reception, the last location at which a fix was obtained). This location information can then be displayed on the CL65's LCD display in playback mode, as well as being used by some geotagging-aware software and websites such as Google's Picasa to arrange and allow searching of images based on their capture location. The wireless LAN connectivity meanwhile allows the CL65 to connect to 802.11b/g networks, so long as they don't require verification using a web browser before data can be transferred. Once connected, CL65 users can send reduced-resolution versions of photos and movies by email, or upload them to certain websites including Facebook, Picasa and YouTube. Images transferred by WiFi are automatically resized to a reduced resolution of two megapixels - good for speed of transfer, but it would perhaps have been preferable to let the user decide whether to upload a full-res version as desired. Email addresses for recipients can be stored in the camera's address book, and new addresses can be entered using an on-screen QWERTY keyboard. Finally, the Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity allows for transfer of images wirelessly to other Bluetooth devices such as cellphones. The CL65 will apparently automatically resize images to match the resolution of the remote device's screen, although we don't have precise details on how this is determined.
The Samsung CL65 includes face detection capability with both smile and blink detection functions, which can be used to automatically capture a photo when everyone's smiling, and then retake the image if anybody blinks. There's also a "Beauty Shot" mode which smooths skin tones on detected faces, and offers three user-selected levels of smoothing. The face detection is also used to offer a Red-Eye Fix function which automatically locates and corrects for this common image defect. In addition, the CL65 includes Smart Face Recognition technology, which allows twenty individuals' faces to be registered in-camera and then recognized in subsequent shots. Once identified, those individuals' faces will be given priority over unrecognized faces in the scene when determining exposure variables, and can also be searched for in the Smart Album playback mode. The Samsung CL65 also has a generous selection of scene modes aimed at keeping things approachable for beginner photographers while still offering a degree of control over images, plus a Smart Auto mode which automatically selects one of 16 scene modes as appropriate to the current scene.
The Samsung CL65 has the ability to record standard or high definition movies with sound at 30 frames per second in H.264 format, with a maximum resolution of 720p (1280 x 720 pixels). Connectivity options include HDMI video via an optionally available adapter allowing the camera to be connected to the latest high-definition displays. Alternatively, the CL65 includes standard definition NTSC / PAL video output. Power comes courtesy of a proprietary SLB-11A Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. The Samsung CL65 stores images on the tiny MicroSD / MicroSDHC card format, or in 100MB of built-in memory.
The Samsung CL65 ships from September 2009, with pricing set at about $400.
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