Samsung TL34HD Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Samsung TL34HD
Resolution: 14.70 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/1.72 inch
(7.4mm x 5.6mm)
Kit Lens: 3.60x zoom
(28-102mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
Extended ISO: 80 - 3200
Shutter: 1/2000 - 16 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.3 x 0.8 in.
(95 x 60 x 20 mm)
Weight: 4.9 oz (138 g)
MSRP: $330
Availability: 09/2008
Manufacturer: Samsung
Full specs: Samsung TL34HD specifications

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14.70
Megapixels
3.60x zoom 1/1.72 inch
size sensor
image of Samsung TL34HD
Front side of Samsung TL34HD digital camera Front side of Samsung TL34HD digital camera Front side of Samsung TL34HD digital camera    

The Samsung TL34HD features a 14.7 megapixel 1/1.72" image sensor behind a Schneider Kreuznach-branded 3.6x optical zoom lens. The TL34HD's lens offers a 28 - 102mm equivalent focal range, a useful wide angle to a moderate telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from F2.8 to F5.9 across the zoom range. Macro focusing is possible down to 5cm at wide angle, or 50cm at telephoto. There's no optical viewfinder, with images being framed on a large 3.0" LCD display with well above average 460,000 pixel resolution. Even more impressively, the LCD panel has touch-screen capability. This can be used both to select an area of the image on which to focus by touching it, and to control the camera courtesy of a newly designed user interface dubbed "Smart Touch 2.0". Samsung also notes that the camera has a "drastically improved" anti-reflection coating on the LCD.

The TL34HD's ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 1600, with the ability to extend this to a maximum of ISO 4800 at a reduced three megapixel resolution. The TL34HD offers shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 8 seconds, controlled automatically. There are four metering modes in the Samsung TL34HD - either multi, center-weighted, spot or face detection-linked, and the autofocus system can likewise use face detection (with the previously mentioned touch AF, plus either multi or center AF areas also available for selection). The face detection function is capable of detecting nine faces simultaneously, and also has both smile and blink detection functions, which can be used to prevent capture of a photo until nobody is blinking and everyone's smiling. The Samsung TL34HD has twelve scene modes aimed at keeping things approachable for beginner photographers while still offering a degree of control over images: Night, Beauty-Shot, Portrait, Children, Landscape, Text, Close-up, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, and Self-Shot.

Seven white balance settings include Auto and Manual modes, as well as five fixed presets. The TL34HD includes Samsung's "Dual Image Stabilization" function, which combines both a true mechanical stabilization function, plus the ability to combat blur using the camera's firmware, automatically raising the camera's ISO sensitivity as needed.

The Samsung TL34HD has the ability to record movies in MP4 format, using the newer H.264 MPEG-4 AVC compression (which offers better compression / quality than the Motion JPEG format favored by most digicams). The TL34HD's movies are recorded at up to an impressive maximum resolution of 1280x720 pixels, with a maximum frame rate of 30 fps. When resolution isn't as important as file size or frame rate, this can be reduced to 640x480 pixels or 320x240 pixels, the latter with the ability to boost frame rate to 60 frames per second. The TL34HD does support optical zoom while recording of videos, and allows the user to select whether or not audio is captured prevent objectionable lens zoom noises from appearing on the audio track. Unusually, the TL34HD offers a stereo microphone instead of the mono mic found in most digicams. An even more uncommon feature is the ability to pause recording during a movie, then continue recording of the same file.

The Samsung TL34HD stores its images on SD, SDHC, or MMC plus cards, or in 40MB of built-in memory. The TL34HD derives its power from a proprietary SLB-1137D lithium-ion battery pack. Connectivity options include NTSC / PAL video, and USB 2.0 computer connectivity of unspecified speed by default. Courtesy of an optional SCC-NV5 HDMI Consumer Electronics Control cradle, it is possible for the camera to be connected to HDMI 1.2 compatible high-definition displays. When using a Samsung high-definition display, the TV's remote control can be used to navigate the camera's menus remotely.

Samsung has added an optional "Recycle Bin" function on the TL34HD, which functions much like that on a desktop PC - files aren't really deleted initially, but rather are moved to the recycle bin from where they can then be either deleted, or restored. Another fairly unusual feature of the Samsung TL34HD is what the company is calling "Digital Contents Management". In playback mode, this tool organizes photos by their capture date (by month, or on a timeline), theme (portrait, couple, group photo, city or landscape), color tone, or file type (photo, video or voice memo). For your PC, the company's Samsung Master software is included in the product bundle, and the Samsung TL34HD is also DLNA compatible.

The Samsung TL34HD ships from September 2008 priced at US$330. Two body colors are offered - either all-black, or silver with red accents

Samsung TL34HD

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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