Samsung TL320 Review

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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Samsung TL320
Resolution: 12.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.33 inch
(6.1mm x 4.6mm)
Lens: 5.00x zoom
(24-120mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
Extended ISO: 80 - 3200
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.4 x 0.9 in.
(97 x 60 x 22 mm)
MSRP: $380
Availability: 05/2009
Manufacturer: Samsung
Full specs: Samsung TL320 specifications

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5.00x zoom 1/2.33 inch
size sensor
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Front side of Samsung TL320 digital camera Front side of Samsung TL320 digital camera Front side of Samsung TL320 digital camera    
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The Samsung TL320 features a 12.2 megapixel image sensor behind a Schneider Kreuznach Varioplan-branded 5x optical zoom lens. The TL320's lens has actual focal lengths of 4.3 - 21.5mm, and 35mm-equivalent focal lengths of 24mm - 120mm - a very good wide angle through to a moderate telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from F2.8 to a rather dim F7.3 across the zoom range.

There's no optical viewfinder, with images being framed on a crisp 3.0" AMOLED display with 460,000 dots of resolution. That's roughly double the norm for a display of this size, and Samsung's use of an AMOLED display is interesting - they're said to offer decreased power consumption, increased contrast, and better off-axis viewing angles than the more commonplace TFT LCD displays. The most eyecatching feature, though, has to be the two analog gauges on the camera's top panel. The needles in these rotary gauges indicate the camera's currently remaining battery and flash card capacity, and are the kind of design feature you'll either love or hate.

The Samsung TL320 includes a face detection function capable of detecting nine faces simultaneously, and also has 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. The Samsung TL320 also has a range of eleven 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 the appropriate scene mode from among these. More experienced photographers will appreciate the ability to select their aperture and/or shutter speed, not to mention the TL320's unusually capable white balance controls that allow manual selection in 100K steps from 2,800 to 10,000K - all offering a good degree of control over the look of photos. There's also a "Smart Album" function in playback mode to help organize images, and a "Beauty Shot" mode which enhances skin tones.

Usefully given the telephoto range available, the Samsung TL320 includes true mechanical image stabilization, 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. The Samsung TL320 has the ability to record movies in MPEG-4 H.264 format, with a maximum resolution of 720p (1280 x 720 pixels), and allows use of the optical zoom during recording of movies. Connectivity options include HDMI video via an optionally available camera cradle, allowing the camera to be connected to the latest high-definition displays - if you spend a little extra to obtain the cradle.

The Samsung TL320 ships from May 2009 in black or silver finishes, with pricing set at about $380.

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