When Samsung unveiled its first DualView compact digital cameras back in 2009, their novel addition of extra front-facing LCDs seemed a bit like a clever gimmick at first, but their well-designed interfaces and overall usability made them a hit with users and reviewers alike. Subsequent models, such as the DualView ST600 and last year's ST700, have also been well-received as easy-to-use and fun point-and-shoot cameras with the dual-LCD features serving to differentiate them from the rest of the easy-to-use point-and-shoot masses. Still, it's not really a must-have feature for most, being of limited use unless you shoot a lot of self-portraits.
Today, Samsung has announced a brand new addition to the DualView line, the Samsung DV300F. Like the rest of the DualView line, the DV300F sports a front-facing, 1.5-inch LCD screen, but it also borrows an additional differentiating feature from last year's Samsung SH100 -- built-in WiFi connectivity. The addition of wireless technology means users can email photos and videos directly from the camera as well as upload them to Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, and YouTube for instant sharing with friends and family, no PC required. Or if you do want to download your files from the microSD memory card to your computer, you can also do that via a WiFi connection. Samsung also offers a third option for storing or sharing photos: upload them to free cloud-based storage from Samsung's AllShare Play and Microsoft SkyDrive. You can even set the camera up to automatically back up files to your PC or cloud storage space without you having to manually initiate it (e.g., as soon as you come into range of your WiFi network).
The 16-megapixel camera sports a 5x wide-angle optical zoom lens (25-125mm equivalent) and offers a bunch of new features to up the fun quotient before you share images, such as:
- 12 Magic Frame background templates
- Picture-in-picture function that inserts one image within another (or within a video clip)
- 8 Funny Face modes (adds comical touches to eyes, nose, mouth, etc.)
- Artistic Brush special effects filter (gives photos and videos a black-and-white or color sketch effect)
- SplitShot function (merges up to three images into one)
- Motion Photo function (freeze background around a moving subject)
- Black, silver, navy, and red body color options
The Samsung DV300F will be previewed at the upcoming CES 2012 in Las Vegas and will likely ship in March for a reasonable $199, which makes me think it will be an updated version of one of the lower-end DualView models such as the PL170 rather than the ST700.