Samsung announces S90 competitor, high-speed compact, and two rugged point-and-shoots

Samsung announced four new compact cameras at PMA 2010: The TL500 high-end compact, the TL350 high-speed shooter, and the AQ100 and SL605, two durable point-and-shoot cameras.

Samsung announced four new compact cameras at PMA 2010 this weekend: The TL500 high-end compact, the TL350 high-speed shooter, and two rugged point-and-shoot cameras, the AQ100 and SL605.

Samsung TL500

The TL500 is poised to compete with both of Canon's popular high-end compacts, the PowerShot G11 and S90, with its large 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor and bright wide-angle (24-74mm equivalent, f/1.8-2.4) 3x optical zoom lens. Like the G11, the TL500 sports an articulating tilt-and-swivel display, but while the G11 uses a 2.8-inch LCD and the S90 includes a fixed 3-inch LCD, the TL350 uses a 3-inch AMOLED screen, which is more rugged than an LCD and should provide better color reproduction, higher contrast ratio, better viewing angles (even in direct sunlight), and will consume less energy (so overall battery life should be better). Like both the G11 and S90, the TL500 shoots only standard definition video, focusing its efforts on still shooting with RAW image capture and full manual controls (all three sport 10 megapixel sensors). The camera will ship this spring for $449.99 (the G11 and S90 are priced at $499.99 and $429.99 respectively).

Samsung TL350

If you're looking for a camera with more robust video features, the TL350 with full 1080p HD video recording will be more your speed. If the TL500 is giving Canon's high-end point-and-shoots some competition, the TL350 is honing in on the territory of Casio's Exilim high-speed digital cameras.  Like the Casio models, the TL350 can shoot video at up to 1,000 fps to enable slow motion playback at 30 fps. Though the TL350's burst mode still shooting doesn't match the 30- and 40-fps speeds of the Exilim line cameras, it's ability to capture 10 full-size shots per second is still plenty speedy. Other stand-out features include the ability to capture 10 megapixel still shots while simultaneously shooting HD video and HDMI connectivity. The camera sports a wide-angle (24-120mm equivalent, f/2.8-f/5.8) 5x optical zoom lens and, like the TL500, it uses a 3-inch AMOLED screen and offers full manual controls and RAW image capture.  The TL350 will ship for $349.99 this spring.

Samsung AQ100

With the new AQ100, Samsung adds to the ever-growing ranks of waterproof cameras. Waterproof to 10 feet, the AQ100 sports a 5x internally telescoping optical zoom lens (with digital image stabilization) and a 2.7-inch LCD screen all in an ultracompact body (just 3.7x2.4x0.7 inches).The 12-megapixel camera is capable of shooting 720p HD video as well, and features scene recognition technology for both still and video recording modes. The camera will be available in red or blue and will sell for $199.99 in the spring.

Samsung SL605

Although the SL605 isn't waterproof, Samsung touts its durability, noting its "anti-scratch mask" and rugged body design (the bottom, buttons and the bezel of the 2.7-inch LCD are rubberized). Otherwise, the best thing about this camera -- which sports a relatively wide angle (27-54mm) 5x optical zoom lens -- is its $129.99 price tag. The camera will be available in black, silver, red, and blue.

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