It seemed like a clever gimmick at first, but Samsung's DualView cameras have been successful, not only because they sport a second front-side LCD to help when shooting portraits and the like, but also because they were well-designed point-and-shooters with or without the extra screen. In fact, the original DualView TL225 was good enough to snag a spot on my Top 10 compact cameras list in May.
Today, Samsung announced two new DualView models, the DualView ST600 and ST100. Both cameras boost resolution up to 14 megapixels, which is not necessarily a good thing in my book (more megapixels crammed on compact sensors usually means noisier low-light images), but more interestingly they've increased the size of the front-side LCDs to 1.8 inches (up from 1.5 inches in the original TL225 and TL220). Both also include large 3.5-inch back-side touchscreens with 1,152,000-dot resolution like the TL225's gorgeous screen. And the cameras both shoot 720p HD video at 30 fps, offering scene recognition technology in still and video shooting modes.
The ST600 seems to be more of a straight update to the TL225, with similar body styling, though a little more rounded and sleek (and a purple color option). It retains its predecessor's 27mm equivalent wide-angle focal length, but the new lens is a 5x optical zoom, rather than the 4.6x zoom of the TL225.
The ST100 departs from the original design with an ultracompact body style using an internal periscope-type folding optics lens, in this case a 35-175mm equivalent 5x optical zoom (and it comes in pink).
Like their predecessors, the ST600 and ST100 shine when it comes to taking portraits, providing visual cues on the front LCDs for taking self-timer photos or pictures of children (think countdowns and cartoons). In addition, both cameras offer a couples mode (which automatically releases the shutter when it detects two faces tilted toward each other) as well as a new jump shot mode of limited usefulness that uses the front LCD to alert subjects when to jump up in unison and takes take three consecutive images so you can take a shot of your buddies jumping in mid air. Cute.
Both cameras will ship in September: The ST600 will retail for $329.99 and the ST100 will sell for $349.99.