Samsung has launched three new entry-level digital cameras: the PL70, the PL55 and the basic ES17.
The Samsung PL70, which will sell for around £199, is the most advanced of the three models and offers a high-definition (HD) video-recording mode.
Unlike many cameras of this class, it has the ability to pause and resume recording – most other models only offer the ability to stop recording and then begin again with the creation of a new file.
The PL70 features a 12.2Mp sensor, a three-inch screen and a 5x optical zoom with a 28mm wide lens.
It features face, smile and blink detection features and, what Samsung describes as ‘Dual Image Stabilisation’ – a feature designed to reduce blur in images that can sometimes result from camera shake.
The Samsung PL55 is a slightly more basic model. It features a 12.2Mp sensor, a 5x optical zoom and face, smile and blink detection.
It lacks the HD recording mode, however, and only offers digital image stabilisation – a slightly inferior technology to the optical image stabilisation that makes up part of the ‘Dual Image Stabilisation’ of the PL70.
An interesting feature of the PL55, however, is the ‘Frame Guide’. This allows you to take a ‘ghost picture’ of a scene, which leaves a faint outline on the 2.7-inch LCD.
The idea is that you then hand the camera to a friend or fellow holiday maker and then get into the shot yourself. The camera user will then be able to use the outline of the ghost picture you previously took, to ensure that the shot is framed as you would like it to be.
The PL55 has a recommended retail price of £149.
The Samsung ES17, with a retail price of £89, is the most basic of the three new Samsung digital cameras. It too boasts a 12.3Mp sensor, but its zoom, at 3x, lacks the punch of the other 5x zooms on the PL70 and PL55.
It features face detection, but not the smile and blink detection bundled on the other two models, and like the PL55, it only provides digital image stabilisation rather than the superior optical image stabilisation that the PL70 provides.
Richard Parris, Which? digital camera expert, said: ‘With more cameras available for under £200, and even under £100, there’s a great deal of choice for consumers on tighter budgets. As Samsung has shown, it’s still possible to find a camera packed full of innovative features even when you’re keeping an eye on your wallet.’
All three models will be available from August 2009 in a range of colours.
For help choosing the best digital camera check out our digital camera reviews.
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