Samsung has announced the ST550 and ST500 digital cameras, designed with front-facing LCDs to make self portrait photography easier.
Both 12.2Mp Samsung cameras feature a 1.5-inch LCD touchscreen next to the lens, to help you compose your photograph when snapping yourself.
Each camera offers a 4.6x optical zoom, 27mm wide-angle lens, HD video modes (1280x720p at 30fps) and a host of ‘intelligent’ features, such as scene recognition and smile detection.
Dual-screened digital cameras
Both the ST550 and the ST500 also have touchscreen LCDs on the rear of the camera, with the screen size on the ST550 being an impressive 3.5 inches.
The touchscreen LCDs on the rear of the cameras provide haptic feedback allowing you to feel when a touch has been registered. The focal point of the picture can also be controlled by touching the part of the image on the screen that you want to be in focus.
Both models feature image stabilisation, to counter the blurring effects of shaky hands, and Samsung claims that some of the key features of these cameras can be controlled by hand gestures and taps on the cameras’ bodies.
Which? tech expert Al Warman said: ‘in the past we’ve seen cameras with tilting and swivelling LCD screens on the rear, that can be turned to face the photographer for self portraits. Now Samsung have potentially gone one step further by adding a second LCD screen on the front.
‘The only problem is that you’ll still have to hold the camera at arm’s length to capture the shot, and if you’re left-handed you may want to hold the camera just where Samsung have put the screen.’
Samsung ST1000 Wi-Fi enabled camera
Samsung has also announced the ST1000 digital camera, which, like the ST550, features a 3.5-inch LCD. It has the same gesture and tap control of the other two models, and also features a similar array of ‘intelligent’ tools and HD video.
What’s interesting about the Samsung ST1000 is that it features geo-tagging, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The geo-tagging records the GPS location of where each picture was shot, so you can organise your photo library by city. Bluetooth allows you to send your pictures to other Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as a mobile phone. And the Wi-Fi connection allows you to upload your pictures to sites such as Facebook, Picasa and YouTube without the need for a PC or laptop.
Digital camera reviews
All three new Samsung digital cameras – the ST500, ST550 and ST1000 – are expected to be launched later in August 2009. Prices have yet to be confirmed.
For help choosing the best digital camera, check out our in-depth, lab-based digital camera reviews.
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