Size Matters: 7x zoom in Samsung's tiny L77

Samsung announces the L77, a camera the company claims is the smallest 7x zoom-equipped camera on the market.

Samsung

Samsung has a new camera on the way, and it puts a big lens in a very small package. The Samsung L77 measures less than an inch thick, but it packs a 7x optical zoom lens into its slim metal body.

The 7-megapixel camera includes some useful features that work well with the powerful zoom. The L77 uses Samsung's Advanced Shake Reduction to help keep shots steady, and the sensor can reach up to ISO 1600 for dark and high-speed shots.

The L77 also features a 30fps VGA movie mode that can record MPEG-4 movie clips. This movie mode is found standard on most compact cameras, but it uses a unique Continuous Movie feature that can pause and keep recording long video clips, letting the camera serve as a makeshift camcorder. Of course, its videos probably won't be quite as good as a dedicated camcorder.

While a bit pricey for budget users and lacking the manual controls advanced users might want, the L77 should be appealing for gadget fans willing to spend a bit more for style and features. Putting a 7x lens in a small form gives the camera a slight edge over similar slim, stylish cameras such as Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T50. Of course, it's the pictures that matter, so we'll have to see how they turn out when we get our own L77.

The Samsung L77 ships in April and will retail for about $400.

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