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Samsung goes LCD-happy on two new cameras

The electronics manufacturer solves some common point-and-shoot problems by putting a second screen in front.

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If you thought putting a projector in the front of a pocket camera was genius, how do you feel about a second LCD? Samsung thinks the idea is so good its launching two new models with dual screens: the TL220 and TL225.

The cameras share many of the same specs: 12.2-megapixel resolution, a wide-angle 27mm lens with a 4.6x zoom, dual image stabilization, 720p HD-quality video capture at 30 frames per second (H.264), and a 1.5-inch LCD in front. The TL220 features a 3-inch LCD on back, whereas the TL225 has a 3.5-inch screen. Also, both LCDs are touch screens with haptic feedback giving you a little vibration when you make a selection as well as a new Smart Gesture interface letting you do things like delete photos by drawing an X on the screen or rotate them with an O. The TL225 will also output to a TV or monitor via HDMI with an optional adapter.

So, I gave you a whole paragraph to consider why you'd need a small LCD at the front of a compact camera. Samsung has at least three good reasons for doing it. One, it's a great solution for self portraits, and combined with the company's Smile Shot, you don't even have to press the shutter release to snap photos of yourself--you just smile. Two, if you set the timer it'll show the last few seconds counting down before the shot's taken. Lastly, you'll be able to play animated clips to get the attention of children, and perhaps pets, while you try to take their picture.

There are two other uses that are a little less useful, but still nice to have. You can have the LCD show camera settings like macro or flash, or you can have it display a smiley face when the shutter release is pressed halfway down, letting the people you're shooting know that a picture's about to be taken.

All in all, it looks like Samsung was presented with a handful of common point-and-shoot photography issues and developed a novel way to solve them. Here's hoping the photo quality is worthy of the rest of the packages.

The TL225 is priced at $349.99 with the TL220 coming in at $50 less. Look for them in September just in time for all those holiday gatherings.

See also:
Samsung's CL65 ultracompact camera offers alphabet soup of connections