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Samsung's new flagship snapshooters are cool, but no longer NV-ious

The TL series cuts in front of the NV models to lead Samsung's snapshot pack

Samsung TL34HD
Samsung TL34HD Samsung

Personally, I thought "NV" worked as well as anything for the branding of Samsung's top-of-the-line ultracompact point-and-shoot cameras; nevertheless, for Fall 2008 the new leaders of Samsung's snapshot pack will be dubbed "TL". The two models announced today may have less interesting names, but do offer some novel attributes.

The flagship model, the TL34HD, introduces a 14.7-megapixel sensor--until the camera ships, one can only imagine how ungodly noisy those photos must be--and a fairly cool, if somewhat iPhone-envious, 3-inch hybrid touch screen with a gesture-based interface. As is beginning to look like a trend for ultracompacts (the Casio EX-Z150 beat it by a couple days), its 3.6x optically stabilized zoom lens starts at a relatively wide angle 35mm-equivalent focal length of 28mm.

Like its predecessor, the NV24HD, the TL34HD supports 720p movie capture, though to get an HDMI output requires the optional cradle.

The Samsung TL9's nifty retro analog gauges
The Samsung TL9's nifty retro analog gauges. Samsung
Samsung TL9
Samsung TL9 Samsung

Also in the new line, Samsung announced the TL9, a 10-megapixel ultracompact with a 5x internally zooming lens and sensor-shift image stabilization. Though its 2.7-inch LCD is a bit smaller than its sibling's, Samsung thinks you'll want to play movies on it: the TL9 has some personal media player capabilities, including music and video playback. Both media types need to be transcoded by Samsung's software for use on the camera, which rarely bodes well for that feature's success.

Highlighted snapshooter capabilities for both models include smile- and blink-detection technology, automatic photo classification for quick organization and retrieval, and a recycle bin for that occasional, accidental deletion.

Both cameras are slated to ship in September. The TL34HD will cost a rather oddball $329.95 and come in two-tone silver and red and black. The TL9 will run $279.95 and come in black, silver and pink.