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Sample photos: Samsung DualView TL205

Check out an examination of photo quality from Samsung's budget-friendly two-LCD camera, the DualView TL205.

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Joshua Goldman
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1 of 9 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

ISO comparison

The DualView TL205 needs a good deal of light to turn out decent photos. Indoors or in low light, photos are noisy with color problems and smeared details. They're so smeared, in fact, that above ISO 400 looks like there's Vaseline on the lens. Combine the high-ISO issues with its generally slow shooting performance and you'll have a tough time getting a blur-free photo without bright lighting. I do not recommend this camera if you're shooting kids or pets. You should probably rule sports out, too.

On the other hand, if you're outdoors in the sun or have plenty of light indoors, it can capture nice portraits and landscapes for small prints, the occasional 8x10, and Web use. If you're looking for a step-up from a camera phone or smartphone and want the convenience of the front LCD, the TL205 is good for the money.

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2 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Macro

Set to Macro, the TL205 can focus as close as 3.9 inches from a subject. That's not all that close. However, it did produce nice photos. This is a 100 percent crop of the inset image.

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3 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Burst shooting

The camera's continuous option shoots at 0.6 frames per second for as long as you have your finger on the shutter release. It sets focus and exposure with the first shot so it's better for slow or still subjects. Plus, the screen goes completely blank while you use it, giving you no idea what you've captured. This is a 100 percent crop of the inset image.

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4 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET
The TL205's 3x, f3-5.6, 35-105mm lens (35mm equivalent) doesn't allow for a lot of shooting flexibility. It would've been nice to have a wider lens considering its geared for portraits, but you'll have to pay more for that.

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5 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Lens distortion

The lens has some asymmetrical distortion on the left side at the wide end (top). It's only a 3x zoom on this camera, and you can still see a bit of the distortion with the lens extended (bottom). Center sharpness is pretty good, and it only gets noticeably softer in the corners. The lower right was particularly soft and smeary on my review camera.
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6 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Fringe

Fringe in high-contrast areas of photos is only noticeable at small sizes in extreme cases such as here along the roof line or on the tree in this photo. Generally, though, it's only really visible when photos are viewed at full size.
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7 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Color

Color performance isn't accurate, but that's typical for this class of camera. Still, they're not entirely unpleasant, though faces always looked too pink/red for my tastes. On the upside, the camera does have contrast, sharpness, and saturation adjustments available in Program mode. Also, the auto white balance was too warm indoors. If you're shooting in auto and your photos look too warm, I recommend switching to Program and using a preset or taking a manual reading, which is as easy as pressing the shutter release.
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8 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Photo Style Selector

The TL205 has a few extras that typically aren't available at its price. For example, it has selectable Photo Styles that can be applied before or after you shoot. Going left to right from top to bottom: Normal, Soft, Vivid, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm, Classic, Negative, Custom RGB, Color Saturation, Add Noise.

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9 of 9 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Automatic exposure bracketing

Another extra I wasn't expecting is automatic exposure bracketing (AEB). Press and hold the shutter release, and it will take three photos with different exposures: normal, underexposed, and overexposed. It does it slowly, though, so it's best to have it on a tripod or some other support for best results.

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