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Samsung TL500 photos

The Samsung TL500 offers an attractive, general well-thought-out design, albeit one that takes an occasional misstep.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Body

Overall, the TL500 has an attractive, functional design that I like. But I did run into a few frustrating accident-prone control locations. One is the jog dial on the grip that controls exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture, and so on (depending upon mode). It's hard to differentiate the feel of the wheel from the grip. That means it's hard to find when you want it, but it's also hard to tell if you've accidentally pressed or turned it. I ended up accidentally shooting a group of photos with the exposure compensation bumped up because of it.
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2 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Back

There are several likable aspects to the TL500, including the bright, saturated, flip-and-twist AMOLED display (not shown). I also love the dedicated metering button, although I'd expect it to be swapped with the DISP button on the navigation dial. That ISO button on the edge of the camera and the record button posed some problems for me, however; I would accidentally hit them while simply holding the camera.
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3 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Slim

Samsung's specs claim the camera is 30mm (1.2 inches) thick, essentially the same as the S95. But that does not include the lens projection. In truth, it's 1.8 inches thick. Under the hatch is a Mini-HDMI connector, which doubles as the connector for the charger.
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4 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dials

Like Canon and Nikon, Samsung splits some of the shooting options into two dials: a mode dial, with the usual manual, semimanual, and automatic options (dual IS combines electronic with optical image stabilization), and a drive-mode dial.
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5 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Menus

Samsung's menu system is both straightforward and pretty. Like most camera menus, though, when some functions aren't available it doesn't tell you why. In this case, it's because Face-detection related features aren't available when shooting raw. Smart FR mode allows you to save up to 12 faces for face-recognition priority.
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6 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Function menu

Navigation and adjustment operates much the same as most cameras.
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7 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Shooting display

This is the typical shooting display.
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8 of 8 Sarah Tew/CNET

Scene modes

Though I'm not a big user of scene modes, Samung certainly made them pretty to navigate.

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