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Cameras

Samsung i70: Stainless steel showgirl

The 7-megapixel Samsung i70 is a convergence-loving compact with a 3x optical zoom, a giant 76mm LCD screen and a cool sliding action

Samsung has shown admirable commitment to the all-singin', all-dancin', all-convergin' camera. After the fun but underwhelming whirling can-can dancer of a compact that was the i7, say hello to the i70. Like its predecessor, the 7-megapixel i70 packs in an MP3 player, MPEG-4 video recorder, multimedia player, text viewer and voice recorder. It also takes pictures. And it's fancy.

On the photo front, there's a 3x optical zoom with a 35mm film equivalent of 38-114mm, an ISO range extending to 1,000 and a massive 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen. Wise shot mode takes two pictures near-simultaneously, one with the flash and one with the advanced shake reduction function, giving you the choice.

Custom setting lets you tweak red, green and blue levels, while various colour filters are included. The most interesting-sounding is a function that converts the non-primary colours to black and white and boosts the saturation of primary colours, for that Sin City look.

While it doesn't have the i7's spinning screen, the i70 does still has a showstopping style of its own. The body of the camera slides horizontally, revealing the lens at the front and the buttons at the back. The screen shows off an icon-oscillating flash-animation based GUI -- or graphical user interface, pronounced 'gooey'. There are nine buttons in what Samsung call the PUI -- or physical user interface, pronounced... alright, stop sniggering at the back.

The keypad can be used as a mobile phone-style keypad for entering notes or adding text in speech balloons to images.

The stainless steel body is much classier than the i7's plasticky frame. It comes draped in silver, sci-fi two-tone black and white, and rosé pink or champagne gold for the ladies. We've got a pink one, because we're comfortable in our masculinity, even though it looks like the sort of camera a Wild West showgirl would hide in her stocking. A full review is on the next stage into town. If you can't wait, the Samsung i70 is available now for around £150. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Samsung i70 review