The common thing of Dual LCD phone, Dual core and Dual CPU which were innovative is the successful reversion from single to dual and more convenience and effectiveness. Recently, Samsung Digital Imaging (www.samsungcamera.com) has released the Dual LCD (Front 1.5” and Back 3.5”) digital camera ST550(TL225). The 1.5” front LCD upgrades the convenience of self shots in the ST10(CL50). Moreover, the high glossy material on the front, 18.6mm slim design, 1,1520,000 pixels 3.5” LCD, and gesture functions for file management provides a new direction of digital cameras. We need to see if this trial is going to be successful. Let’s take a look at the probability.
Elegant black and high glossy material
The color of cameras has been black for a long time. DSLR cameras are still black, because it’s for professionals. The color of cameras has been more various, because makers think of main customers as new generations, but this product is basically black like DSLR cameras. However, the thick color lines from the left side of the body to the top and right below create its own identity. Based on the stable black, stable and elegant design has been made with this colorful line.
Samsung Electronics has been successful with the high glossy material on the frame of the LCD TV. This design has also been applied to LCD monitors and welcomed. As if following this, the front of the ST550(TL225) is coated with high glossy material. It leaves a trace as a Samsung product in design. And the black color adds more elegant design. Due to high glossy coated material on the front, it looks likes there’s no auxiliary LCD. This intended to reduce the disharmony caused by the new auxiliary LCD.
Self shots become important by the advent of mini hompi and blog, so a lot of functions making a face more beautiful have been added, but not in the convenience. Except the swivel mirror of the ST10(CL50), most of them tried it with the rotation of the LCD. And this was not for self shot, but for the convenience of adjustment of shot angles.
Front LCD communicating with human
The ST550(TL225) has 1.5” LCD on the left side of the lens. This can prevent malfunction and inconvenience caused by the rotation of LCD. Furthermore, the auxiliary LCD makes it more convenient and fun to use. Turning on the ST550(TL225) and tapping the front LCD, you can see yourself from the LCD. The front LCD is 230K pixels, so the quality is not as good as the LCD on the back, but it’s very useful. Through this idea, they have made the trend of this generation more emotional like interaction between human and machine.
If you have children, I’m sure that you have an experience to take their pictures. The ST550(TL225) can play a funny animation drawing their attention through the front LCD. And when setting a timer, it shows the countdown.
Talking with touch, Gesture
The fun expression of the ST550(TL225) has also been made with software. When playing photos, by drawing gestures with your fingertips, you can execute the functions such as turn, delete, rotation, and move. Moreover, by tilting the body about 15 degree to left/right, it turns to the next/previous picture. Gesture and tilting could be difficult to beginners, but it’s more intuitive and easier than the LCD button once you get used to it.
Smart Auto for beginners
Unlike 11 scene modes from the ST10(CL50) or ST50(TL100), the ST550(TL225) supports 16 scene modes such as Scenery, Background, Night Scenery, Backlight portrait, Portrait, Macro, Macro Character, Sunset, Blue Sky and so on. Through these modes, the camera is optimized to take a shot. This is not as good as the custom mode, but very convenient for beginners.
Another present for self shot, Smart Face Recognition
It’s not easy to take a self shot, so this function is really convenient. Selecting the self shot mode by tapping the front LCD, it automatically recognizes faces and displays the Face Recognition frame. To set a focus on certain persons, you can register these faces earlier. Up to 20 people can be registered, and this also supports priority set.
No more hand blur! Dual IS (Dual Image Stabilization)
The ST550(TL225) supports both IS functions optical and digital. The optical IS detects the shake of camera or lens and compensates it. When the optical IS is not enough, digital IS can also be used together.
1,152,000 pixels 3.5” wide LCD
The ratio change from 4:3 to 16:9 has been spread with digital TVs. Digital cameras also can take 16:9 pictures, but the display is still 4:3. The ST550(TL225) can take 16:9 pictures with 1920×1080 and 3840×2160 resolutions. The pictures taken can be checked from the 1,152,000 pixels 3.5” WVGA LCD in original version. Considering that other digital compact cameras adopt QVGA LCD, the ST550(TL225) delivers about 4 times better quality.
12.2M pixels CCD, 27mm wide angle lens // ISO 3200
The ST550(TL225) has adopted 12.2M pixels 1/2.33” CCD. The pixel is like other high pixel compact digital cameras. It has 27mm wide angle lens. This wide angle lens allows more usage to the ST550(TL225). And the Schneider lens keeps the vividness of quality.
From ISO 80 to 200, there’s no noise and color variation. At ISO 400, some noise appears, but not much. At ISO 800, a little bit big noise and color variation appear. At ISO 1600 and 3200, strong noise appears, so does color variation. I recommend ISO 200 for beginners.
HD video and HDMI
The ST550(TL225) can record 1280×720 30 fps HD videos. It’s stored in H.264 format, so you can save 2 times more storage than MPEG, and 4 times more than MP4. You also can use zoom while recording, so you can make more various videos. To watch these videos in HDTV, HDMI is supported.
Opening a new world with the front LCD
Compact digital cameras keep losing their position between DSLR and cell phone cameras. Now, it’s time to find something new. DSLR cameras are getting more attention from users with great quality, and the cameras of cell phones are also getting better. In this situation, the ST550(TL225) prepares a new war with the front LCD. I’m looking forward to seeing the next step of the ST550(TL225).