Major Point-and-Shoot Releases for 2009

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Samsung Adds Four New Cameras to Its SL Line

February 17 has turned out to be a big day for camera announcements. Samsung, like Sony and Fujifilm, has announced new additions to its point-and-shoot camera arsenal; four new SL-series models were announced by the company today.

Samsung SL820

Samsung SL820

The highest-end Samsung newcomer is the SL820, a 12-megapixel camera with a 3-inch-diagonal LCD screen that also boasts 720p high-definition movie recording (using the H.264 codec). The SL820 also has wide-angle chops, with a 5X optical zoom lens that starts out at 28mm on the wide end, plus dual optical/digital image stabilization, face detection, a smile-triggered shutter mode, and blink detection.

Samsung touts the SL820's Smart Auto mode (which automatically selects scene modes to fit the shot) and its Smart Album mode (which the company says simplifies searching and sorting photos in the camera). The SL820 is slated to reach the market in May; it will sell for $280.

Samsung SL620

Samsung SL620

A notch below the SL820 is Samsung's SL620, another 12-megapixel, 5X-optical-zoom model.

However, the SL620 doesn't have the wide-angle lens or the HD-movie-shooting capabilities of the SL820. Instead, the SL620 offers only 35mm film equivalent on the widest end and 640-by-480 standard-definition MPEG4 video. Other than those differences, the specs are virtually identical: a 3-inch LCD, Smart Auto mode, the Smart Album feature, dual image stabilization, face detection, a smile-triggered shutter mode, and blink detection. The SL620 will go on sale in March for $200.

Samsung SL202

Samsung SL202

Closer to entry level is the new Samsung SL202, a 3X-optical-zoom, 10-megapixel model with a 2.7-inch LCD that offers Smart Auto, Smart Album, face detection, blink detection, a smile-triggered shutter mode, and motion JPEG video recording at 30 frames per second. In video mode, Samsung says, the SL202 can store clips as a single file after the user pauses recording; this feature eliminates the need for an editing app in many scenarios. The SL202 has digital image stabilization only and will be available in March for $150.

Samsung SL30

Samsung SL30

Rounding out the new Samsung camera announcements is the AA-battery-powered SL30, a 10-megapixel model with a 3X optical zoom, a 2.5-inch LCD, digital image stabilization, face detection, and a motion JPEG movie mode. The bargain-bin SL30 will be available in March for $100.

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