Samsung's Rugged Cameras: AQ100 Stays In The Shallow End, SL605 Sits By the Pool

Samsung's AQ100 and SL605 are billed as being waterproof and durable, respectively, but they're really not all that waterproof and durable. Still, the AQ100 shoots 720p video on the cheap and can go for a dip, if not a dive.

With the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2's 30 foot waterproof rating, the 10 feet of waterproofness guaranteed by Samsung's AQ100 doesn't seem all that impressive. But you can bet that it's going to be cheaper—at $200, the AQ100 is almost half as pricey as Sony's new rugged cam, the DSC-TX5, which can only go the same 10 feet deep.

The AQ100 also shoots 720p video, shoots 12MP photos and sports 5x optical zoom. A dedicated Aqua Mode tweaks settings for shooting beneath the surface, and the AQ100'S image stabilization will help keep videos looking smooth. The quality likely won't stack up to that of Sony or Panasonic's new rugged cameras, but if you're looking for an inexpensive way to get some underwater shots, it'll do the trick.

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The $129 SL605's nods towards durability are its metal front cover, dust-proof controls, and scratch-proof casing, but I wouldn't count on it taking too much of a beating. But it might suffice if you're looking for a cheap point-and-shoot for an accident-prone loved one. Like the AQ100, it shoots 12MP and has 5x optical zoom, though it only shoots VGA video. The SL605 features a Smart Night Mode that allows the brightness of the flash to be controlled for better looking nighttime photography.

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Both cameras will hit shelves this spring in a variety of colors.

SAMSUNG ANNOUNCES PAIR OF DURABLE COMPACT CAMERAS ALLOWING USERS TO GET ADVENTUROUS WITH THEIR PHOTOS

Waterproof AQ100 and Durable SL605 Offer High-End Features in Protective Frames

Anaheim, CA (February 20, 2010) - Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today added two 12 mega-pixel point and shoots to its digital camera lineup for 2010 - the durable SL605 and the waterproof AQ100. Thanks to their elements focused design, the AQ100 and the SL605 grant peace of mind and allow users to focus on taking the perfect shot, rather than worrying about damage to the camera. The AQ100 and the SL605 will be on display during PMA 2010, February 21-23, in the Samsung booth, #2227, in the Anaheim Convention Center.
"Memories can happen at any given moment and in any environment," said Mr. SJ Park, CEO of Samsung Digital Imaging Company. "Further diversifying and expanding the range of digital imaging solutions available from Samsung, consumers can rely on these durable compacts to perform in the most challenging of environments as they're both built to last and feature packed for the highest-quality results."

AQ100
Offering extraordinary capabilities, the slim (0.78" thick) AQ100 was developed for use in up to 10 feet of water and thanks to the camera's exceptional low-light performance, it's capable of taking bright images at that depth. Whether taking photos of friends and family in the pool or a school of fish while snorkeling in the ocean, users will benefit from the AQ100's dedicated Aqua mode, which will optimize camera settings for the best possible underwater photos.
A powerful camera on land or in water, the AQ100 boasts an ample, 5x optical inner zoom lens complete with Digital Image Stabilization to help reduce blurry images. Additionally, the AQ100 features a bright, 2.7 inch TFT-LCD screen for framing and reviewing images.
In addition to taking beautiful still images, consumers can also record impressive 720p HD video above or below the water. The AQ100 offers image stabilization while recording video and for complete simplicity, it has Smart Auto (Still & Movie) scene recognition technology which fine tunes both video and picture settings for the best possible results. All the users have to do is point and shoot.

SL605
The new SL605 was designed with durability in mind, and offers consumers Samsung's Anti scratch Mask, which safeguards the camera from any unwanted scratches during everyday use. Furthermore, key areas of the Samsung SL605, including the bottom, buttons and areas surrounding the 2.7-inch TFT-LCD (230,000 pixel), are rubberized to further protect the camera from elements such as dust, dirt or sand.
Beyond its durability, users will also benefit from the Samsung SL605's internal 27mm wide angle, 5x optical zoom lens, which gives them the ability to take sharp and detailed images from any distance. With a wide-angle lens at their fingertips, users will be able to capture more of a desired scene, such as landscapes or large groups of friends and family. The SL605 offers standard definition, VGA video recording and also features Samsung's intuitive and easy-to-use Smart Auto scene recognition technology.
Samsung has also incorporated a Smart Night Mode in the new SL605, which will allow consumers to capture sharp, properly exposed images when shooting at night. Typically, a flash can be too bright and wash out one's subject when used in low-light or night-time settings, ruining what could have been a great image. With Samsung's new Smart Night Mode, this is no longer an issue as consumers can now increase or decrease the power of the flash to ensure the perfect shot, the way they want, each and every time.

Specifications
AQ100 SL605
Mega-Pixels 12 mega-pixels 12 mega-pixels
Optical Zoom 5x optical inner-zoom 5x optical zoom
LCD Size 2.7" TFT-LCD (230K pixels) 2.7" TFT-LCD (230K pixels)
Lens SAMSUNG SAMSUNG
Movie Mode 1280x720p @30fps / H.264 VGA @30fps MJPEG
Size 3.7" x 2.4" x 0.7" 3.8" x 2.3" x .85"
Special Features - Water-proof up to 10 feet
- 5x optical inner-zoom
- 720p HD video recording
- Smart Filter (Lens & Color Effect)
- Smart Auto (Still & Movie)
- Smart Album
- Perfect Portrait System: Beauty Shot / Face Detection / Self Portrait / Smile Shot / Blink Detection/Red-eye Fix
- Photo Style Selector - Durable design (Metal Front Cover, Dust-proof Button-pad & Anti-scratch Mask)
- Smart Night Mode
-Li-ion Rechargeable Battery
-Smart Auto
-Smart Album
-Perfect Portrait System: Beauty Shot / Face Detection / Self Portrait / Smile Shot / Blink Detection/Red-eye Fix

Availability Spring 2010 Spring 2010
Pricing $199.99 $129.99
* Specifications are subject to change without notice.