Samsung TL500 Impressions: Flagship Point-and-Shoot Scores Early Praise

Is Samsung's flagship point-and shoot, the new TL500, truly worthy of the Bestmodo moniker we slapped on its butt yesterday afternoon? Well, let's put it this way: Maybe the Canon S90 does have something to worry about after all.

You see, the first hands-on impressions are starting to trickle in on this camera, and they, are, in a word, promising. Promising with a standard definition video caveat, says the folks at Digital Camera Info, but we'll get to that in a moment.

First, this point-and-shoot is decidedly beefy—a worthy camera bag addition for those who don't want an SLR, but do want a solid feature set and precise manual setting controls. In the case of the TL500, the manual mode benefits from the camera's dual controls on both the front and rear of the body. The lens, too, while not removable, gets high marks from DCI, mainly because what you're getting is an f/1.8 on a shooter—that's pretty rare, but pretty good if you're the kind of casual photographer who likes low light images and depth of field control.

As for the caveat, it's this: The TL500 is limited to standard def video. Cheaper cameras have HD, but the $450 TL500 does not. Now, the S90 is in a similar boat, but this really seems like a missed opportunity, especially for a high end "flagship" styled point-and-shoot like the TL500. Time will tell if the omission has a negative impact, as this camera does not go on sale until the spring. [Digital Camera Info]