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Hands On With Samsung's Dual-Display Cameras

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There is no lower form of photography than the arm-out self-portrait, but we all do it. To their credit, Samsung's TL220 and TL225 make shooting your Facebook profile shot a little easier.


Ignoring the screen for a second, the TL22x cameras are a decent get for the price, with 720p video recording, haptic touchscreens (though the interface isn't terribly intuitive or responsive), and a full range of expected features for a midrange point and shoot. The only noticeable differences between the TL220 and TL225, which will ship at $299 and $349, respectively, are the 225's aluminum body, larger screen and HDMI output. But anyway, the screen's the thing people are curious about here, so here you go:


As you can see, it's there. When the camera is off, you can't see it—it goes black, and sits flush and invisible against an equally black camera face, at least on the test unit I saw. You turn it on with a direct tap of the finger, which I repeatedly had trouble getting to register, though I was told that was due to preproduction hardware iffyness. I'll trust Sammy on this one, but a simple toggle button would've done fine here.

The screen isn't just for self-shooting, although it manages that just fine. It'll also show playful images to get childrens' and/or idiots' attention. (In the case of the default clown animation, "playful" means "disconcerting," a fact which isn't helped by how difficult it is to navigate the menus to make him go away. ) No worries though: You'll be able to download more animations from Samsung's website, apparently.

Another simple function is a countdown timer, which gives you a numerical countdown to timed shots, letting you and your photomates know exactly when to mug.

At any rate, your first intuition on this was probably correct: front-facing LCDs are somewhat gimmicky, but they do what they say, making life easier for the internet-popular or extremely lonely. The catch would've been that the feature prices the cameras out of mainstream accessibility, but it doesn't. So hey, why not? (This, I think, was Samsung's design mantra here) [Samsung]