Samsung Unveils DualView 2-LCD Cameras

Samsung Unveils DualView 2-LCD Cameras

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Samsung Electronics America will begin to ship in September its three-SKU “smart camera” line whose two models with a front-mounted 1.5-inch LCD screen will “let consumers step out from behind the camera and be a part of the photo,” said the company’s co-president, Tim Baxter.

The Samsung DualView TL225 and TL220, priced at $349 and $299, respectively, will be joined at retail by the Wi-Fi-endowed CL65 ($399) that Reid Sullivan, senior vice president, termed “the ultimate connected camera,” at the products’ debut today in New York.

The TL225 and TL220, two years in the development, are the result of – and the response to  – intensive market research showing how consumers use technology. “Half of Americans today are taking self-shots for use in places such as social networking pages,” said Baxter, citing the studies. “Today, a company can’t get by with just selling a box that takes pictures. Cameras must be well designed, easy to navigate and with an intuitive user interface. They have to be of a design that causes ‘camera envy’ among friends.”

The two 12.2-megapixel models each feature a larger rear LCD (a 3.5-inch, 1.1-million-pixel screen on the 225 and a three-inch, 230,000-pixel screen on the 220), a 4.6x optical zoom lens and a 27mm wide-angle optical lens by Schneider-KREUZNACH. On each, a tap of the finger activates the front LCD. That screen can also serve to display a visual 3-2-1 “timer countdown” in lieu of the customary blinking red light. And when photographing children, the smaller screen’s “child” mode can be set to run a short animated cartoon to attract the child’s attention before the shot is taken.  Built-in haptic interface technology, which Samsung has employed to create the Smart Gesture UI (user interface) feature, also allows the main LCD display to be used as the cameras’ controller; if the user wants to rotate a photo in playback, it takes a swirl of the finger across the screen. Similarly, to delete a photo, the user can use a finger to draw an “X” across the screen.

The Model CL65 Wi-Fi camera carries a host of connectivity features. Its Wi-Fi capability allows direct emailing or uploading of photos to photo-sharing Web sites. It also features Bluetooth 2.0 and DLNA compatibility, as well as a geo-tagging feature. The latter, by virtue of the camera’s inclusion of GPS circuitry, captures the location when an image is shot, displays the city name, and can work in tandem with Google Earth to pinpoint and display the location.

The company is planning its largest promotional effort ever for the digital camera category, said Sullivan, and will feature the 225 and 220 in a TV ad that will run on lifestyle and entertainment networks.

Samsung Digital Imaging CEO Sang-jin Park said at the debut that the company’s ambition is to increase its worldwide market share in digital cameras to 20 percent by 2012.  Echoing that growth goal as it relates to the U.S. market, Baxter said that Samsung  hopes “to be a tier-one digital imaging leader,” as he displayed NPD charts showing that the company achieved a four percent market share in 2008 with a projected market share of seven percent for 2009.

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