Rumor mills are turning and leaks are trickling as the tech world gets ready for the Consumer Electronics Show in early January. We've heard whispers about a few exciting products, but a couple new cameras from Samsung piqued our interest the most. The electronics powerhouse turned heads last year with their TL220 and TL225 models, the first cameras with an LCD display on the rear and front of the body and it looks like they're set to break even more new ground with these new cameras.
First up is the NX10, a "hybrid" model that falls somewhere between the compact Micro Four-Thirds and standard dSLR formats. The concept is the same as a Micro Four-Thirds—no single-lens reflex—but it will feature a dSLR-sized sensor, which is bigger than that in a Micro Four-Thirds. We still don't quite get the point of creating another format, but hey, it's something new, so we'll reserve judgment until we get our hands on it. This is, of course, still unofficial, so details are subject to change, but it has our attention. [Image via Gizmodo]
Update 1/4/10: It's official. Final specs include a 3.0-inch AMOLED screen (said to be 10,000 times faster than a standard LCD screen), 720p HD video, dimensions of 4.8 x 3.4 x 1.6 inches (excluding lens), weight of .78 pounds (without card and battery), and because its mirror-free, an electronic viewfinder. It's set to hit the streets in the spring.
Through the Ether
More interesting is the ST5500, a 14.2 megapixel, 7x optical zoom point-and-shoot with 720p HD video and a 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD. Those are eye-catching specs on their own, but this sly fox packs in WiFi b/g for wireless photo and video sharing. Several cameras have had WiFi capabilities, most recently the Panasonic TZ50 and Nikon S52c, but none of them found a wide audience. We're not sure that the ST5500 will either, but it looks promising.
Forward-thinking commenters on Engadget speculated that geotagging capabilities might be part of the design. The ST5500 user manual that all this info was gleaned from doesn't seem to be available on the FCC's website any longer, but based blindly on the specs that we've seen on other sites, we're pretty excited to check this out for ourselves. [Image via Wireless Goodness]
Update 12/28/09: A strikingly similar camera with a different name appeared on the Samsung website over the holiday weekend. The so-called CL80 features pretty much the same specs as the ST5500, though the 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen has expanded to a 3.7-inch active-matrix OLED (AMOLED).
The product page has disappeared from Samsung's website as of Monday afternoon, but a Samsung representative confirmed to us that the CL80 is "indeed one of [Samsung's] camera launches for CES." The product page was accidentally posted early. Pending confirmation from Samsung headquarters, it also looks like the CL80 and ST5500 are the same product with different model numbers for the US and European markets (though we're not sure which is which—we'd guess that the ST5500 is for the US, considering that it was submitted to the American FCC with that model number). More to come.
Samsung is still a relatively new player in the digital camera game, so bells and whistles like WiFi, dual-LCD screens, and a so-called "hybrid" are great ways to generate some buzz around their growing brand, even if the products don't always succeed. And more importantly, competition like this leads to better products at a lower cost, so we all win.