The Samsung TL320 (AKA outside the U.S. as the WB100) with a 24-120mm (35 equivalent) 5X zoom lens, 12.2 megapixel image sensor, dual image stabilization (optical and digital), 720p HD video, 3 inch, High Definition, Organic LED screen; excellent build quality and small size make this camera my Best-in-Class pick.
My Best In Class Pick
With the introduction on the TL320 of the power efficient, Active Matrix Organic LED (AMOLED) technology, Samsung says the poor battery life that has always plagued all ultra-compacts will be a thing of the past. (We’ll see.) The one thing that is known about OLED screens versus LCDs are that they are brighter with more vibrant color, and images stay clearly visible even when viewed at extreme angles. Add to that 460,000 pixel high resolution and you have a fantastic image display that can be seen even in the brightest sunlight.
But that new screen is only as good as the camera it’s attached to. And Samsung hasn’t failed there either incorporating an effective 12.2 megapixel image sensor and an excellent Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan 4.3-21.5mm f/2.8-7.3 5X zoom lens. Couple that with Samsung’s own optical and digital Dual Image Stabilization, Face Detection AF, a host of modes and presets including full manual–there’s even a custom-setable User mode, and you’ll get impressive, sharp, blur-free images even in the most difficult shooting situations.
Even though quite small, the TL320 is easy to operate and has an uncluttered control layout that is intuitive. The addition of a rubberized grip for the right hand makes it easy to hold and helps prevent errant fingers from covering the lens or flash.
All told, the Samsung TL320 will be a useful and worthwhile addition to anyone’s pocket or purse.
Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500
If Samsung’s new technology OLED screen doesn’t impress you, and a conventional 3 inch LCD is just fine, then the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 with similar specs and features as the TL320, and at about a third less the price, would make an excellent alternative.
- +Dual Image Stabilization
- +Manual Control Options
- +720p HD video
- +Hi-res 460,000 pixel OLED
- -Image noise
Where to buy
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices
|Product||Samsung TL320||Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500|
|Weight (with batteries)||not available||6.2 oz|
Close Effective Sensor Resolution The Effective Sensor Resolution tells you the total number of pixels that are recorded when you take a picture. The units are MP, which stands for megapixels or millions of pixels. For outstanding fine compression prints, 3MP is required for 5x7's, 7.1MP for 8x10's, and 10.9MP for 11x14's. The effective sensor resolution is only one of many important factors that will determine the quality of the photograph when displayed or printed at different sizes.
|12.2 megapixels||10.1 megapixels|
|HD Video Available||Yes||Yes|
Close Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent) The 35 mm equivalent focal length is a measure that indicates the angle of view of a particular combination of a camera lens and the sensor size. The term originates from the time when the vast majority of photography was done with 35 mm film. On any 35 mm film camera, a 30 mm or less lens is considered a wide-angle lens.
|24 mm||25 mm|
Close Max Focal Length (35 mm equivalent) The 35 mm equivalent focal length is a measure that indicates the angle of view of a particular combination of a camera lens and the sensor size. The term originates from the time when the vast majority of photography was done with 35 mm film. Larger max focal lengths make distant objects appear more magnified.
|120 mm||125 mm|
|Image Stabilization Type||Dual||Optical (lens shift)|
|Min ISO Setting||80||100|
|Max ISO Setting||3200||6400|
|Aperture Priority Mode Available||Yes||Yes|
|Shutter Priority Mode Available||Yes||Yes|
|Full Manual Exposure Mode Available||Yes||Yes|
|Manual Focus Available||Yes||No|
Close LCD Screen Size The LCD Screen Size is the length of the miniature LCD monitor measured diagonally.
|3.0 in.||3.0 in.|
|LCD Screen Resolution||460,000 pixels||230,000 pixels|
|Size (W x H x D)||3.8 x 2.4 x 0.8 in.||3.7 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.|
|Battery Life||Not Available||280 shots|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 is a slim, lightweight ultra-compact that will easily fit into a pocket or purse, and is very suitable for those who want to keep a camera handy at all times. With an effective 10.1 megapixel sensor, in-the-lens optical image stabilization, ISOs from 100 to 6400, plus, a plethora of modes and settings, including manual overrides, the camera produces sharp, detailed, blur-free images. And with its top quality Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 4.4-22mm f/2.8-5.9 5X (25-125mm equivalent) zoom, you be able to see more in your pictures than what a typical ultra-compact usually delivers.
All in all, an excellent point-n-shoot.
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500
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