The Samsung TL350 is a rather compact point and shoot camera that is sort of the little brother to the Samsung TL500. It features a 10MP CMOS sensor, a 5x optical zoom and a 3-inch VGA AMOLED screen. In terms of its specifications, the TL350 is packed full of features and killer numbers across the board.
Samsung TL350 Key Features
- 10MP CMOS Sensor
- 5x Optical Zoom (24-120mm equiv.)
- 10 fps Full-res Image Capture
- 1080p Video Capture w/ Stereo Audio
- 1000 fps Video Capture
- 3″ AMOLED Screen
- Dual Image Stabilization
- Full Manual Controls
- RAW Image Capture
- HDMI Connection
Needless to say, the TL350 looks to have the goods in its feature set. If this camera delivers the goods in its final image quality and performance, the Canon S90 could be looking at a serious threat in the compact ‘power camera’ department.
The Samsung TL350 handles like a charm. I absolutely love the raised grip on the front right of the camera. The textured rubber pad on the grip makes it even better. In my book, this is a big improvement over Canon’s S90. The TL350 gives me a real grip to hold onto while handling the camera. With the Canon S90, it sometimes felt just a little too loose in my hands.
Just for fun, Samsung added some retro dials to the top of the TL350 that show estimates of remaining battery life and SD card storage space. I like them from an aesthetic standpoint; however, I’ll be the first to admit that they are rather superfluous given that the same information is available on the back of the camera’s AMOLED screen.
And speaking of the TL350’s display, it sure is pretty. Samsung has done a great job with the menu system on all of its latest cameras. The TL350, TL500 and NX10 all have very well designed displays and intuitive menu system. I give nothing but good marks for the display quality and menu navigation on the TL350.
As you can see in the above image, the TL350 features a 4-way button the right side, which is surrounded by a scroll wheel and has a selection button in the middle. Additionally, there is a second scroll wheel on the rear of the camera, which is placed near the top right on the corner of the camera. Both scroll wheels are accessible with your right thumb and, in practice, work well at adjusting aperture, shutter speed and other settings on the camera.
A number of the main settings are accessible via the mode dial atop the camera. The TL350 offers a lot of control over exposure settings through the standard P, A, S and M modes. Additionally, it has a number of scene modes, which can be accessed via the SCN setting on the mode dial. Of course, for those wanting to shoot without thinking about control, there’s an auto scene mode, which is represented by the green camera icon with an S next to it.
You can see some of the menu dialog and scene mode settings in the below hands-on video.
Samsung is jumping on the slo-mo bandwagon (which was built by Casio) with the TL350 by offering video frame rates up to 1000 fps. While that’s an impressive specification, it won’t be much fun at a resolution of 138 x 78. For reference, HD video is 1920 x 1080 and, standard def video is 640 x 480. About the only thing you’ll be able use the super slow video for is sharing on the web. Golfers may find it useful for analyzing their swings, but they still may have to do a bit of squinting to analyze subtle portions of the swing.
A better, and more fun, option may be to use the 240 fps setting for slo-mo video, which rings in at a handy 608 x 342 resolution in widescreen or 320 x 240 in standard format. I’ve used this setting on several Casio cameras and find that it’s slow enough for most types of action, and should be good enough for golfers to getting a high enough resolution for a close look at their swing.
While this was an early pre-production model that I couldn’t shoot with, it made a great first impression on me. The AMOLED screen really sets this camera apart. Combined with the dual scroll wheels and great feel, the TL350 has a solid head of steam leading up toward it’s launch later this Spring.
At $350 retail, it’s not necessarily cheap; however, it’s in a niche category with other pricey cameras like the Canon S90. On specs alone, the TL350 looks like it could be a class leader. Now, we just have to wait until a production model arrives to see how its image quality stacks up against the competition.
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