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July 14, 2009

New Samsung PL70 (SL720), PL55 (SL502) and ES17 join the P&S ranks

The shiny silver hit parade continues today with two new PL/SL cameras from Samsung! Both of them have a 12-megapixel sensor. The Samsung PL70 and PL55 are of the point-and-shoot variety. The PL70 (aka SL720) starts at 28mm wide (5x optical zoom), with optical IS, a 3-inch LCD and 720p video (H264). The starting price will be $230 with a planned August 2009 release.

The PL55 (aka SL502) has a 2.7" LCD, and a 5x optical zoom whose focal range starts at 35mm (eq). No IS, and no 720p video and not as many features as the PL70. It will come out in August for $150.

To add to the confusion, the above two cameras go by different names in different markets. For a company desperate for global acceptance by mainstream photographers, and hoping to take the global #1 in market share in the near future, this is a stupid thing to do. But they are not the only ones, Canon, Panasonic, Fuji, and others are doing it too. It's bad enough that we have hundreds of new cameras each year, why confuse the consumers with different names?

The third camera is a budget model that apparently is getting introduced in the UK, it is model ES17 with a 3x optical zoom lens according to Photography Press. But just because it will cost 90 GBP it doesn't mean it won't have a 12-megapixel sensor! It looks like this may also be the same as the PL51 which is shown at

To get a feeling of just how chaotic the point-and-shoot situation is, just take a look at this giant list of current and recent digital cameras. Do we really need that many models???

Further reading on the PL70 and PL55
+ Imaging Insider
+ Engadget
+ Pop Photo
+ Samsung Newsroom

But wait, there's more - Samsung Video
In addition to the cameras, Samsung has announced a "Flip competitor" along with two traditional camcorders. More on those via Endless Years and Photography Review which has nice product pics of the U10.

Meanwhile, CN'et's Crave blog asks whether the Samsung version of the Flip can flip the flip. And Samsung sure did not waste any time, their new HMX-U10 is already available on Amazon for pre-order for a Flip-like price of $200. They'd better not get Cisco angry, they are going to shut off their internet ;-)

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