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December 25, 2009

Samsung CL80 is a new 14mp 1/2.3" deluxe P&S with PASM (3.7" AMOLED, 7X at 31mm)

Merry Christmas, wars are sadly never over because humans are still savages! This holiday greeting is brought to you by Debbie Downer :)

A few days ago, the Samsung ST5500 was leaked on the internets via the FCC website. Now as you can see at the dpreview Samsung forum, and Foto Actualidad, Samsung has "leaked" a new camera model on its own website - the Samsung CL80. With Samsung's parade of near-similar shiny-silvers, it is hard to tell whether the ST5500 is the CL80 or a sister model.

As we saw earlier on, there is a quickening this year - companies are making announcements and leaks ahead of the CES 2010 trade show.

The Samsung CL80 marks the first camera to go to 14-megapixels at the 1/2.3" sensor size. Because let's face it, the average buyer of the 1/2.3" cameras needs more than 12-megapixels. Well, now that Samsung sells memory cards as well, it certainly helps the business :)


Notable features include a 3.7" AMOLED display which will likely please people who get frustrated with the smaller screens on most compact digital cameras. It records 30fps 720p (H.264) video, and has WiFi upload capabilities.

The lens is a Schneider lens according to the detailed specs, with a 31-217mm (eq) range with optical stabilization. This is a 7X zoom ratio. Starting at 31mm is certainly better than the usual 35mm or 40mm for wide-angle fans, but perhaps not wide-enough for some fans of wide-angle. It has 10cm macro and 1cm super-mario.

On the good news front - because we always pick on P&S cameras for not having this - the specs state that the camera will have manual exposure, along with shutter and aperture priority. This is a fundamental feature of photography that we believe almost all cameras should have regardless.

It has the usual assortment of scenes, face detection, special effects, slide shows, albums, voice memo and the like.

On the bad news front, it will use microSD cards instead of the very common SD/SDHC/MMC. This is an unwise decision, but it will be welcomed by Olympus users whose cameras also take microSD, but illogically and stubbornly, not SD/SDHC/MMC.

The battery is of course a LiIon - the SLB-11A (1100 mAH).

From a strategery point of view, this also helps Samsung as now everybody will be visiting their website day and night waiting/hoping for another leak :)

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