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CES 2012: Samsung bets big on connected cameras and camcorders

Consumer Reports News: January 09, 2012 06:53 PM

To compete with smart phones, which can wirelessly share images and video on social networks, Samsung today announced several new cameras and HD camcorders that connect wirelessly to the Internet. The new models with WiFi include three cameras, the 16-megapixel WB850F ($380, available in April), 14-megapixel WB150F ($230, available in January), and 16-megapixel ST200F ($200, available in February), and an HD camcorder, the QF20 ($350, available in March).

These models not only let you upload photos to Facebook and YouTube. They also let you e-mail images directly from the devices and upload images and video to Samsung's Allshare Play and Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud service, which provide you with additional backup for your media. Plus, these devices have a TV Link feature for viewing images on connected HDTVs and a WiFi Direct feature that connects the devices to laptops, desktop computers and tablets.

But not all of Samsung's new features revolve around WiFi. Several new subcompacts come with very long zooms in small camera bodies: For example, the WB850F has a 21x optical zoom and the WB150F has an 18x optical zoom. Samsung's F80 full-sized camcorder ($200, available in February) also has a 52x optical zoom, which is very long for its class.

Samsung also introduced two new rugged pocket camcorders--W300 ($160, available in April) and W350 ($200, available in April)--which it says are waterproof to a depth of 16.5 feet and shockproof to withstand a 6.5 foot drop.

One other notable trend: Samsung will not be introducing any standard-definition camcorders.

Terry Sullivan

   

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