Samsung PL170 Preview

DualView cameras are great for those who love to take self-portraits because there's an additional viewing screen on the front of the camera (no more guesswork needed for capturing self-portraits or group shots with your friends). Samsung helped pioneer this technology for digital point-and-shoot cameras towards the end of 2009, and in 2011, they're trying to make these models even better. The sub-$200 PL170 is very similar to the PL120, and costs $50 more.  Both feature 1.5-inch front displays, a 5x optical zoom lens (35mm film equivalent of 26-130mm), and Easy Self Shot, a feature that only activates the front screen in order to assure added privacy. But, the PL170 is definitely an upgrade over the bargain model (PL120). First, there's the added resolution of a 16.1-megapixel image sensor as well as a larger 3-inch main display, optical image stabilization, and an HDMI output for easy connection to most HDTVs with an optional cable.

In addition to taking large, sharp still images, Samsung's PL170 also records 30 frames per second, 720p HD video. For those who like to stylized imagery, Samsung offers both Smart 2.0 video filters (soft-focus, cinema, fish-eye, miniature, etc.) and Smart Auto modes (16 for still images and 4 for video) to help customize the look of your photos and video recordings. Smart Auto modes analyze key elements of your shots (such as brightness, color, and motion), and automatically adjusts the camera's settings for the best snapshots possible.

Samsung PL170 features:
  • 16-megapixel 1/2.33" CCD Image Sensor
  • 5x, 26mm wide optical zoom lens
  • Optical IS
  • Easy Self shot (power off the main LCD)
  • 3.0-inch Main Display (230K)
  • 1.5-inch Front Display (61K)
  • Front Display Feature modes
  • Magic Frame
  • Smart Face Recognition
  • Smart Auto 2.0 (Movie & Still)
  • Smart Filter 2.0
  • Smart Album
  • Face Detect & Tracking
  • Beauty Shot
  • Object Tracking AF
  • High Definition Movie Recording - 720p
  • Multi Slide Show
  • High Sensitivity ISO3200 (Full Size)
  • Compact body measures 95.3 x 57.3 x 19mm
Pick up a Samsung PL170 for under $200 US when it hits store shelves and online retailers in March, 2011.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.