sallonoroff /about /blog /blog/archive /blog/stats /search

Secondary display. On a camera.

Here’s a very interesting move in the point-and-shoot digital camera market by Samsung – they’ve only gone and announced cameras with two screens. Yes, the TL220 and TL225 feature a small LCD panel on the front of the camera in addition to the typical “viewfinder” LCD on the rear.

front and back screens

I think it’s smart move that’ll no doubt go down a storm with the narcissistic MySpace/Facebook crowd. Imagine the time they’ll save in taking arm-out-above-themselves-at-a-quirky-angle self portraits! No need to take 50 shots in the hope of getting one lined up correctly or to limit their posing opportunities by standing in front of a mirror. No, now there’s a little screen to help them get just the right amount of cleavage first time, every time.

Indeed, Samsung even admits in the press release where they drew the inspiration for this new design from:

It has become more common for the photographer to switch roles and become the subject of his or her photo, especially given the rise in popularity of self-portraits or profile pictures for use with today’s popular social networking sites.

But it’s not all about teenagers taking self-portraits, because in “Child Mode” these cameras are parent-friendly too:

In Child Mode, the front LCD plays a fun animation to capture a child’s attention while taking their photo.

However, another feature that’s bound to be well-used by mums and teenage daughters alike is the “Beauty Shot”:

Samsung’s Beauty Shot feature lets you remove all the imperfections on your subject’s face such as wrinkles, blemishes, and moles. Simply select one of two editing options to even out skin tone and complexion.

At last, we needn’t look like ourselves!

Beyond the gimmicks though the specs seems pretty good: it has 12.2 megapixels, a 4.6x optical zoom, can shoot video in 720p “HD” and that rear LCD display is actually a touchscreen – complete with haptic feedback (ie. it’s meant to feel like you’re pressing buttons). Plus it’s fairly compact to boot. Not bad.

This is definitely an interesting evolution in compact cameras and very similar to an idea i had some time ago – a detachable control panel/viewer on a camera. That is to say, the rear section of the camera would pop-off at the press of a button (similar to how the controls of a car stereo pop-out) so you could control the camera remotely, albeit only over short (bluetooth-radius?) distances. Wouldn’t that be great? Useful for those shots you need to take at arms length and also those portraits you would currently take on ‘self-timer’ (No more pics with Dad caught running into the frame). Basically, we’re talking about the swivel-screen on a camcorder taken to it’s most flexible extreme.

It’d probably go something like this…

a shit depiction of my camera concept

Clearly i’ve ruined any opportunity to patent this now by sharing it freely with the world, but maybe if some manufacturer in the Far East does make it one day i could convince them to give me one (a camera) for free?

Just one small hurdle to overcome before this would ever become reality though – low-power, miniaturised, wireless video transmission.