Video: Samsung TL500 digital camera
Zak Billmeier grew up in southern Vermont and coastal Maine. After graduating from Mary Washington College with a Geography degree he still isn't sure quite what to do with, he eventually settled in the mountains of Central Virginia. He spends his free time chasing his daughter around, taking pictures, gardening and cooking. He joined Crutchfield's car A/V writing team in 2007 and is now a lead producer on our video team.
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The Samsung TL500 is an advanced point-and-shoot with a super-wide angle lens and wide aperture for taking superior pictures in low light.
Samsung's TL500 is great for anybody looking for the ultimate picture quality in a compact camera. The major reason for this is its bright F/1.8 maximum aperture. This means that the camera's lens can open up extra wide and let in a lot more light which is key to taking great photographs.
It also features a sharp 24mm wide-angle lens. And 24mm is also unusual in cameras like this because it's extra wide: lets you get really close to your subject for dramatic effect or just take in a wide, wide scene.
Another smart thing Samsung's done here is held back the megapixel count to 10 megapixels. A lot of cameras are opting for more and more megapixels which is good in some situations but really what it means is those pixels have to be smaller to sit on the same size sensor. By holding back that count your pixels can be bigger, gather more light, and work harder for you, and especially when combined with a bright maximum aperture like in this camera.
One thing I really like about the TL500 is how well thought out its controls are. In some cameras you have to dive into menus to get to important shooting controls, but not with this one. You do most of your tweaking with this little dial built into the grip or this little wheel in the back. Depending on what mode you're in those dials do different things. But after a week or two of shooting with it, I was so used to it that I could change those settings without even looking at the camera. That's pretty helpful when you're in a quickly changing environment.
If you're looking for the ultimate in post-processing flexibility, it does have the ability to shoot unprocessed RAW files. The screen on this camera is amazing. It's rich, colorful, vibrant, and it can tilt and swivel in any direction you wish. I found this useful for shooting down by my waist like I like to do or you can get a good crowd shot over your head. You can peek around corners. You can do a lot of things with it. When you know you'll be walking for a little bit you can turn it around, face it in like that, and it's instantly protected.
If you need more information go to crutchfield.com/TL500. If you buy the camera from Crutchfield you'll get lifetime tech support for as long as you own the camera. And if you need advice on buying a camera, give us a call, send us an e-mail, or chat with us online.