Samsung has unveiled what it bills as the world?s first cameras to feature two screens. The ST500 and ST550 feature one display on the front and the other on the back.
The 12.2-million-pixel ST550 (£299) and ST500 (£249) each sport a 4.6x optical zoom, with a 35mm viewing angle equivalent to a 27mm lens at the wide end.
The front LCD monitor measures 1.5in and is ideal for self-portraits, according to Samsung. It also features a built-in animation option to help keep a child ?engaged? when taking their picture.
A smiley face, activated by pressing the shutter button halfway, will appear to warn the subject that the picture is about to be taken.
And a visible ?countdown? on the front screen allows the person being photographed time to pose when the self-timer is set.
On the back the ST550 and ST500 feature a 3.5in and 3in LCD screen respectively. The touch screens feature Gesture UI (User Interface), allowing the photographer to delete an image, for example, by merely tracing an ?X? on the screen using their finger.
The pair also include a 1280×720-pixel ?HD? movie mode and dual image stabilisation.
Also new is the single-screen ST1000, a £349 model that boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
The 12.2MP model also includes a GPS location tagging function.
Samsung said it is launching the ST1000 in a bid to encourage consumers to buy ?higher-end? products, hoping they will view Samsung as a ?premium? compact camera brand.
?We need to bring out something over and above other manufacturers,? said James Loader, Samsung UK?s Digital Imaging Division camera product manager.
The Bluetooth function is designed to allow the user to transfer images to mobile phones or to another camera.
The ST1000 houses a 3.5in touch screen.
Its 5x Schneider Kreuznach lens aims to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 35-175mm zoom.
The ST1000 conforms with the Digital Living Network Alliance that various manufacturers have set up as a standard Wi-Fi system for products (such as digital picture frames) ?to talk to each other wirelessly?.
The camera?s Wi-Fi also allows photos to be uploaded to social networking websites without the need to connect to a computer.
Options include shutter priority, aperture priority and manual exposure. The top equivalent ISO is 4800 (at a maximum 3MP resolution).
Samsung has equipped each of its new cameras with Micro SD storage cards. They support versions up to 4GB capacity. The cameras are due out at the end of August.
Also unveiled were the 12MP PL55 (£149), 12MP ES60 (£129), 10MP ES20 (£89) and 12MP ES17 (£89).