Another player has entered the high-end compact camera fold, and this time it looks like Samsung is in it to win it. The TL500
(aka EX1) is a 10 megapixel shooter with a larger than usual 1/1.7-inch CCD backing up a 24 - 72mm 3x zoom lens that will take you all the way down to F1.8. In the Photography Blog
review, that lens earned the camera one of its few criticisms, starting very wide but not offering enough magnification on the other end of the scale. A lack of 720p video recording is another bummer, but other than those two it's basically all positive, with the build quality and controls earning high marks, and the resulting images (helped by full manual exposure controls) looking as good as you'd expect. The camera isn't particularly
reasonable at $449, but it does at least deliver on everything it promises.