Killer P&S cam for serious photogs.

I'm a camera pack rat and seem to collect cameras like they were crazy shirts or something! I posted a while ago about the Ricoh GRIII that I love, but I have to say I might have a new love in my life…well, at least as little cameras go. After my standard process of obsessive research and comparison shopping, I discovered a newly released Samsung TL500. My main desires in a P&S camera are: Fast lens, wide-angle lens, clean at higher ISO, intuitive easy to use controls, full manual control options, and solid as a tank build quality.

The Samsung has an incredible 24mm-75mm zoom, which is not that incredible unless you consider it's a f1.8-2.4 Schneider lens too! Can you say "Low Light Monster Baby!" It also has an incredible ISO range of 80-3200. It's pretty darn clean up to 1600 as well, and totally useable. It also has a new AMOLED screen which, if you haven't seen one yet, makes typical camera LCD screens look like they were pulled off an old Atari computer. The screen flips and rotates, which is a nice bonus and I actually use it more than I thought.

The image quality is fantastic and it even has an in-camera "HDR" type feature for extended dynamic range. Very nice. The controls are all intuitive, easy to get to, and well laid out. The focus and response time is very vast, with little lag compared to most P&S cams. The only potential down-side for some is the non-HD video. It's 640x480, but clean. I really feel that HD is overkill for most people with P&S cams since it just ends up downsized for youtube or Facebook anyway. I'd rather watch a clean, fast loading, smaller video on the net over an HD, slow, stuttering video any day.

It's not super small and light, but boy is it built nice - not like a tank, but an Audi. In fact I find myself taking it out of my bag every now and then just to caress it a little. After all, that's what keeps love alive, right?

It's about $400 at online retailers.