Samsung's new Wi-Fi enabled compact camera

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Samsung has announced the successor to its ST80 Wi-Fi compact camera, the SH100, which brings smartphone pairing, wireless synching with HDTVs and auto backup to a PC - where it's switched on or not

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The soon-to-be-released SH100 Wi-Fi-enabled compact from Samsung comes with a better lens than its predecessor, and can wirelessly pair with a smartphone to allow frame previewing and shot composition, as well as remote shutter release, away from the camera itself. It'll also be capable of streaming content using DNLA technology to a high definition television and automatically backing up photos and videos to a computer, whether it's switched on or not.

Of course, Samsung's new compact camera is not the first Wi-Fi-enabled digital camera we've seen, nor is it the only one – Kodak, Ricoh and others have also gone down similar routes. But that doesn't take anything away from some very useful new features.

The SH100 is the successor to the ST80 and retains many of the features - such as the 14.2 megapixel sensor, the 3-inch touchscreen display, the mobile hotspot account with Boingo (which is now said to have over 200,000 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the globe) and the facility to record high definition video. The company's AllShare DNLA technology is also carried over, which allows wireless streaming to a HDTV.

Set to become the company's flagship fully-connected compact camera, the new model gets a lens upgrade, now sporting a f4.7-23.5mm (26-130mm equivalent) Samsung lens with 5x optical zoom. Users are promised ease-of-use via the new Smart Access user interface and some useful new features such as the PC Auto Back-up function. Samsung says that pressing just a couple of buttons will wirelessly back up images to a suitably connected PC, the system also being compatible with the Wake-on-LAN system to allow upload even if the PC is turned off.

A useful addition is the ability to wirelessly link to a compatible smartphone (such as the Galaxy S) to compose a frame. While this might not be particularly important for scenic holiday snapping, if you want to include yourself in the shot then you can just pop the camera onto a nearby wall and do all of the frame tweaking remotely on the phone. It also caters for geo-tagging information from the phone's GPS to be included in images.

So long as you're within range of a wireless home router or a Wi-Fi hotspot then the built-in 802.11b/g/n connectivity should enable you to painlessly upload photos and videos to social networking sites without loading them onto a computer first. Of course 3G connectivity would be a useful addition so that users wouldn't have to rely on mobile hotspots or home networks but you can't have everything, can you?

The new SH100 will be available in March 2011 for a penny short of US$200.

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