By James Wells

TEMORA, NSW: Samsung Australia reached new heights in its quest for publicity on Friday by booking two corporate jets to launch the ST550 – the world’s first digital camera with dual LCD screens and the first camera with a 1.5-inch LCD screen on the front of the camera.

The corporate jets flew journalists from Sydney airport to Temora airport in south-western New South Wales for a launch event at the Temora Aviation Museum complete with a stunt flight exhibition from the museum’s creator – David Lowy.

The ST550 (RRP $449) is primarily targeted at digital imaging enthusiasts who like to take self portraits. The dual LCD allows people to view the image as they are taking it.

“This camera is the very first of its kind,” said Samsung Electronics Australia marketing manager – digital AV, Sagar Dave.

“We are offering functionality and capabilities that no other digital camera manufacturer has yet addressed. It has become increasingly more common for the photographer to switch roles and become the subject of their photo, especially given the rise in the popularity of self-portraits or profile pictures for use on social networking sites,” Dave said.

In addition to the obvious self-portrait opportunities, the camera also features a Child Mode function where an animation entertains and distracts children as you prepare to take the picture.

“Samsung’s Dual LCD design on the ST550 camera is set to revolutionise the world-wide phenomenon that is self portraits. We are thrilled to be at the cutting edge with this instinctive and innovative technology that taps into the hearts and minds of people everywhere.”

The ST550 also features a 12.2 megapixel CCD, 27mm wide angle lens with 4.6x optical zoom and the world’s highest resolution 3.5-inch Wide Touch Screen Back LCD with Samsung claiming four times the resolution of comparable cameras. The ST550 comes with an HDMI connection and records HD video in 1280x720p resolution at 30 frames per second in H.264 format – offering twice as much recording capacity as an MPEG4 and four times more than a MJPG.