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Samsung has updated its i-series of digital cameras, with a gadget that doesn’t know if it’s a portable media player (PMP), video player or a digital camera.

Samsung_i8

Samsung's i8: a pocket-sized and curvaceous design

The 8 megapixel i8 has a 3x optical zoom and a 2.7in LCD screen, capabilities which are both exceeded by the existing Samsung i85, which has a 5x optical zoom and 3in LCD screen. The i8 does feature a screen that automatically brightens or dims itself though, depending on the lighting situation.

Its SVGA movie mode allows users to shoot 800 x 592 resolution video clips at 30 frames per second. However, before the camera makes its full transition into a PMP, users can watch their masterpieces in a selection of slideshow layouts with accompanying musical backgrounds.

Although Samsung hasn’t said what audio format the i8 uses, the company does ship the camera with software to convert a selection of formats, such as MP3, into an i8-acceptable one. Audio files are stored on an SD card and the camera has a 2.5mm headphone jack and external speaker built in, allowing you to listen privately to music or annoyingly from the back of the bus.

More common digital camera features, such as red eye reduction and face detection, are also thrown in.

The i8 will be available in the US next month for around $300 (£175/€210). A European release date or price is yet to be given.

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