My Love Affair With Old Digital Cameras II: The Samsung TL220

Don Giannatti
Full Frame
Published in
4 min readMar 7


So fun to shoot, I bought two of them… for $20 a piece.

Garfield neighborhood, Phoenix.

Just a short post of images taken on the spur of the moment, which is what these small, pocket-sized cameras excel at. I love my cameras in all configurations, and never leave home without one. These days, it is most likely one from my old digicam collection.

I shoot quiet imagery. I’m not into the hugely dramatic image, or something digitally composited. Just little vignettes of the world at the moment I happened to be there.

I don’t write about cameras because, honestly, I don’t care that much about them — although I can be inconsistent and tell you I love my Nikon F3 and Df, as well as my Deardorff and Canon 6DII, which makes me sound like a hypocrite.

I’ve been called worse.

What I should say is that if the camera matters to the image, then it is something to talk about. If it does not, then it is the tool that was chosen and that is all that there is to say about it.

Today I want a chance to show off the power of my little Samsung TL220, a point-and-shoot camera from 2009 with 12 MP, image stabilization, and 720p video. This sweet little camera also has a small LCD screen on the front of the camera for doing… selfies, I guess. Heh.

It only shoots JPEG, but that is what gives the images their kinda retro look. Yes, the shadows block up and the highlights can burn out. Meh. I’m good with it. Too much perfection bothers me.

(One of the reasons I am carrying these small cameras is my personal commitment to myself to stop relying so much on my iPhone. Yes, my iPhone is an amazing camera, but it is not the ONLY way to take photos, and I want to reconnect with the idea of making images with tools that are dedicated to that endeavor only, a camera.)

The image above is a tiny house owned by someone who loves primary colors. Really cute, but needs someone to care for it instead of just paint it.

Garfield neighborhood, Phoenix.

I am fascinated by shape, depth, and design. This image connects all three with foreground, middle ground, and background. And a distinct quadrant composition puts it together nicely.

Tempe, Arizona.

High up on the side of a mall, this photographer threatens to photograph all of the people who park in the back lot. The reason is unclear, although there are rumors that she is a street photographer on the hunt for the last roll of 110 Kodacolor.

Ahwatukee, Arizona

Ornamental lemons fill the sky above a very dramatic linear gate. Chaos versus strict formations. My kind of quiet photo. It both reminds me of a lovely walk with my wife, and how incredible the world is when you put a frame around it.

On my patio, Phoenix.

I love the light on these big leaves. Backlight and front light on the same plant give a patina that is remarkably presented. You can feel the sun on the left leaf while seeing the look of a beautifully backlit plant on the right.

East Vanburen, Phoenix.

This cactus was in a shaft of sunlight next to a taco shop. I had to hold the camera down low to get a bit of an upward view of it. Love the light and shadow interplay. Nature’s design skills are impeccable.

All of the images are mine and were taken on a Samsung TL220 (2009) at ISO 100. They were input into Lightroom and processed with the RNI film emulator Fuji Provia 100. No other manipulation was used.

The Samsung TL220 next to my iPhone 13. Toldja it was small.

NOTE: While these images are presented with the grain and contrast inherent in the small sensors of 14 years ago, they could indeed be enhanced by Topaz AI. If you want noiseless images from your old cameras, this software will give them a lot more life. Wow.

All photos are mine and are copyrighted.

I am a photographer, designer, and photo editor. More of me here.

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Don Giannatti
Full Frame

Designer. Photographer. Author. Entrepreneur: Loving life at 100MPH. I love designing, making photographs and writing.