Conclusion: I don't often get excited about new compact cameras when I first see them, but last summer when I got my hands on a (very) early pre-production sample of the NV7 OPS I was genuinely pleased to see a company like Samsung taking the risks with design and functionality that the main players seem to have given up on entirely.
Pros: Superb build and finish, Huge feature set in a very compact body, Extensive photographic controls & some fun features, Unique styling & user interface, Bright, punchy, fairly detailed ISO 100 images, Big, fairly fast (F2.8-4.0) 7x zoom, Reasonably fast performance, Accepts threaded filters & lenses, Big, bright screen, Decent flash power, Image stabilization and ASR system (though see below), Space efficient MPEG-4 movie mode, zooming allowed, pause function (though s...
Cons: Excessive noise at ISO 200+, visible noise at ISO 100, Smearing of low contrast detail at all ISO settings (Noise Reduction), Unimpressive ISO 400-1000 results; suitable only for small prints, Corner and (mild) edge softness, Excessive contrast and saturation - can't be turned down in-camera, Mild underexposure and tone curve results in clipped shadows, Focus hunting in low light and macro mode, slow telephoto focus in general, Some focus errors - single, fixed focus ...
Excerpt: The Samsung NV7 OPS ($349) is the top-of-the-line model in the Korean
manufacturer's line of premium digital cameras. It packs a 7 Megapixel CCD,
7X optical zoom lens, optical image stabilization, full manual controls, and
a very unique user interface.
Pros: Good value for the money, Very stylish design, one of a kind; great build quality, save for the battery/memory compartment cover, Optical image stabilization (though see issues below), Large, high resolution 2.5" LCD display (though see issues below), Unique user interface (though see below), Full manual controls, including ability to set white balance by color temperature (a rarity in this price range), Powerful flash, AF-assist lamp, very good low light focusing, Fu...
Cons: Images are noisy and plagued by noise reduction artifacts, even at low ISOs, Redeye a big problem, User interface can be frustrating; sometimes too sensitive, other times not sensitive enough; simple tasks take to long to accomplish, Poor battery life, Low light LCD visibility could be better, No optical viewfinder, Optical image stabilization cannot be used in movie mode, Unimpressive continuous shooting modes, Using ASR (advanced shake reduction) feature slows down ...
Summary: : Sometimes a little bit of noise is acceptable, especially if you can use the lowest ISO setting for noise free photos, but the NV7 features noise even when using ISO100. The "Smart Touch" interface is an interesting idea, but whilst it was designed to make using the camera easier, none of the buttons are labelled, and I found the controls fiddly and difficult to use, meaning even the simplest of changes were time consuming.
Pros: Good image quality - high colour saturation (albeit with too much noise), Good macro / very good super macro mode, Excellent 2.5" screen - very clear, high resolution 230,000 pixels, Good video mode - VGA, 30fps, Sound, optical zoom available (sound mutes when zooming in/out), Can charge through the USB cable! (wouldn't it be great if ALL cameras did this?), Feels good (solid) and looks good with a stylish body, CCD-Shift Image stabilisation helps to avoid blue when t...
Cons: ASR / Advanced Shake Reduction produces noisy images and is of limited usefulness (especially when real image stabilisation is available)., Excessive noise at all ISO settings with black dots visible even using ISO100 (and some banding), In playback mode, the lens retracts, when you switch back to photo mode, the lens defaults back to the wide setting loosing your lens setting, Optical Image Stabilisation is OFF every time you switch the camera off by default!, Power ...
Summary: The new NV series represents Samsung's bid to grab a large
slice of the digital compact camera market, a stepping stone
to eventually becoming one of the top 3 players, and therefore
competes with the likes of Canon, Sony and Kodak. The Samsung
NV7 is a premium-level product that is both well made and
well thought out, with a unique menu interface that makes
the camera easier to understand and navigate than a conventional
Excerpt: On paper the NV7 is exactly the sort of camera we've been waiting for. It's compact and stylish, has a large zoom range with optical image stabilisation and includes proper manual exposure and focus control. It's not quite as compact as the Panasonic TZ1 or Nikon S10, both of which lack manual controls, and its 7.1x zoom is smaller. It's a bit of an oddball design, with an ultra-slim body, except for the chunky non-retractable lens.