A potential Powerhouse from Samsung’s sexy NV range
For a number of years Samsung was seen as something of an also-ran in the compact camera market. However, Samsung’s NV7 is anything but an average camera.
It’s a story of 7s with the NV7, as a 7mp CCD is joined by a 7x zoom covering 38-270mm equivalents. To ensure optimum image quality, the lens features Samsung’s OPS (Optical Picture Stabilisation) system to mechanically counter camera shake, with electronic ASR (Advanced Shake Reduction) offering a second shake-reducing option.
There are plenty of scene modes augmented by program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual settings, and an expansive ISO 100-1000 range, all backed up by multi-, centre- and spot-metering patterns. All that seems to be missing here is Raw capture.
The NV7 feels as though it’s been hewn from a lump of metal, and this industrial presence extends to the brutally minimal Lens: that dominates the front. The mode dial is perfectly placed, but it’s the smart-touch buttons on the back that are a revelation. You glide your finger across them to scroll between images or navigate a menu, which makes it incredibly tactile. It’s a shame there’s no viewfinder, but at least there’s a high-resolution 2.5in LCD.
The NV7 is keen enough to spring to life and, when it comes to getting your subject in focus and whisking the image to the memory card, there’s no problem with either the AF or processing speeds. I’m also impressed by both shake reducing systems, especially when they’re used together.
We hate it when a camera promises so much, but lets us down with its image quality. In the case of the NV7 it’s colour noise that’s the main problem, even making an appearance at ISO 200 if you look closely. Add fringing, some incredibly hot reds and a general lack of detail and it’s a case of sticking below ISO 400 for the best results. The exposure and white balance aren’t bad though. ISO 1600 is a waste of time; noise, coupled with in-camera sharpening, destroys the image. Thankfully the IS lets you use slower speeds.
Value For Money
Given the NV7’s spec and build quality, it’s great value even with the iffy picture quality.
A top spec and great build/design is undermined by second-rate image quality that screams out for a Raw capture option.
106 x 62.3 x 21mm
6 modes, 5.8m (W) / 4.0m (T)
Auto / Manual 100-1000
Multi, Spot, Center-weighted, Face Recognition AE
P, A, S, M, 11 Sc, Mov
2.5in LCD with 230,000 pixels
6.3-44.7mm (38-270mm) f/2.8-4
7.2MP effective, 1/2.5in CCD
View sample shots of the Samsung NV7 OPS