Price (RRP): $599
Reviewer: Byer Gair
The Samsung Digimax NV10 is a style surprise from Korea. Encased in a black aluminium body, the camera is claimed to be only 18.5 mm thin but, thanks to the useful finger grip, blows out to 25 mm; with the 3x Schneider Kreuznach optical zoom extended, the depth runs out to 47 mm. But it will slide into the narrowest pocket.
Smallness belies image power: the camera can shoot images of 10.1 megapixels and 3648 x 2736 pixels in size. This sort of image can account for sharp prints measuring 41×31 cm, when printed out at a 225 dpi setting.
The NV10 can shoot video clips at 640×480 pixels in size at 30 fps; there’s also a limited form of editing built into the camera’s operation.
There is no optical viewfinder but the rear 6.4 cm LCD screen is more than adequate.
The all black look of the camera is a surprise at first when you look for external controls: no labels on the buttons, no jog dial, just a mode dial on the top surface.
Turn the camera over and, flanking the LCD’s base and right side, are 13 buttons, plus one for image review. These 13 buttons are touch sensitive. Run your finger over them and control icons appear on screen. You select them by pressing an adjacent button; at this point a whole list of new options will appear. The approach opens a pile of options very quickly but it does take a bit of getting used to.
You can use the camera in auto or Program AE mode and additionally fine tune the lens aperture or shutter speed in manual mode.
Although I don’t figure you need an anti-shake reduction with a camera that has only a 3x optical zoom, the NV10 does have Samsung’s ASR (Advanced Shake Reduction) system that does, using digital processing, accomplish a similar thing. Doesn’t work in outdoors though!
Action fans will appreciate the camera’s continuous shooting modes: one option is to shoot a burst of three frames at 2.5 fps; the other captures 20 shots at a speed of 7 fps, but the picture size is limited to 1024 x 768 pixels.
Like to shoot animation? The camera will shoot a series of shots and combine them into a Motion GIF clip you can run on the tele.
If you like to tangle with special effects the NV10 can be set up to render your images with a different look: sepia, B&W, negative or in reddish, greenish or bluish tones. Another twist is to ‘frame’ your images in any of nine border designs.
Want more? The NV10 can combine two, three or four shots into one composite image.
The camera is a dream to use, thanks to the shaped body and easy location of the power and shutter buttons.
The pictures shot with the NV10 paralleled the camera’s good looks: rich colour, sharp definition make it an ideal snapshot camera.
Smart, small picture maker. Should be in every pocket. Loved the realistic shutter sound!