Samsung NV3 digital camera - EXCLUSIVE review

People no longer want just good pictures when it comes to their digital camera, but to look good taking them as well. So can Samsung's latest approach with its new NV series be the ticket to stealing the lead from more traditional market leaders like Canon? We get snapping to find out.

The Samsung NV3 is a slim-line digital camera that offers a whopping 7 megapixel resolution, a 3x optical zoom and a large clear bright (even in direct sunlight) 2.5 inch display.

Replacing the company's current i6 model the camera goes to town on the multimedia functionality like you've never seen before. It seems no longer can a camera be just that: the NV3 sports an MP3, video and text player to entertain you while you're not capturing your holiday.

The camera's design, like the two other models in the newly launched NV (it stands for New Vision by the way) range sports a very retro design with plenty of detail. It's the little touches like the blue circle around the lens cover and the gun metal black colouring that really make it stand out from the crowd.

Encased in a thin 17.5mm metal body, users will be able to enjoy that multimedia functionality via the built-in stereo speakers or included headphones while they take pictures. In use we did find that the placement of the speakers was confusing due to them looking like the shutter button, however, after a few pictures you soon know what is what.

That thinness, like the Sony T series, is the camera's most striking virtue and Samsung has managed to create a camera that slips easily into your pocket if not a tad heavy for the size.

That weight does add a solid feel to the device, but at the same time does mean that you can't slip it into a shirt pocket without anyone noticing.

Get past the design and the camera offers plenty of features including that whopping resolution. Personally we think it’s a bit of an overkill with 5 megapixels enough for the average user, however you can turn the settings down to get more out of your SD card or the internal memory - a paltry 32MB which at the highest setting is enough for 3 shots.

Of course there are plenty of settings for controlling white balance, ISO settings up to ISO 1000 and a variety of macro modes for those looking for close up work. Failing that there are 11 scene modes to choose from.

Other features of merit are the on-screen display of the top rotating dial so you can see what you are turning the mode knob to and a digital camcorder with MPEG4 TVD (720 x 480) 20fps & VGA (640 x 480) 30fps including an Auto Gain Control (AGC) feature that minimizes zoom noise during video recording.

Luckily for Samsung when it comes to pictures the Samsung NV3 performs exceptionally well. Images are quick to take meaning you can get plenty of shots in (unless you are using the ASR mode, which takes a bit longer to
process) and the image quality is very good in all the situations we tried it in (see sample images).

Verdict

The NV3 is a killer camera that oozes style and performance. The 7 megapixel resolution is a bit of an overkill in our mind, however the image quality is second to none.

We epecially like the cameras ability to be charged from a USB cable making this a good companion for those traveling with a laptop and its impressive battery life - we manged a good couple of hundred shots before the juice started to fade us.

Better still with a sub-£250 price tag it's affordable too.

We love it.