Samsung NV20 digital camera

Samsung has updated its NV10 model with the 12.1 megapixel NV20, but is this a camera that is trying to do too much or are the results amazing? We get snapping to find out.

The NV20 is Samsung's first 12-megapixel compact camera with a 2.5-inch LCD screen featuring Samsung's improved processing technology combined with features such as a 3x optical zoom lens, Advanced Shake Reduction and Red-eye fix.

If that wasn't enough to get you interested the NV20 also offers TV quality MPEG4 VGA (640 x 480) 30fps video recording and a photo gallery function for picture viewing with the company's Smart Touch interface.

Housed in a retro design with a protruding lens and well-built metal body, the Samsung NV20 will certainly turn heads when you get it out of your pocket. When we were testing the camera, it garnered plenty of interest.

Looking good might be one thing, but how about ease of use? The Smart Touch interface is an interesting concept and rather than relying on a standard d-pad configuration there are a series of buttons along the bottom and right side of the screen.

The idea is that you press the button that relates to the on screen prompt above it rather like a cross hair on a table. It takes a little getting used to before becoming fairly easy, however we did find that the keys are very close together and very sensitive meaning you can press the wrong one by mistake.

If not controlling the camera via the Smart Touch buttons, it is via the jog wheel on the top and this allows you to quickly get to the Anti Shake Reduction mode or the video or an effects mode that allows you add silly elements to the pictures like comic book templates, the ability to take more than one picture on the same frame or other random niceties.

As for picture quality? There is plenty of noise present regardless of ISO levels, thanks to the fact that Samsung has tried to cram so many pixels on to the tiny sensor.

We also noticed that the image colour wasn't that punchy even though on our test day the sun was blazing and the sky clear blue (see red door).

Verdict

Overall we weren't that impressed by the NV20, it might look good, but in use it's awkward, gimmicky and worse of all the images aren't great.

Like the NV10 before its Nice looks don't cover up its failings, and it's a shame to see Samsung hasn't learnt from its mistakes first time around.


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