Towards the end of last year I reviewed some cameras from Samsung’s NV (New Vision) range of digital compact cameras, including the NV3 and the NV10. I was pretty impressed by their combination of stylish design and technical innovation, especially considering the sometimes rather boring and ungainly cameras with which the Samsung brand had previously been associated. Lovely though the NV range is, it makes up only a small part of Samsung’s enormous product range, which now includes no fewer than 36 different digital camera models. Compare this with Fujifilm and Nikon who both have 24 models, or Canon who have 23.
This huge range is divided into six categories; SLR, Advanced, NV, Slim, Premium and Point-and-shoot. Today’s review camera is from the middle of the Premium range, the 7-megapixel 3x zoom L700.
While it’s nowhere near as ugly as some older Samsung models, such as the Digimax V40 or V50 from 2004, the L700 lacks the visual impact of the NV range models. It is housed in a fairly plain metallic aluminium body with a brushed finish on the front, although it is also available in black. The shape is a plain rectangle, with the right-hand end rounded off. It is quite slim, measuring 96.9 X 56.8 X 20.5 mm, and at 130g it is light enough to carry in a shirt pocket. The 3x zoom lens retracts fully into the camera body, and there are no protruding controls to snag on pocket linings. The fit and finish of the body and controls are very good, and while the camera feels light it doesn’t feel flimsy. There are one or two styling touches carried over from the NV line, such as the textured strap lug that doubles as a thumb grip.