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I don't imagine that it's news to anyone reading this that the digital camera industry is fiercely competitive. Several of the world's largest electronics companies, names such as Sony, Canon, Panasonic and Nikon, have been vying with each other for years to gain a technological edge that will guarantee them a bigger share of the market, and bigger profits. However there is one other camera manufacturer that dwarfs even those industrial giants. Korean-based Samsung is the world's largest conglomerate, and when an organisation like that decides it wants a chunk of the digital camera market, all the others can do is shuffle over and make room.
The NV series has been Samsung's technological proving ground, demonstrating high quality optics, stylish design and innovative control systems, as well as superior performance and generally good results. I've been impressed by many of the models in the series, such as the NV3, NV10, NV8, NV30 and the NV9 that I saw a couple of weeks ago, and they've sold well too. Today however I'm taking a look at the last of the NV series, the NV100HD. I'd like to report that such a successful series ended on a high note, but sadly this is not the case.
The NV100HD has an immensely ambitious specification, as though the designers knew that it would be the last of the series, and decided to throw in every idea they'd got left. It has a big 14.7-megapixel 1/1.72-inch CCD sensor, a 3.6x zoom Schneider-Kreuznach lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and a 28mm wide angle, a 3.0-inch touch-screen monitor with a resolution of 460k (twice the usual), 1280 x 720 30fps HD video recording and optical image stabilisation. There aren't many current models from other manufacturers that can match its list of features, and none at all that can match its price of under £170. On paper it should be one of the best value compact cameras on the market.
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