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Although it seems complicated at first, once you get the hang of it you discover that it enables you to change any setting on the camera with just two button presses, and completely eliminates the need for a conventional menu system. Like all the most ingenious ideas it’s actually very simple. When the camera is operating, there are icons around the edge of the screen corresponding to various camera functions, such as AF mode, metering mode, ISO setting etc. Simply press the button next to the icon you wish to change, which brings up a list of available options. You then press the button in the other row that corresponds to the setting you wish to use. In practice it is much quicker and more intuitive than a conventional menu, and I really hope this system is used on future models, and that maybe something similar might be adopted by other manufacturers.
The overall performance of the NV10 is exemplary. It starts up in around two seconds, which is reasonably quick. In single shot mode it has a shot-to-shot time of a respectable two seconds, however it also has two continuous shooting modes, a standard one that can take a shot every 1.3 seconds until the card is full, and a high speed mode that fires three shots in two seconds, but then pauses to save them to the card.
The autofocus system is very quick, focusing in well under a second in most conditions, even in very low light thanks to the AF light, which has a range of around 4-5m. The flash is also very good, providing excellent coverage and easily exceeding its stated maximum range of 3.2m.
In the highest resolution mode the NV10 produces JPEG files of around 4MB each, which is very low compression. This means that a 1GB SD card is enough for 194 maximum quality shots, or around 50 minutes of VGA 30fps video.
One slight oddity is the camera’s aperture mechanism. It appears to have only two settings, either wide open at f2.8, or stopped down at f7.1, with nothing in between in either manual or automatic modes. This does limit the creative possibilities somewhat.