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Samsung NV8 Digital Camera review

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8

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Since Samsung introduced its premium NV (New Vision) range of high-spec digital compact cameras in the summer of 2006, the company's fortunes in the digital camera market have dramatically improved, and looking at the NV8 it's easy to see why. Launched in August last year alongside the similarly-styled 10-megapixel NV15 and 12-megapixel NV20, the NV8 is a very stylish 8-megapixel pocket compact camera featuring a 3x zoom Schneider Kreuznach lens, a 2.5-inch 230k monitor and a wide range of options all operated by Samsung's innovative Smart Touch control system.

The camera's smart contemporary design is obviously an important selling point, but unlike a lot of fashion cameras it doesn't sacrifice usability for style. The distinctive shape, which it shares with many other models in the NV range, is very easy to hold, with a large handgrip on the front with a rubberised insert for extra grip, and a protruding thumb grip on the back that also doubles as the strap lug. The camera's body is all metal, and the matt black finish of my review sample proved to be very resistant to marks and scratches. While it is small and light, it feels solid and well made. The lens does protrude somewhat when deactivated, and the unusual shape of the body means that the NV8 isn't the slimmest camera in the world, but it is by no means bulky and fits well into a pocket or handbag for a night out. The camera measures 96.5 x 60 x 27mm, but for some reason Samsung's official website insists that it is actually 18.6mm thick, which it is if you don't include the lens or the handgrip. What exactly is the point of this practice of measuring the camera at the thinnest point of the body? It's like me saying I'm only five feet tall, if you don't include my head and neck. It's not fooling anyone, and is a completely irrelevant measurement for any practical purpose. For example, if you're considering buying a camera pouch to protect your new NV8 and want to know if it will fit, you want to know how thick it is including the lens and the handgrip, not without. These features are not removable, and are undeniably part of the camera body, so surely it makes some sort of sense to include them in any measurement of that body?

The NV8, including its lens and handgrip, is currently selling for around £130, which is a very good price for its specification. Considering its unusual features and design it's difficult to find a close comparison, but the Nikon Coolpix S210 is around £150, the Canon Powershot A580 is around £140, the Olympus FE-280 is £130, while the Fuji F40fd is now selling for under £110.

Leadenwinter

June 22, 2008, 10:30 pm

The camera itself seems to be good and functional upon purchase but begins to freeze after a few days use. It has software problems so one should be sure to test before purchase. The camera requires a driver which is not easy to install. Even after installation the camera is not recognised by computers when attached via the USB cable. I tested the camera with five computers and in each case there was a problem.



leonistik

June 25, 2010, 6:59 pm

I have had this camera since 2008 I used all functions, Maybe because this system was xp or lower because it may have a driver error there, But I highly doubt that I have used the driver settings on xp,vista and now 7, vista and 7 are plug and play xp I have the casual screen pop up to transfer files. I Love the macro, the color and settings. if you must see sample pictures google leonistik--look for the site fotothing. All my pictures there are taking with the samsung nv8. The set back and i think its with all samsung camera as I have read was the slow focus, at times that extra second to get a great shot gets ruined because it took its jolly good time focusing, I wouldn't recommend the samsung zoom lens i dislike the quality as opposed to this german company lens, there is a difference i bought a 12MP with a samsung lens and the 12mp quality sucked it was horrible i went back to my nv8 the pictures, were always great, but i use it soo much since i cannot afford a dslr. the fireworks shots are good but you need a tripod as well as any night shots because its very sensitive, I tried to get another battery, but it change the behavior of the camera, thank god i lost that battery . The bad thing i guess its the software error your pressing the shutter and suddenly the camera closes, at times too in the case it opened you would hear beep and then it protects itself closing. thats the behavior of it but im used to it, indoor picture you really need flash or good lighting, not soft light because the images are yellowish, and blurry, naturally right? you do need flash, or a very still hand and still people which is impossible but i have taken indoor noflash captures, I would buy another NV series camera but they are still up there on ebay, I dont know where else to buy the, This nv8 i bought at walmart it caught my eye and i am very happy. I must warn about the flash its a popup flash, some of us like my boyfriend must try to open it, DONT it opens by itself, I rarely used the flash, it wastes the battery and i just prefer flower and daytime shots

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