Samsung NV8 Digital Camera - Samsung NV8

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Overall performance is extremely good. The camera starts up very quickly in just over 1.5 seconds, and shuts down again even more quickly. Shooting speed is fast as well, with a shot-to-shot time in single shot mode of just over 1.5 seconds per frame. In standard continuous shooting mode this speeds up to 1.2 seconds per shot, but in this mode the camera checks focus before every frame. There is also a high-speed burst mode that shoots three frames in approximately 1.5 seconds, and a motion capture mode that shoots 20 frames at 7fps, but only at 1024 x 768 resolution. The autofocus system is both versatile and fast, finding focus in well under half a second, although it slows down a little and can sometimes hunt around at telephoto settings. Low light performance is excellent though, focusing quickly even in very low light, and the AF assist lamp means it can focus in total darkness at a range of a couple of metres. Flash range, exposure and coverage is also very good, with a quick flash recharge time of about four seconds.

Image quality is also much better than one might expect from such a low priced camera. The excellent f/2.8-5.6 Schneider Kreuznach lens takes a lot of the credit, providing a very high level of sharp detail and outstanding corner sharpness. It does exhibit some barrel distortion at the wide-angle end of the zoom range, but this disappears at at even slightly longer settings, and there isn't a trace of pincushion distortion at the telephoto end. The NV8 has a larger 1/1.75-inch sensor, and as a result contrast, dynamic range and colour reproduction are all first rate. However even with this larger sensor the camera does have some problems with image noise. The noise reduction system is quite heavy-handed, smudging fine detail in shadow areas even at 200 ISO, but even so it can't prevent mid-tone colour noise occurring at all ISO settings from 200 upwards, and predictably the 1600 and 3200 ISO settings produce very poor image quality. Nonetheless, the NV8 reliably produces very good photos in most circumstances, and is especially good for casual social photography, where the excellent low-light focusing and flash performance are a big advantage.

Verdict

For what is practically a budget price the Samsung NV8 provides a level of quality on a par with premium-range cameras from any of the other manufacturers. It has a lot of style, excellent build quality, fast performance and a range of useful and entertaining features, made more accessible by the clever Smart Touch control system. It lacks a little in the picture quality department due to its image noise problems, but makes up for this somewhat with good low-light performance.

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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