Like most of the other cameras in the NV range the NV30 features Samsung’s unique Smart Touch control interface. This consists of two rows of square unlabelled black buttons, below and to the right of the monitor, which are used to navigate a cross-hatch of on-screen menus and to scroll through images in playback mode. Smart Touch does take some getting used to, and people with large fingers (like myself) may find it fiddly to operate, but once you figure it out it’s actually a very quick and simple way to access every option the camera has to offer, completely replacing the conventional menu and D-pad system. It also looks pretty cool.
The NV30 also has another new control, a second mode dial on the left of the top plate. This offers a selection of Photo Style modes, such as Soft, Vivid, Forest, Retro etcetera. Style options like this aren’t exactly a new idea; similar features are available on many other cameras, but having them set by a quick dial is different. However while this may encourage people to experiment more, the Photo Style dial is also easy to jog accidentally, and you may not notice until its too late that you’ve been shooting in soft focus mode for the past thee hours.
Apart from the difference in sensor resolution the specification and other features of the NV30 are very similar to the L210 that I reviewed last week. The lens certainly seems to be identical, except on the NV30 it receives the prestigious Schneider-Kreuznach brand name. Its optical performance is also apparently identical, although that’s no bad thing because it is very good.