The Samsung MV800 employs a CCD sensor that offers 16.1-megapixels of effective resolution. While Samsung doesn’t list the physical size of the sensor, it’s pretty much a nailed-on certainty that it’ll be of the 1/2.3inch variety. In addition to the full 16MP, you can also choose to shoot at 14MP, 10MP, 5MP and 3MP in the native 4:3 aspect, with 12MP and 2MP available at 16:9.
The front of the camera is adorned with a 5x Schneider zoom that offers a 35mm focal range equivalent of 26-130mm, with a maximum aperture of f/3.3 at 26mm rising to f/5.9 at 130mm. The camera sports dual Image Stabilisation that uses a combination of sensor shift and ISO raising to ensure images are kept free of blur. Speaking of sensitivity, this extends from a baseline ISO 100 up to a maximum ISO 3200.
Despite being a point-and-shoot compact for casual snappers, the MV800 comes packed with all kinds of shooting modes and features, some of which are quite unique, useful and fun and some of which are…well a bit silly and gimmicky, to be perfectly honest.
Regular shooting modes are limited to Smart Auto, six Scene modes and a Program mode that offers a bit of control over some basic shooting parameters. Staying briefly with the other ‘sensible’ shooting modes, there’s a Touch Shot that enables you to select a point of focus and take a picture simply by touching the screen, a Self Shot mode for self-portraits, a Night Shot that allows you to control the shutter speed and aperture for long exposures (over one second), a Dual IS mode for sharper results at slower shutter speeds, a Close Up macro mode and a 3D picture mode (3D viewing device sold separately).
Other useful shooting modes include a Picture in Picture mode, a Background Blur mode that uses simplified slider controls to enhance the blur of out-of-focus areas, a Beauty Shot mode that allows you to smooth away skin imperfections and enhance skin tones (again using slider controls), and a Live Panorama mode that allows you to create 180-degree panoramas by sweeping the camera in a predetermined direction.
Slightly lower down on the scale of usefulness is a Pose Guide mode that serves up an on-screen outline of a classic model pose for you to arrange your subject into, an Intelligent Portrait mode that takes three shots for the price of one, and a Face Zoom feature that automatically zooms in when it detects a face to get a slightly tighter crop of your subject.
Down in the bargain bucket of deliberately silly/slightly gimmicky shooting modes you’ll find an unbelievably cheesy Magic Frame mode (ever wanted to superimpose your face over an oversized pastel moon setting over the sea? Well, now’s your chance), a make-your-own My Photo Frame mode (oh, the possibilities…), and a Funny Face mode that’s funny because it’s so rubbish rather than funny because the effects are funny.
And of course, capping all of this off is a generous selection of 13 individual still image and 11 movie digital effects filters including the likes of Miniaturisation, Old Film, Half Tone Dot, Sketch, Cartoon, Oil Painting and Cross (starburst) Filter to name but a few. In terms of regular video capabilities the MV800 maxes out at 720p HD at 30fps, with further options to record at QVGA and VGA quality. Sound is recorded in mono.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.