As with the NV8, build quality is exceptional and the camera feels solid and well made. The controls all operate smoothly with a nice positive action, and are securely mounted with no pocket-snagging protrusions. The camera starts up very quickly in under 1.5 seconds, and shuts down again just as fast, and the monitor screen is nice and bright with a fast refresh rate and a wider than average angle of view.
Not surprisingly the NV15’s feature set is identical to the NV8. It features the ASR (Advanced Shake Reduction) system, a combination of digital image stabilisation and boosted ISO sensitivity that reduces the effects of camera shake at slow shutter speeds. It works pretty well for a non-mechanical system, and it is possible to over-ride its chosen ISO setting, escaping the increased image noise that inevitably results, but it’s not as good as the optical image stabilisation systems that most of its rival use, or indeed that Samsung uses in some of its other cameras.
Like the NV8, the NV15 has some limited manual exposure control, with shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/500th of a second available, and either minimum or maximum aperture. It’s not quite as much control as I’d like, but it does at least offer some creative potential. There are other creative options available, including an animation feature that turn a short sequence of photos into an animated GIF file.
One interesting feature that I neglected to mention in my review of the NV8 is the unique charging system. Both cameras (and several of Samsung’s other compacts) can be charged from the USB port of your computer, via a hybrid charging/data cable. The supplied transformer has a USB-style socket on it which also accepts this cable. I think this is a great idea, and I wish that more personal electronic devices worked in this way.