|Photo answers rating
At first glance, Samsung’s MV800 could be mistaken for just another compact camera...
Photo answers review
Photo answers rating
The Samsung MV800 has a 5x optical zoom lens offering a focal length equivalent of 26-130mm in 35mm film terms and behind this sits a CCD 16.1Mp sensor producing a 4608x3456 resolution and an ISO range of 100-3200. With a built-in flash, a combined zoom/shutter button and a thickness of just 18.3mm, there’s little to suggest it offers any new or exciting features until it’s viewed from behind…
With two buttons beside Samsung’s MultiView 3.0in wide Flip-out display and one that sits behind the screen, this compact is really simple to operate. The touchscreen is used to select and confirm settings, though this isn’t as responsive as more recent smart phone displays. The good news is that the screen can be pulled out and flipped by 180 degrees, a feature more fitting on D-SLRs than small pocket compacts. It makes the job of composing self-portrait images easier in combination with the Self-Shot mode and the camera also doubles-up as a great model for shooting from low angles. There’s the option of flipping the screen out to create a custom stand, useful for setting it to self-timer propped up on a table so you can be part of a family group shot.
The choice of photo modes includes Program, Movie (1280x720), 3D Photo and Live Panorama, but Manual, Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority are not featured. In terms of zoom speed the MV800 takes 2.1secs to get from the widest end of the focal length to full telephoto and start-up time took a fraction under 2secs – very impressive!
The contrast-detect AF system wasn’t as responsive as we’d have hoped for, however, being a little sluggish, and despite the flip-out screen being a great concept, we were disappointed to find that the display lacked impressive sharpness with a relatively pedestrian 288k-dot resolution. Image quality from the 16.1Mp chip was strong between ISO 100 and 400 but as the sensitivity was pushed higher we discovered colour saturation reduced and digital Noise was clearly evident at both ISO 1600 and 3200. The brushed metal finish gives the MV800 a solid feel in the hand, suggesting it’ll last longer than cheaper compacts, but you may need to set aside a little extra cash to invest in some new media. Rather unusually, it doesn’t accept SD cards and instead uses the more uncommon Micro SD cards that are smaller and thinner.
AT A GLANCE
Street Price: £199
Resolution: 16.1Mp (4608x3456pixels)
Optical zoom: 5x (26-130mm film equivalent)
Aperture: f/3.3 (wide) 5.5 (tele)
Shutter: 1sec-1/2000sec (Program mode)
Screen: 3in, 288,000 dot resolution
Focusing: Contrast Detect AF
Start up Speed: 1.9secs
HD Video: Yes 1280x720@30fps
Storage: Micro SDHC (up to 32GB)
AS FEATURED IN THE MARCH 2012 ISSUE OF DIGITAL PHOTO
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