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Samsung NV8 Digital Camera 

This is the second offering I have seen in the Samsung NV range, the first the NV11 was wonderful but had one problem. Will this equally excellent picture and video taker have the same problem?
Samsung NV8

It is 9.5x6x2.5cm the last figure the width can increase by 2cm the Schneider 3x optical zoom is fully deployed. This is a touch screen camera and unlike the last NV this still came to me with the protective skin still in place over the TFT, this does not effect composition of the image and not a lot on the viewing so I left it in situ as otherwise the unit will suffer greatly from fingerprints on the TFT as all adjustments are made on it.

The top has the power button. The shutter button and an eight position wheel. I would certainly leave it on 'Auto' until you have used the camera for a few days as it's choices are normally good.

The back is dominated by the 5x3.8cm TFT display, there are seven push buttons under it and another six on the right side with the only marked button the > arrow sitting at the junction between them. The only other control is the telephoto/wide angle adjuster, this also allows zooming into the captured image once viewing on the screen. Neither side has anything this leaves the base that has the proprietary USB connector for charging the solid battery and providing one method of transfer of images to a PC or photo printer. There is also the optional tripod screw and the door behind which lies the battery also houses whatever SD/MMC you may insert.

This is an 8MP offering 3264x2488, but it can also take 7MP, 6MP, 5MP, 3MP and 1MP images. This is probably the best place to start experimenting with the controls. You will see a number above the third button from the left if you press this you then see up to four other resolutions and an up arrow above it and these are accessed by pushing the corresponding button on the right side of the screen. Other controls are accessed in a similar way from where the icon is on the screen. So there is no real reason to actually touch the screen itself, unfortunately people do and fingerprints remain for posterity. The film also has another use it does offer a little protection for the TFT. The lens is covered when the unit is off but that is all that stops the TFT being scratched. Regular readers will know what's coming next. As manufactures (not just Samsung) do not provide even a basic case nor do most put even a small SD/MMC in the box. This is not really their fault as the large retailers demand it so they can sell their own offerings at inflated prices, rant over.

So many people now tend to ignore camcorders knowing that they can take excellent movies on their digital camera. This is no exception, 640x480 or 320x240 both in either 30 or 15FPS. However in poor light you really need a tripod and do not do to much zooming as this really taxes the camera. I found at 30FPS in 640x480 these used around 20MB a minute miniscule compared to the recently reviewed Canon Ixus that needed 56MB a minute, that really eats up space even a 1GB card.

So does the NV8 have the same single problem that affected the NV11? In a word no, the problem with the NV11 was the terrible Quick Start Guide that did not explain the cameras 'Smart Buttons' although this is still not great if you read it with care the sixteen pages in English should just about get you able to change basic things like resolution and brightness etc just from what is written. There is of course a full manual on the CD but as I have said to various people within Samsung with photo printers people do not a PC if they just want to take images and then print them so a PDF file on a CD may not help if there is no PC to connect to.

This is a very nice camera that takes good images and if Samsung spent a little more by putting the manual in the box my only gripe would then be the lack of case/card.

Doing my Internet searches found the Samsung NV8 at a best price of £122.12 including shipping from the first link below.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B000TGGZWW?condition=new

www.samsungcamera.com/uk/product/pro_view.asp?prol_uid=3957&cat_uid=75 

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