Samsung NV30 Digital Camera 

Shape and size wise this is very similar to other offerings from the ‘NV’ range previously reviewed. However this unit has not one wheel on the top but two enabling far more choices to be made quickly without delving.

samsung nv30 compact digital camera
click image to enlarge

The Samsung NV30 compact digital camera measures 9.5x6x2cm and uses the same system of grid buttons around the TFT to get to the various settings, strange initially but in fact far easier when you are used to it.

The TFT is 5x3.8cm and to the right of this is the telephoto/wide angle rocker. There are seven push buttons to the right of the TFT and seven buttons below it. With the exception of the bottom one on the right that displays whatever you have taken and the one above it that takes you ‘back’ one step none of the other twelve buttons are labelled but all are soft keys for what is displayed on the TFT.

Either end of the top of the camera are eight position wheels, the one on the right Auto, Movie, Scene, Portrait, Night, Dual IS, Manual and Program. The wheel on the left has eight different style modes; this is something that is often hidden low in a menu structure. The Dual IS enables maximum image stabilization.

The left side has a bung covering the proprietary lead to export anything you might save in the internal memory. The base has tripod anchor point and a door that hides the solid battery and any SD/MMC card you might use. The right edge has the wrist strap anchor point while the front has the lens with the flash mounted at least 1.5cm above and to the right of the lens. The lens can protrude up to 2cm from the camera. It is a Schneider 3x optical offering 6.2-18.6mm or 37-111mm at 35mm.

Perhaps more so with this unit than most others a read of the manual to understand the screen icons and how to change things like resolution (using the grid system) is required. However as with almost all decent digital cameras once you have worked this out stick it on ‘Auto’ while you learn how to get the best from the vast range of options. Every time you move either of the wheels a function description pops up on the TFT helping you to decide if this is the feature you want. My suggestion is to select a view and take images of it on each of the settings (remember where you started from) and when you have printed them out or viewed them on a PC you will know what works for that setting.

This is an 8.2mega pixel offering (almost entry level according to some) but of course the real decider is the quality of the images it produces and these are excellent. Images can be captured in seven different modes from 8MP done to 1MP. A 3MP one should be plenty for you to print the whole image at A4. Often I choose 5MP and this enables me to print a portion of the image at A4 without any sign of pixcelization.

samsung nv30 compact digital camera controls
click image to enlarge

You should not expect a small (pocket) digital camera to take decent flash images beyond 3metres this copes up to this figure but a lot of others do not.

Certainly this unit is small enough to fit easily into a pocket or purse. As so many people now expect a digital camera to also double as a camcorder this unit has two modes 640x480 and 320x240 it can save either size in either 30 or 15FPS. A one minute clip at 640x480 saved at 30FPS will take around 20MB of card space. I viewed this in an 18x14cm window on my PC and was pleasantly surprised with the quality and the fact the commentary I did during the recording had no break up – something a lot of digital cameras have when zooming of audio - there was however some noise from the zoom.

Please take my normal rant for not supplying an SD card or case as read both are a must as the TFT will soon otherwise get scratched, the one minute video I talked of will all but fill the supplied internal memory. If you have not already got one get a card reader as by far the easiest way of transferring both still and movie images to the PC is to whip out the card and insert it in the reader.

This is certainly a quality camera giving good still and movie images and at the price below is good value.

Doing my Internet searches found the Samsung NV30 at a best price of £121.69 including delivery $139 including free delivery €190,36 including free delivery from the first link below. You will however have to find a case and SD card yourself.

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Comment by Richard Trowbridge, 22 Jan 2009 12:37

You can still buy this camera in silver for just £94.96 ot Link is,default,pd.html

Superb camera and i am very impressed with mine and this review says everything you need to know.

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OverallSamsung NV30 Digital Camera rated 76 out of 100

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