With digital compact cameras now passing the 10MP threshold, we decided to
put the top five models to the test in order to help you determine which one
may be right for you.
The 3x Schneider-Kreuznach zoom (35-105mm equivalent) on the 10.1-megapixel Samsung NV10 (street $290) bulges out from the black aluminum body, as if to say "this isn't your typical point-and-shoot."
Turn the camera around and you'll see something entirely new in menu navigation: Samsung's Smart Touch controls. While they do take some getting used to, they'll be familiar to anyone who's ever used an iPod's clickwheel. Skim a finger over the buttons quickly, and they'll slide to a selection or setting. Push on one that corresponds to that selection and it locks it in. iPodders will get it. Curmudgeonly types probably won't, at least at first.
With fun features such as an animated GIF shooting mode and funny photo frames, the NV10's target market is likely Web-savvy teens, college students and young professionals.
On the playback side, there are slideshow fade options, and the mode dial also can be set to show personal photo galleries.
In the lab, the NV10 posted Extremely High color accuracy with an average delta E of 8.22 in manual white balance at ISO 100. Noise is an issue at ISOs 800 and 1000, and Resolution is Excellent at ISO 100 (2090), but drops to Extremely High at ISO 400 (1660), and Very High at ISO 1000 (1480.)
It's a great looking-camera, from the hidden pop-up flash behind the Samsung logo, to the innovative new interface on the back. It's not all bells and whistles and pretty looks though: it posts lab numbers that are on par with its competitors that wear more traditional outfits. It's a camera to give as a gift to your teenage nephew, but not your father-in-law.
Certified Test Results:
Noise: Moderately Low at ISO 100 (2.2) and 200 (2.3), Moderate at ISO 400 (2.7) and Unacceptable at ISO 800 (4.0) and ISO 1000 (4.7)
Resolution: Resolution is Excellent at ISO 100 (2090), Extremely High at ISO 400 (1660), and Very High at ISO 1000 (1480.)
Color Balance: Extremely High. Average Delta E: 8.22 ISO 100 Manual mode.
In the Box:
Samsung NV10 $290
SLB-0837B Rechargeable Battery
SAC-45 AC Adapter
Software CD-ROM (USB Driver, Digimax Master Software, DivX Player)
1-Year Limited Warranty