Test: Samsung NV10

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.

Test-Samsung-NV10
Test-Samsung-NV10

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.)

Bottom Line:

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
USB/Power Cable
A/V Cable
Camera Strap
Software CD-ROM (USB Driver, Digimax Master Software, DivX Player)
User Manual
1-Year Limited Warranty

Full specs from BH Photo:

Camera Type
Ultra Compact Point-and-shoot Digital Camera

Image Quality

Image Sensor
1/1.8" 10.3 Megapixel CCD

Effective Resolution
10.1 million pixels

Color Depth
24-Bit RGB

Color Modes
Normal, B&W, Sepia, Red, Green, Blue, Negative, Sharpness adjust (Soft, Normal, Vivid)

Image File Formats
JPEG (Superfine, Fine, Normal)
EXIF 2.2, DCF & DPOF 1.1 compliant

Recorded Resolution
10M (3648x2736)
7M (3136x2352)
5M (2688x2016)
3M (2240x1650)
1M (1024x768)

Video Recording
AVI MPEG-4 video with Audio
640x480 @ 30 fps
640x480 @ 15 fps
320x240 @ 30 fps
320x240 @ 15 fps
3x optical zoom & Color Effects available during video record
Clip length limited only by available memory

Audio Recording
WAV format
Voice Recording up to 1 hour; Voice Memo in Still Image up to 10 seconds.

Optics

Lens Type
Schneider-Kreuznach lens

Optical Zoom
3x

Lens Focal Length
7.4mm - 22.2mm (35m - 105mm equivalent)

Digital Zoom
5x

Minimum Focus Distance
1.6" (4cm)

Maximum Aperture
f/2.8-5.1

Optical Image Stabilization
No (Advanced Shake Reduction available)

Accessory Lens/Filter Mount
No

Focus Control

Focus Type
TTL auto focus

Focus Modes
Auto, Macro, AF Lock

Focus Range
Normal: 31.5" (80cm) - infinity
Macro: 1.6" (4cm) - 31.5" (80cm) wide
Auto Macro: 1.6" (4cm) - infinity wide

Exposure Control

Sensitivity
Auto ISO
Selectable ISO (100, 200, 400, 800, 1000)

Shutter Type
Mechanical and Electronic shutter

Shutter Speed
15 - 1/1500 seconds

Aperture Range
f/2.8-5.1 - f/8.0

Exposure Metering
Multi, Spot, Center

Exposure Modes
Auto, Program AE, Scene, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual, Exposure compensation (+/-2EV in 1/3EV steps), AEB

White Balance Modes
Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent-H, Fluorescent-L, Tungsten, Custom

Scene Modes
Night, Portrait, Children, Landscape, Text, Close-up, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach & Snow

Flash

Built-in Flash
Yes (Auto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Slow sync, Flash off)

Effective Flash Range
1.3' (0.4m) - 10.5' (3.2m)

External Flash Connection
No

External Flash Control
Not Applicable

Performance

Start-Up Time
Not Specified

Shutter Lag
Not Specified

Time Between Shots
Not Specified

Burst Capability
Continuous: Approx. 1 fps to memory capacity
High Speed: 2.5 fps up to 3 frames
M. Capture: 7 fps up to 20 frames at 1024x768

Self Timer
2 seconds, 10 seconds, Double self timer (10seconds & 2seconds)

Interval Recording
No

Date & Time Stamp
Yes

Memory & Power

Built-in Memory
20MB

Compatible Memory Cards
Secure Digital (SD)
MultiMediaCard (MMC)

Recording Capacity
Includes 20MB Built-in Memory
Still Image Capacity
Superfine Fine Normal
10M 3 7 10
7M 5 9 14
5M 6 13 18
3M 10 18 22
1M 36 58 72

Battery Type
SLB-0837(B) Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery (800mAh)

Power Adapter
SAC-45 AC Adapter (included)
SCC-NV2 Cradle (Optional)

Input/Output

Computer Interface
USB 2.0

Direct Print Capable
Yes (PictBridge)

Remote Control
Optional

Video Output
Yes (NTSC & PAL)

Web-Cam Capable
No

System & Software Requirements
Windows System
• Windows 98/98SE, 2000, ME, XP
• Pentium II 450MHz processor (700MHz or faster recommended)
• 200MB of available hard-disk space (1GB recommend)
• 64MB RAM (128MB recommended)
• USB port
• CD-ROM drive
• 1024x768 pixels, 16-bit color monitor (24-bit color display recommended)
• DirectX 9.0 or later
Macintosh System
• Power Mac G3 or later
• Mac OS 9.x, OS X (10.1-10.4)
• 110MB of available hard-disk space
• 64MB RAM
• USB port
• CD-ROM drive
• QuickTime player or a media player that supports AVI file format.
• DivX (For movie clip)

Display

Viewfinder
No

LCD Display
2.5" TFT color LCD (230,000 pixel)

Language Options
English, Korean, French, German, Spanish, Italian, S. Chinese, T. Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Thai, Bahasa (Malay/Indonesian), Arabic, Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Turkish

Playback Options
Single image, Thumbnails, Slide show with Effect & BGM, Movie Clip, Photo Gallery, Editing (Color Effect, Trimming, Rotating, Resizing), Movie Editing (Pause during recording, Still Image Capture, Time Trimming)

Physical

Dimensions (HxWxD)
2.4 x 3.8 x 0.8" (60 x 97 x 19mm)

Weight
5.3 oz. (149g) without battery

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