With retro design proving highly popular at present, the traditional Leica-esque styling of the NV7 couldn't be more fashionable. Despite its flair, the Samsung is sturdily built, with a satisfying feeling of robustness. Note that it's one of the larger models in this group test, so we don't suppose you'll find it too easy to slip into your pocket or handbag.

At the core of the NV7 is a 7.2Mp sensor, which is capable of producing images more than 3,000 pixels across and movies up to a TV-friendly 640x480 resolution. The NV7 features a potent optical range thanks to its Schneider 7.1x zoom lens, which equates to 38–270mm in 35mm terms. It's finished off with a healthy f2.8-f3.7 aperture range.

And Samsung has wisely fitted the NV7 with a CCD shift-stabilisation system to iron out small movements.

The Samsung is the only camera we've tested recently that offers actual exposure control, both fully manual and in the form of aperture and shutter priorities. It also boasts a sizable collection of scene and automatic modes.

So it's a shame that image quality doesn't quite live up to its promise. While the fringing is kept nice and low and the white balance and saturation are reasonable, there are persistent noise issues at virtually any ISO setting. Venture anywhere near the maximum of 1,000, for example and the picture starts to resemble bad satellite television.

Read PC Advisor's review of Adobe Photoshop PS3 here. More digital photography news, reviews tips and tricks here.

Samsung NV7 OPS: Specs

  • 7.2Mp sensor
  • 1/2.5in CCD
  • 3,072x2,304 resolution
  • 640x480 movie resolution (30 frames per second)
  • 7.1x optical zoom
  • 38-270mm aperture
  • 2.5in, 230,000-pixel LCD
  • 80cm/1cm normal, macro focus distance
  • 15secs-1/1,200th shutter speeds
  • f2.8-f4 max aperture
  • 100-1,000 ISO range
  • 19MB internal storage (SD/MMC)
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • 106x62x21mm, 290g
  • Digimax Master
  • 7.2Mp sensor
  • 1/2.5in CCD
  • 3,072x2,304 resolution
  • 640x480 movie resolution (30 frames per second)
  • 7.1x optical zoom
  • 38-270mm aperture
  • 2.5in, 230,000-pixel LCD
  • 80cm/1cm normal, macro focus distance
  • 15secs-1/1,200th shutter speeds
  • f2.8-f4 max aperture
  • 100-1,000 ISO range
  • 19MB internal storage (SD/MMC)
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • 106x62x21mm, 290g
  • Digimax Master

OUR VERDICT

A stylish snapper with a healthy feature set, the Samsung NV7 is let down by the image quality it churns out. It's well built but bulky, and it's not cheap.

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