Samsung NV7 OPS review

Started Feb 16, 2007 | User reviews thread
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susquehanna
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Samsung NV7 OPS review
Feb 16, 2007

I just purchased this camera at CC for $249 and it came with a free 1 gig card. I have been looking at it for a long time but have been reluctant to purchase because of the various reviews. I have used rangefinder cameras for years and miss the Leica series for their iconic quality. When I think of picture taking, the feel of a quality tool, makes the experience a total package. However, image quality is the final test of any camera and without it the camera loses its basic utility. I own many cameras and believe that most are like dogs and children - there are no really bad ones. But again I like to have my camera reproduce what I see in a way that is consistent and reproduceable. I must say that I agree with the views of the professionals who have evaluated this camera. But... and that is the point. This camera takes pictures that print out at 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 iso 100 that look as good as anything that I own, be it high grade DSLR, film, or compact. In fact the "out of the camera" images could be printed successfully without any post processing. With a little work in an image processor and some basic noise reduction the images shine. If you look at the images at 100 percent there is loss of detail and smearing and noise even at 100 iso. But if you print the image it does not show these problem areas. If you view the images on a small screen or moniter the image is representational and useful. Buying this camera has made me rethink my photography. I almost rejected a very nice little camera because I have been educated to be a "noise snob" and a "low light" shooter. In real life the pictures "work" for viewing and printing and the in camera processing, while heavy handed for publication and competition, are just right for capturing daily life scenes. There are some cameras out there that are just a joy to use (Leica M, Oly E-1, Oly E-10-20, Nikon D-1, Sony R-1, etc.) because of the "feel" and utility they accord the shooter. This is one of those rare breed that just feels "right" and has some useful features in a very attractive form factor.

Problems:

Noise at any iso. I have not even bothered setting the camera at any iso except iso100. What's the point?

Smearing of fine detail when viewed full size. The loss of detail is not really evident in any of the print sizes that I would use.

Tends to want to underexpose. Don't trust the moniter for accurate exposure. The pictures show and print out of the camera much better than on the camera screen.

Use the number one image stabilization. It seems more effective and accurate.

Turn down sharpening in camera and play with Photshop Elements 5 Gausian sharpening. Of all the various sharpeners this one seems to be liked by the camera best.

My strongest issue with this camera is that once the image is taken there is not much adjustment that can be made in any post processing. It pretty much delivers a very attractive image right from the camera but does not leave much leaway for PP. Some simple adjustments can be made but then it quickly becomes "mush" with "overdoing". When I think about it I kind of like that. I have gotten so used to PP that I forget how little I did with film.

Finally, If you have wanted a digital rangefinder style camera that is really fun and produces attractive images then this is it. If you want low light shooting then get a Fugi or use film. The only mistake Samsung made in marketing this camera was to have iso past 200.

I have not tried the video and probably never will.

susquehanna's score
4.5
Average community score
3.5
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