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Compared to... Samsung NV7 OPS

The ultra compact 'big zoom' market is a growing one, but still one that is fairly sparsely populated compared to other sectors, and it's fair to say that the EX-V7 has few direct competitors. For the purpose of this review so we've picked two similarly specified and similarly priced cameras for comparison, starting with the Samsung NV7 OPS. It too offers a 7MP sensor and 7x stabilized zoom plus a fair amount of manual overrides in a compact form factor (albeit one with that is a lot less pocketable). We've included studio comparisons at each camera's lowest ISO, ISO 400 and ISO 800.

Studio scene comparison (EX-V7 @ ISO 64, NV7 @ ISO 100)

  • Casio EX-V7: Aperture Priority AE mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Samsung NV7 OPS: Program mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Casio EX-V7
Samsung NV7 OPS
ISO 64, 1/25 sec, F5.2
ISO 100, 1/200 sec, F4.0
3,035 KB JPEG
3,220 KB JPEG

These two cameras really are chalk and cheese; the Casio output is surprisingly restrained next to the over-processed, technicolor output of the Samsung. Looking a little more closely at the EX-V7's output there is good news and bad news. On the plus side the color is bright without being overdone, and looks very realistic. General detail levels across the frame aren't class-leading, but they're pretty good, and the images look a lot crisper if you turn the sharpness level up (in camera) or apply a little unsharp masking when you've copied them over to the computer.

On the downside the default output does look a little soft, and there is too much noise reduction going on (which smears the finest detail and texture), and the distortion and mild corner softness might bother the more discerning user. Overall though on the evidence of this comparison (and despite neither camera really impressing) I'd take the Casio over the Samsung any day of the week.

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