Timing & Performance
It's rare to use a 'slow' camera these days, and the NV10 is no exception; it feels very responsive in use, with the exception of the focus system, which tends to hunt in less than perfect light or in macro mode. The (prefocus) shutter lag is a lot better than some recent Samsung's we've tried, but at 0.15 secs is around double what we see on the best competitor cameras. It's unlikely to be deal-breaker (if the 0.07 seconds or so matters to you that much, you need to look elsewhere) - it doesn't feel 'slow' in use.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3648 x 2736 Fine JPEG image (approx. 4,300 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1.0 GB Sandisk Extreme III card.
|Power: Off to Record||2.0|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||3.6|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||1.9|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens retracted||~0.5|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens extended||~1.7|
|Record Review||Image displayed||~0.8|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens extended||0.5|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (11.4x)||4.8|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||~0.1|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||~0.5|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||35 to 105 mm (3 x)||1.3|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Wide angle||~0.6 *1|
|Half-press Lag (Focus time)||Telephoto||~0.6 *1|
|Pre-focus Lag (S1>S2)||~0.15|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||Wide angle||~0.7|
|Off to Shot Taken||~3.9|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||~ 1.5 *2|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on||~ 1.6|
|*1||In good light with a subject with good strong contrast. In less ideal conditions (and in macro mode) the focus can hunt, sometimes doubling the time it takes to focus.|
|*2||Shot to shot times are considerably higher (at least 4 seconds higher) if using ASR (shake reduction) function.|
Continuous drive mode
The NV10 has two continuous shooting modes; High Speed (which we measured at around 1.7 frames per second irrespective of image size) and 'No Limit'. The High Speed mode can only manage 3 frames per burst, after which there is a delay of 3.5 to 4.7 seconds (depending on the image size setting you are using). The No Limit mode, which we measured at around 0.6 frames per second, has - as the name implies - no limit (you can keep shooting until the card is full). Overall these figures are broadly on a par with other cameras of this type.
File writing / playback performance
The NV10 takes around 2.3 seconds to save a 10MP Super Fine image (4,300 KB) - not the fastest on the market, but perfectly acceptable for this type of camera. There would be little point choosing a very fast card unless you intend to shoot in continuous mode (or movie mode) often.
Battery life is inevitably limited by the ultra-slim battery - you'll get about 180 shots (standard test conditions) - more if you don't use the flash and playback mode too often, less if you use playback mode a lot. The battery is charged in-camera using the supplied AC block, via USB using the special supplied cable or via the optional docking cradle.
Advanced Shake Reduction (ASR)
Like many other Samsung compacts the NV10 has a special 'ASR' mode, which uses the camera's DSP to digitally reduce the blurring caused by camera shake. It works - sort of - but it can't work magic, and there is a serious impact not only on image quality (a huge leap in noise and loss of detail) but on performance too - the camera has to process the image after shooting, which adds 4 or 5 seconds to the 'shot-to-shot' time. It's easier to just increase the ISO setting when you need to, and this certainly isn't a replacement for optical stabilization (or even a feature that deserves its own spot on the mode dial).
|ASR off, ISO 400, 1/15th sec||ASR on, ISO 200 (apparently), 1/15th sec|