Samsung has announced the MV800, a 16MP compact camera with an innovative hinged LCD screen that allows you to take self-portraits with ease, as well as prop the camera up at angles which allow easy tabletop photography. We've had an MV800 in the office for a few days now - just long enough to prepare a brief hands-on first look.

Samsung MV800 hands-on first look

Back in 2009, Samsung introduced the dual LCD screen-equipped TL225 (ST550), designed for easy self-portraiture. Since then, Samsung has released several similar 'DualView' models, but with the MV800, the company has made a distinct break from the twin-LCD design. The MV800 (the MV stands for 'multi-view') has only a single 3in LCD screen, located conventionally on the rear of the camera, but it is hinged along its top edge, and can be flipped through 180 degrees. A secondary shutter button, concealed behind the display when it is stowed flat to the back of the camera, makes self-portraiture very easy when the camera is held outstretched, but because the screen display changes orientation automatically, it is also comes in handy when shooting from awkward high or low angles.

A third benefit of the display's folding design is that when slightly extended, the screen can act as a prop, to support the camera at a slightly raised angle on a tabletop. Articulated displays are far from a novelty these days, but we really like this design.

The MV800's hinged LCD screen design allows you to easily compose images from high and low angles, as well as capture accurately-framed arms-length self-portraits (thanks to a clever secondary shutter button on the camera's rear). You can also the screen it to prop the camera at an angle on a flat surface, for easy group or social shots (above right).

Still on the topic of its display, like other recent Samsung offerings, the MV800 boasts a touch-sensitive screen. In contrast to stablemates the WB210 and SH100 though, the MV800's touch interface is responsive and accurate. In our experience of shooting with the WB210 and SH100, their interfaces often end up getting in the way of speedy operation, but fortunately Samsung has made significant improvements in the MV800, which boasts the company's latest Smart Touch 3.0 interface. Both in terms of accuracy and responsiveness, the MV800 gets far closer to the typical smartphone experience than Samsung's previous offerings have managed.

Very smartphone-esque are the MV800's 'storyboard' and 'picture in picture' modes. Storyboard mode allows users to - in Samsung's words - 'become a creative director of their own life' by preparing a storyboard of images which tell a story. Several templates are available, pre-saved in the MV800's flash memory. 'Picture in Picture' mode is a variation on Samsung's 'magic frame' feature, which allows you to place a picture of a friend or relative (or pet, or basically anything) inside a small range of pre-selected scenes. Picture-in-picture mode works on the same principle but allows you to perform this trick with any image, not just Samsung's 'pre-baked' backgrounds.

In most other respects, the MV800 is a fairly conventional digital compact camera. Underneath its touch-sensitive capacitive layer its 3in LCD screen boasts a fairly unremarkable 103.6k dots (WQVGA resolution), and its 5x optical zoom lens covers a useful, but not class-leading 26-130mm (equivalent) range. Movie recording is 720p, in the MPEG4 format.

Samsung MV800 specification highlights

  • 16.2MP CCD sensor
  • ISO 80-3200
  • Hinged 3in touch-sensitive (capacitive) LCD screen
  • Rear (secondary) shutter button
  • 720p video mode (MPEG4)
  • 'Picture in Picture' mode