Ambarin Afsar takes the Samsung MV800 out for a spin and tries to figureout whether there is more to the point-and-shoot than its flip-out LCD.
With more people using smartphones and having access to a number of dedicated photo apps, it is no wonder that the point-andshoot camera market has been shrinking. At such a time, the Samsung MV800 arrives with a smartphone-like user experience and plenty of app-like shooting modes that can be instantly applied to images, without the need for a computer. However, is the camera well-placed for a fightback or does it just end up seeming gimmicky? We find out.
An update of Samsung’s DualView line, known for its unique camera face-mounted LCDs, the 16.2MP MV800 abandons the second screen in favour of a pivoting 3-inch flip-out LCD touchscreen. Essentially, the 3-inch screen is hinged on top of the body and can be rotated through 180°. So, if you are an avid video blogger or just someone who enjoys photographing yourself, then this will definitely appeal to you.
However, the camera lacks any Wi-Fi capability, which is extremely strange considering that the MV800 is clearly targeted at young people who use social networking sites extensively and are likely to want to share images online. Stranger still is the fact that Samsung already offers these functions with the SH100, a camera that released in January 2011. It would have been only logical to include the same in the MV800, which released in September 2011.
Besides the much-publicised LCD, the MV800 has a 5x zoom lens that offers a decent zoom range of 26–130mm (35mm equivalent). The camera also has Dual Image Stabilisation, which means that it makes use of sensor shift IS as well as digital IS.
Weighing only 121g, the MV800 is among the first pocketable cameras with a pivotable LCD. A slim camera, it is likely to slip out of your hands if you do not use a camera strap. The camera’s rear is dominated with the LCD, which is bright and crisp. Only two buttons, Home and Playback, are located to the right of the LCD. A power button, shutter release and zoom rocker can be found on the top of the camera.
When you flip up the display, a second shutter release button is revealed. A nifty feature, this allows you to access the shutter release when the LCD covers the conventional shutter release button. The back of the camera is covered with a textured pattern which makes it easier to grip. While the LCD is attached to the body with a single hinge, the camera feels sturdy.
Regrettably, however, the camera supports only microSD and microSDHC cards which can be flimsy and inconvenient to use.
The camera has six Scene modes, 13 Photo Filters and 11 Movie Filters such as Old Film and Half Tone Dot, amongst other modes. Frankly, I found myself spoilt for choice. However, despite these quick filters, I found myself using the Program mode more due to the degree of control and customisability that it offered.
With a frame rate of less than a second and a flash recharge rate of 4 seconds, the camera is not one of the fastest ones around. The image quality of the MV800 is generally pretty good. Of course, once you start examining images at 100%, the limitations of the small sensor become apparent especially at higher ISO values, but viewed at smaller sizes, the MV800 offers bright, naturallooking images.
The metering and auto white balance are generally accurate. The lens delivers sharp results, especially in the centre of the frame.
Priced at Rs. 15,990, the Samsung MV800 is not the fastest camera on the market, but then it is not really designed to be fast. It is easy-to-use, flexible and fun. Measured only on these credentials, it scores well, but there are a few things we would like to see in an update, such as inbuilt Wi-Fi and direct social networking integration.
720p HD video, touchscreen flip-out LCD, plenty of fun filters
An average performer, susceptible to slight fringing, usable images up to ISO 1600
Extremely lightweight yet feels sturdy
Likely to slip out of your hands if used without a camera strap
Warranty & Support
2 years warranty, 75 service centres
Value For Money: 3/5 stars