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Product Review: New Samsung MV800 Compact Camera

Debba Boles

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Last week at the IFA trade show in Berlin, Samsung introduced showed off three upcoming cameras. Samsung’s newest line-up includes the unique flip-screen compact MV800, the compact superzoom WB750, and the high-end NX200 with interchangeable lenses and a 20.3 megapixel resolution. Look for the newest Samsung cameras to be available before the 2011 holiday season. For the money, Samsung's MV800 seems like the ideal consumer camera.

The MV800 has something new and unique for compact digital cameras. The MV800 has a 3-inch touch screen display on the back that flips out. This enables the photographer to shoot from below, above, or flip it all the way up for self-portraits. For those crazy people who love to take self portraits, the MV800 flip-out screen makes it easy to get the right shot. The MV800 has a 16.1 megapixel resolution, a 5× optical zoom, and a 26mm wide-angle lens. The MV800 will also shoot MPEG4 720p high-definition video.

The flip-out touchscreen is much like the iPhone screen. While it doesn’t offer all the capabilities of a Smartphone, it is fairly intuitive and allows the user to slide between screens and tap on the feature wanted. The MV800 is one of the first to use phone-style icons on the touchscreen. According to a review by Charles Kloet, CNet UK, the only physical buttons on the back are a button to see the photos you've already taken, and an iPhone-style home button. Reportedly, Samsung is already in trouble for allegedly copying the look of Apple's iPhone and iPad, so making another device that looks like an Apple product will only fuel the battle.

There are tons of built-in features to make taking photos easy for you. Some of the built-in features include optical image stabilization, face detection, object tracking, multi autofocus, ISO sensitivity down to 3200, HDMI output, and SD/SDHC card support. One of the coolest features is a three-shots-in-one feature that takes three rapid photos at different zoom settings for fast creativity. While I haven’t seen it yet, it sounds like this is a really wonderful way to make a great collage-type photo. It appeals to my creative nature. The MV800 also has on-screen Pose Guide grid for portraits, 14 artistic effects, and an integrated storyboarding capability that lets users assemble photos to tell a story.

The Samsung MV800 will be available for under $300 for the holiday season. This camera sounds like it will be a big hit for the holiday gift giving market, as well as for those camera buffs that want a great camera but don’t want to put out a ton of money for a professional DSLR camera. Of course with the touch screen, the camera will noticeably drain the battery faster than a normal compact digital camera. I would recommend getting a couple of spare camera batteries so you aren’t caught with your charge down. There’s nothing worse than having your camera battery bleep out on you when you’re trying to get that memorable shot.

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