Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice but buy at your own risk..., 17 Jun 2008
This review is from: Samsung NV8 Digital Camera - Black Metal Body (8MP, 3 x Optical Zoom) (Electronics)
I bought one of these after reading a glowing review from a well known computer magazine that recommended this - and still does today - as the best budget buy compact camera on the current market.

I'd have to admit that the black metal body of the camera does feel reassuringly strong however I did wonder about its ability to resist scratches where they would show up more compared against a sliver camera. The camera also has a nice weight but I'm afraid function wise, the rest left me feeling very average.

The photos were nice to look at on a computer but I don't think they were as good as my Fuji S5800 which I also bought quite recently. This quite surprised me, since from reading magazine and online reviews, I expected them to be at least as good, if not better. Of course, if I'd played with the settings on the NV8 more I may have improved the quality but then the same could be said for the Fuji.

The NV8 has face detection which the Fuji lacks, and while this is the first camera I've had with this technology, it didn't seem to work that well for me. Although it can apparently detect up to ten faces, I could never get it to pick up more than three or four despite more faces than that being clearly in the frame.

The touch sensitive buttons up and along the back of the camera were certainly gimmicky but barely necessary in my opinion and I still prefer the dial type setting. Even cameras of this price are full of wizardry and I don't think it's expecting too much for the user to at least take a little time to learn the main functions without feeling the need to compensate for them, or at least thinking they should.

The battery life was amazing however, even when I tried to deliberately discharge the 2000mh rechargeable batteries inside it through continuously taking photos and I got bored after over 150 shots. In the end, I had to switch to video mode and leave it running!

Now so far, so good but here comes the bad news. In the end my camera had to go back to the shop due to the flash opening by itself and/or not firing properly. I carried this in the same top pocket where other small cameras have previously - and happily - been carried for years but on this camera the pop-up flash did indeed keep popping up. I felt it only a matter of time before the flash would suffer from some sort of damage, possibly even snapping off, and it's this that possibly caused the intermittent malfunction. When I took it back to the shop, I was offered the display model which upon inspection also had a damaged flash. So having seen two broken cameras, mine and the shops, I decided not to risk another model and it seemed this could be a design problem. It's also interesting to see that the new Samsung NV30 - which could be seen almost as an upgrade to the NV8 but with a silver body - now sports a built in flash thus eliminating the pop-up from the NV8.

So overall, it was a nice camera in the short time I had it but I was extremely disappointed with the flash problem. You could of course carry it in a hard case where the flash will be protected but this seems such a major design flaw to me that you shouldn't even need to be compensating for it in the first place. So while I'd give it four stars for performance, the suspect flash is such a terminal fault that personally I couldn't possibly recommend it for someone else to buy in case it snapped off, leaving them with a broken camera.
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4.1 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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