With a unique "Smart Touch" interface, the Samsung NV7 OPS is making waves at Photokina 2006. The 7.2-megapixel digital camera nixes the traditional multi-selector and opts for a more innovative system. It isn’t a touch screen and it isn’t buttons – but it’s something in between that is far easier. The unique NV7 is paired with a 7x Schneider-Kreuznach optical zoom lens that is optically stabilized, thus the "OPS" (optical picture stabilization) label. The camera also offers manual controls and an extended ISO sensitivity range. The new Samsung digital camera is available now for $399.
Equipped with a 1/2.5-inch CCD, the NV7 outputs 7.2-megapixel images. The quality of those images cannot be measured until we get the camera into our testing lab, but from what we can tell the camera hits and misses. It takes about 2 seconds to start up and take its first shot, which means that the shutter lag can be an issue. Most of the time the auto focus system takes about a quarter second, and adding the pop-up flash can add another quarter second or so. The camera’s top burst mode shoots a bit faster than 2 fps, which is good. But the burst only lasts for 3 shots, which isn’t so good. It then takes 6-7 seconds to write those three pictures to the internal memory. The Schnieder-Kreuznach lens is long and the image stabilization system is very effective, but pictures showed some color fringing. Pictures taken with the macro mode showed some barrel distortion too, which was particularly noticeable in the text scene mode. In general, the colors looked accurate once the white balance was manually set. The blue of the Samsung booth remained true in the pictures. Overall though, I wasn't impressed with the exhibited NV7’s performance. I ended up with too many out-of-focus or noisy-looking shots.