Samsung MV800 review

Samsung previously pioneered screens on the front of its cameras as well as at the back and while the MV800 doesn’t feature two screens, here one screen does the job of both. This is because the wide-angle 3in touchscreen can be flipped out and up, through up to 180 degrees, to face the person or object standing in front of the lens. This allows for much easier self-portraits and high- or low-angle snaps and video. Alternatively, the screen can be used to prop up the camera as a makeshift tripod.

We’ve seen angle-adjustable screens on bridge cameras, DSLRs and compact system cameras with interchangeable lenses, but the MV800 is the first of its kind on a ‘humble’ pocket compact that manages to retain a slender depth. Indeed, its dimensions are practically identical to the Kodak Touch.

The Samsung’s headline specification is otherwise standard: a 16.2-megapixel resolution and a 5x optical zoom lens that starts out at a wide-angle 26mm (running up to 130mm equivalent in 35mm terms), with built-in zoom noise reduction so its mechanics don’t ruin video recording. Like Sony, Samsung has also got the 3D bug, offering 3D stills and a 3D Live Panorama mode, or app, as Samsung prefers to call it. Both are software rather than hardware generated, so users can only derive the benefits when hooking the camera up direct to a 3D TV. Other apps include a funny-face feature to distort portraits in-camera, in a hall of mirrors style. 

Despite the hi-tech feel, HD video here is the lesser 1,280 x 720 pixels at 30fps and in commonly accessible MPEG4 format. Also like Kodak, Samsung has opted for the unlovable microSD card format, which loses it a star in our book. It does, however, deliver brighter, more vibrant results than the Kodak, even if we found that white balance can vary and results above ISO 800 aren’t worth bothering with.

OUR VERDICT

Retailing for £199.99 the MV800 has the necessary hi-tech finish and performance to suggest itself as good value for those photographers looking for a funky extra, so their point-and-shoot compact stands out from the crowd.

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