Samsung MV800 Review

There’s no doubt about it, Samsung’s sleek new camera oozes sophistication. Its slim, high-quality build is minimalist yet striking with its flip-out LCD screen. Clearly its standout feature, this unique three-inch screen is fantastic for low or high-angle shots and self-portraits, as well as acting as its own stand for displaying photos in a slide show. Because of its touch-screen controls, on the body we are just left with a Play and a ‘Home’ button to access the menu. With an external zoom dial built around the shutter release button, it has just the right balance of touch screen versus physical control. The touch controls themselves, including touch shooting if activated, are responsive and user-friendly.

Samsung MV800

Underneath the excellent exterior is a camera packed full of fantastic features. As well as Smart Auto, Program and a variety of shooting modes such as Close-up and Night Shot, the MV800 comes with a large range of extras such as 3D Photo and Live Panorama. Intelligent Portrait is a great feature that will take a shot and automatically give you two alternative crops. During our testing the camera sometimes had trouble detecting faces in order to complete these crops, however.

Notably absent is a dedicated sports mode, but there are some clever editing options, such as in-camera cropping, saturation and contrast tweaks, as well as effects filters. All of these will suit beginners but there are more advanced features that let you take more control. While there’s no Manual mode, you can select your own ISO, white balance, focus area and metering system, tweak the exposure value and control the flash.

The images on screen are bright and sharp, and the final printed results are fantastic. For all it comes packed with, the MV800 is a great value compact that will get you taking photos from creative angles and achieving amazing effects. A triumph of compact camera design.

Samsung MV800

Samsung NX200 Review

The Samsung NX200 is compact and fits neatly into the palm of your hand. The outer casing is smooth, apart from the textured panel that wraps around the right-hand side of the body for the hand to comfortably grip, so it will suit those who are always on the go.

The menu system is intuitive and all shortcuts and controls are where you’d expect to find them. Even if you’ve never used a Samsung model before you won’t have any trouble working the NX200. A handy Fn button has been placed on the back panel just above the dial control, and this shortcut makes it easy to alter most settings. From the Fn you can quickly access the exposure, white balance, ISO, metering options and focusing options to name just a few.

Samsung NX200 Review

The NX200 has something to offer every type of photographer. The HD movie mode records clean-looking videos, while the high-speed shooting mode is excellent for sports or action photography. The camera can handle firing off images at 7fps at full resolution, but if you’re shooting in RAW then expect it to be a little slower.

The NX200 can shoot manual, part manual or under a full auto setup. The Smart Auto setting will appeal to beginners, but it’s worth noting that in this mode the camera can only shoot JPEGs. The camera also includes creative filters, which are capable of producing effects like Old Film and Vignette. These are perfect for those who don’t want to spend hours in post-production.

Images produced by the NX200 are of a high quality, and one of the camera’s best features is its large ISO range, which extends to 12800. The NX200 impressively holds the detail in the images until ISO 1600.

The Samsung NX200 is a great camera and the technology packed into the compact body is incredible. Even the full retail price of £700 is very reasonable and it’s well worth the investment.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150

The Panasonic FZ150 is the latest Lumix camera that could be considered a superzoom. It boasts some impressive features, many of which you’d expect to find on CSCs and beginner DSLRs.

These include a wealth of full manual options, and although they aren’t as intuitive as a DSLR’s, once you’re used to the camera they are very simple to adjust. If you still aren’t confident with the more advanced functions, there are plenty of automatic scene modes to use, as well as a selection of creative art modes that each overlay a different filter onto your photo.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150

Another key selling point is the FZ150’s ability to record video at full HD resolution. There is a dedicated record button placed next to the shutter release, making it quick to jump straight into video recording mode.

The three-inch LCD can be flipped and rotated to help when shooting at awkward angles. However, the FZ150 comes with an electronic viewfinder that enables you to hold the camera still when taking advantage of the great 12 frames per second maximum shooting speed.

One of the FZ150’s party tricks that we particularly love is its close focusing ability, which Panasonic

claims can focus on subjects as close as one centimetre away. However, we were hitting the subject on the edge of the lens barrel and still getting focus. It’s a truly impressive feature that makes macro photography a joy with this camera.

Images taken with the FZ150 are very good, with drops in quality only noticeable when using high ISOs, which is what you would expect from a camera with this size of sensor. The creative filters produce excellent photos that will help beginners add a new dimension to their photography without the need for a PC, making the FZ150 an excellent choice for anyone looking to develop their artistic and shooting skills at the same time.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150

Fujifilm Finepix S1600 Review

If there were ever a company to change the face of bridge cameras, Fujifilm would be a top contender. As it stands, size is the underlying factor when it comes to squeezing in as many of the high-demand features that we’ve come to expect. In the company’s latest line-up, the S-series, size is something to admire. Even the credentials of this lower-end model in the series, the S1600, are close to outstanding for a bridge camera of its price.

The S1600’s optics comprise of a 15x optical zoom with a wide-angle (28-420mm) focal length. The dynamics of such a wide to telephoto lens can play to a camera’s disadvantage in terms of image quality, but Fujifilm hasn’t fallen at this hurdle. Images show a wide dynamic range for coping with high-contrast scenarios, and the wide-angle lens makes it handy for capturing the vastness of a landscape. Another appealing feature of the S1600 is the variety of options on its Mode dial, including Aperture and Shutter Priority modes and also a DSLR favourite – a custom option.

Fujifilm Finepix S1600

In any given Manual mode, the camera has multiple options for allowing you to take control of the exposure. For example, you can make changes to exposure metering, white balance, focusing areas and also to the sharpness of your image in three varying degrees. The Mode dial also features a dedicated Panorama Shooting mode, where you’re asked to take three separate shots, and lining up a ‘ghost’ image of the previous one, the camera then processes the three images. The least conspicuous areas are joined together to create an almost spotless result.

The S1600 is so small that without its four AA batteries, it’s featherlight. It’s built to a high standard, too. The Mode dial noticeably clicks and slots into position on each turn. The exterior buttons can’t be pressed by mistake if you glide a finger over them. The pop-up flash is controlled by hitting its dedicated ‘open’ button on the side. The On/Off button is a sliding switch that works with a flick on a finger and, lastly, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a rubber edge for extra comfort. This is a real bonus if you find yourself battling with bright sunlight from behind, or are looking for more support by holding the camera to your eye using the EVF. Continue reading