Samsung MV800 MultiView camera hands-on (video) - Engadget
Link: http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/01/samsung-mv800-multiview-camera-hands-on-video/Samsung MV800 MultiView camera hands-on (video)By Zach Honig posted Sep 1st 2011 5:00AMTheres nothing all that exciting about most point-and-shoot cameras. You point, they shoot, endof story. But Samsung has been shaking things up as of late. First, the TL220 and TL225 addeda second, 1.5-inch LCD to the front of the camera, making up the companys 2009 lineup ofDualView cams. Weve never actually seen anyone using them on the street, but Samsung repsinsist that theyve been an absolute hit. Well alright then. This year, CES brought the companysremote-shooting-enabled SH100, which lets you use a Samsung-branded Android smartphone toframe, zoom, and capture images over WiFi. A rather obnoxious delay doesnt make this ablockbuster feature, but still, this is pretty imaginative stuff.Now this week at IFA, the company just introduced yet another completely original (and practical)camera design with its MV800. The cameras image quality isnt much to speak of (though weveonly had a chance to use a pre-production model), but its MultiView flip-up LCD is pretty darnfantastic -- in concept, at least. The 16.1 megapixel cams entire 3-inch capacitive touchscreen
flips from flush with the rear up to a 180-degree angle (and anything in between), making itpossible to not only shoot perfectly framed self-portraits, but also to have a direct view of thedisplay when shooting both below, and above eye level. We love to see manufacturers continueto push the envelope when it comes to innovation, but how did the $279 MV800 perform overall?Jump past the break for our impressions. Samsung MV800When viewed directly from the front, the MV800 looks just like any other mid-level Samsungpoint-and-shoot camera. Theres a 26-130mm, f.3.3-5.9 5x optical zoom lens, a super-thin built-inflash, and one of those little orange light things thats supposed to help the camera focus in low-light. Yeah, the one that alerts your subject of an imminent candid shot, thats, well, not so candidanymore. Theres also a power button, shutter release, and zoom slider up top -- all prettystandard stuff. But flip to the back, and youll notice a hinge just above the 3-inch WQVGAdisplay. That hinge is the only point of contact for the display, letting you rotate the thing so itsinverted above the lens facing forward, position it at a 90-degree angle, a 45-degree angle, orany other position on that single axis. Thatll let you see your subject when holding the cameraabove your head, for shooting at concerts or at crowded events, or for when you need to bereally sneaky, and want to shoot with the camera well below eye level. Its a very, very coolfeature, and since its useful for more than just self-portraits, itll come in handy for just about anytype of photographer.Beyond that cool little hinge, the display itself has a capacitive touchscreen, which makes it justas responsive to touch as a smartphone. This is key for a touchscreen camera -- all
manufacturers need to pay attention here, and never, ever release another camera with a non-capacitive touchscreen. Things seem to go downhill from there, unfortunately. While innovative,the display is low-resolution, with a relatively sluggish response rate. A display of this quality isntall that uncommon for a camera in this price range, but wed really love to see Samsung step itup a notch. In fact, if it werent for the magical hinge and capacitive touch, this display wouldhave been a complete dud. There is one more pretty nifty feature: you can tap and hold a top-level menu icon and drag it around, reordering main menu options to your liking. A rather minordetail, but one that we do like very much.While we loved this new display concept (though not necessarily the display itself), the MV800 isdefinitely not a class-leader when it comes to image quality. In fact, it probably wouldnt evenscore in the top half of its class. Many images we shot werent in focus, flash-lit images wereuneven, and pictures have a significant amount of noise when shot in low light (in "Smart Auto"mode). Whenever we brought up image quality with Samsung reps, they immediately redirectedthe conversation to the cameras interface -- which is, admittedly, among the best weve seen,but cant compensate for poor image quality (UI makes a tablet, IQ makes a camera). Thesample that we tested is pre-production, however, so its quite possible that the version you pickup this fall will have vastly improved performance (we can dream, cant we?).If youre buying a camera for the user interface, and a not-so-gimmicky adjustable touchscreen,then youll want to pay close attention here -- the MV800 may just be a winner. But if imagequality reigns supreme, this certainly wouldnt be our first choice in the sub-$300 price range.Scroll on below for many more details from Samsung, and our very brief hands-on video, shotjust a few miles from the IFA exhibit halls in Berlin.