One industry that just never stops innovating is the photography industry, and this new ultra-compact from Samsung is another example of how dedicated cameras can offer something that smartphones like the iPhone 4S simply can’t. The folding screen flips 180 degrees until it’s above the lens facing forwards, revealing a shutter button hidden under the screen. This is great for self-portraits when you’re holding the camera at arm’s length, and for those pesky timer shots.
The build quality is great; the metal frame keeps everything sturdy and the hinge is stiff enough to stay in place, but smooth in motion. Only the glass screen is likely to attract scratches – it might be worth investing in a cover too.
The screen also provides the main input system for the camera, with all the modes and other selections being altered using the touch interface. Physical buttons are limited to power and a zoom/shutter on the top of the device, along with home and playback options at the back.
The menus are set out well, with an interface that will be familiar to those who have used Samsung’s smartphones. Icons are spread across five screens, and the touch interface is responsive, unlike other modern cameras with touch controls.
In terms of modes, the selection is fantastic. Along with the standard settings such as Smart Auto and Program modes, options like Live Panorama, Self Shot and a selection of Filters make this a really fun camera to use. The filters, such as Cartoon, Oil Painting and Sketch, offer something extra to the camera, and produce a surprisingly good variety of results.
On Smart Auto our images were crisp and bright, with natural colours. We were impressed by the macro settings, which nearly always found focus. There were some problems with the screen, however, as it made our photos look a little fuzzy – more than once we took a photo twice, thinking the first hadn’t been in focus. Still, this camera is more about fun than picture quality, and if that’s what you’re after, the MV800 certainly delivers.