At 14.7 megapixels, the Samsung NV100HD is one of the highest resolution compact point-and-shoots available on the market today. The NV100HD that we received for review was a silver unit with black accents, though the model also comes in either gold, black or silver with red accents.
For a supposedly compact camera, the Samsung's weight and unsightly lens protrusion won't endear it to the fashion crowd. It's surely a design that will polarise users; some will love it and others will hate the clunky look and feel. Unfortunately we fell into the latter category, as we found the casing to be incredibly slippery, with it falling out of our hands on a number of occasions, even when using the included wrist strap.
The NV100HD's 3-inch touchscreen takes up most of the available space at the back
At the back is a 3-inch touchscreen with 460,000 pixels flanked by four buttons, which control the zoom, menu and playback functions. They are unobtrusive and blend nicely into the black surrounds of the screen. Up top sit the power and shutter buttons, backlit with blue, as well as the mode dial which twists around 360 degrees with some resistance. Underneath sits the battery/card slot, and the proprietary USB connector which is completely exposed to the elements.
The most cumbersome element of the design is the inane positioning of the flash unit. It pops up from the camera body and is situated just where your index finger rests when you hold the camera normally. This is more than just a design fault — it implies that no one actually considered how photographers would use this camera in the real world.
At 14.7 megapixels, the NV100HD lays claim to be one of the highest resolution compact cameras on the market. It is in all respects a high-end point-and-shoot, competing with the likes of Canon's .
The inclusion of high definition video recording (720p) certainly tips the scales in the Samsung's favour — for a full discussion of the video quality, see below. There is unfortunately no included HDMI cable in the box, so you'll need to purchase a cradle to provide HD output to a television.
Alongside the relatively small 3.6x optical zoom, there are a range of manual exposure controls available. Shutter and aperture settings can be assigned in 'M' mode, accessed from the top dial, though there are only two or three aperture values available depending on the extension of the lens.