What about ISO sensitivity settings? Well, on one hand, the NV7 maxes out at ISO 1000, which is pretty low from a spec comparison standpoint. However, the NV7's photos have so much noise--unless scaled down, anything above ISO 200 looks more Impressionist than Realist--the availability of any higher settings becomes a moot issue. In addition, the NV7 has some of the poorest white balance I've seen in a while. When set manually, photos render fine, but the automatic setting yields extremely pink results under incandescent, fluorescent, and outdoor light, and the tungsten preset still succumbs to a yellow cast under tungsten lights. You can record 30fps (frames per second) VGA-resolution movies with the NV7, which it encodes as AVI files using the Xvid codec (provided on CD). The codec is pretty efficient--49 seconds of video took 15.64MB, or 327KB/sec--but the video looks just OK. And though the zoom works during movie capture, the camera intentionally--and irritatingly--drops audio while you're zooming.
The NV7 OPS' performance matches its image quality, delivering acceptable but not great speed for its class. Based on CNET Labs' test results, it wakes up and shoots in a longish 3.1 seconds, with a respectable shutter lag of 0.5 and 1.0 second in bright and dim light, respectively. The 2 seconds it takes between consecutive single images puts it slightly behind the competition, though the 2.3 seconds it takes with flash enabled puts it ahead. Unfortunately, its continuous shooting is fixed at about 8 frames and .8fps, regardless of image size.
The Samsung NV7 OPS shows a promising interface but is held back by sluggish performance and so-so photos. Though it's hard to find the combination of manual features and longish zoom range in its price range, you probably want to check out some alternatives such as the Pansonic Lumix DMC-TZ3.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||Time to first shot||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)