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Samsung NV9 review: Samsung NV9

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The Good Attractive styling; robust build quality; useful analogue dials for showing battery life and free memory; good overall picture quality; good value for money.

The Bad Slow zooming; poor sharpness at full zoom.

The Bottom Line You might not use the Samsung NV9's MP3 player, and the 5x zoom does struggle at longer focal lengths, but it's a superbly-made little camera, full of flair and chic, at a price for which you'd normally expect a basic plastic lump

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8.3 Overall

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Samsung's NV9 is so much fun that it doesn't matter how good its pictures are. Well, nearly. For around £120, this stylish 10-megapixel super-slim camera is very, very tempting. You even get a metal body and non-extending 5x zoom. And, if you don't like the pictures, you can always listen to the built-in MP3 player.

Positives
The slimline metal body is really smart. Ours came in a tough-feeling matte black finish, but you can get a silver version too. It's the solidity and build quality that grabs your attention first, followed quickly by the two analogue dials on the top that tell you what state the battery's in and how much space you've got left on the memory card. The battery indicator's great but the memory-card gauge only indicates the proportion of unused space, rather than the actual amount of free space.


This test shot shows good colours, little distortion and minimal chromatic aberration -- and don't forget this is a pocket-sized super-slim we're talking about (click image to enlarge)

Also on the top is the power button -- surrounded, when the camera's on, by the cool blue glow that's typical of Samsung -- the shutter release and a big, clearly-labelled mode dial. The 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD on the back is good, rather than great.

The controls work well and have a good feel. A 'Fn' button lets you change image size and quality, metering pattern, drive mode, ISO, white balance and EV compensation with a minimum of fuss. If you want to jazz up your pictures, there's an 'E' -- standing for 'effects' -- button too.

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