Mobile phones nowadays have become an all-in-one gadget, killing the industry of its indirect competitors ““ one of which, point-and-shoot cameras. There seems to be a growing demand for mobile applications to better enhance its marketability thus poses a great challenge to camera manufacturers to be on the loop.
The new Samsung MV800 gives a twist on the usual point-and-shoot cameras with its more fun features and let me share you how much I had fun taking photos using this.
Disclaimer: It’s funny that I always seem to get to review cameras that are enticing to people who loves taking photos of themselves. Again, I do not know anything about photography but I sure love taking pictures.
The Samsung MV800 has a very sleek design, gives you a feel like you’re holding a mobile phone. When not in use, you won’t find any bulges, which makes it very pocketable. It uses 16.15 megapixel Schneider 26mm wide-angle lens with an optical zoom reaching up to 5x.
The MV800 is very easy to operate, with only a few physical buttons present. On the top edge, you will find the usual Power and Shutter buttons and the zoom controls. At the back panel are the home and playback buttons beside the 3-inch flip-out touchscreen with a UI resembling other Samsung phones.
The microUSB port which can be used for charging or transfer files (like smartphones) can be found on the right side along with the mini HDMI output. Beside the battery compartment at the bottom is the memory card slot, which already includes a 4GB microSD.
One of its most interesting features is its flip-out touchscreen LCD display that allows you to shoot at different angles, whether you’re shooting your pets from a lower angle, shooting a self-portrait or shooting overhead during concerts. Simply put, this feature helps you frame your photo perfectly from different angles that are hard to do with normal cameras.
When the screen is flipped at 180 degrees for self-portraits, it obstructs the shutter button so Samsung has another shutter button found at the center portion of the back panel, perfect to meet your middle or index finger for taking the photo in either left or right hand.
The user interface on this camera is very easy to understand. There are 5 screens you can navigate to which nicely groups the myriad of features based on functionalities. We’ll run through each quickly and show you examples later on.
The first screen has the standard features. Smart Auto which you would most likely use lets the camera select the appropriate scene for the shot. There’s also the capability to take 3D photos but you need a 3D display to view it. The Live Panorama is a very handy feature for any point-and-shoot. The Self Shot is an easy way to take self portraits, flip the display towards you and touch the screen then a 3-second timer will countdown before taking the shot.
Second screen gives us effects you can do with your shots. The Magic Frame allows you to use some pre-selected backgrounds like billboards, posters, etc. and it will embed your photo on them. Funny Face morphs your face before taking a picture. Photo filter has some cool effects you can apply on your shots my favorite being the Cartoon.
Third screen are some extra settings for taking specific shots. Beauty Shot smoothens portrait photos. Background Blur would’ve been nice but it’s hard to gauge the distance to make it successful.
Fourth screen has some more shooting options like timer and touch shot if you don’t want to use the shutter button, just double-click on the screen to focus and shoot. Pose guide is a cool tool if you’re bored with your usual camera poses (more on this later).
Fifth screen shows display and camera options. Not only you can view your photos as a slideshow but you can also create a theme album (with music) so viewing your photos would be more fun. Photo Editor allows you to do basic edits and apply filters on existing photos.
Because of the combination of touchscreen display and the oodles of things you can with this camera, expect the camera not to last more than a day of shooting. Good thing it can be charged easily like you would a smartphone.
Here are some normal sample shots taken with the Samsung MV800.[nggallery id=23]
Here are a couple of panoramic shots:
These photos look just average but what can you expect from a point-and-shoot right? But that’s the beginning. The strength of this camera lies on the myriad of things you can do with your shots to make it really fun.
Let the fun begin
Camera effects are so in these days especially that social media has allowed photo sharing. The fun part with using this camera is that as if you have most of your photo editing applications installed in your camera! It has A LOT of creative options for you to play around with your photos and share them to your friends!
I was able to try almost all the effects and I seriously enjoyed the experience. I wouldn’t go to each of them but instead show you the cool stuff you can do with your shots using this camera.
It has the Funny Face feature that automatically warps your favorite part of the face just like one of the features of the Mac’s Photobooth application. It was somehow a disappointment because I expected my face to look really weird but it doesn’t distort the face as I had expected.
I think what I loved most about playing with this unit is the different art filters ““ feels like you have a built-in Photoshop in it! Some cameras also have effects like Black and White or Sepia mode, but this one’s got more! I personally like the sketch and cartoon effect.
I also enjoyed the Magic Frame too where you can choose from an array of templates and mix them with your chosen photo. You may wish to do this before or after taking the picture, how flexible is that? Below are some photos with my favorite templates.
As I mentioned in my disclaimer, I am not a pro, which is why I loved its Pose Guide function. It directs your subjects on the best way/s to pose for a shot. In your screen is an outline of the model and you’ll just have to fit the subject within the outline, for that perfect shot like a pro!
Some other features worth mentioning are the Beauty Shot, where your face looks flawless and conceals the blemishes instantly. The Picture in Picture functionality inserts the image to another so that you won’t miss any important happening. For a personal touch, you may also change the wallpapers of the screen and even create your photo slideshow easily.
In terms of using the MV800 to take videos, quality is okay for a 720p HD video, similar to the quality of the photos but it has a zoom noise reduction feature that eliminates the mechanical sound when zooming in.
There are really so many things to tell about the fun features of the Samsung MV800 that it’s easy to overlook the usefulness of the flip-out display. For the price of Php14,500, I think it’s a bit high but still a good investment especially if you’re considering a compact camera that you can bring with you to capture those special moments and enhance them even further with the bountiful features this gadget has to offer. Not to mention the fun that you and your friends or families will enjoy taking the photos.