Monday, July 30, 2007

New cameras: Samsung NV20, NV15, NV8 and i85 P(i)MP (updated)

  • dpreview informs us of four new Samsung digital cameras, three of which from the NV series and one from the iSeries.
  • The three NV-series have new "improved processing technology", which includes improved noise reduction they claim, 3x Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan lens (they charge by the letter), the sleek Smart Touch interface, 2.5" LCD, face detection (still waiting for mother-in-law face detection and removal feature), digital ASR, ISO 3200 (Monet called and he wants his paintings removed from everyone's digital camera), 14 scenes, and ACB (auto contrast balance) which adjusts lighting (similar feature to other makers).
  • Meet the NV20: 12 megapixels, UK price 250 pounds in September. US price: $400 MSRP in the Fall. Replaces NV10.
  • Meet the NV15: 10 megapixels, UK price 230 pounds, September. US price: $300 MSRP in the fall. Replaces NV10.
  • Meet the NV8: 8 megapixels, UK price 200 pounds, September. US price: Not determined, which could mean either they haven't decided or probably this camera won't make it to the US, at least not initially perhaps. Replaces NV3. Nope, it also replaces the NV10. But this is not a 1:1 replacement, it's a wraparound replacement!
  • Meet the i85: 8 megapixels, the multimedia P(i)MP model, 5x optical (6mm-30mm native) with folded optics, 3" LCD, UK price 230 pounds, late August, US price: $350, Fall 2007. Replaces the i7*. More details on this one at digitalcamerareview. Note the 5x folded-optics optical zoom. Fuji also went after the Sony T100 with their 5x (Z100fd (not coming to the US)). Hopefully the pictures won't come out folded ;-)
  • Details have yet to emerge. It is fascinating that manufacturers announce products in this day and age yet they can't even co-ordinate putting their own press releases on their website! The day you announce a new product is the day you have a shot at a lot of publicity!
  • The US version of the laconic press releases can be found here and here
  • Updates with detailed specs!!! at dpreview, and IR

    Opinionated Analysis
  • Disappointment: No attempt to make a more advanced camera
  • Promising? new "improved processing technology", which includes noise reduction
  • Disappointment: What happened to the NV7 OPS replacement?
  • Megapixel question: It is no longer a question of "who will come up with a 12 megapixel camera?", but rather "will anyone not do so?"
  • Interesting: Look at the price differences between the NV20 and NV15 between the UK and the USA. 20 UK pounds vs $100 dollars!
  • Disappointment: What happened to the 5x lens? They came up with the NV11 early this year. They also added 5x lenses to the S1050, S850 and even the 1/2.5"-based S85. So why release two 3x clones in the NV20 and NV15, instead of making one 5x and one 3x?
  • Speculation: Will they attempt a more advanced model? I was expecting at least one 5x 1/1.7x" based camera after the NV11 and the other 5x cameras. Is perhaps something else coming above the NV20? I would hope so, but Samsung seems obsessed with grabbing the #3 global market share, so perhaps they are thinking in those terms... They obviously have at least one more announcement, for their DSLRs, of which the Pentax K100D Super looks like a prime candidate to be Samsung-ized... At the rate they have been announcing things, I am going to have to start a new daily blog just to keep up with all the new Samsung digital cameras ;-)

    Opinionated Analysis, Part II (after the detailed specs came out)
  • Samsung has actually come up with three cameras that essentially replace the NV10 by wrapping around it. A 12mp, 10mp and an 8mp version. It's a wraparound replacement!. No replacements for the NV7 OPS which lives on in the L77, and the NV3 which is not that much different from the i-Series, which got an update (the i85)
  • Now sensor-wise we have some interesting things. The 12mp sensor of the NV20 is a 1/1.72" while the 10mp and 8mp sensors in the NV15 and NV8 are 1/1.76". Which will raise the obvious question: Who makes the sensors, especially the 1/1.76" size which I believe we have not seen elsewhere (I could be wrong)
  • Sadly we only get scene modes, not even shutter priority. Of course there is always the age old trick of using particular scene modes to influence shutter speed.
  • And those keeping track at home, Samsung has now announced nine (9) new cameras in July 2007

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