Of the three new NV-series cameras introduced together by Samsung this year, the NV7 OPS will doubtless attract the most interest. The reason? A combination of a seven megapixel CCD imager with a whopping 7x optical zoom - and image stabilization to boot. The lens fairly dominates the Samsung NV7 OPS' front panel, and while the camera itself strongly resembles its other NV-series siblings it would be the largest of the group even without that lens. Samsung's NV7 has an attractive body nonetheless with softly curved side edges, and mostly smooth panels , save for that lens, and a gently angled handgrip on the right hand end (as seen from the rear). The lens is branded as a Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan, and offers a moderate 38mm wide angle to a useful 270mm telephoto focal range. Maximum aperture ranges from f/2.8 at wide angle to f/4.0 at telephoto, and as well as Samsung's Advanced Shake Reduction software, the OPS is the only NV-series camera to also include mechanical stabilization, dubbed "Optical Picture Stabilization" by the company. The NV7 also offers ISO sensitivity from 100 - 1000.
A 2.5" LCD display takes up a fair amount of real estate on the back of the camera, and is surrounded by a whopping thirteen unmarked buttons that are accompanied by a graphical user interface on the LCD that guides you as to their functions. Beyond these buttons, other controls should be a snap - there's only a mode dial, shutter button and zoom lever to contend with. Eleven scene modes should help make the camera approachable for beginners, but more experienced photographers will be pleased to find functions such as shutter- and aperture-priority plus a fully manual mode at their disposal. Images are stored on SD / MMC cards, or in 19MB of built in memory, and power comes from a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery.
The Samsung NV7 OPS is priced at US$449.99.