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July 3, 2006 – Today, Samsung Opto-Electronics America, Inc. unveiled its newest line of "New Vision" digital cameras: the NV7 OPS, the slim body NV10, and the NV3 with music and video capabilities. The NV line has 2.5-inch LCD screens, shake reduction technology, and multi-media capabilities, with two of the three cameras featuring Samsung’s new GUI "Smart Touch" buttons. They will be available in the fall.
Samsung’s New Vision line is the start of the company’s re-branding initiative into being one of the top digital camera manufactures. Around the lens of each NV camera is a signature blue ring which represents the NV line form and function, according to Samsung representatives at a June 20th conference. Known for their LCDs, semiconductors, and batteries, Samsung is blending their historical strengths with the latest technology to target the contemporary consumer.
The flagship of the new product line, the Samsung NV7, brings ultra zoom in the shape of a slimmer body.
"We worked closely with our designers to develop a long-zoom camera that would fit within the lifestyle of today’s style-conscious consumer and came up with the slim-bridge design," said Samsung National Marketing Manager Stewart Henderson. Fitted with a 7x optical zoom lens, the 7.2 megapixel NV7 measures only an eighth of an inch thick.
This "slim-bridge" NV7 is also the company’s first camera with optical picture stabilization. The OPS system adjusts the CCD sensor to reduce blur. Supplemented with anti-shake reduction, Samsung claims the NV7 will "ensure a steady, crystal-clear shot," said the press release.
Tailored to an advanced photographer, the NV7 also has manual and semi-automatic modes that include aperture priority and shutter priority. The camera also incorporates video capabilities with built-in movie editing. Along with the new NV10, the NV7 features Picture Gallery in-camera functions, including cropping, rotating, and resizing.
Samsung’s NV7 comes equipped with what today’s company press release calls the "revolutionary, easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI) touchpad." Instead of the standard multi-selector push button, the GUI is located on the boarder of the LCD and allows the user to scroll through menu functions with the touch of a finger. Akin to the scrolling feature of the ever-popular iPod, the NV7 GUI feature allows smooth transitions between functions.
The suggested retail price of the NV7 is $449.99.
The Samsung NV10 also has this new GUI. As the middle tier camera, the NV10 combines substantial resolution with Schneider optics. The 10.1 megapixel, 3x optical zoom camera is equipped with built-in movie editing functions and can record VGA resolution video (640x480) at 30fps.
The NV10 has 11 scene modes and multiple functions, including color effects, highlight, black-and-white, sepia, blue, green, and red controls. The NV10 is priced at $399.99.
The third in the NV series, the Samsung NV3, combines camera capabilities with a music and movie player. Samsung, one of the first manufacturers to fuse a Personal Media Player (PMP) into a camera, integrates PMP functionality into the NV3. The 7.2 megapixel camera is fitted with 3x optical zoom lens. The Digimax Converter software converts MPEG, AVI, MOV, WMV, and ASF files, enabling MP3 audio and video functionality on the camera. With dual stereo speakers, the user can even listen to music while taking pictures.
The PMP movie and music functions were first featured by Samsung in the Digimax i6, the first digital camera to include such multi-media capabilities. The i6 and the new NV3 have many similar specs: both cameras have 3x optical zoom lenses, PMP functionality, and 2.5-inch LCD screens. The difference is in the resolution: the older i6 has only 6 megapixels, while the new Samsung NV3 has 7.2 megapixels.
The suggested retail price of the Samsung NV3 is $349.99.
Samsung’s NV line comes after two years of extensive marketing research. Samsung has been in the camera business for 27 years, but it is now battling an already saturated digital camera market with the line of multi-media cameras geared towards tech-savvy, multi-media users.
The Samsung Group, known for manufacturing commercial products from phones to fridges, is trying its hand in becoming the "world’s top tier company in the digital camera industry," said Samsung Vice President Man-yong Shin on the company website. According to a June 20th press conference, Samsung’s goal is to assert themselves as one of the top three digital camera manufacturers by 2010 – a designation currently held by Kodak, Canon, and Sony.
With only four more years to go in this ambitious mission, Samsung hopes the modernized NV product line will begin its ascension into the digital camera high-rise.