Samsung MultiView MV900F SMART Wi-Fi 16.3MP Digital Camera Review @ ModSynergy.com
In all honesty not many digital cameras come through to be reviewed on our website anymore because the trend has certainly shifted to the popularity of Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras and Smartphone's in today's marketplace. Digital cameras were popular between the 2003-2006 period but since the introduction of DSLR's and the growing booming popularity of Smartphone's with integrated camera function, there has been little innovation with regards to the pocket sized format. This lack of activity likely signals the end of the digital camera as we know it, my best guess is within 5 years the nail in the coffin will happen for the trusty digital camera, if it can even last that long.
The popularity of point and shoot digital cameras have been steadily diminishing over the recent years for other alternatives that people always have with them in their iPhones and Galaxy Smartphone's or with those Canon, Nikon, Panasonic DSLR's they bring along to special occasions and events when they need extra prowess.
Compounding the problem for the digital still camera is the price of a premium digital camera in comparison to an entry level DSLR and even a comparably priced Smartphone. I don't know about you but spending $300-500 on a digital still camera when you can purchase a DSLR camera or pretty good Smartphone (that can rival DSLR picture quality -- see our Galaxy Note 1 & 2 reviews) for that same price bracket seems to be a questionable investment. The only really advantage you have buying a digital camera in that price range is likely to be superior zoom range, I can't really see any other advantage. The problem runs deeper the lower the price goes unfortunately, and this is why we've come to the point of seeing weekly store flyers that offer digital cameras for $50-$125, I have to believe the profit margins aren't there anymore when you have equally inexpensive Smartphone's sitting an aisle or two beside.
Call this the last hurrah, or the last stand of the digital camera if you want, but, if I were to review a digital camera on this website, it had better be one that is refreshingly innovative and different from ones everyone has already seen. That is precisely the case with today's review of the new Samsung MV900F Smart Camera. This new digital camera from Samsung is something I've never quite seen before for a digital camera, it's more of a hybrid to be honest giving you the best of both worlds with it having a flip-out AMOLED display for self-portraits, integrated Wi-Fi connectivity so it can upload to Facebook, Picasa, YouTube, PhotoBucket without the need of a computer, 16.3-Megapixel BSI sensor, 5x optical zoom, and a 3.3" Touch-screen interface. If the motto of Shoot WOW! Share NOW! and Ideal self-portraits, easily shared is anything to base a review on, this might be the digital camera you might have been waiting for. Introducing the Samsung MultiView MV900F SMART Wi-Fi 16.3MP Digital Camera Review.
About Samsung - "Inspire the World, Create the Future."
From its inception as a small export business in Taegu, Korea, Samsung has grown to become one of the world's leading electronics companies, specializing in digital appliances and media, semiconductors, memory, and system integration. Today Samsung's innovative and top quality products and processes are world recognized.
For over 70 years, Samsung has been dedicated to making a better world through diverse businesses that today span advanced technology, semiconductors, skyscraper and plant construction, petrochemicals, fashion, medicine, finance, hotels, and more. Our flagship company, Samsung Electronics, leads the global market in high-tech electronics manufacturing and digital media.
Through innovative, reliable products and services; talented people; a responsible approach to business and global citizenship; and collaboration with our partners and customers, Samsung is taking the world in imaginative new directions.
Samsung MV900F Product Overview
The MultiView Samsung MV900F with flip-out AMOLED display and built-in Wi-Fi lets you capture and share life's greatest moments with ease from any angle. The MV900F captures beautiful images even in low light conditions, it features a F2.5 bright lens and 16.3M pixels BSI CMOS sensor, as well as a wider 25mm lens for fully framed images. This combination of design, creativity and connectivity ensures the MV900F shows everyone at their best.
Update your social network profile with a self-portrait, a group shot or a favorite landmark easily and instantly. The Samsung MV900F features a flip-out display that rotates up to 180°. Choose the best angle and shoot from high or low to create amazing images. You can say goodbye to awkwardly-angled profile shots, too. Gesture shot lets you control zoom and shutter functions remotely when you need to be in the picture and the camera’s out of reach. Meanwhile, the Beauty Palette feature helps you achieve the look you want to show off. Then, just press the Smart Link button to wirelessly upload your new photo to your favorite social network.
Innovative features for easy group shots and self-portraits
Samsung MV900F Product Features
Samsung MV900F Product Specifications
Samsung MV900F Product Manual
The Samsung MV900F comes in a compact rectangular Lego shaped cardboard lift-top box design that reminds me of some wrist watch boxes. It's a cute little box with a simple eye catching white and blue color design that will attract people in-stores. Up top we have the full product shot along with company logo, product features mentioning the flip-out screen, WI-FI connectivity, AMOLED display, 16.3-Megapixels, microSD card slot, and 2-years of Canadian warranty. On the blue end of the box is an image of the camera demonstrating the self-portrait stance of the camera, while the white side gives you a brief mention about the features of flip-out display, Wi-Fi Smart Link, and the AMOLED 3.3 Touch screen.
Depending on the region where you reside, you are able to choose up to four different colors; white, black, red, and pink. Though if in Canada, pink is excluded from the list to choose from, and if living in the USA you cannot have red or pink. I'm not sure why you cannot choose between all four colors regardless of where you reside.
I like that this camera comes with a non-proprietary charge cable, it's just a standard microUSB cable on one end and a full size USB on the other. I loathe proprietary cables, now with microUSB becoming very common and standard among Smartphone's and devices, I find it much easier to use just one cable for everything instead of a pile of proprietary ones creating a mess. I would have loved if Samsung threw in a cheap velvet or generic cloth bag for protection, but that is not the case.
The Samsung MV900F is the first digital camera that I've personally seen that takes small microSD card memory, different from the usual full size SD cards that other digital cameras make use of. For the MV900F it takes microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC.
The Samsung MV900F comes in a compact body measuring 98.5 x 59.9 x 17.2mm or 3.88" x 2.36" x 0.68" and without the battery it only weighs 132g or 150g with the battery. What this means is that MV900F is slim enough to fit in pant pockets, breast pockets, just about any type of pocket without issue and is light enough not to be cumbersome.
The MV900F that is being reviewed today is the white version and does it surely look gorgeous! Again as I stated earlier the MV900F is available in either white, black, red, and pink. As it stands with the white paint job mixed in with silver brushed aluminum accents on the front lens and glossy back portion on the AMOLED display, the MV900F has the style factor down pat. This white paint job isn't just standard looking matte, it has added flakes that shine and shimmers depending on how the light shines on it. This is something that was obviously hard for me to show in the product gallery.
Like the Samsung digital cameras we've already reviewed on this website, the Samsung MV900F also contains a wide angle 25mm lens to allow you to fit more objects inside of the frame of a picture, for example when you taking self-portraits, something that this camera is practically designed to do as you'll find out soon enough in the review.
The lens aperture is F2.5 on the MV900F so that more light can enter through the lens for improved low-light picture performance (more light means quicker shutter performance is possible). In addition, the integrated BSI CMOS sensor also helps in (theory) low-light performance as it is designed to increase the amount of light that is able to be captured by the sensor in low-light (that's the theory behind combining a BSI sensor and F2.5 lens; improve low-light photo performance).
BSI stands for back-illuminated sensor and Samsung has been using this on some of their digital cameras for quite some time now. Sony also makes use of a variant of BSI sensor in select number of their digital camera and Smartphone lineup. To be honest, you shouldn't really expect significantly better low-light photos from a BSI sensor (or any small sized sensor) digital camera because with the smaller the sensor, there's only so much light you can capture and detail you can manage to retain. That is why larger sensors are always better, the ones in DSLR's are APS-C sized or full-frame sized meaning they can capture tons more light and offer a wider dynamic range in photos and are substantially better at capturing details. The rule of thumb as I've said many times is the larger the sensor, the better the quality of photo and video will be (more so in low-light). Take Samsung's marketing push about having fantastic images in dimly-lit places with a grain of salt, plain and simple it's not going to happen.
Looking at the left side of the camera are two stickers, one with the slogan Shoot WOW! Share NOW!...Samsung SMART CAMERA, and the other is a sticker that explains the functionality of MultiView and what it can offer you. MultiView is the ability of having the flip-out display tilt up to 180 degrees allowing you to take a self-portrait/group shot with ease and simplicity while being able to frame the photo perfectly each time. This is very convenient when you don't want to ask strangers to help you out and or when compared to using a digital camera without MultiView where you've had to try multiple times to no success when doing a self-portrait with a friend. To be honest once you've tried MultiView, you'll not want to go back to anything less. Above lays the small integrated flash, 5x optical zoom lens, AF-assist light/timer-lamp at the very top right, and symbols stating FULL HD and Wi-Fi functionality.
Looking at the right side profile of the MV900, from top to bottom we find an integrated speaker port, plastic cover hiding the mini-HDMI port and the USB/AV port, and wrist strap eyelet at the bottom.
Nothing is here except the words 16.3 MEGA PIXELS BSI CMOS.
On the right side we find the battery/memory card chamber cover which gives access to placing the Lithium-Ion battery and microSD memory card. Again the MV900F supports up to a 32GB microSD card or 64GB microSDXC memory card. Beside the chamber cover is the plastic tripod mount and next to this is an empty area which holds the internal Wi-Fi and is advisable that you avoid contact with this area when using the wireless network.
Right off the bat when you look at the top of the MV900F you notice the downward slant, this actually helps in ergonomics as I'll briefly touch on later. We find the Power ON/OFF button, microphone hole, and the shutter button with integrated dial that switches between telephoto and zoom.
This is where everything else happens and where all the fun begins. Directly at the top is the Smart Link Button which is in the symbol of Wi-Fi signal bars, the 3.3” AMOLED Touch Display with MultiView functionality which allows the screen to flip out and rotate up to 180 degrees, status lamp, Home button and Playback mode button. The MV900F makes use of a touch screen display and that allows the unit to have only a few physical buttons. The menu system mimics that of a Smartphone operating system as you'll see later on, again the MV900F is like a hybrid of sorts combining the best of multiple worlds into one. There is no optical viewfinder on this camera so the AMOLED screen is on always and cannot be turned off.
Behind the AMOLED Flip-Out Display
The MV900F features MultiView which allows you to flip-out the display have it rotate up to 180 degrees. Once you flip the display past a certain angle the camera automatically flips the orientation of the camera so that you're always seeing what you're shooting. So if taking a group shot, flip-out the display 180 degrees and everyone in the photo can see themselves and huddle around put themselves into frame easily and correctly each time.
Once you flip-out the display there is a secondary shutter button underneath the display, again the button is in the perfect spot for easy pressing of the shutter. The secondary shutter is the same exact as the primary, meaning you half press to autofocus and fully press down to take the photo. It's also easier to push as it doesn't have a long travel to execute the command. When taking self-portraits the secondary shutter button is a joy to use because it works well and is positioned correctly.
3.3" AMOLED Touch Display
The MV900F makes use of Samsung's brilliant AMOLED technology and is blessed to be fitted with such a display which is only regulated to a select number of Samsung devices. The past couple of previous Samsung digital cameras I've reviewed on ModSynergy, I've always complained that they should have used their AMOLED display instead of the old TFT LCD, well I finally have my wish! They usually keep their AMOLED displays for their higher end product offerings, so that says a lot of about Samsung putting it in the MV900F and what they feel about how it stands in the digital camera marketplace. An indication of how Samsung feels is their MSRP of $349.99USD at the time of release tells the whole story.
The rear of the camera is such a contrast to the rest of the camera. It truly is black and white with the Samsung MV900F; white up front, black round back. The MultiView hinged AMOLED touch screen display measures 3.3" and is draped in glossy black finish that makes colors look more pronounced than usual and gives it more oomph. Combining a white body with flake along with a glossy black portion aids in giving the MV900F more style.
I didn't see anything mentioned in the press release or specifications, but there is definitely some type of coating on the touch screen AMOLED display, most likely anti-reflective (AR) coating as evidenced by the purple hue cast on the display under certain lighting conditions and some type of coating to give the surface that silky smooth oily feel to improve finger gliding on the AMOLED touch screen display, kind of like Gorilla Glass as it is used on Smartphone's.
The WVGA AMOLED C Type Touch Display is more often than not a joy to use. Overall it presents an easily noticeable upgrade from typical TFT LCD displays that come on other digital cameras on the market. It has superior resolution, superior brightness and contrast, superior color rendition and saturation, superior viewing angles, superior refresh rates, and AMOLED usually consumes less power, and therefore the quite small 880mAh Lithium-Ion battery should last that much longer in the process.
You can really see the full effect of the AMOLED display within the navigation menu and playback mode as it looks fantastic, sharp, and colorful. However, when using the camera normally under live mode the AMOLED display could have been utilized much better, though it still is a large amount enhanced in terms to what happens with TFT LCD displays. This seems to always be the case with many if not all digital cameras on the market, where in live mode the resolution takes a hit and looks much different.
In this case you can see some grain and noise on the display in certain conditions and the resolution drops a bit, but like I said its still significantly better than TFT LCD displays and the problem is well masked. In normal outdoor light the AMOLED display never lags or skips a beat and with added brightness it works well outdoors, however, when the sun falls and the lighting gets poor the display will start to lag and become less smooth, more grainy and noisy almost like a webcam struggling in the dark motion wise. Problem is I've seen other digital cameras such as the old Samsung ST50 with its LCD display not lag or become slow at all when the lighting becomes poor, therefore I'm not sure why the MV900F cannot manage to do the same.
When you hold the Samsung MV900F in your hands for the first time, it fits so well and it's very easy to handle. This is surprising because nowhere on the camera is there any rubber or grippy surface to have your fingers grab on to. I'm confident enough to say that the MV900F has the best ergonomic design I've felt on any digital camera for a very long time. Part of this is attributed to the way Samsung chose to design the exterior, every little thing they chose to do plays a part in why the MV900F offers the best handling.
First of all when placed in your right hand, the MV900F gives you so much room for your middle and ring fingers to fall on top of those stickers at the front of the camera and clutch over the flat side profile of the camera. The flash placement is correct as your two fingers will never accidentally cover it, something other digitals get wrong.
Second of all your index finger is able to be permanently placed on the shutter button tightly as naturally your index finger perfectly follows the same direction of the downward slant the top of the camera has. It's possible to easily switch between the shutter button, zoom function, and the power button as its right beside each other.
Thirdly your thumb naturally falls and grabs onto the ridge between the AMOLED display and top of the camera giving you even more grip where it finally rounds off with the end of your thumb naturally falling securely underneath the AMOLED display and bottom of the camera.
Needless to say one handed shots with the MV900F is easy to execute and it's very possible to not have shaky one-handed photos since the grip is unbelievable excellent. If you need to stabilize the camera even further, there is enough room for your left index finger and thumb to grip the other end of the camera and display.
If you need even more stability, you can use the MV900F as if you are texting with two hands/playing a Game Boy with two hands, slip both thumbs behind the AMOLED display and use your right thumb to take a photo with the shutter button behind the flip-out display. The handling on this camera is stupendously superb, it gives you so much flexibility to hold the camera steady and properly, just bloody excellent handles!
As you already know, MV900F makes use of a fully touch screen navigation menu. There are a number of in-camera settings you can change depending on the mode you are currently in. There are camera settings such as photo size, movie size, frame rate, voice, timer, power save recording, exposure compensation, ISO, flash, focus, focus area, face detection, smart FR edit, quality, ACB (auto correct balance), metering, timer, drive, image adjust, OIS, and intellizoom.
By pressing the physical Home button on the right side of the screen you are put through to the main settings menu where it resembles that of a Smartphone operating system with various icons. There are five home screens with various modes, the home screen is customizable but limited in that you can only rearrange the icons to whichever home screen you like.
The full list of modes available are Smart Auto, Program, Movie, Scene Mode, Live Panorama, Gesture Shot, Low Light Shot, Beauty Palette, MobileLink, Remote Viewfinder, Social Sharing, Email, AllShare Play, Auto Backup, Cloud, Beauty Shot, HDR Plus, Photo Filter, Movie Filter, Picture in Picture, Split Shot, Magic Frame, My Magic Frame, Artistic Brush, Motion Photo, 3D Photo, Album, Photo Editor, Wallpapers, Settings, Help. The Cloud mode allows MV900F to upload photos to the Cloud via Microsoft SkyDrive service.
The menu lets the AMOLED display shine as the resolution is at its highest and most colorful. In a way after you see what the MV900F has to offer within the modes and settings, it's basically quite like a Smartphone or tiny computer in your hands because it has a CPU, RAM and an operating system to work with. There's no mention to what kind of processor and RAM is inside but the performance isn't blistering fast, it just gets the job done. Objectively you can say that when working through the camera and browsing through various menu settings and features, it does tend to get sluggish at times.
It can feel sluggish when scrolling through in-camera menus (not smooth and fluid), and it requires some patience when entering in certain modes and Wi-Fi services, for example it's quite common to press an icon (let's say Cloud service as an example)and be greeted with a circular loading indicator or connecting dialog box and have to wait between 4-11 seconds before it fully loads. The same can be said when exiting from modes being greeted with a closing dialog box that takes up to 5 seconds to disappear. I would compare it to a very basic Smartphone in terms of performance, the MV900 does need to be quicker because it can get frustrated having to wait long to accomplish something that appears simple.
The same frustration can be said for having a touch screen interface, one might end up getting sick and tired of having to constantly tap the menu button, scroll up and down to a certain setting to disable and enable it. Factor in times when you press the touch screen incorrectly and having to redo it, that could feel repetitive for the user and end up taking longer to accomplish a certain thing when you factor in the speed of the MV900F. I'm just putting the idea out there that a person may at first before owning a touch screen camera love the idea, but once they use it end up changing their minds. I think Samsung could have added two more physical buttons above the playback mode and home button and have those solely for quick change of certain settings.
Performance and Results - How Does It Perform?
From pressing the power on button to when the camera is ready to take a photo is about 3 seconds.
I answered part about the general performance of the Samsung MV900F above when speaking about the menu and touch screen performance. I said that it can feel sluggish at times when scrolling through in-camera menus as it's not smooth and fluid as it could be. Executing and exiting certain modes such as the Wi-Fi modes requires some patience as its common to wait between 4-11 seconds before the mode fully loads, you have a dialog box that greets you while you wait. The same can be said when exiting modes, it has a Closing dialog box that takes up to 5 seconds to disappear.
In terms of general shooting performance when you don't require the touch screen and are just taking photos, I would say the MV900F is very typical of other digital cameras as its neither fast or really slow. In bright lighting the autofocus system takes about 1-2 seconds to lock on to focus of the subject and it does so with good accuracy, however, when the light becomes dark the MV900F will struggle to catch on to focus at times, and when it does work, takes about 2-3 seconds to autofocus while the red AF-lamp comes on to assist in focusing. In poor lighting don't be surprised to see some of the photos aren't actually focused correctly.
The photo quality on the MV900F is also nothing too spectacular. I haven't really seen major improvements on the MV900F when it comes to picture quality as compared to the previous Samsung digital cameras I've already reviewed. To be honest, I believe the picture quality on the MV900F is even a step back to those past Samsung digital cameras I've already reviewed (ST50, WB550, and WB750). It does show the same characteristics of what I've seen in the past but has more negative attributes to show now.
The MV900F produces very soft photos out of the box in general, the lens suffer from soft corners of the photo, for example the center would look relatively sharp in comparison but other parts look blurry. The pictures have some artifacts and grainy look to them, the MV900F has a pretty dreary look to its photos for some reason at times, it looks dark as if not enough light is entering in, has flat colors, shadows are crushed with blacks being too black, something I was not expecting, and this is even when shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day at ISO 100. I would rate the picture quality performs as respectable or fair, but far away from excellent. The best way to get a good photo is with great lighting, it struggles with low-lighting conditions, even if the marketing words say otherwise. The camera obviously looks better physically than how it performs internally.
When viewing photos up close at 100% on the computer, I notice a strange look to the edges and lines of objects that were taken with the MV900F which I've never seen on past Samsung digital cameras on the past. It reminds me of in graphics card terminology aliasing, the edges and lines look like they are jagged and not smooth out, and it's easy to spot because it sticks out. I don't know if it has something to do with compression because I notice that the photos seems heavily compressed.
Dynamic range leaves lots to be desired, again the smaller sensor is the culprit and there's only so much it can achieve. In bright sunny days it is common for parts of the image to be overexposed creating blown highlights, the sensor is not able to retain the detail.
The internal flash also overexposes at times, and even underexposes at certain times, this is happening even at automatic settings.
Automatic white balance I felt was out of the box too cool on most situations. The color cast was a little colder than I would have liked, and indoors the colors had an overly yellow cast to them at times.
ISO performance was average at best, even at ISO 100-200 the photos looked like they had a fine grainy look to them. I could tell even at ISO 200 that significant details were starting to be lost and by ISO 800 the details were about to fall off the cliff, I would advise not even using ISO 1600 and 3200 in moderate lighting conditions because you wouldn't even be able to make out a license plate number.
The macro mode on the MV900F left more to be desired, I felt I couldn't go as close to an object as I wanted to, I had to step back more to be able to obtain proper focus.
Live Panorama mode on the MV900F looked pretty interesting because it looked totally different in relation to how photos normally looked and were taken in picture mode. After assessing the panoramic images taken, it was clearly evident that panoramas that were being stitched together automatically stemmed from the MV900F using the video mode stills to stitch panoramas. And video mode still pictures are different from recording video performance.
Samsung's OIS (optical image stabilization) to me personally did not make much of a difference at all while taking photos at zoom length, I still got a good majority of photos that were out of focus and blurry. I felt that OIS did work but was much more suited in Video Mode as it really did indeed prevented those videos of shakiness.
Things that I did like was the fast and zippy 5x optical zoom lens when in operation. I also loved the wide angle 25mm lens as it does allow multiple friends to fit into one photo, and with the MultiView flip-out AMOLED display, it really is a joy to use and is refreshing for self-portrait use. That is the best aspect of the MV900F without a doubt.
But as you might have heard me say in both of my Samsung Galaxy Note 1 and Galaxy Note 2 reviews, the picture quality that of inside the Note Smartphone is vastly, worlds apart, and significantly better than that of any Samsung digital camera. I still cannot fathom how excellent the Galaxy Note's picture quality is. While I always seem to say that Samsung digital's cameras are behind by generations to that of Nikon, Canon, Olympus, etc (in terms of picture quality), with the Note Smartphone's they have none of that problem, they are simply stellar and can compete with anyone.
I always said that if the same engineers and designers implemented what they did with the GALAXY Note's 8-Megapixel rear facing camera into the rest of Samsung's digital camera lineup, it would completely change their position and bring them generations ahead of where they currently are in terms of image quality. Come on Samsung! Why don't you just use the same exact sensor from the Galaxy Note 1 and Galaxy Note 2 and dump that into a digital camera body and formulate an optical zoom system...that would surely change the Samsung digital camera lineup!
The video quality of MV900F gives a better performance than the picture quality aspect of the camera. It looks brighter, more colorful, more sharper (though it still has soft areas off-center), generally better. Though again with the shadows, the details are not retained as the blacks are too black crushing the shadows. Sometimes under certain conditions the videos are also grainy and dull again. But the video quality is a much better performer.
I love that in recording video mode the MV900F allows you to pause in between of recordings and allows you to resume afterward, once you are finished you can simply stop the recording completely. I like the fact that when video recording the MV900F also allows you to capture up to six still images in the process while recording.
One negative though is that while zooming in video recording mode, the audio cuts off until you finish zooming.
Test Images & Videos (Original Files)
Unfortunately there was quite an issue with our Samsung MV900F that we could not live with; it kept freezing. This instability was frankly baffling to say the least.
The types of scenarios that caused the camera to freeze was for example when the screen was flipped out to 180 degrees, it should have changed orientation automatically but did not. It was completely frozen and not able to respond to any commands or power off, the battery had to be removed and re-inserted to power off and on again.
The second time it froze was after shooting a photo, the dialog box processing appeared but did not disappear, at this point it was again frozen responding to nothing.
The third time it froze on me was just when it was auto focusing on a subject.
The fourth time it froze on me and this happens frequently was when I connected the MV900F with its microUSB cable to the computer in order to transfer photos, the dialog box Connecting to USB appears and freezes completely thereafter.
I searched for an answer to why it was doing this but came up on the Samsung website with others experiencing the same thing and a FAQ that suggested that the memory card was incompatible. However, here was the problem with that suggestion, I tried three different memory cards and they all experienced the same issue one way or the other, some scenarios happening more frequently than others. I tried a PEAK branded 4GB microSDHC class 6 card, Energy 4GB microSDHC card, and went out to purchase a brand new SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC Class 10 memory card (SDSDQUA-032G-U46A) with all similar results. Therefore I had to conclude that it was the camera that was the culprit, not the memory cards, and hoped to find a solution via firmware upgrade.
With the help of the included iLauncher software, I upgraded the firmware. The camera's old firmware was version 1209261. The new firmware version 1303221 said improvements with the cameras Wi-Fi performance and bug fixes were made with the new firmware. However, after the new firmware upgrade, it did not help at all with the freezing issue, those issues still persisted. What a shame.
iLauncher Software Brief Overview - Wi-Fi and MobileLink At Work
iLauncher is included with the Samsung MV900F and an option to run this software is shown each time the camera is connected to a Windows 7/8 PC. Once installed you see the simple program that shows a small pane with three options, the first is Multimedia Viewer, the second Firmware Upgrade, and the third PC Auto Backup. The software automatically informs you if a firmware upgrade is available. It downloads the firmware file to your memory card and gives you instructions to execute the upgrade. However, I noticed that the software incorrectly dumped the firmware file into a folder in the root of the memory card instead of placing the file directly inside the root of the memory card. I had to manually move the firmware file in order to execute the firmware upgrade by pressing the shutter button once the camera was disconnected from the computer.
Hit the PC Auto Backup selection and it downloads a package from Samsung to install on the computer, once installed you are asked by the program to give a name to which you want the server name to be called, asked to specify the location that the MV900F should wirelessly save images to. You should unplug and reconnect the MV900F from and to the computer once again to save the settings on the camera. So whenever you want to wireless transfer photos from the camera to your PC you must turn on your computer and open the PC Auto Backup software.
This software does not work on the Apple MAC platform, only for Microsoft Windows PC's.
The above is the premise of how it should work, however, in reality I could not get this wireless transfer to work at all. The camera would connect to my wireless router fine, recognize my PC server name that I had created, but it would simply search for the backup PC and time out. I have to admit that the process of turning on the camera, entering in the menu and executing the Auto Backup mode on the camera simply takes too long. Up to the point to where it starts searching for the Backup PC to connect to takes a little over 30 seconds to complete! I could literally slip out the memory card and connect it to my card reader that is attached to my PC in 5 seconds! After that I simply copy and paste to a folder I want to store the images and videos, very simple.
The next feature did work very well I might add. I can easily see the uses of this feature and how it can come on handy in many situations. It's the mode called MobileLink in the MV900F menu. Samsung MobileLink allows you to share the photos and videos on the MV900F and directly copy it to your Smartphone. This method is done wirelessly and remotely as both camera and Smartphone will communicate and handshake with each other via software.
The process is very easy and works surprisingly very well unlike PC Auto Backup. Once you touch the MobileLink icon on the touch screen display, a dialog box states that you will need to install Samsung MobileLink software on your Android Phone, it can be found on Google Play. Once installed on your Smartphone simply execute the program and MobileLink software on the MV900F camera automatically finds and connects to your Smartphone. The camera broadcasts its MAC address on the screen, and once connected to your Smartphone displays your phone number to notify that its connected. A prompt on your Smartphone appears asking if you would like to accept the incoming transmission of photos and videos. Once you accept, the transmission will begin. The transfers are surprisingly quick if I am to be honest.
I love Samsung MobileLink and find many scenarios where it can come into handy. One scenario is that I'm going to an event to take photos but only have use of one single 4GB microSDHC card for example. I use up the 4GB on the MV900F then I'm stuck right? Not with Samsung MobileLink, I simply take out my phone, wirelessly transfer the photos I've taken with the camera and dump them into my Smartphone. Once finished simply reformat the camera's memory card and continue shooting!
Your Smartphone becomes essentially your photo bank with Samsung MobileLink, something like the Epson P-3000 I reviewed years ago. I simply love the idea of transferring photos directly from camera to Smartphone, it takes away the extra step of connecting and dumping the photos and videos to your PC first before dumping them on your Smartphone second. Now I can go straight to the Smartphone in one step. Lovely! If Samsung can introduce and inject the very useful Samsung MobileLink into the rest of their digital camera and DSLR lineup, it would be superb! Truly a feature to be proud of and push.
The MV900F has the great ability of uploading from camera directly to Social Sharing sites such as Facebook, Picasa, YouTube, and Photobucket. All is needed is your ID and password to each of these services. Once entered you can select which images or videos you want to upload and add a note in the process. Very simple and quick as it uploads a fraction of the full image size.
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The Samsung MultiView MV900F SMART Wi-Fi 16.3MP digital camera had the potential to be something amazing, however, at the end of the day suffered due to a number of problems that plagued it internally.
There are great positive things that the MV900F has such as the great stylish looks, AMOLED touch screen display,MultiView flip-out display that can rotate up to 180 degrees and will forever change the way you take self-portraits, the best ergonomics and handling I've seen in a compact, quick uploads to social sharing sites like Facebook, Wi-Fi capabilities, the fantastic MobileLink feature to share from camera to Smartphone directly, but there are unfortunately negatives that far outweigh the positives. However, a firmware update down the road that addresses the stability issues could change all of that and make the MV900F a worthwhile option.
The MV900F could never really put it together in a way that it could have been successful. Starting out with the picture quality, I found that it has taken a step back to what I've seen in previous Samsung digital cameras, the pictures left far more to be desired as they were very soft, dull and dreary at times, lacking color rendition, looked grainy and lacked detail in everything other than excellent lighting conditions, ISO performance was only good until it reached ISO 800 at best, it lacked dynamic range that caused it to expose with and without flash, it crushed shadows with its black being too black, the macro mode didn't allow me to go as close to a subject as I had wanted, the photos looked like it had an aliasing type issue with the edges and lines in the photo, low-light performance wasn't as good as marketed to be, the MV900F just struggled. The video quality fared much better but still exhibited the same issues such as the softness that hurt the picture quality.
The major negative point that hurt the MV900F is the fact that it has stability issues that forced the camera to completely freeze under a number of different scenarios, and these were happening on a frequent level, not something that happened once in a blue moon. Not even a firmware upgrade helped prevent these anomalies from happening.
Oh what could have been.