Detail is crisp and despite the width of the frame, there's little trace of barrel distortion. This bulging effect can blight wider lenses, but it's under control here. The lens also shows no sign of vignetting with no loss of colour or focus in the corners.
The automatic mode is highly competent, coping well with exposure and metering. High contrast scenes failed to trouble the NV24 with minimal loss of detail in blown-out highlights. The manual exposure slider made playing with shutter speed a joy, the visual representation and on-screen preview even better for fast adjustment than the dials on a dSLR.
In low light, the autofocus struggled and we did get some red eye as the flash is quite close to the lens. But noise is controlled well, with decent enough performance at ISO 400 and below.
The Samsung NV24HD is an unshowy but enormously clever compact. Even if you're not sure about the smart touch controls, the ingenious manual controls make it easy and, more importantly, fun to experiment with your photography.
With its quirky interface and wide-angle lens, the NV24 reminds us of the excellent Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500, which is undeniably a sexier camera -- but also more expensive. It might take you a few minutes to get used to the NV24HD, but you won't regret it for a second.
Edited by Shannon Doubleday