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Some Basic Advice for Samsung NX Series

Discussion in 'Samsung NX Forum' started by Biro, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Because some of the newer models are going for fire-sale prices lately, I must admit my interest in Samsung's NX series of cameras has been piqued. But can any NX owners and enthusiasts give me some basic information if I'm thinking of picking one up? Is there a particular model, even if not the latest, at which image quality goes to the next level? Is there a "just buy it" model? Is the 20-50mm lens better, worse or about the same as the 18-55mm? Of course, the 30mm f/2.0 is the lens to have eventually. How are Samsung's lenses overall? Does Samsung make them? How are the rear LCDs on the Samsungs in bright daylight? Is there a point in the model progression at which the LCD jumps to the next level? Any particular weakness or strengths to the entire line? I've been aware of Samsungs cameras for a long time but have never really bothered to pick one up and play with it at length. I am very curious but I'm also trying to keep costs down with any potential purchase.
     
  2. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    I think image quality, sensor-wise, started getting really up-to-date with the NX200 (the NX10/11/100 have good IQ but not as good as their contemporaries, and that was 3 years ago).
    To my knowledge the 20-50 is about the same, but I could be wrong there.
    Overall, Samsung make some really, really good lenses - far better than you'd give them credit for. A small (or at least, not well-known) Korean company designs them for Samsung; I don't think they make lenses for any other camera company, but they sure know what they're doing!
    Don't have an NX camera so I can't comment on the screens (which are AMOLED, not LCD, by the way), but the AMOLED screen on my EX-1 is excellent, although a non-reflective glass would've been nice.

    Strengths in general are ergonomics and high-quality, small lenses. Weaknesses, well, the sensors are usually not quite as good as contemporary Sony sensors but that's not saying much since Sony sensors are the best in the world right now - as I said, since the NX200, Samsung's sensors have been perfectly in line with what you could expect an APS-C sensor to do at any point in time.
     
  3. Fiddler

    Fiddler SC Veteran

    241
    Dec 5, 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Colin
    I don't own an NX camera, but I've used them, and I think that the lenses are very good.
     
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The important thing to remember for any potential Samsung NX owner is that there is none of the fever-pitch, frothing at the mouth that occurs with some brands so you will have to be prepared to satisfy yourself that you've got a very nice camera.

    As Bart said, there are two distinct generations based mainly around the sensor. First Generation = NX5, NX10, NX11 and NX100 built around the same basic 14MP sensor shared with Pentax in various DSLRs. Second Generation is the NX200, NX210, NX20, and NX1000 which uses a bespoke 20MP sensor, and the NX300 should be available by now as well.

    I've found that my NX200 gives me just about the nicest default raw colours out of any I've used, probably ahead of even the Canon G1X. Very natural and not over-saturated. The rear screens are great: Samsung AMOLED. Screens, on-screen graphics and displays, and menus are something that Samsung do very well.

    I can't comment much on any lens outside of the 20mm and 30mm pancakes (both excellent, particularly the 30mm), but there was a lenstip or photozone review on the 20-50mm zoom which found it to be very good, even when it has to resolve on a 20MP sensor. No stabilisation, though.
     
  5. Booka

    Booka SC Regular

    83
    Jul 5, 2011
    Sweden
    I always have to remind my self that Samsung is an option when thinking about an eventual move to a mirrorless system(that reminder often happens when you look at the prices)

    I just don't think samsung has quite got the right combination of features to really take off.

    -Lens choice--great pancakes lenses(24,30,45mmEQ)would personal prefer 24,35,85 or 21,28,50 the step between 24and45 seems to great and the 30 would be great as a single option but would always want wider or longer i think.

    -Image quality--From what i've read online the sensors seem to be 3-4 years behind Sony's in DR, high iso etc.., and they have very large RAW tiff files.

    -Handling-size/UI-- The camera body sizes are very small but the UI(dials/buttons) from the EVF model aren't available in the smaller rear screen models. So you are forced to choose between a to large photographers camera or a basic UI smaller setup.

    -Cost-- Nothing to really complain about here unless you were hoping for any sort of resale value.

    From what i have gathered Samsung has figured out 2/4 these criteria when they get 3 they may become an option, 4 then they will see the sales go through the roof. They seem to be concentrating on software features(wifi etc) which don't really mean much to photographer but will attract consumers(they are a phone/tech company not a camera company) Good luck to Samsung they seem to want to break up the camera cartel that a few companies monopolies, they just need a few more photographers running the division.
     
  6. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    ^sensor-wise, dxomark rates the nx20 just behind the nex5n and clearly ahead of the nex5, so nowhere near 3-4 years behind anymore. 1, maybe 2 more like it. large raw files are indeed an issue although some compression is now taking place.
    I quite like the UI of the NX200/210/300, the NX1000 isn't so nice because it lacks the top panel wheel which makes a huge difference. NX10/11/20 have agreat UI but indeed are larger. Not really larger than an Olympus OM-D though!
     
  7. Andrew Lamb

    Andrew Lamb New to SC

    1
    Apr 11, 2013
    London, UK.
    I've got a NX200 and 30mm f2.

    Image quality is good. Menu very intuitive. Great screen. Nice looking camera. I really like how well the camera works on auto-exposure mode. That was something I wasn't expecting. The absence of an EVF is a pain for me. I'm not a fan of holding cameras at arm's length.

    Definitely a system worth looking at.
     
  8. Robin P

    Robin P SC Rookie

    Convert the SRW raw files to DNG (with the free Adobe DNG converter) and they're much smaller! - e.g. on an NX20 file 38MB can come down to 18MB.
    Have you found a suitable slide in optical viewfinder yet Andrew?
     
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