Samsung GX10 review
Design and Performance
The Samsung GX-10 is streets ahead of similarly priced peers from other mahor camera brands. Weatherproof seals around the terminal cover, locking card slot and battery compartment – not to mention a rugged, rubberised outer shell – lend it the robust feel of a Nikon D200 or Canon EOS 5D, suggesting that it will withstand a little rough handling without complaint.
Dedicated Raw Button
We particularly like the inclusion of a ‘Raw’ button on the front left of the lens throat that gives the immediate option to record a Raw file without the palaver of navigating the menus, while the ‘Fn’ (function) button gives easy access to the white balance, ISO, flash and drive modes. Similarly, separate control points for the metering mode (surrounding the main mode dial on the top left) and AF mode (around the four-way control pad) also means that changing the camera’s set-up is not as menu-driven as some other models. The GX10’s sophisticated-looking menu system is in keeping with its refined build.
Raise the GX-10 to your eye and you will be greeted with a respectable 95% coverage of the scene through the lens. Yet while the viewfinder is bright, the eye relief seems a little short, so you will find yourself having to move your eye around the viewfinder to read the information relayed on the LCD beneath the focusing screen and scan the corners of the frame.
We have no real complaints about the performance of the AF system. The active AF point or points are picked out in red on the focusing screen when the camera gets a lock, which is generally as immediate and as precise as it needs to be. Even when you find yourself in low light with a slow lens there’s only the slightest hesitation in getting a focus lock, and even that disappears if you’re using the built-in flash to fire a stroboscopic ‘AF assist’ burst.
The positives continue when we look at other areas that have obviously been considered at the design stage, such as the novel white balance ‘check’. With the white balance options called up on the rear LCD you can use the depth of field control to get a low-resolution preview of your image. As you scroll through the WB settings the preview is updated ‘live’ on the LCD, enabling you to see which gives the ‘best’ result. You can also fine-tune the WB before taking your final colour-accurate photograph. Obviously, if you shoot Raw files this is largely redundant as the white balance can be tailored at the processing stage, but for the photographer who wants print-ready JPEGs – with or without an accompanying Raw file – we have yet to see a more comprehensive solution.