Samsung NX100 review
Review Date : Wed, 17 Nov 2010
Author : Mike Lowe
The Samsung NX100 is the latest NX-series Compact System Camera. But with no flash or viewfinder, is there the demand for such a camera? What Digital Camera reviews the Samsung NX100...
|Pros:||Affordable, stylish, good layout and UI, iFn lenses|
|Cons:||No in-built flash, no viewfinder, poor battery life|
The Samsung NX100 is the company's latest Compact System Camera and is released following the earlier NX10. The NX100 opts for a stripped-back and stylish body design as well as improved operation from the new i-Function lens feature. However, with no viewfinder or flash unit included in the body is this release the right step forward for the NX brand?
Samsung NX100 review - Features
The NX100 comes complete with the 20-50mm iFn (i-Function) lens - a new concept by Samsung that firmly stamps its mark of individuality on the NX series. The idea is simple: a function button on the lens itself that can be easily reached and pressed to make for quick adjustments to the most commonly used options. The manual focus ring can even be used to cycle between these settings and all future NX lenses will come complete with this functionality.
The sensor at the camera's heart has the same 14.6MP resolution as found in the NX10. Although the resolution and processing power hasn't changed, the autofocus system does see an update. A new algorithm is employed to ensure the contrast-detection system doesn't run from the full black point to white point, instead recognising the steepest point of fall-off in contrast to more quickly bring a subject into focus which theoretically avoids the over and under-focusing characteristics of many contrast-detection systems.
A trump card for Samsung is its production of Super AMOLED screens, including the 3in, 614k-dot version on the rear of the NX100. Often referred to as ‘OLED' (Organic Light Emitting Diode), the technology benefits from lower power consumption, a wider angle of view and significantly higher contrast ratio (more achievable ‘levels' between black and white) than conventional LCD, as well as more fluid playback. The benefits are clear and very few manufacturers are utilising this technology outside of mobile phone devices.
Full manual modes feature for creative control, including a shutter speed of up to a speedy 1/4000th of a second, as well as a Smart mode that recognises the scene through the lens and updates all settings automatically. A 720p HD video mode also features that can capture motion with mono sound at 30fps using the H.264 compression type. Whether a first time user or more advanced photographer there's something here for everyone.
However, the stripped-back style means there's no built-in flash gun, nor a viewfinder. The hotshoe and Samsung Smart Shoe connection can accommodate for such additional accessories, though this will add to the price and it's not possible to use both simultaneously which may prove problematic for some users.