The Samsung Galaxy NX is the first interchangeable lens camera to run the Android operating system. Is it a fad or the start of a new beginning for the future of camera connectivity? Find out in our full Samsung Galaxy NX review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

86%
Overall score:86%
Value:80%
Performance:80%
Image Quality:90%
Features:90%
Design:90%

Pros:

  • 3G/4G compatible; Capable of shooting high speed sequences; Solid and robust build quality; Battery stamina for an Android camera; Exceptional touchscreen

Cons:

  • On/Off button placement; Scroll dial adjustment control; Lens range is still developing; EVF resolution isn’t as impressive as the screen

Product:

Samsung Galaxy NX

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1299

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The Samsung Galaxy NX is the first interchangeable lens camera to run on the Android operating system. It follows on from the Samsung Galaxy Camera released last year, and offers Wi-fi functionality alongside 3G data connectivity and full Andoird integration akin to either a Smartphone or Tablet.

 

Though this level of connectivity of this kind might not appeal to everyone, it’s what Samsung see the younger generation of photographers are calling out for and it asks the question; is the Samsung Galaxy NX the answer to the way we’ll all want to shoot, edit and share our images in the future? Find out in the What Digital Camera Samsung Galaxy NX full review.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX front view

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Review – Features

Before we get too carried away by the Samsung Galaxy NX’s connectivity, we should focus our attention on its camera features to find out how it compares to other NX-series models.

Rather than developing or using a new sensor, Samsung has used the tried and tested 20.3MP CMOS APS-C sized chip that’s seen use before within the NX1000, NX20 and more recent NX300. Physically larger in size (23.5×15.7mm) than the sensors found within Panasonic, Olympus and Nikon CSCs, the Galaxy NX’s  sensor delivers a extensive ISO range of 100-25,600 that doesn’t have to be expanded to reach its maximum sensitivity like some of its rivals.

To offer a fast and spritely performance, Samsung has partnered the sensor with its DRIMe IV image signal processor, which allows the camera to shoot at a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000sec. Though this isn’t quite as fast as the 1/8000sec shutter speed as offered on the Samsung NX20 and most DSLRs, it’s the same as the NX300 from which the Galaxy NX adopts many of its internal features from.

Just like its smaller CSC cousin, it’s also capable of shooting a continuous burst at 8.6fps – putting it ahead of DSLR rivals such as the Canon 700D and Nikon D5200, which shoot at a more conservative 5fps.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX front angle

 

 

AF system

At the front, the Samsung Galaxy NX retains Samsung’s NX lens mount which allows it to be paired with any one of thirteen NX lenses currently in the range. For autofocus, the camera follows the NX300′s footsteps by incorporating the same hybrid AF system, with phase detection first being used to identify the focus before contrast detect takes over to fine-tune focusing.

Just as you’d expect, single, continuous, and manual focusing modes are all provided and there’s the choice of four AF area modes to choose from including selection AF, multi AF, face detection and self-portrait AF.

The feature that sets the Galaxy NX apart from any other camera, with exception to the Samsung Galaxy Camera, is the screen at the rear. Unlike the typical 3in and 3.2in displays we’re familiar with, the 4.8in HD TFT LCD is a monster by comparison and really sets it apart from its competition. Used to drive the camera (more on this in design and performance), as well at provide a Live View feed for review and display purposes, the screen features an HD resolution (1280×720) and is the capacitive touch-type to ensure it’s as sensitive and responsive as the screens we’re used to using on smartphones and tablets.

The alternative to using the screen for composition and playback purposes is to use the electronic viewfinder (EVF) – a feature lacking on the NX300. This has a 1.44 million-dot resolution and an eye sensor alongside to detect when it’s lifted to the eye to automatically switch the feed between the screen and EVF and vice versa to prevent the user forever having the hit a display or EVF/LCD button.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX top view

 

i-Function technology

No Samsung CSC would be complete without supporting i-Function technology – a unique feature whereby the user can tap an iFn button on the 18-55mm II f/3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens before using the focus ring to take full control of key imaging variables to speed up the time it takes to setup the camera as you want it. As well as this, users will find 32 different settings to choose from within the Galaxy NX’s smart mode.

Aside from features Samsung’s emphasis with the NX is all about the connectivity, which goes one step further than the integrated dual-band Wi-fi functionality we’ve witnessed before on Samsung CSCs. With integrated 3G/4G technology and cellular network connectivity, it’s possible to connect the camera where there’s no opportunity of selecting a Wi-fi hotspot.

The Samsung Galaxy NX is provided a 3G/4G micro SIM is inserted into the one of two micro SD slots of course. Added to this, purchasers are given 50GB storage space for free for up to two years on Dropbox, which you can, upload images directly to once the app is installed.

Not forgetting about those who’d like to shoot HD video as well as stills, the Galaxy NX shoots at various resolutions that include 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480 and 320×240. An exposed 3.5mm socket is located on the side of body too, however this is for plugging in headphones for audio and doesn’t support the attachment of an external microphone.

Design

Samsung Galaxy NX Review – Design

Samsung Galaxy NX back angled

The design of the Samsung Galaxy NX shares likenesses to previous flagship NX-series models. The front looks similar to the NX20, but when you pick it up you do notice it’s more like a NX20 on steroids in terms of its size. Lean but with a chunky grip, the Galaxy NX provides more to wrap your hand around – something that’s been done to improve handling but to also accommodate a larger battery to help power the huge screen and Android operating system.

The result is the Galaxy NX’s weighs 495g and feels both super-solid and refined in the hand. 

What takes some getting used to is the lack of buttons at the rear where the screen takes precedence. The rubberised corner of the body offers a comfortable place for the thumb to rest, but we’d prefer the on/off button to be positioned around the shutter for instant operation rather than on the top plate.

The single mode dial drives many of the cameras functions as well as adjusting volume in Android mode. It’s also used to switch shooting mode or adjust exposure and ISO parameters after the iFn button has been used on the lens.

Samsung Galaxy NX pop-up flash

Pop-up flash

To the side of the Galaxy NX’s EVF there’s dioptre control and to the left of this is a button to raise the pop up flash. In total there are just four buttons on the body, but thankfully the layout of the touch buttons and options onscreen are clear and don’t make it a daunting place for novices who might not be used to operating a camera in this way.

Switching between the Galaxy NX’s shooting mode and the Android main menu takes no longer than a second, and we also discovered a shortcut for this – simply depress and hold in the scroll dial.

In Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes it takes some time to get used to pushing in the scroll dial before any variables can be changed. We did experience times when we accidently changed the shooting mode rather than the exposure settings.

After the shooting mode has been selected it would be great if the camera could recognise this and then let you adjust variables instantly. One other observation is that the EVF obstructs the shutter speed and aperture values when you’re shooting at low angles. To get around this it would be better if they were offset to the right where there’s plenty of space on screen.

Although the Galaxy NX’s thin body and chunky handgrip might not make it the most aesthetically pleasing camera to look at, it feels nicely balanced in the hand with the 18-55mm kit lens attached. The quality of the build is in a different league to NX-series CSCs that have rolled off the Samsung production line before and it’s refreshing to see the manufacturer venturing away from plastic for a more premium and desirable finish.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy NX Review – Performance

Samsung Galaxy NX rear view

The huge 4.8in touchscreen is the Galaxy NX’s trump card and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in terms of performance. Due to the fact it’s in the 16:9 format and doesn’t match the 3:2 aspect ratio of the sensor, images do have black tramlines down both sides when they’re displayed, but this is a small price to pay for viewing images at such a large size.

The clarity, sharpness and responsiveness of the capacitive display can’t be faulted and having the option to pinch and zoom and flick through images makes for a great way of showing off your work. With the screen being as good as it is, we opted to use it 60-70% of the time when composing our shots – relying on the EVF when bright sunlight and reflections made it harder to view.

There is a slight delay between the screen and EVF when the eye sensor detects the camera being lifted up to the eye, and as EVF’s go, it’s crisp but has a very subtle green cast.

There’s the option to change AF mode and AF areas modes quickly straight from the Smart panel, and the AF point can be moved around the frame by touch, albeit not to the far edges of the frame like some CSCs. AF performance is just as spritely as the NX300, locking onto subjects with minimal fuss even in low-light with the option to fire the shutter by touching the screen if you desire.

Samsung Galaxy NX battery life

Battery life

The issue of short battery life on the Samsung Galaxy Camera has been resolved with a larger 4360mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery that’s good for 420 shots per charge. A percentage battery indicator on the home screen gives a visual clue as to when the battery level is running low and though the camera does use a fair amount of juice when its being used to upload images, send emails and surf the web using Wi-fi or 3G, we made sure we didn’t get caught out by carrying a mobile USB battery pack to take advantage of the cameras USB charging facility.

For a camera that offers so much functionality and connectivity, the speed at which the Galaxy NX operates is impressive, but sadly there was a delay when saving and writing images. After a number of shots were taken it wasn’t uncommon to wait several minutes for the shots to be saved to the Class 10 16GB Micro SD card that Samsung supplied and on some instances images didn’t instantly appear in the gallery.

Set to its burst shot mode (5MP), the camera shot 30 frames at 10fps, whereas at full resolution (20MP) the camera shot an 16 files at 8.6fps set to Superfine JPEG. Switching the format to Raw, the camera managed a more conservative 5 frames at 8.6fps before the buffer was full.

Having the Android interface to check emails, browse the internet and search for new and exciting places to shoot via the Photo Suggest app makes the Samsung Galaxy NX a very intuitive camera to use. The process of sharing images via social media has been designed to be so simple you can upload shots to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram or any other social media channel in a matter of seconds.

We frequently used the Google search on the home screen and purchased a 1GB pay-as-you-go SIM for £10 to upload shots via 3G for the times when we didn’t have access to join a Wi-fi network. Alternatively, you could always set up a pay-monthly 3G contract if you know roughly how much data you plan on using over a 30-day period.

Image Quality

Samsung Galaxy NX Review – Image Quality

Colour and White Balance

The colours that the Galaxy NX records are vivid and punchy without being too over saturated. Set to Auto White Balance for a majority of the shots we took during testing, it produced faithful colours that appeared neither too warm nor too cool. White Balance is one of the options available from the Smart Panel and though it’s relatively straightforward to select a new White Balance by touching the screen, it would be useful to scroll through the settings using the scroll wheel, but unfortunately isn’t an option.

Exposure

The Galaxy NX’s TTL 221 block segment metering system produces bright exposures straight out of the camera. After loading a selection of shots into Photoshop, we inspected the histograms by loading Levels and studying areas for loss of detail by moving the highlight and shadow sliders while holding the ALT key on the keyboard. We noticed that highlights are clipped ever so slightly, whereas the shadows aren’t. It wasn’t uncommon to lose a little detail in bright lighting conditions, especially in the sky, so we got into the habit of dialling in +1EV exposure compensation to help compensate for this.

Resolution

With the same sensor as found within the NX300, there were no great surprises in terms of the detail the sensor is able to record. With the ISO set to its lowest (ISO 100) the sensor recorded 30 lines per millimeter on our resolution chart – a value that’s high by Compact System Camera standards, but expected from a model that features an APS-C sized sensor.

One of the key benefits to take away from being able to shoot with such a high resolution and edit in apps such as Instagram is that you’re able to resolve more detail in processed images than you’re able to in images taken on smartphones and tablets.

Image Noise

Inspecting our diorama shots for noise revealed clean, noise-free images between ISO 100-800. Noise does start to creep in at ISO 1600 but not to such an extent that it can’t be fixed using noise reduction techniques. ISO 3200, and at a push ISO 6400, are the limit at which we’d want to push the sensitivity on a frequent basis. Shooting at the maximum permitted ISO setting of 25,600 results in images with heavy signs of chroma noise and a drop off in saturation.

Lens

The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III kit lens did show some signs of producing chromatic aberrations along edges where there was high contrast between highlights and shadows. This was less noticeable in JPEG images where the in-camera processing that’s applied did a successful job of removing it. Barrel distortion at the wide end of the lens (18-24mm) was also traced in Raw files, but the processed JPEG files weren’t affected.

Raw vs JPEG

Interestingly, the JPEG files the Samsung Galaxy NX produces are approximately a stop darker than the Raw files it kicks out. The in-camera processing that’s applied to JPEGs did a good job of removing chromatic aberrations and the added sharpening certainly helps pick out the finer details in an image.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you do end up applying in-camera effects to an image and then save them as a new file, the file size is reduced to 1.1MB. While this is good news for those who’d like to upload images to social media channels quickly, you shouldn’t expect to be able to produce large prints of images with effects applied without pixilation.

Verdict

Samsung Galaxy NX Review – Verdict

Samsung Galaxy NX front view

The Samsung Galaxy NX is an interesting concept. After using it over a prolonged period, you really get the sense this is the direction more interchangeable lens cameras will be taking in the future to appeal to the younger generation who regularly like to let others know where they’ve been and what they’ve photographed via social media.

For more traditional digital photographers who enjoy the process of editing images on the the computer and aren’t concerned about instant uploading and sharing, it’s unlikely to be used to its full potential and many features may never be used.

The Galaxy NX is an improvement on every area of the Galaxy Camera. Not only does it offer more versatility with its interchangeable lens design, it shoots in Raw, feels much more refined in the hand and doesn’t require you to pack a number of spare batteries to get through a days shooting. There are a few lenses still missing from the NX-series range, such as a fast standard prime, but Samsung have said that by 2016 there will be as many as 20 optics to choose from in the line up to make it a more appealing system.

Samsung Galaxy NX rear angle

The two drawbacks are its temperamental Raw write issues and its price. Being a completely new innovation and with no other interchangeable lens android cameras on the market, you would half expect to pay a slight premium for, but at £1299 is too high a price for the young audience Samsung are attempting to target.

If it’s anything like the Galaxy camera, we can expect the price to drop below the four figure mark fairly quickly, but as it stands it is overpriced and if you’re looking for the very best image quality and wider selection of lenses, a DSLR with built-in Wi-fi might make a better choice, although it will lack the Android operating system.

Samsung has definitely hit the nail on the head with the concept of the Galaxy NX and we’re confident this isn’t the last Android interchangeable lens camera we’ll see. With a few modifications, a more affordable price and a wider range of lenses, the Samsung Galaxy NX could be a challenger for mid-price DSLRs in the future.

Sample Image Gallery

These are just a small selection of images captured with the Samsung Galaxy NX. For a full range of test images, including ISO comparison shots, head over to the Samsung Galaxy NX review sample image gallery.

First Look

WDC’s editor, Nigel Atherton, reflects on the wider significance of Samsung’s new compact system camera – the Galaxy NX

I was lucky enough to be one of the hordes of press and VIPs at the launch of the Samsung Galaxy NX at Earl’s Court. It was a spectacular and extravagant affair, held on one of the tallest stages I’ve ever seen at such an event, and concluded with live performances by Emeli Sande and will.i.am.

Samsung clearly knows how to throw a party. It knows how to build phones too, and now that its camera division has been subsumed into its mobile division we’re starting to see the fruits, and they look very tasty indeed.

The Galaxy NX camera may not have been the only device launched last night but it was the most significant.

Among the social trends happening in image recording right now, three facts are inescapable:

1.   Most photos taken today are shared not in printed form but on the web, and in particular on social media sites such as Facebook.

2.   Smartphones are now overtaking cameras as the most popular device for taking pictures. This is because people always have a phone on them, but it’s also because, if the web is where the picture is going to end up, it’s a lot easier to get it there using a phone than a camera.

3. Everyone knows how to use a smartphone. Even pre-school children soon figure out how to interact with them the using pinch, zoom and swipe gestures, and then navigate their way to the Angry Birds app.

If cameras want to survive in this new world, they are going to have to start competing with phones, and this they have now started to do. Wi-fi has become the latest must-have digital camera feature, but it has its drawbacks. You can only share direct if you’re in a wi-fi hotspot, otherwise you have to install an app on your smartphone and use that as an intermediary to get your pictures out there.

For many people that’s the ideal solution. After all, you’ll always have your phone on you anyway, but for others this is an unwelcome extra step. If you have to still use your phone anyway, why not just take the picture on that to start with? The quality won’t be as good, but for many it’s good enough, and it’s getting better all the time.

So far Samsung is the only company to have confronted the fact that some people would prefer to cut out the middle man and have a camera that can take care of the entire process. The Samsung Galaxy Camera, launched last September, was the first camera with built-in 4G and has received a rapturous reception, despite its slightly ungainly appearance. The hugely impressive touch screen surpasses anything ever seen on a camera before, and the 21x zoom covers most needs.
But no sooner had it come out than people (me among them) started asking when we were going to see this on an NX system camera, with its interchangeable lenses and DSLR image quality. As it happens we’ve had to wait less than a year, which suggests that even as Samsung was unveiling the Galaxy Camera for the first time, the Galaxy NX must have been at least at the balsa wood stage.

First Look pt. 2

From the moment I picked up the Samsung Galaxy NX I knew I was holding onto an innovative camera. The deep, well-sculpted hand grip offers more to wrap my hands around than previous Samsung NX-series cameras and I immediately get the sense I’m holding onto an enthusiast model that feels more like a DSLR than a CSC. With a minimalist design and lack of any buttons whatsoever at the rear, it’s like no Compact System Camera I’ve handled or operated before, and just like the way the Samsung Galaxy Camera is driven through the touchscreen and the touchscreen alone, the Samsung Galaxy NX adopts the same way of working.

The Samsung Galaxy NX feels more like an enthusiast DSLR in the hand than a CSC.

Navigating around the Galaxy NX for the first time is a bit of a challenge for someone who’s not a frequent user of the Android based system. After switching the camera on using the On/Off button that’s located on the top plate, I’m itching to start shooting but have to be patient as the system loads and prepares itself. Immediately, I’m sensing the Galaxy NX’s Pega-Q Processor (1.66GHz Quad-core) has its work cut out, but thankfully a few moments later it fires into life and displays a range of pre-loaded apps on the home screen. For many photographers I can imagine this start-up delay being frustrating – although a slow start-up time seems like one of the compromises of choosing a camera running Android (the Samsung Galaxy camera was the same), it’s undoubtedly an area for improvement in the future.

Samsung say the Galaxy NX will be supported by 20 NX-series lenses by 2016.

After the Android menu loads, a selection of apps are clearly displayed on the home screen. The camera icon is suitably located at the bottom for quick access and instantaneously displays a Live View feed on the impressive 4.8inch Super Clear TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen. The camera offers the choice of two modes to the first time user, these being Beginner or Expert. Naturally, I chose the latter and went on to experiment with the scroll dial that’s used to scroll between P,A,S,M modes. Unexpectedly for a camera, the handgrip vibrates as the shooting mode is changed – further emphasising the similarities the Galaxy NX has to Samsung smartphones.

Pushing the top plate scroll dial forward is the quickest way to access the home screen and apps.

There are two ways of returning to the camera’s apps when you’re in shooting mode. One involves swiping a finger from right to left across the screen, but after a few days’ use I found it more intuitive to depress the scroll dial for two seconds – something that’s not made clear and was only discovered by accident.

A view of the Galaxy NX’s Smart Panel from which camera settings are adjusted.

To access common settings such as shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, metering mode and autofocus mode, you’re required to hit a small icon at the top left of the screen. This loads the Galaxy NX’s Smart Panel from which all of the Galaxy NX’s settings can be changed. It’s not too dissimilar to hitting a quick menu or function button on a DSLR before navigating with the D-pad, but it could prove more challenging for those who don’t use touch screen devices regularly.

The sheer size of the 4.8in touchscreen transforms Live View composition. During the time I used the camera, I’d say 60% of the shots I took were composed via the screen rather than the EVF, only reverting to the EVF when bright lighting conditions and pesky reflections hampered a clear view. Raising the camera up to the eye revealed the automatic eye-sensor detection wasn’t as fast as we’d had hoped for. Designed to switch the feed automatically between screen and EVF (with no manual override option), we half expect this to be improved before the final production samples are released.

Testing a pre-production sample of the Samsung Galaxy NX in Seoul, South Korea.

Making a connection to a Wi-fi hotspot was incredibly quick and we experienced no issues when we downloaded apps from the Google Play store. Instagram, Snapseed and Facebook were all installed in a matter of minutes. I quickly became a fan of the Galaxy NX’s connectivity and the way it allows you to instantly share with family and friends, just like a smartphone or tablet. Everything from connecting to the Internet to editing images and then uploading them to social media seemed easier and more intuitive on the Galaxy NX than other CSCs I’ve used with Wi-fi functionality.

The size of the Galaxy NX’s battery (right) is significantly larger than the Galaxy Camera’s (left).

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy camera, I experienced little trouble in regard to battery life. With a more muscular grip than the Samsung Galaxy camera, the Galaxy NX accommodates a much larger battery that’ll get you through a day without searching for a mains socket. After a days’ shooting, editing and uploading, the battery level was getting low, but it did get me through a day without a recharge. Much like a smartphone drinks its juice quickly when it’s connected to Wi-fi, the Galaxy NX should be charged at every opportunity. Thankfully it supports USB charging and I took advantage of this on the move by plugging it into my Proporta USB TurboCharger 7000 World Pack.

First impressions of the battery life are that it’s superior to the Samsung Galaxy Camera – a camera that gained a reputation for quickly using its power when all of its functions were used.

Autofocus operation is snappy from the combined contrast and phase detect system, however we did experience some shutter lag when attempting to shoot high-speed action sequences. Compared to a DSLR, the Samsung Galaxy NX didn’t feel quite as responsive – something that could be put down to it being a pre-production sample that wasn’t running a final version of the latest firmware.

Although the Samsung Galaxy NX is unlikely to be a big hit with traditional DSLR photographers, its appeal lies with the younger generation who’d like a camera to operate in a similar way to their smartphones and tablets. The huge touchscreen at the rear is likely to entice photographers who want a larger screen for composition and reviewing purposes, while the Android operating system will attract the type of photographer who’d like to edit images quickly using apps before sharing them globally via email or social media. We expect it might take a bit of time to catch on, but having the versatility of being able to swap lenses on a compact system camera that runs Android is a superb concept, and one that’s currently only been achieved by Samsung.

WDC’s Reviews Editor, Michael Topham, lays hands on a pre-production sample of a Samsung Galaxy NX at Samsung’s Research and Development centre in Seoul, South Korea.

As the younger generation of photographers come through, you can’t help but feel that the Samsung Galaxy NX is an example of the type of camera they’ll want to use. The Galaxy NX exhibits Samsung’s faith in its NX-series and the investment it is making in where it sees the future of photography going. At present, the Samsung Galaxy NX is the only compact system camera to run the Android operating system, but who knows how long it’ll be before other manufacturers release their own variations to meet popular demand? Our inkling is that Sony could be future competition for Samsung in this area of the market, but this is purely speculation and we’re yet to read any rumours suggesting that Sony could roll out an Android CSC in the future.

First Look Video

Our first look video gives you all the information on the new Samsung Galaxy NX.

First Impressions

Even though the Galaxy NX looks exactly like you’d imagine an Android NX camera to look (especially having seen the Galaxy Camera) it still makes you do a double take the first time you see it. In the hand it feels not unlike the NX20, on which is based. It’s a similar size and it has a good grip, but of course there’s just the one input dial on the top. The lack of external controls is a little disconcerting, but of course everything is controlled by the giant touch screen on the back, which is, as you’d expect, magnificent.

The Android interface is what it is, it’s the camera interface that takes a little getting used to. There’s just so much going on – pop-up, slide out sub menus in all directions, some of which are customisable, which is a little confusing when it’s someone else’s set up but when it’s your own it will I’m sure be very quick and intuitive to get to everything.

Featuring the Hybrid AF sensor used in the NX300, the AF is snappy, and the sample I played with had no trouble capturing sharp shots of the BMX display that Samsung had laid on for us to point the cameras at, even though the light levels weren’t great.

Overall it looks a formidable camera. If it manages to combine the image quality and performance of the NX300 (to which we gave a Gold Award) with the user experience of the Galaxy Camera, it will be a great success and find an eager market.

Operating System

Of course the 4G connectivity is only half of the story, and not even the most important half, because like the Galaxy Camera the Galaxy NX runs on Android, the same operating system that powers its Galaxy phones and tablets. This offers several key benefits.

1.   It means that pretty much everyone under the age of 40 already knows how to use it, at least in the auto mode.

2.   Users will be able to install and use the same creative apps that they love on their phones, such as Instagram.

3.   They’ll also be able to add additional functionality to the camera as new apps are introduced, rather than the feature list being set in stone, and superceded by a newer model before the buyer has barely walked out of the shop.


It’s not all good news, of course. There are drawbacks to Android. The time it takes Android to boot up from scratch means sudden fleeting moments may be missed. Touch screens are not as quick or intuitive to use for key settings as physical dials and buttons. Also, the Galaxy Camera is so power hungry that the battery lasts about as long as an ice cream in a sauna. Hopefully the latter issue will have been addressed in the NX.

What does it mean for Samsung?

The Samsung NX system of interchangeable lens cameras is actually pretty good. In fact the NX300 is a corker, having ironed out most of the issues we had with its predecessors (such as slow AF and processing times). The iFunction interface is one of the finest on the market, and the image quality is up there with the best. The lenses are not to be sniffed at either.

But lets face it, there hasn’t exactly been a queue of customers beating down Samsung’s door to buy one. They’re not that easy to find, for a start. It seems the Samsung brand doesn’t resonate that well with the enthusiast audience and, to be frank, the NX system hasn’t offered much that isn’t also offered by the more established photo brands.

But the Galaxy NX changes all that. It brings something to the table than none of its CSC rivals can touch. It may not get a lot of love from the older, traditional camera club crowd (in fact they’re likely to hate it) but for the younger, social media generation who have caught the photography bug and want to invest in something more serious the Galaxy NX will be like catnip. As such it could well inspire the next generation of interchangeable lens photographers.

The Galaxy NX could signal the end of Samsung’s attempts to take on the likes of Canon and Nikon at their own game, and instead focus on starting up a new game of its one, one which the traditional camera brands have little to no chance of winning. It’s a worrying prospect for the old guard, not in the short term but in the longer term.

At the moment millions crave the latest Galaxy phones, but nobody really aspires to own a Samsung DSLR/CSC, even those who end up buying one. But when my own kids, and their classmates, are old enough to earn their own money and want to get into serious creative photography, which is the interchangeable lens camera that’s going to catch their eye? My bet is that it’s going to be something with a massive screen on the back that looks not unlike the Samsung Galaxy NX.

Full Specification

Video:
Yes
ISO:
100 – 25600

White Balance:
AWB, 4 preset, Custom, Manual Colour temp
Lens Mount:
Samsung NX

Built-in Flash:
TTL Auto pop-up
Output Size:
5472 x 3648

Memory Card:
Micro SD / SDHC / SDXC
Exposure Comp:
+/-3 EV in 1/3 stop increments

Cable Release:
No
PC Socket:
No

Compression:
SuperFine, Fine, Normal
Viewfinder Type:
Electronic (SVGA 800 x 600)

LCD:
4.77in, ScLCD (C-type Touch Control); 1280 x 720 (HD) resolution
Colour Temp Control:
Yes

Field of View:
100%
White Balance Bracket:
Yes

AF Points:
105 (Phase Detection AF)
Sensor:
23.4 x 15.7mm (APS-C) 20.3MP effective

Max Flash Sync:
1/180 sec
Focal Length Mag:
1.5x

DoF Prview:
No
Dust Reduction:
Yes (Supersonic drive)

Metering System:
TTL 221 (17×13) Block Segment Metering
Connectivity:
3G / 4G, Wi-fi, GPS, Bluetooth, mini HDMI, Micro USB

Live Mode:
Yes
Exposure Modes:
PASM, User, My Mode, Auto, Smart

Movie Mode:
1920 x 1080 (30fps), 1920 x 810 (24fps)
Built-in Image Stabilisation:
No; Lens based

Power:
Rechargeable B73EE (4360 mAh)
Weight:
410g (body only)

File Format:
Raw (SRW), JPEG
Dimensions:
136.5 x 101.2 x 25.7mm

Shutter Speeds:
30 – 1/6000 sec, Bulb
Focusing Modes:
Single, Continuous, MF, Touch AF

Drive Mode:
8.6fps

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Verdict
  6. 6. Sample Image Gallery
  7. 7. First Look
  8. 8. First Look pt. 2
  9. 9. First Look Video
  10. 10. First Impressions
  11. 11. Operating System
  12. 12. What does it mean for Samsung?
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