Is the new Samsung NX10 the future of Micro System Cameras? The What Digital Camera Samsung NX10 review sees how it stands up against the established Micro Four Thirds system...
With a large APS-C CMOS sensor providing 1.5x magnification, the Samsung NX10’s sensor is much larger than that of Micro Four Thirds, and crams 14.6 megapixels for ultra-large output too. And with many stores retailing the kit option for a penny under £500, this could well be the consumer-accessible delight that expense has otherwise hindered in the past. But just how good is it, how well does it sit in the market place, is it a true DSLR replacement and, above all else, is it the mirrorless interchangeable system to buy…?
Samsung NX10 review – Features
The Samsung NX10 has some very savvy features. Its 3in, 614K-dot screen isn’t LCD as per most cameras, instead it’s one of a handful of new cameras to employ AMOLED technology (that’s Active-matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode for the full name). You may have seen the abbreviated ‘OLED’ term filtering down into new technologies including some HDTV and mobile phone models. Unlike LCD, OLED does not require backlighting, meaning there’s an immediate benefit of lower power consumption.
In addition a faster refresh rate for smoother picture, higher contrast ratio for better black-white range, and more significant user viewing angle make it the current best display technology on the market. In addition to the rear screen is a built-in 921K-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) with automatic detection to switch it on as your face nears the eye cup.
Unlike the MFT cameras on the market, Samsung’s NX venture has a larger APS-C sized 14.6MP CMOS sensor (the same size as that found in the majority of DSLRs), which in turn requires the unique NX-mount type lens fitting. An 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (27-83mm equivalent approx) is the standard kit lens, but a prime 30mm f/2.0 and 50-200mm f/4-5.6 are already available to market with a further five more promised for the near future; three due this year. A K-mount adaptor to facilitate use of Samsung GX or Pentax K-mount lenses will also be available, albeit without autofocus capabilities.
Image Stabilisation isn’t based inside the Samsung NX10’s body, though a number
of lenses feature lens-based stabilisation. The 18-55mm kit lens and
50-200mm tele zoom lenses have this option, though the 30mm prime
Drive mode allows shooting of up to three frames per second, which is around the same as competitor models, though with such large file sizes this is limited to a quoted maximum of 10 JPEG or three Raw files before the buffer fills and ceases to allow further shooting.
The usual PSAM controls permit full manual use, plus Smart Auto, HD 720p Movie using H.264 compression, and a variety of scene modes also feature. ISO sensitivity runs through from ISO100-3200, plus in-camera Picture Wizard mode also provides customisable colour options and black and white capture among other presets.
There’s also Smart Range dynamic range optimisation for shadow and highlight exposure and user-definable exposure compensation to +/- 3EV. To compliment the pop-up flash, a standard hotshoe fitting for flashguns or further accessories also features.