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...
Unlike the Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds efforts which – at least for many models such as the PEN and Lumix GF1 respectively – focus on small, compact-like designs, Samsung’s NX10 is very DSLR-like in finish.
Actually, with its in-built viewfinder and body styling, it feels like this could well be Samsung’s replacement for the GX-series DSLR. Although the company has only confirmed that all current efforts are with the NX-series, thus not ruling out future DSLR developments, it really is all systems go on the mirrorless front.
With the size scaled down, yet with the DSLR-stylings kept so firmly in design, the NX10 can feel a bit small in the hand. The lack of an extended grip down the right side isn’t necessarily comfortable for long periods of use, despite the decent finish of the camera body.
The lenses themselves are also sizeable, almost disproportionate to the body size, and don’t therefore lend to keeping the system small overall.
From a personal point of view the compact-like size of competitors’ models, such as the Panasonic GF1, was a breakthrough in what the mirrorless format offered – whether that will be a future phase for the NX-series remains to be seen.
The button layout is uncomplicated, though a number of function and quick-access buttons do also feature for rapid drive mode, Picture Wizard, exposure compensation AEL lock, and user-assignable Function (Fn) control. The usual d-pad feature on the back controls much of the action, though in menus a circular, wheel-like design will require using the top thumbwheel to adjust a number of options. Occasionally it was easy to flick past an option prior to having set it, though enough use quickly fixes the button combinations into mind.
The in-depth menu also arranges itself into single pages; despite the seven of these, they are sensibly grouped and represented by small icons to signify their category. For example the three ‘camera’ icons indicate changing photo-related options such as JPEG quality, whereas the ‘cog’ icons indicate camera-related options such as date & time or shutter sounds. Not having to dig through menus to find an option is definitely a positive, even if the controls do feel slightly haphazard on occasion.