The Samsung NX11 updates the original NX10 Compact System Camera of last year. Now straight from the box with i-Function lens compatibility, is this latest Samsung NX release enough to push the range forward? The What Digital Camera Samsung NX11 review finds out…
Samsung NX11 review – Performance
First and foremost is autofocus system that’s improved above and beyond other Samsung NX models. Rather than fully under- and over-focusing in order to attain final focus, Samsung’s latest algorithm can recognise the steepest rise in contrast and hone in on that area of the contrast curve instead of the full contrast range. The result? A genuine improvement that makes autofocus quicker than the NX10 was capable of. However, the main issue with the AF system is in lower light whereby, even with the presence of reasonable contrast, it can take more than one attempt for focus to be realised.
Using the NX11 has a number of other plus points too. That AMOLED screen is far superior to an LCD thanks to its fluidity and high contrast. Above this is the 920k-dot EVF that, while of a reasonable VGA resolution, may still be a dividing issue among prospective purchasers. On the plus side the EVF offers a full 100% field of view that many optical viewfinder equivalents fall short of, plus the electronic build means full visual displays. The downside is the apparent lag that’s prominent in low light and the viewfinder doesn’t feel quite as bright as an optical equivalent.
An area of improvement that Samsung has kept on the quiet is the movie mode. Thanks to the addition of continuous autofocus (CAF) that can be toggled on or off using the Depth of Field Preview button, there’s a lot more control than the NX10 offered. The CAF is very smooth to transition between one subject and another without over or under-focusing. It’s a shame there’s no full manual controls, but aperture priority does allow for live aperture adjustment, albeit at the expense of ISO sensitivity.
The addition of the new Panorama mode puts the Samsung up there alongside similar competitor models, but it’s the Lens Priority option that’s rather baffling and, we suspect, won’t be a commonly used setting. With the 18-55mm attached anything the camera was pointed at was met with an automated landscape mode on return.
Other subtle improvements have taken place such as both Mac and PC compatibility with the included Raw conversion software. The previous NX10 model was PC-only, which left many Mac users feeling cold to the original Samsung.