The 10.1-megapixel Samsung GX-10 digital SLR was developed in partnership with Pentax and helps to redefine what consumers can expect for their money at this price point.
The Samsung GX-10 features a 10.2MP CCD sensor that is capable of delivering images measuring 3872×2592 pixels, to give an oversized A4 print size of 33 x 22cm (13 x 8.6in) at 300ppi, with only a slight drop in resolution achieving an A3 output.
Optical Picture Stabilisation
Another welcome inclusion is a CCD-based stabilisation system. This means that compatible Pentax KAF lenses gain Optical Picture Stabilisation (OPS) to counter the effects of camera shake. As an additional benefit they are also triggered on startup to remove dust for blemish-free images.
The GX-10 offers a wide range of shooting modes, starting with a fully automatic ‘green’ mode, through the now-standard PASM quartet to manual for complete control over the aperture and shutter speed (from 30-1/4000sec, plus Bulb). The GX10 is also honoured by two new exposure modes – TAv and S – on the mode dial. The first – TAv – is shutter (time) and aperture priority, where the photographer chooses a preferred shutter speed and aperture pairing and the camera attempts to deliver this combination by automatically setting an ISO sensitivity to suit from its ISO 100-1600 range. Alternatively, in Sv (sensitivity value) mode you choose a working ISO and the camera chooses the aperture and shutter speed. This may sound very much like using the Program mode (and in reality the two are very similar) but you can set the ‘Program line’ in the custom functions to high speed, depth of field, MTF priority or ‘normal’, whereas Sv simply gives you what the camera decides on. This does rather raise the question ‘why’?
Regardless of the shooting mode the GX-10 employs 16-segment multi-area metering, with centre-weighted and spot patterns options to help determine the exposure, with a similarly wide range of white balance settings covering everything from automatic to manual with eight presets and three custom settings that allow a precise Kelvin or Mired-based colour temperature to be set. With the exception of the auto WB you can further fine-tune the colour bias for absolute precision.
AF and Continuous Shooting
The GX-10 uses an 11-point AF system that is almost certainly underpinned by Pentax’s Safox VIII AF system. As with all modern DSLRs there’s the usual choice of leaving the decision over the point of focus to the camera or manually intervening and selecting a single AF point yourself. There’s also the compulsory single shot and continuous AF options, with a continuous drive mode delivering up to nine Raw frames in a burst, or up to the capacity of your memory card if you record JPEGs – assuming your card can match the speed of the camera, that is.
For flash users things are a little less rosy, with the built-in flash delivering a weaker-than-most output with its guide number of 11 (GN11m@ISO100) and the 1/180sec sync speed failing to set hearts racing. There is a hotshoe when you need more flash power, but one of the more disappointing facts is that neither model has a PC sync socket for plugging in studio flash units. It may sound like we’re asking a lot seeing as no camera at this price point has one, but given the otherwise ‘pro’ spec of the camera it seems like an obvious way of making this particular model appeal to studio photographers, especially in the portrait environment.