[Review] Samsung NX10 by spidey89


spidey89

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Jun 6, 2007
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#1
Introduction:
The NX10 is one of the smaller mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras in the market with a larger (than m4/3) APS-C sized sensor

It has been on the market in Singapore for several months already with relatively little fanfare and public feedback amongst the photo community here. We therefore had Samsung Singapore kindly loan us a set for a field test and have a look for ourselves the reportedly good colors coming out of the camera.

IQ aside, we also wanted to see:
a. how simple/difficult it was to operate without the help of a user manual
b. its build quality
c. how this little sized outfit felt when being handled
d. if it packed a punch within its smallish profile
e. where its place/segment/niche was in the overall pecking order of the camera world

The Samsung NX10 review set came with 3 lenses .....
• a 30mm F2
• a 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS
• a 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED OIS
• an Adaptor for Pentax K mount lenses to be announced

FIRST FEEDBACK : for a camera body + 3 lenses covering a wide focal range from 27mm equiv through 300mm equivalent THIS IS ONE SUPERBLY SMALL AND WONDERFULLY PORTABLE PACKAGE making for all-day ache/pain-free walkabout shooting


Specifications:

Sensor crop factor is 1.5 times
Sensor • APS-C type CMOS (23.4 x 15.6mm)
• 15.1 million total pixels
• 14.6 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array

Dust removal Super sonic drive

Image sizes
3:2 aspect ratio
• 14M (4592x3056)
• 10M (3872x2592)
• 6M (3008x2000)
• 2M (1920x1280)
• 1.4M (1472x976)

and a 16:9 aspect ratio
• 12M (4592x2584)
• 8M (3872x2176)
• 5M (3008x1688)
• 2M (1920x1080)

File formats
• RAW (sRW)
• RAW + JPEG (Normal, Fine or Super Fine)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2) (Normal, Fine or Super Fine)

Movie mode
• MP4 (H.264)
• Mono sound (AAC)
• 1280 x 720, 640 x 480, 320 x 340 pixels
• at 30 fps

Focus modes
• Contrast-detect Auto Focus
• Manual focus
• Face Detection (max 10 faces)
• 1 Point AF (free selection)
• 15-Area-Focusing (normal) / 35-area-focusing (close up)
• Single or Continuous AF
(Yes there is a dedicated AF assist lamp)

Image stabilization - in-lens (Depends on lens, 30mm doesn't have O.I.S)

Exposure modes
• Program AE
• Aperture priority AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Manual
• Smart Auto
• Night
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Scene
• Movie

Scene modes
• Beauty shot (this should be fun !)
• Children
• Close Up
• Text
• Sunset
• Dawn
• Back light
• Fireworks
• Beach & Snow

ISO Sensitivity
• Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200

Metering 247-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Metering range 0 to 18 EV (based on ISO100·30mm F2.0)

Metering modes
• Multiple-Weighted
• Center-Weighted
• Spot
• AEL/AFL button and AE Bracketing (3 frames) up to +/- 3.0 EV , with 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV steps

Exposure steps 1/3 or 0.5 EV

Exposure compensation
• -3.0 to +3.0 EV
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps

Shutter and shutter speeds
• Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
• 30 -1/4000 sec
• Bulb (up to 8 mins)
• Flash X-sync 1/180 sec

White balance modes
• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent W
• Fluorescent N
• Fluorescent D
• Tungsten
• Flash
• Custom
• Kelvin
note: WB fine tuning is available (7 steps each of blue/amber bias, magenta/green bias)
note: WB Bracketing also available ... 3 shots, +/-1 to +/-3 in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis

Color space
• sRGB
• Adobe RGB

Image parameters
• Picture Wizard presets
• Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm, Classic, Custom (1-3)
• Contrast
• Sharpness
• Saturation
• Color tone
• Noise reduction
• Picture Wizard Bracketing available (selectable 3 modes)

Drive modes
• Single shot and Continuous (3 fps)
• Burst mode (30fps, 30 shots with a single press of the shutter, 1.4 MP)

Continuous buffer
• 3 RAW images
• 10 JPEG images

Self-timer
• 2-30 secs (1 sec increments..... this 1sec increment feature is unique and not seen in other cameras)
Remote release SR9NX01 (wired) is optional

Flash
• Auto pop-up
• TTL auto / manual
• Guide no. 11 (ISO 100, m)
• Angle of coverage: about 28mm equiv.
• Modes: Smart Flash, Auto, Fill-in, Off, Red-eye reduction (Auto or Fill-in), Slow syncro
• 1st /2nd curtain sync available
• Flash power: Up to +/- 2EV in 0.5 EV steps ...Flash X-sync speed 1/180 sec

External flash
• Hot shoe
• TTL Auto with Samsung flash (SEF42A, SEF20A)

Viewfinder
• Built-in Electronic Viewfinder
• VGA (640 x 480), 921k dots
• Coverage approx 100%
• Magnification approx 0.86x
• Eye point approx 20.2mm
• Diopter adjustment yes available

DOF preview Yes

Orientation sensor Yes

LCD Display
• 3.0" Active Matrix OLED screen
• 4:3 aspect ratio
• Wide viewing angle
• 614,000 dots
• PenTile RGB array
• Approx 100% frame coverage

Playback functions
• Single
• Magnify
• Index (3,9 or 20 frames)
• Highlight warning available
• Slide show available
• Red eye fix
• Back light comp.
• Photo Style Selector (Soft, Vivid, Forest, Autumn, Misty, Gloomy, Classic)
• Resize
• Rotate
• Face Retouch

Connectivity
• USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• Video Out (NTSC / PAL)
• Wired remote control (optional)
• HDMI ((1080i, 720P, 576P / 480P)
• AC power input (optional)

Print compliance
• PictBridge
• DPOF

Storage SD / SDHC cards

Battery
• BP1310 1300 mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Supplied charger (BC1310)
• AC Adaptor (optional) AD9NX01

Size 123×87×39.8mm
Weight (camera body only) Approx. 353 g
Weight with 30mm lens, card and battery Approx. 500g
 

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spidey89

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Jun 6, 2007
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#2
Images of the Camera

The camera and its lenses


Out of the box


The Samsung NX10 (with the flash up)


Side by side comparison with the Olympus E-P1


Top comparison
 

spidey89

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Jun 6, 2007
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#4
Some images to show what this camera is capable of, all images are OOC jpegs

Sunset from my home


Mother's office cat


Mimosa


Cat suspicion


Skeleton
 

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spidey89

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Jun 6, 2007
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#6
Images from here are PP from RAW files

Aspiring photographer


Mini kite on balloon hat


Fly kite bagus? Swee la!


No comments on this,hahahha


Flying squid!
 

spidey89

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Jun 6, 2007
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#7
The NX10 was announced in Jan 2010 and started hitting stores around May/June 2010.

I’ve been shooting with the NX10 provided by Samsung Singapore and its 3 lenses for about a month now.

Being an active M4/3 user (my current camera being a E-P1), I noticed that the buttons are positioned differently from my Oly’s.

Ergonomics - Not too bad, I was initially worried because the body looks …just small. My worries evaporated once it was in my hands ….. and I have big hands…… it sits very nicely. With smaller ‘normal’ hands, this cam should fit most of us like hand in glove,

The NX10 is very comfortable to hold.

Especially happy to note that the protruding grip of the NX10 is not protruding and makes for very comfortable camera-in-hand holding . Come to think of it, the handgrip of the NX10 is actually similar to that of the iconic Oly E-620

For people with huge palms your pinky finger could well end up doing little except hold a dainty tea-cup pose LOL !

Female enthusiasts will find the NX10 well suited to them

Needless to say, even with the zoom attached, weight was never an issue

Given its lightweight, the NX10 body feels solid and well built, being made of metal and plastic. It does not feel toyish

User Interface – the Like all major DSLRs and EVILs, the right hand side dial houses the A,S,M,P modes next to a dial that allows quick changing of settings.

Threre are no major surprises on buttons with dedicated buttons for the following functions:

a. Exposure Lock
b. Display mode
c. +/- compensation button
d. Custom Function (Fn) button
e. Playback button
f. Delete button
g. Menu
h. Metering Mode
i. AF/MF focus selection
j. ISO selection
k. White Balance type selection
l. A center OK button (like everyone else)

Just a curious and happy note: top left side of the NX10 was bare except for one flash button and an area where the mic is located

EVF – Big happy surprise. The EVF is bright in indoor situations. During daytime it seems to compensate and was a touch dark. The evf resolution could be improved to help in focusing. The resolution of the evf is 921k dots and OK for composition.

A sensor is in place to switch between LCD or EVF mode when an eye is detected near the diopter. Users will find this useful and not needing to manually switch between evf and LCD view modes

Diopter - Samsung went with a smooth infinity setting dial. I was hoping for incremental stops so that it will stay in place

Strangely located Zoom in/out Buttons – When reviewing images, we’ll usually use the zoom in/out buttons to see little areas of an image. On the NX10 , they are located on the top of the camera (right side) just a touch higher than Canon’s dslr equivalent

Well, no easy feat trying to decide where best to place all these buttons on such a compact mirrorless body

LCD screen - The 3" LCD screen is bright and good enough to focus with. Results all came out OK after taking the picture. The AF is trustworthy.

At extreme angles , I can still see the image on the screen,

A flip screen like the one Samsung fitted onto its smaller but no less deadly EX-1 would be a huge advantage for shooting awkward angles as well as to adjust its position for better playback viewing.

That Auto Focus Box- . I like the way the auto focus box can be increased in side or decreased.

Focussing speed can be improved by by changing the size of the AF box which is a huge plus point. The only other camera I heard can do so would be the PEN E-PL1, but my E-P1 and the E-P2 cannot do so.

The focus point can be as big as the ones we use on compact cameras, to as small as the ones on DSLRs.

The AF points can also be set almost anywhere.

One slight drawback is that it not fast to set. But again, this camera is designed for consumers and not working professionals , so it isn't too big a problem.

Manual focus, user needs to practice - One wishlist item for the NX10’s manual focus is a wish for the user to select their own point on the LCD / EVF where one can choose which part of the image to magnify when in focus assist mode. In situations like still life, when I don't want to change the tripod position, it will be useful…. Might be available but I can't seem to find it.

Smart Auto - Works well. It recognizes different scenes in most situations pretty well. However, when shooting a subject really up close, it seems in a quandary trying to to decide whether to choose macro mode or fast shutter since my hands were shaking. Well, not a huge issue since macro means slower, more meticulous work up close.

Smart Auto also has a neat feature where it auto focuses automatically while composing without having to half press the shutter button.

Anti dust - Seems to be working though it is slow (about a sec and a half) when turning the camera on. Turning off the sensor cleaning improved the speed in powering up the camera.

Others - The power life should be close to 300 shots per charge. I shot about 200 plus in a few days, before the battery logo is empty but still has power. Not too bad.

It also charges quite quickly in about 2 hours plus

Also during capture, for example, a long exposure shot, on the screen, it shows "Wait, Capturing" or something like that, I can't remember what it is exactly. That is pretty neat so you'll know your camera is still working..

The built in flash isn't too bad for fill in work. A difussing attachment would enhance its spread well.

The IS does work. Currently, only the 18-55 and the 50-200 has IS..


Overall Likes
· Big, bright and sharp3” LCD screen
· Built in EVF
· Size of AF points adjustable
· Body built
· Buttons well laid out
· Size (not too big nor too small)
· Grip is comfortable despite flat look
· Focusing points size can change
· Display during long exposure
· AF assist light
· In smart auto, auto focus happens without half pressing the shutter button which is useful when concentrating on composition
· Anti dust activating while being turned on - can be switched on or off


Can be improved
· Not really a complaint but User Interface is slightly different from Japanese cameras
· Resolution of both screen and EVF
· Colour accuracy on screen at extreme angles
· Sliding Diopter should be replaced with an indented Diopter
· Buttons are well laid out but zoom in and out buttons are suggested to be on the back rather than on top
· Speed up power on and wake up when anti dust is turned on
· Video only mono sound
· The ability to choose arbitary points in the image to magnify while trying to manual focus.
 

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ed9119

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#8
wow thats an epic write-up Spidey !! :thumbsup:

At current new and 2nd hand prices that I have seen ..... this looks like a whole lot of bang for the buck :)
 

banana0ne

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Oct 29, 2008
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#11
It could only reach certain level I can say. Good for casual shooters who are not so picky about the image quality.
And what level might that be? Anyway no camera is not without faults, especially samsung is quite a new player in this arena.
 

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Zeronta

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Sep 10, 2010
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#12
Anyone knows what type of finishing is used for the Samsunbg NX10 body? I see the same type of finishing on some Nikon models too, its really nice.
 

Etna-sama

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Aug 18, 2010
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#13
After using the NX10 for a month and taking about 400-500shots in total, i must say the camera is really growing on me.

I personally like the colour saturation when shooting in JPEG mode, especially when taking images of greenery. Sharpness is also great, and details are rather good. The grip is surprisingly comfortable, even more so than using an actual DSLR, and the EVF + AMOLED screen combo really hits my spot.

But i still cannot come to terms with the sucky auto white-balance and the noise which aggressively kicks in at ISO 800 and above. I know the white-balance is a firmware issue, but i just cannot be assed enough to actually download and install the update (partly out of fear for bricking the camera).

The noise issues at ISO 800 and above is still rather disappointing. In fact, at ISO 800, my PnS actually appears to have lesser noise than the NX10. But then again, overexposing the shot and then using GIMP to tone down the colours almost always seems to work wonders in producing great images sans the noise.
 

ed9119

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#14
Anyone knows what type of finishing is used for the Samsunbg NX10 body? I see the same type of finishing on some Nikon models too, its really nice.
from handling it, feels like mostly metal with a sturdy poly-whatever material topside .... it is not featherweight for sure..... there's a firm solid feel to the body..... NO plasticky feel
 

kentwong81

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2010
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#15
The handling and surface material of NX10 are definitely better than Panasonic G1, G2 and GH1. Those Pana are more like plastic toys. Maybe because they are made in China??
 

ed9119

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#16
....whats with this 'Made in China' syndrome bro?

I am brand neutral and have no allegience .... LOL !.
The Panny G's are NOT built like a tank nor weight like a brick but they are sturdy and well built

I am testing out a G10 currently and have recently just finished 3+ weeks putting the G2 through its paces ..... and in between had a little bit of playtime with the NX10
 

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banana0ne

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Oct 29, 2008
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#17
it's not actually the fault of being "CHINA" made, it's a material selection that matter here. that said whether it came from China, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines or Japan if the the designer approves the kind of feel to it, that will be employed to the body.

the body itself is actually a different kind of plastic which is very dense and hard. the finish for my understanding painted to achieve a non-slip feel to it. actually i can feel the same with my k-7 which is a magnesium body.

Pity... given it's merits, the only major flaw I can see to this camera is the sensor itself. but use it with good light it's a good performer. :)

oh BTW, raw file is 20MB plus. you'll need a pretty decent amount of memory space. :)
 

cosycatus

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2004
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#18
i kinda like this camera. Molested it as well as the A33 from Sony since these 2 are on my radar.
The A33, what can i say. It's strangely huge for a mirrorless camera! It felt kinda hollow ( light) and the kit lens is a huge monster. I might as well go with a canon 450D rather than this cam ( at least that's cheap). But tat aside, foucs is fast, the flip out screen is fantastic for waist level shots..but no, i've enuff of large DSLRs. If i carry this, i might as well go for a old 40D. I want a small DSLR.

The NX10. It's small. I love it's size ( about EPL1, but EPL1 is out since i had it and found it really dumb to need an EXTERNAL EVF that makes it so unwieldy) and the EVF is nice. The AF is no where near the A33 but it's no slouch. I molested the one with the kit lens and found it ok, though i really prefer it with the 20-50 mm kit lens mounted on a NX100 body.

Now the deal breaker...can anyone post some ISO 1600 shots at various light conditions for me to see?
 

#19
After using the NX10 for a month and taking about 400-500shots in total, i must say the camera is really growing on me.

But i still cannot come to terms with the sucky auto white-balance and the noise which aggressively kicks in at ISO 800 and above. I know the white-balance is a firmware issue, but i just cannot be assed enough to actually download and install the update (partly out of fear for bricking the camera).

The noise issues at ISO 800 and above is still rather disappointing. In fact, at ISO 800, my PnS actually appears to have lesser noise than the NX10. But then again, overexposing the shot and then using GIMP to tone down the colours almost always seems to work wonders in producing great images sans the noise.
The firmware update process is very smooth and not scary in any way. I recommend you do it. It will make slight improvements to camera performance as well.

I agree that noise reduction through the jpeg engine is not very good. I highly recommend you shoot RAW and post process. It's a nuisance, but the results will brighten your life for sure. Have a look at the two photos I posted above. Both are shot with ISO800 and I think they've cleaned up well.
 

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