Review: Samsung NX11


sebastiansong

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#1
Background
The NX11 is Samsung's update of the NX10 for its mirrorless interchangeable cameras lineup. Samsung was most generous to loan Clubsnap a NX11 with its 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 OIS iFN lens.
To get started, I shall highlight some key specifications of the NX11.

Image Sensor

  • APS-C CMOS Image sensor
  • Approx. 14.6 Mega-pixels Effective
  • Approx. 15.1 Mega-pixels Total
Focusing

  • Contrast AF
  • Single AF, Continuous AF, MF
Flash

  • TTL Auto Pop-up flash
  • Samsung External Flash available (SEF42A, SEF20A, SEF15A: Optional)
Storage

  • SD, SDHC(Up to 32GB)
  • File Format: RAW (SRW), JPEG (EXIF 2.21), DCF, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0
  • Image Size:
    14M : RAW 34
    14M (3:2) : Super Fine 141, Fine 282, Normal 423
    10M (3:2) : Super Fine 195, Fine 391, Normal 587
    6M (3:2) : Super Fine 320, Fine 640, Normal 961
    2M (3:2) : Super Fine 732, Fine 1465, Normal 2198
    Burst (1.4M) : Super Fine 1161, Fine 2322, Normal 3484
    12M (16:9) : Super Fine 166, Fine 332, Normal 499
    8M (16:9) : Super Fine 232, Fine 464, Normal 696
    5M (16:9) : Super Fine 376, Fine 752, Normal 1129
    2M (16:9) : Super Fine 850, Fine 1703, Normal 2550
    9M (1:1) : Super Fine 210, Fine 420, Normal 630
    6.7M (1:1) : Super Fine 288, Fine 576, Normal 864
    4M (1:1) : Super Fine 470, Fine 940, Normal 1411
    1.6M (1:1) : Super Fine 1041, Fine 2083, Normal 3121
    Movie : 1280x720 : High Quality 15min., Normal 22min.
    640x480 : High Quality 44min., Normal 66min.
    320x240 : High Quality 145min., Normal 210min.
    *These figures are measured under the Samsung standard
Physical Specification

  • Dimensions(WxHxD): 123 × 87 × 39.8mm (excluding the projecting parts of the camera)
  • Weight: 353g(without battery and memory card)
  • Operating Temperature: 0 ~ 40 °C
  • Operating Humidity: 5 ~ 85%
Lens


  • Samsung NX Mount
  • Usable Lens: Samsung Lenses for Samsung NX Mount
Shutter


  • Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
  • Auto: 1/4000sec ~ 30sec.
    Manual: 1/4000sec ~ 30sec(1/3EV step)
    Bulb(Limit time: 8min)
White Balance


  • Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent (W, N, D), Tungsten, Flash, Custom, K(Manual)
Image Play


  • Image Play: Single image, Thumbnails (3/9/20 images), Slide show, Movie
  • Image Editing: Red eye fix, Back light comp., Photo Style Selector, Resize, Rotate, Face Retouch, Smart Filter
Software


  • Intelli-studio 3.0
    Samsung RAW Converter 4
    Adobe Reader


Viewfinder


  • EVF
  • Approx. 100% Field of View
  • 3.0" AMOLED Monitor
Exposure Control


  • TTL 247(19x13) Block segment
    Metering : Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
    Metering range : EV 0 - 18 (ISO100‧30mm F2.0)
  • Compensation: ±3 EV (1/2EV, 1/3EV step)
  • AEL button
  • ISO Equivalent: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (1EV or 1/3EV step)
    * Auto ISO upper level is selectable. (Up to ISO 1600)
Shooting


  • Still Image: Smart Auto, Lens Priority, Program, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE, Manual, Sound Picture, Panorama, Scene, Movie
  • Picture Wizard: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm, Classic, Custom (1-3)
  • Scene Mode: Beauty shot, Children, Close Up, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Night, Portrait, Landscape, Sports
  • Sound Picture: JPEG Only
    Sound Recording Time (Before and after shooting each 5 or 10sec.)
  • Image Size:
    JPEG (3:2) : 14M (4592x3056), 10M (3872x2592), 6M (3008x2000), 2M (1920x1280), 1.4M (1472x976): Burst mode only
    JPEG (16:9): 12M (4592x2584), 8M (3872x2176), 5M (3008x1688), 2M (1920x1080)
    JPEG (1:1) : 9M (3056x3056), 6.7M (2592x2592), 4M (2000x2000), 1.6M (1280x1280)
    RAW: 14M (4592x3056)
  • Super fine , Fine, Normal Quality
Power Source


  • Rechargeable battery : BP1310(1300mAh)
    Charger: BC1310
    AC Adaptor : AD9NX01(Optional)
  • Battery life: Approx. 200min/400shots(CIPA Standard)
OS


  • Windows System Requirements for Samsung Raw Converter:
    Windows XP/Vista/7
    Intel Pentium, AMD Athlon Processor(Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon XP or later recommended)
    1GB or more RAM recommended
    Minimum 100MB of available hard disk space
    1,024 x 768 pixels, Full Color(24-bit or higher) color display compatible
  • MAC System Requirements for Samsung Raw Converter:
    Mac OS X v10.6/v10.5/v10.4
    Power PC/Intel Processor-based or compatible computer(Core 2 Quad or later recommended)
    1GB or more RAM recommended
    Minimum 100MB of available hard disk space
    1,024 x 768 pixels, 24-bit color display compatible monitor




Image sensor: CMOS 23.4 X 15.6 mm (14.6 effective megapixel)
Viewfinder: Approximately 100% EVF with VGA resolution (640 X 480, 921k dots)
ISO: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (with 1 EV or 1/3 EV step options)
Display: 3.0" AMOLED Display
Shutter: 1/4000 sec - 30 sec

First Impressions
When I was handed the camera, I was amazed by its compactness. Despite its sleek look, it is extremely well balanced and a delight to hold. Kudos to the Samsung's design team for designing a compact DSLR that is "just the right size." The NX11's remodelled grip allows the thumb to rest on the mode dial while the index finger is able to switch between the shutter and jog dial comfortably.



The next surprise is the amazing 3" AMOLED or Active-Matrix Organic light-emitting diode screen. We have experienced or heard about LEDs being overwhelmed by sunlight but the NX11 AMOLED screen is brighter, hence, invaluable for shooting even in the harshest noon sun. Promising lower power consumption, wider viewing angles and better contrast (a dynamic 10,000:1 contrast ratio), the world will not just look more vivd but for longer periods as well. For video enthusiasts, the NX11 is also capable of 720p HD video with H.264 compression.



For photography purists who insist on using the viewfinder, the NX11 is intuitive enough to switch between the AMOLED display to the EVF once the user brings up the camera and looks through the EVF. There is no buttons to press or dials to turn, allowing photographers to focus on composition at all times.
 

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sebastiansong

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#2
Futher impressions
According to Choonghyun Hwang, Samsung's digital imaging vice president, the new NX11 has an improved autofocusing system. As I have not used the NX10, I could not vertify this statement. However, from my user experience, the NX11 does offer fast and accurate focusing.

The NX11 offers users three image ratios, the default 3X2, 16X9 widescreen and the 6X6 square format. While photographers may protest that cropping to any format is possible in post shooting editorial workflow, nothing can substitute the actual experience of shooting in the desired format without involving framing guesswork. In addition, the NX11 offers raw format for all three of the image ratios to ensure maximum control for users. No doubt, an excellent feature in line with the multiple formats offered by the Micro Four Thirds cameras of Panasonic and Olympus.

The 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 II OIS is an excellent street photography lens. Barely tipping the scale at 198g, it features the wonderful iFunction technology accessible via the iFn button. By activating the iFn button, users can easily adjust the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, EV compensation, ISO and white balance with just a turn of the lens' value (focus) ring. The photographer can now focus on the subject while receiving real time feedback on how each setting adjustment will affect the final image. The iFunction feature has eliminated the need to toggle through menu screens or search for the appropriate buttons.



Panorama Mode
The NX11 has incorporated a dummy proof Panorama Mode. Simply press the shutter button in Panorama Mode while moving the camera in the direction you want to create horizontal (8192 X 976) and vertical (1472 X 6334) panoramic images. A progress bar on the screen will let you know when you’ve reached the maximum width. While fun and easy to use, panoramas are easily created in bright sunlight with strong contrast. This function, however, is not without shortcomings.
Firstly, while the horizontal stitching is accurate, the vertical ones might yield distortion issues (especially for architectural structures). Secondly, there is a lack of control in this mode as the camera will take control and assign the ISO, aperture and shutter speed accordingly. Thirdly, panoramas may fail due to factors like too close a subject and/or low contrast (overly bright and dark places), Lastly, I am unsure if maximum size of the final image 7.99 and 9.32 megapixel for the horizontal and vertical panoramas respectively employs the maximum processing capability of the camera. If not, Samsung is definitely limiting the potential of an otherwise wonderful image crafting tool. Perhaps a future firmware upgrade might resolve some of these issues.



 

sebastiansong

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#3
Final Words
Samsung has delivered a potential Goliath-slaying package with the NX11. Delivering excellent resolution in its compact design together, the NX11 is an excellent bridging solution for those torn between compacts and DSLRs. Newbies will be pleased with its ease of use as their skill and understanding of photography develop. Veterans will be won over by the excellent image resolution offered by its CMOS sensor and wonderful handling. The NX11 is a good camera with the new i-Function feature. In parting. I hope that Samsung would expand the sparse collection of i-Function lenses to attract more users to its mirrorless camera lineup.


Gallery
All images were camera default and straight from camera (only resized).






 

ed9119

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#6
I just took over the NX11 from admin a few days ago....

took me all of 30 mins to figure out the user interface .... its pretty simple to figure out..... haven't had the chance to even peek at the user guide yet

caught the tail end of a great sunset on sunday afternoon and i must say I was pretty stunned how the NX11 rendered the colors ...... this is what I got out of the camera no PP involved except downsizing

f5.6
1/25sec


100% crop
 

ed9119

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#7
This evening before i went home from the office
f3.5
1/180sec
iso 200



100% crop


wonder why the minimum base iso is only 200 ?
 

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ed9119

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#8
I was out in the Kelantan Lane Thieves Market this afternoon to shoot a little with the NX11..... surprised to see a good selection of vintage cameras on sale by the road side









 

ed9119

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#11
and lastly a shot of my toy skateboard (ha ha) at long end of zoom wide open ..... the dof seems tight enough to render bokeh of sorts
 

ed9119

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#12
one suggestion : build in an articulating AMOLED screen next time


....... and LOSE the EVF ...... please
 

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ed9119

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#14
Thanks bro' ! OK turned off the Smart Range and now I can go down to ISO 100

Handling the camera , I MUST say that the controls and buttons are very well laid out and easy to understand. I was worrying that the camera was too small and could accidentally trigger some controls ..... thankfully this did not happen ..... in fact it has a great landing area for your right thumb on the rear with a rubberized patch for the thumb to grip..... this is a smart practical move.

and the AMOLED screen rocks ..... for reviewing pics and seeing controls/functions on the LED screen ..... this will blow any LCD currently on any camera out of the water ..... DSLRS included
 

ed9119

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#15
I was very fortunate to be invited for dinner at Wolfgang Puck's 'Cuts' this evening.... it gave me an opportunity to do a little food blogging LOLZ ! all handheld .... all AWB (slight adjustments in Levels during PP)





starters: fish roe on avocado atop a base of yellowfin tuna sashimi


main course: NY style Kobe beef seared on the outside and rare inside .... slurp !!
 

Apr 24, 2007
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#17
great shots ed...I was thinking of getting this or the fuji x100 as a second handy camera. What's your take on this?
 

ed9119

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#18
well .... the NX11 IS an interchangeable lens system with a larger sensor than M4/3 ..... with a very sweet AMOLED screen ........ as in Korean products, theres always alot of bang for the buck

of course the X100 is more beautiful by a couple of miles
 

Apr 24, 2007
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#19
well .... the NX11 IS an interchangeable lens system with a larger sensor than M4/3 ..... with a very sweet AMOLED screen ........ as in Korean products, theres always alot of bang for the buck

of course the X100 is more beautiful by a couple of miles
Image quality wise, which do you find is better?
 

ed9119

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#20
the x100 with a single focal length prime lens is going to be tough for any kit zoom to compete against , so you have a trade off here

i believe always that good shooting techniques and a keen eye is much more important ..... now if you are into peeping pixels then the answer is obvious

but as usual, we all live in a real world and these reviews are almost always catered towards real world circumstances
 

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