Samsung NX-20 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera: User Review


wonglp

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#1
Clubsnap was given a test set with 18-55III F3.5-5.6 OIS lens. Both camera and lens is of firmware 1.00. I was given the honor to do a user review on this new camera in the market, and very much obliged to do so as well. Personally had switched to the mirrorless camp almost 3 years ago from DSLR due to fair amount of traveling, and portability with excellent IQ were main reasons. For those who are not that familiar about mirrorless cameras can read up more on this article from dpreview.

The review will be based on my personal user experience. As much as possible, no PP, out of camera Jpegs will be used. If there's any post processing, it will be stated. I don't have a RAW developer at this moment. It will not be a technical review, as there are quite many being done which can be googled easily. Different genres of photography (landscape, portraits,street) will be covered as much as possible within the limits of kit lens.

Some key features of the NX20:
- DSLR-like, ergonomically designed
- 20.3MP CMOS APS-C sensor
- 3" 614K AMOLED
- Built in Wifi connectivity with apps to link to wireless hotspot/tethering to smart mobile phone directly to facebook, twitter, youtube...probably the first and a big highlight of this camera
- Integrated EVF 1.44M dots, 100% magnifcation
- iFn 2.0, quick access button on lens to selectable functions
- 8 frames per second
- 1/8000s, possibly the first for non-DSLR

First look


Untitled by wonglpnn, on Flickr

Stay tuned. Full specs will be provided next.
 

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wonglp

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#2
Full Specifications:

Sensor
Max resolution 5472 x 3648
Other resolutions 5472 x 3080, 3888 x 2592, 3712 x 2088, 3648 x 3648, 2976 x 1984, 2944 x 1656, 2736 x 1824, 2640 x 2640, 2000 x 2000, 1920 x 1080, 1728 x 1152, 1024 x 1024 ?
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 20.3 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 21.6 megapixels
Sensor size APS-C (23.5 x 15.7 mm)
Sensor type CMOS

Image
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Normal, Fine, Superfine

Optics & Focus
Autofocus
Contrast Detect (sensor)
Multi-area
Selective single-point
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
Live View
Digital zoom Yes (1.2x, 1.4, 1.7, 2.0 Intelli-Zoom)
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 15
Lens mount Samsung NX mount
Focal length multiplier 1.5×

Screen / viewfinder
Fully articulated
Screen size 3"
Screen dots 614,000
Touch screen No
Screen type Active Matrix OLED screen
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100 %
Viewfinder magnification 1.04×

Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 30 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes (Pop-up )
Flash range 11 m
External flash Yes (via Hot-shoe with optional SEF-42A, SEF220A )
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-eye, Fill-in, 1st/2nd Curtain, Smart Flash, Manual
Continuous drive Yes (8, 3 fps)
Self-timer Yes (2 sec to 30 sec)
Metering modes
Multi
Center-weighted
Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 EV (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±3 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames from +/-1 to +/-3 in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)

Videography features
Format
MPEG-4
H.264
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1920 x 810 (24 fps) 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Videography notes Multi-motion recording : x0.25 (640, 320 only), x0.5 (1280, 640, 320 only), x5, x10, x20

Storage
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC (128GB)
Storage included None
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes
Wireless BuiltIn
Remote control Yes (Optional SR2NX02)

Physical
Environmentally sealed No
Battery
Battery description Lithium-Ion BP1310 battery & charger ?
Battery Life (CIPA) 360 ?
Weight (inc. batteries) 341 g (0.75 lb / 12.03 oz)
Dimensions 122 x 90 x 40 mm (4.8 x 3.54 x 1.57")

Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
GPS Optional
GPS notes WGS84
 

wonglp

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#3
Handling, aesthetics & ergonomics.


An exterior looks comparison. Fujifilm X-pro1 & Samsung NX20 with 18-55 OIS, Olympus OMD.

Fujifilm Xpro1+Samsung NX20+Olympus EM5 by wonglpnn, on Flickr

NX20 was designed to be an ergonomically friendly, dslr-like body albeit a smaller and lighter version. This is in contrast to the Fujifilm Xpro1 & Olympus OMD EM5 as shown in picture. These are the common 3 out of 4 designs, Xpro1 adopts rangefinder-like, OMD EM5 follows the design of it's legacy OM series SLR. There's also modern design like Samsung's predecessor NX100 and of course Sony Nex with it's sleek modern looks. Being dslr-like has its advantages, mainly ergonomics. As can see the prominent grip, which makes it easier and comfortable to use for prolong periods of time, and even for longer lens, I would think it would be better unlike Xpro1 or OMD or Nex 5N type of camera. The grip is covered with some rubbery material that helps to improve the grip. Kit lens also comes with proper petal hood, which is great, bundled hood seldom seen in mirrorless cameras and can be kept in reverse. These days even great m43 lenses don't come with hood. Another good point.

The kit lens that's bundled is the 18-55 III OIS, which sports both iFn button as well as AF/MF switch. iFn gives quick access to common function (customizable to Aperture/Time depends on mode, EV, ISO, WB & iZoom) one may like to configure. There's no internal zooming in this lens so the lens extends out quite a fair bit on the tele-end. The kit lens feels a little stiff from 45-55mm range, not a big issue, it might be my copy.

iFn & AF/MF switch

Untitled by wonglpnn, on Flickr

Fully Extended

With 18-55 fully extended by wonglpnn, on Flickr
 

banana0ne

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#6
ed9119 said:
patience my bro' , WongLP is travelling with the camera this week .....
Haha, I'm sorry. I am just so excited to see how it performs. By paper, I see this as a very good upgrade from my NX10 which is already 2 years old.
 

wonglp

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#7
ed9119 said:
patience my bro' , WongLP is travelling with the camera this week .....
Thanks Eddie!

banana0ne said:
Haha, I'm sorry. I am just so excited to see how it performs. By paper, I see this as a very good upgrade from my NX10 which is already 2 years old.
Hi banana0ne, thanks for the enthusiasm shown, will be showing pictures soon. If your patience do get the better of you (which happens alot to me haha), can check out my Flickr first. Going for some shoots now, cheers!
LP
 

cichlid

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Dec 2, 2006
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#8
What a coincidence, I've just finished reading the NX20 review from the Amateur Photographer mag a few minutes ago.

Hey Wong, how is the EVF compared to your OMD, awaiting for your pictures too, thanks!
 

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wonglp

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#9
What a coincidence, I've just finished reading the NX20 review from the Amateur Photographer mag a few minutes ago.

Hey Wong, how is the EVF compared to your OMD, awaiting for your pictures too, thanks!
Hey bro! Thanks for dropping by. EVF is very good, though as with all EVF, as the light falls, so does the useability. Since most would use it with native AF lenses, it's good enough for most usage, haven't got chance with MF which will put the EVF to test. Color reproduction is slightly different from AMOLED, not a whole lot to be that concerned.
 

wonglp

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#10
Menu's & usage

There's a plethora of buttons, some customizable. It operates very much like a DSLR.
Buttons preset:
- Video Record (kinda recessed & hard to press)
- Metering (changeable to Multi, centre-weighted, or spot)
- AEL
- On the 4 way directional pad, there's quick access to Display, AF, Sequential/timer mode, and ISO.
- And a custom key at bottom right of rear (Picture wizard, WB, AF area)
- Preview button on left of lens front of body (one touch WB, optical preview, one touch Raw+)
- iFn on lens (customizable to Aperture/Time depends on mode, EV, ISO, WB & iZoom)

As can see lotsa customization. Not to mention an easy Fn button on rear of body to pull up a control panel that shows many settings as below.


DSCF5097 by wonglpnn, on Flickr
 

wonglp

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#11
Now for some pictures taken over last week.

Went to Gardens by the bay on weekday with some buddies, was right choice as it was not crowded. Shot from the bridge across ECP from MBS.

First test shot, ISO3200. Looks impressive still. Mounted on tripod. 18mm, F7.1, 1sec shot, 0EV. Straightened, crop, jpg. Vivid mode. Certainly big improvements from what I last saw of NX100.


ISO 3200, tripod. OOC jpg by wonglpnn, on Flickr


Just straightening. 55mm, F8, ISO200, 1/200s. +0.3EV


Only straightening. Samsung NX20+18-55OIS. by wonglpnn, on Flickr

Another OOC jpeg. 18mm, F8.0, ISO 200, 1/160s, +0.3EV. Vivid mode


Samsung NX20+18-55OIS. OOC jpg by wonglpnn, on Flickr

Same shot but with a little tweaking on WB, saturation, lifting shadows.


Edited by wonglpnn, on Flickr
 

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wonglp

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#12
Autofocusing Speed

During bright day light, using S-AF, the speed is fast, not the fastest among the mirrorless but fast enough. Using the High FPS mode, camera can continuously 8 frames with no lag, in fact the camera has very low shutter lag. However, once you stop, the processor will take time to process what's shot. Meaning between shots, the camera pauses. It depends on the number of frames shot, the size of file, and jpg or Raw or both. Did a 8 FPS at 20MP, superfine, had to wait close to 10s before I can take another shot. If RAW+JPEG (20MP,Superfine), it takes almost 30sec. Read on DPR earlier, there's a new firmware that fix the RAW+JPEG, I shall try to download asap and reaffirm the improvements.

At night, it's less zippy than day, and lot less consistent, turned on the AF illuminator green beam on, sometimes helps a little, but low contrast situation is tricky.
 

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wonglp

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#13
A few more from the gardens.

2 shots stitched, 3 shots blended, adjusted curves, levels, saturation, WB, contrast.


Sunrise liao. Samsung NX20+18-55OIS. 2 shots stitched. Curves, level, saturation, WB, contrast. NX20+18-55OIS by wonglpnn, on Flickr


Samsung NX20+18-55OIS. Blended, stitched, curves, levels, saturation, WB, contrast. by wonglpnn, on Flickr

OOC jpeg. 18mm, F8.0, ISO200, 1/125s, +0.3EV

Garden by the bay, Supertrees...Samsung NX20+18-55 OIS. OOC jpg by wonglpnn, on Flickr
 

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pinholecam

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#14
Autofocusing Speed

During bright day light, using S-AF, the speed is fast, not the fastest among the mirrorless but fast enough. Using the High FPS mode, camera can continuously 8 frames with no lag, in fact the camera has very low shutter lag. However, once you stop, the processor will take time to process what's shot. Meaning between shots, the camera pauses. It depends on the number of frames shot, the size of file, and jpg or Raw or both. Did a 8 FPS at 20MP, superfine, had to wait close to 10s before I can take another shot. If RAW+JPEG (20MP,Superfine), it takes almost 30sec. Read on DPR earlier, there's a new firmware that fix the RAW+JPEG, I shall try to download asap and reaffirm the improvements.

At night, it's less zippy than day, and lot less consistent, turned on the AF illuminator green beam on, sometimes helps a little, but low contrast situation is tricky.

Wong, thanks for putting time to do a review.

Can you give a rough comparative as to how the AF is in lower light (eg. lit room indoors at night or lower)? Say.... compared to OMD (which the G3 is more or less like in AF). Thanks
 

vengels

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Apr 30, 2007
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#15
Handling, aesthetics & ergonomics.


An exterior looks comparison. Fujifilm X-pro1 & Samsung NX20 with 18-55 OIS, Olympus OMD.

Fujifilm Xpro1+Samsung NX20+Olympus EM5 by wonglpnn, on Flickr
thanks bro for the review..
my friend thinking of getting this..

but i prefer your AA filter-less camera on the left!:bsmilie:
sorry OT..
 

wonglp

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#16
Wong, thanks for putting time to do a review.

Can you give a rough comparative as to how the AF is in lower light (eg. lit room indoors at night or lower)? Say.... compared to OMD (which the G3 is more or less like in AF). Thanks
Haven't put side by side with OMD as I'm traveling at the moment so don't have it now, did some test last night though using single AF Area (centre) S-AF at 55mm. It's difficult to nail focus of a lady (it's very dark outdoors, was at Bund Shanghai) from about 3-4metres away at low light, if it did focus (albeit wrong subject) takes about 1-2sec, somehow persistently will stay at that point even if I change different parts of face (to vary the contrast), and turn on AF illuminator beam same...Luckily the beam is greenish and maybe not so distracting from few meters away:bsmilie:

That said, I did try with Fuji Xpro1+35/1.4 too, it's worse, MF was only way at that situation.

I will do more test and perhaps on hindsight, I should have used face detection.

Testing in the hotel room with dim lighting actually yields much better (accuracy and speed <1s, almost as fast as day) results. So it could be that situation that I tested was really tough...

thanks bro for the review..
my friend thinking of getting this..

but i prefer your AA filter-less camera on the left!:bsmilie:
sorry OT..
Haha, thanks bro for dropping by:) Can get your friend to take a look, although I'm not pro or technical reviewer, just user review:)
 

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wonglp

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#17
One of the scene modes that I particularly like is the panoramic mode. And it has 3 modes, horizontal & vertical & 3D sweep. And you can hold the camera in landscape or portrait position on horizontal mode, really useful for landscape as shown below. The file size is in fine setting, just realized it can be set to Superfine.

OOC jpeg, 18mm, F4, ISO 200, 1/1600s, +0.3EV. As can see on landscape position, it can't capture full scene.

Horizontal Panorama in landscape position built in camera. Samsung NX20+18-55OIS. OOC jpg by wonglpnn, on Flickr

OOC jpeg, 18mm, F4, ISO 200, 1/1600s, +0.3EV. As can see on portrait position, full scene is captured.

Horizontal Panorama in portrait position built it camera function. Samsung NX20+18-55OIS. OOC jpg by wonglpnn, on Flickr
 

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Supersimon27

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#18
Nice thread bro , nx200 was one of my consideration when I am looking for a mirrorless , due to his price and features offer .

Quite a value for money camera (sometime the deal can be really good at BnS too)

but in the end I chose the x100 ... And the rest is history . Haha
 

pinholecam

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#19
Haven't put side by side with OMD as I'm traveling at the moment so don't have it now, did some test last night though using single AF Area (centre) S-AF at 55mm. It's difficult to nail focus of a lady (it's very dark outdoors, was at Bund Shanghai) from about 3-4metres away at low light, if it did focus (albeit wrong subject) takes about 1-2sec, somehow persistently will stay at that point even if I change different parts of face (to vary the contrast), and turn on AF illuminator beam same...Luckily the beam is greenish and maybe not so distracting from few meters away:bsmilie:

That said, I did try with Fuji Xpro1+35/1.4 too, it's worse, MF was only way at that situation.

I will do more test and perhaps on hindsight, I should have used face detection.

Testing in the hotel room with dim lighting actually yields much better (accuracy and speed <1s, almost as fast as day) results. So it could be that situation that I tested was really tough...

Thanks for the info.
I guess it falls into the good enough, but not near m4/3 (circa 2011-2012) AF speed category then. :)

The APS-C, MP, size and lenses is attractive, but then it will have to be m4/3 or this.....
 

wonglp

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#20
Nice thread bro , nx200 was one of my consideration when I am looking for a mirrorless , due to his price and features offer .

Quite a value for money camera (sometime the deal can be really good at BnS too)

but in the end I chose the x100 ... And the rest is history . Haha
Thanks bro! It's really value for $, especially with the integrated wifi and apps, it's really thinning the line between camera and smart device, instead of fighting on the usual features. Kudos to Samsung for innovation. You should have a 2nd look at this again since x100 is still not interchangeable:)

Thanks for the info.
I guess it falls into the good enough, but not near m4/3 (circa 2011-2012) AF speed category then. :)

The APS-C, MP, size and lenses is attractive, but then it will have to be m4/3 or this.....
Agreed, well summarized:) So it still depends on individual. As a system, the lens range seems pretty good too, and lens roadmap is very interesting too. 12-24 & 55/1.8 interest me alot. The mirrorless scene had matured a lot just this past year.
 

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