Samsung NX10 | TechRadar
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Samsung's menu system is pretty straightforward, much better than we've seen in other Samsung cameras. Though everything about the Record interface and Function menu is a little different from other cameras I've used, I still feel right at home. The interface is obvious and easy to navigate. The Menu is very much like Canon's latest SLR interface, one that's evolved quite a bit over the last 10 years, so that's no trouble at all to use or learn.
What the NX10 and its other mirrorless cousins lack is an easy way to follow action. While trying to track my son running around a water fountain park, I was frustrated not only by his weaving in and out of other park patrons, but by the NX10's inability to help me keep the telephoto lens trained on him as he traversed the grounds.
An SLR's optical viewfinder shows you what's happening each time the mirror goes down, but the mirrorless camera is busy showing you what it captured, so you don't get a view that helps you track a subject and frame the next shot. In the Samsung NX10's burst mode, you can crank off up to 30 images per second, but they're only 1.
That would make tracking better, but I prefer the higher-resolution image. This video shows what p video looks like, but also illustrates the dramatic Jello-effect that is present even as you compose images.
Click to download One aspect that bothers me while using the Samsung NX10 is the "Jello-effect" that appears onscreen when composing images. It doesn't just affect videos, but the actual live view from the sensor. Rapid shaky movements create a very wobbly appearance onscreen, with straight lines appearing not just angled, but wavy. This is mostly noticeable as I fine-tune a composition, because I'm paying careful attention to the screen and making very minor adjustments.
I have never seen a camera behave like this, not a digicam, and not an SLR. It's more noticeable, too, when there are vertical lines in an image, but even faces can appear distorted, as if you're looking through waves of water passing over glass. When shooting in a large, well-lit stadium, I found the EVF to be particularly difficult to use. First, the eyepoint is rather low, meaning it's hard to get my eye in there with glasses so I can see the whole frame.
You can however turn up the brightness of both displays but not independently. This feature is not selectable. Verifying focus was difficult despite the wide aperture.
Auto white balance also rendered people either yellow or greenish depending on their skin tone. I also found it difficult to discern focus when shooting up into a crowd of people, a situation where the difference is usually pretty obvious. Though the Samsung NX10's autofocus was usually right about which subject it picked, I'm used to getting a much clearer picture through an SLR viewfinder with a long lens.
As I mentioned, text pops, but colors and subtle detail from the sensor has a very soft edge to it, especially when you're trying to discern between slightly soft and sharp detail.
I'm really glad Samsung included a Depth-of-field preview button in a fairly standard location the front, lower right of the lens mount. It's not something I use often, but is handy to have when I need it. Note that just like SLRs with an optical viewfinder and ground glass focusing screen, darker areas of the image will blacken at smaller apertures, obscuring the level of blur and sharpness you're trying to observe.
Here's a better example of the poor auto white balance indoors. As was the case on older Pentax models, the major problem I had with images was inconsistent Auto White Balance performance. Shooting in the stadium, I came out with some good, some quite yellow shots, while all my daylight shots were spot on.
Pentax cameras were originally designed to make incandescent light look like it would look if you brought daylight-balanced film into an indoor scene.
Some of that may have survived here, though I think the stadium shots might have been thrown off by the vibrant orange color of the chairs.
I've tried to recover the shot by re-balancing each of the colors RGBbut what I get always looks unnatural. I suggest shooting in RAW if you're having trouble getting the camera to balance, so you can tweak white balance later, or else manually pick a white balance setting. On balance, I found my time with the Samsung NX10 satisfying.Samsung NX10 Review
It was comfortable to use, has a good complement of lenses, is easy to bring along, focuses quickly enough, and is easy to adjust. But there's nothing, apart what I've mentioned, that marred my own shots with the camera, so consider that as well. All the NX10 shots below were taken with the 30mm prime lens, the sharpest lens currently available for the new NX platform, while the other cameras used the best lens we could find for the camera in question.
First is my usual series of ISO 1, shots, which is a point at which a camera truly proves its mettle. There's chroma noise in the shadows in the NX10 shot, and almost none in the K7's image. The Mosaic image also looks different, with the K7 looking preferable. Hard to say which is better in the red leaf shot.
The NX10 leaves more noise in the shot, while the K7 tries to eliminate it. The poor rendering of both are quite common, though. The shape of the oil bottle in the top shot seems more real, but the E-P1's rendering of the Mas Portel label top is affected by edge enhancement, though. The E-P1 also does a little better with the red leaf fabric.
Samsung NX10 Review: Digital Photography Review
Still, they're pretty close. I'm bothered by the odd green color cast I see in the border around the black mosaic image, which is not correct. It's likely due to how most Panasonic sensors handle yellows and oranges, making them green or brown. The G2 also really stomps on color saturation to fight chroma noise, while the NX10 does less to kill chroma noise and ends up with brighter color. The red swatch is almost a wash here, again hard to judge thanks to the difference in exposure. The NX10's shadow noise shows up dramatically next to the extremely clean gray background from the T1i.
In the mosaic image, the Samsung NX10's rendering is flat, but sharper than the Canon image. It's not clear if the Canon image is slightly out of focus or if it's the same noise suppression that creates the smooth gray background at work softening the fine detail of the mosaic pattern.
Finally, in the leaf pattern, the T1i does a better, if impressionistic rendering of the leaves in the fabric, but drops the detail that the Samsung captures in the pinkish-purple fabric beneath.
It looks better in all three crops, albeit a little smaller. Though there's still some chroma noise in the shadows from the Nikon, it's accompanied by less luminance noise and looks appropriately gray rather than gold. The mosaic image is more true to color and appearance, and the red swatch gives you a better idea of what this leaf fabric looks like though it's still softer than it could be. Lower resolutions are more likely to give you lower noise at the same sensor size, so it's not a surprise.
Face detection and self-portrait AF modes are also options. The single zone AF function allows you to move that zone around to the relevant part of the frame. The sensor allows you to shoot at the 14Mp resolution with its image ratio of 3: The 3in monitor provides bright images. You can see the exposed sensor. The 3in monitor will be the most popular method of composition for many people and this does provide an impressively bright image, but there is an electronic viewfinder EVF too.
Put your eye to the viewfinder eyepiece and the image switches automatically from the monitor to the EVF and vice-versa. The EVF image is more than acceptable. The image is clear, sharp and free of obvious lines that used to beset earlier EVF systems. There's no refresh lag as you pan from side to side either, so it's a perfectly usable system. For this review, we were supplied with three lenses: The NX10 is being marketed in packages featuring one, two or three lenses.
No doubt in time we will see more optics from Samsung, as well as from other brands.
Samsung NX10 Digital Camera Review
The NX10 is bigger and heavier than the Olympus Pen E-P2, but it also feels more robust and it does have a viewfinder. Build and handling Everything about the Samsung NX10 feels positive and confident. The controls are firm and click securely into position.
There's no sloppiness here and little chance of accidentally moving important controls such as the exposure mode. In terms of feel, the body is reassuringly robust. The handgrip is a good size to give someone like me with average-sized hands a secure grip while there is no 'give' in the body. To be honest, it feels more solid than it looks and I like that.
Samsung NX10 Review
It's small enough to illustrate the benefits of booting out the reflex mirror and pentaprism but not so small that it is a fiddle to use. I'm going to show my vintage here and say that the differences reminds me back in the 70s when the then radical Olympus OM1 came out. Every SLR at the time was big, and heavy then along came the OM1 and the photographic world changed forever and for the better.
Users progressing from a compact, however, may be more perplexed by the controls and menu items. There's an opportunity for Samsung to make a simpler version or to make the NX20 or whatever the next one will be called more user-friendly. And they have the advantage of being second-generation products, with the enhanced level of refinement that this tends to bring. The NX10's closest competitor is the Panasonic G2 - both are 'SLR style' models with built-in viewfinders and proper external controls.
Despite a slightly longer flange-back distance Samsung NX10 Key Features And as one of the newer players in the camera market and crucially one of those without the burden or blessing, depending on your point of view of a legacy 35mm system to support, it's hardly surprising that Samsung is one of the pioneers of this new hybrid camera category. Despite doing pretty well at grabbing a decent share of the compact camera market mainly, it must be said, by undercutting its Japanese competitors Samsung has struggled to gain any traction from its partnership with Pentax, which has seen it co-developing sensors including the one inside the NX10 and slapping its logo on Pentax SLRs.
At this year's PMA, Samsung told us that although relationship with Pentax remains one of 'close co-operation', the NX10 has been developed entirely in-house, independently of Pentax or any other partner: The current pin-ups of the Micro Four Thirds crowd, the Olympus PEN series, created the biggest buzz of thanks to their unique retro styling and by the mere fact that the PEN E-P1 was the first rangefinder style mirrorless interchangeable camera. Looked at from above you can see that the NX10 is considerably bulkier, but crucially for future development the body itself forgetting the protruding bits isn't a lot thicker - the flange-back distance is only 5mm more.