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Samsung NX10 Review
Date: May 17, 2010
Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur
Photoxels Editor's Choice 2010 - Compact DIL/DSLR
The Samsung NX10 is positioned as a DSLR-level camera targeted to beginner and serious amateur photographers. It has 14.6 megapixel resolution on an APS-C (23.4 x 15.6 mm) CMOS image sensor and accepts interchangeable lenses on a new Samsung NX mount.
The Samsung NX10 has very good image quality including
good low-light performance at ISO 100
with good detail preserved.
3x Optical Zoom
(27.7mm, 35mm equivalent)
(84.7mm, 35mm equivalent)
One of the advantage of a DIL is the ability
to use interchangeable lenses suited for specific
jobs. The Samsung NX10 comes with 3 possible kit lenses: a 30mm [46.2mm equiv.] F2 pancake lens, a 18-55mm [27.7-84.7mm equiv.] 3x zoom F3.5-5.6 OIS lens, and a 50-200mm [77-308mm equiv.] 4x zoom F4-5.6 ED OIS lens.
We tested the camera with the 18-55mm lens. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for
18mm [27.7mm equiv.] then 55mm [84.7mm equiv.].
The Samsung NX10 has full exposure flexibility
with PASM modes, and Program Shift.
The camera also provides exposure compensation
(with Auto Bracketing) and Custom (Manual) White
Balance. A Histogram can be displayed in both
Live and Playback modes.
Shutter speed ranges from 1/4,000-30 sec. in
PASM, plus B (up to 8 minutes) in Manual Mode.
|55mm [84mm], Program, Pattern,
1/90 sec., F7.1, ISO 100
The actual macro capability is a function of
the lens you use. The 18-55mm kit lens allows you to focus only as
close as 28cm (11 in.). We hope that Samsung will introduce a dedicated macro lens in the near future.
The AF Area can be manually moved to any of 13 x 11
focus areas by simply pressing the OK button and using the Directional Keys to select an AF area. The AF area size can be also reduced or increased by simply rotating the Dial (important to increase the accuracy of the Contrast Detect AF in low light situations). To use this feature, first set it on in the Menu [Shooting Menu 2 - AF Area - Selection AF].
There are three metering modes: Multi (Multi-Pattern),
Center Weighted and Spot. This is easily and quickly selected by pressing the LEFT ARROW and rotating the Dial.
As the above two pictures show, the auto white
balance (AWB) indoors under 2 (energy-saving) fluorescent light bulbs tends toward the yellow. Fortunately, there is Manual WB that is easy to set and provides excellent results.
As expected, AWB works well in natural light.
The easiest way to set WB manually is to customize the front Depth-of-Field button to set Manual WB instead.
The Samsung NX10 has 6 ISO settings going from
ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The 100%
crops above (area delimited by the white square)
demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds.
At ISO 100 to 400, noise is under control. Noise starts
to be visible at ISO 800 but is still very acceptable. At ISO 1600 to 3200, noise is visible with loss of detail. Auto ISO ranges from 100 to 800.
CA is under control in everyday shots and is
not a problem even in high contrast shots using the 18-55mm kit lens.
The corner delimited by the red square at middle left, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right,
shows no purple fringing.
|55mm [84mm], Shutter Priority, Spot, 30
sec., F8, ISO 100
Manual WB, Self-timer 3 sec., Tripod Used
Noise Reduction ON
The Samsung NX10 allows the use of a long shutter
speed of up to 30 sec. in PASM modes, therefore
allowing very nice night photography. Generally, with image sensors, noise becomes more prominent
at long shutter speeds. If you can turn Long Term Noise Reduction ON [Menu - User Setup - Noise Reduction - Long Term NR - ON], you'll
notice a longer processing time (approx. twice
as long) before the next picture can be taken.
To test this noise reduction algorithm, we take an extreme low-light indoors shot. I experiment a bit to obtain the optimum exposure,
eventually settling on 30 sec. at F8. Even
at this long shutter speed, the Samsung NX10's
noise reduction seems to be working great, producing
a nice smooth blurring effect of the background. AF is quick and precise even at low light levels.
The Samsung NX10 allows you to save an image
in the RAW file format. I am able to shoot 4 RAW images one after another in about 4 sec.and then the buffer is full.
In Continuous Shooting, you can take 3 RAW images in 1 sec. (@ 3fps). It takes about 6 sec.
to write a RAW image to memory card (I used a
regular 4GB SDHC SanDisk card). Note that these times do
not include the extra processing times you'll experience
if Noise Reduction kicks in. You can also select to save a RAW+JPEG (SuperFine, Fine or Standard) file.
I am able to take 12 Super Fine JPEG images in 4 sec. (@ 3fps) in Continuous Shooting when the buffer then fills up. Shot to shot times is 1 sec. with seemingly as many shots as you want to take (I stopped at 30). Your performance times may vary depending on your camera settings.
At Photo Size = 14M, an image is compressed
down to anywhere between 2MB and 7MB. A RAW
image occupies about 26MB.
I are quite happy to shoot from ISO 100 to 800 [would be great to have a setting for that], and even 1600, if needed. Overall, impressive image quality and it is quite easy to get great shots with the NX10.
The pictures in the Samsung NX10 Photo Gallery
page provide a good sample of what the camera
is capable of. I have provided unprocessed samples
at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100
in Photoshop Elements) as well as the 4592x3056
pixels original size (click on the image for the
original version). Any of the 800x600 image that
is adjusted for levels and/or sharpened in Photoshop
has "_adjusted" appended to the file
name. Original images are never adjusted.
You can safely assume that most macro shots and
slow shutter speed shots required the use of a
I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels.
For those who have their monitor resolution set
to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit
and you should not have to scroll to see the whole
image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels
resolution, start the slide show and then scroll
to the right to position the image within your
screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using
Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode,
and the image should fill your screen nicely.
Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor
display back to normal mode.
To return to this page from the Photo Gallery,
click on the animated graphics of the camera.
Please open and download the original size version
only if you need to and only once
to your hard drive -- and save me some precious