Review Date: October 24, 2010
Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur
Photoxels Editor’s Choice 2010 – Compact Mirrorless
This Samsung NX100 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.
The Samsung NX100 challenges the existing compact mirrorless Digital Interchangeable Lens cameras by providing a larger APS-C CMOS sensor. It succeeds with excellent image quality at the low ISOs and very good image quality up to ISO 400, and even ISO 800 (especially if you shoot in RAW).
The NX100 is a beautiful and well-built camera but the lack of a handgrip and an ultra smooth body make it quite slippery, so the use of the neck strap is highly recommended. The new i-Function (iFn) Lens Priority feature allows you to use the lens focus ring to set exposure values. Definitely a try-before-you-buy feature for some of you will love it and others may not.
The screen display is a beautiful 3.0-in. AMOLED. You can display various grid lines and a live histogram. I only wished that it could tilt up and down. Autofocus and operation performance are fast. There is a Mode Dial, a Jog Dial, a Navigation Wheel and the iFn-enabled focus ring that all conspire together to make the important functions easily and quickly accessible. I found the NX100 intuitive to use and with one of the best display info screen ever.
The Samsung NX100 is a very capable low light shooter with both fast and precise AF and accurate metering. However, for low-light people shooting, the included 20-50mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens is not a good choice: its small aperture means that low-light pictures go into the seconds. For low-light people photography, you might want to get the faster 20mm F2.8 lens.
RAW and a whole range of semi-auto and full manual shooting modes are available for the advanced photographer. Advanced photographers will be happy to know that the full range of shutter speeds is available in all of the PASM shooting modes, making it very convenient to stay in your preferred shooting mode. The NX100 shoots 720p HD movie with monaural sound. Geotagging is possible with the optional GPS Module GPS10.
The NX100 does not have a built-in viewfinder, nor does it have a built-in pop-up flash. But you can purchase the optional electronic viewfinder with 201k-dot resolution and the optional flash SEF15A.
Add the Samsung NX100 to your short list if you are considering a compact mirrorless DIL camera. Samsung has proven it knows how to build top notch cameras and compete with the best. Though only a handful of lenses are currently available for the NX mount, Samsung has promised many more. The Samsung NX100 delivers great results in a user-friendly body, easily meeting all the challenges a serious photographer might throw its way. Highly recommended.