Samsung NX-100 Digital Camera with 20-50mm lens
Look and Feel
Ease of Use
Samsung looks to place itself as a serious contender in the upcoming compact interchangeable lens camera market with it's third entrant in the NX series. The NX100 was released in Sep 2010. Based on the popular NX10 model,it also packs some new features. In this report we look at some of the innovations Samsung has unleashed in this camera. We analyze over 32 of the best reviews including 'Imaging Resource', 'Dpreview' and 'Steve's digicams' and round up what the experts have to say about the NX100.
With the NX100 Samsung presents a powerful mirror-less camera which features the radical i-Function lens. This feature changes the way the lens interacts with the camera and gives the photographer control of the camera through the lens for the first time. The lens has an i-Function button which can be operated by the user to change the manual settings and a focus ring which can be used to change parameters, without removing the camera from the target.
The design of the NX100 is supposedly inspired by the shape of dew forming on a leaf and is a pleasing curved shape.
The NX100's other features which, according to Samsung raises the bar for mirrorless cameras on the whole:
- APS-C size sensor for unmatched picture quality
- 3-inch AMOLED screen which offers rich picture quality
- The NX100 has one of the fastest AF compared to other cameras in the market for capturing the best shots.
- Supports HD video recording at 720p to ensure that you can capture those memorable moments in finest detail
Experts have unequivocally lauded the image quality of the NX100. 'PCAdvisor', among other reviewers hails the superb quality of pictures from the 14-Megapixel APS-C sensor. Although at higher ISO's the reactions are mixed. 'Pocket-lint' and 'Engadget' found the performance above ISO 1600 to be below par. 'Pocket-lint' also commented that the 'Auto- ISO' feature did not select ISOs greater than ISO1600.
The NX100 offers 720p high-definition video recording with manual aperture control. Video quality in the NX100 is satisfactory though not great, according to experts, with the efficient H.264 compression algorithm to store videos. 'PCWorld' has commented on the lack of a dedicated video recording button which is present on some of the competing models today.
The optical capabilities of the NX100 are top of it's class. This is mostly attributed to the iFunction lens which allows photographers greater flexibility to change exposure parameters using a button on the lens. This feature has been commended by most experts including 'Engadget' and 'Pocket-lint' and will definitely revolutionize lens functionality in future. . According to'Photography Blog' the camera has a pretty good burst mode of 3 fps to allow for rapid shooting. However a major gripe according to experts is the absence of built-in flash and electronic viewfinder (both available only as a hotshoe attachment)
The NX100 is lightweight and easy to hold and coupled with the iFunction lens should definitely appeal to those who wish to become serious photo enthusiasts. The menu interface is simple and intuitive. The focus point button which allows to pick one of 143 focus points in the screen is a handy feature. The large AMOLED screen has been lauded by most reviewers and enhances the user experience.
However 'PCWorld', 'T3' and 'DigitalCameraInfo' have commented that there is no proper handgrip. Overall interface-wise this camera performs very well.
Samsung's claims of an excellent mirrorless camera which integrates the iFunction lens has been given a thumbs up by experts. The iFunction revolutionizes the way the lens communicates with the camera body. The NX100 bridges the gap between the high-end compacts and the DSLR's quite successfully. It should definitely appeal to the amateurs as well as to serious photo enthusiasts, and can act as a supplement to a DSLR instead of a compact camera.
On the plus side, the APS-C sized sensor delivers topnotch image quality and the camera has a zippy performance. However, it sort of struggles in high ISOs with low lighting which is a kind of a letdown. That coupled with the lack of built-in flash should also put off some buyers.
The NX100 combines excellent image quality, neat design, a helpful iFunction lens system and quick response. It price is it's advantage and should appeal to those who wish to move into serious photography without investing too much. It is one of the best mirror less interchangeable lens cameras in the market today.
However before buying you may want to check out the Sony NEX-5 which has a similar APS-C sized sensor and with an attractive form factor. Another strong contender would be the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 which has a built-in flash. Though both these models are higher priced than the NX100.