The Samsung NX11 is the updated version of the NX10, and is Samsung's mirrorless or compact system camera, with a 14.6 megapixel Digital SLR sized sensor, it gives the image quality of a Digital SLR but with a much more compact size. Find out how it performs in our expert review.
Samsung NX11 Features
The kit lens has a clever iFunction button, the idea being that in combination with the focus ring on the lens, it allows you to quickly change settings without having to use the screen on the back of the camera, and should let you change settings with the camera held up to your eye. A large high resolution Samsung AMOLED screen is featured on the back, as well as a high resolution VGA electronic viewfinder.
The Samsung NX11 has a redesigned hand grip at the front of the camera, in comparison to the NX10.
The NX11 is small compared to an SLR however with a rubber grip at the front and back it feels like Samsung have made a great compromise between size and handling. It's small, but still good to hold, giving a firm grip on the camera. The electronic viewfinder works well with diopter adjustment, and is easy to see even when wearing glasses.
Menus - The menus are straight forward and fairly easy to navigate, however, I feel that by adding some colour coding it would be easier or quicker to go from one set of menus to another, currently they are setup as 9 pages of options, with the photo, custom, and setup, options all the same colour (blue).
Battery life - the camera's battery life is rated at 400 shots according to CIPA standard when using the provided 1300mAh 7.4v lithium ion batteries. I was able to take 400+ shots before they went flat, this is good for a compact system camera.
Performance was very good with quick focusing, shutter response, and excellent shot to shot time even with flash. Continuous shooting is respectable at 3fps, and the buffer is very good allowing 15 shots before the camera slows down. A quick shooting mode is available that shoots 10, 15, or 30fps at the lower resolution of 1472x976.
Samsung NX11 Performance
Here you can view sample photos taken with the Samsung NX11 under a variety of conditions, with further sample photos available in the equipment database.
Samsung NX11 Sample Photos
Portrait flash shot - the flash performs well producing a photo with very low levels of red-eye. The shots of the Samsung sponsored BSB motorbike come out well despite the slow shutter speed of just 1/8th of a second, thanks to the lens having build in optical image stabilisation.
Samsung NX11 Other sample images
Macro performance - with a kit lens the NX11 isn't ideal for macro images but the lens is still capable of taking decent macro photos with the closest focusing distance around 10cm away from the front of the lens, when using it at full zoom. For better macro photos, the dedicated 1:1 macro lens would be a good choice.
Samsung NX11 Lens test images
Some pincushion distortion can be seen in the ISO test shots, although this wasn't noticed in real world shots. The camera and lens combination produces images with very low purple fringing. Anti shake performance was very good. The camera performed well in low light thanks to the lens based image stabilisation, although not all lenses have built in IS, for example the 20-50mm kit lens for the NX100 does not.
Samsung NX11 ISO test images
ISO Noise - with a large DSLR sized APS-C sensor, the NX11 has lower noise than alternative compact cameras, but doesn't quite match the low ISO performance of a Nikon D5100 for example (which is known to have very low noise). The camera copes well with noise processing and gives low noise at ISO100, 200, through to ISO400, and then at ISO800 noise starts becoming more noticeable, and more colourful. As you continue to increase the ISO setting, you also increase noise, and detail in images is degraded, at the highest ISO settings available ISO1600 and ISO3200 noise is noticeable and noise reduction has reduced the colour saturation slightly - but the camera could still produce full size images with some additional processing. Strangely ISO800 seems to give the most noticeable noise in images, with the noise appearing as multi coloured grain, then when you increase the ISO setting the noise reduction kicks it up a notch and the noise becomes much more black and white and more film like.
Samsung NX11 White-balance test images
Auto White Balance performance - using auto white balance under tungsten lighting the camera performs well, however better results were possible using the tungsten preset. Under fluorescent lighting the auto white balance gives a slightly cooler green look to images, and using the preset gave more pleasing results with warmer colour.
Lenses available: The key benefit of a mirrorless / interchangeable lens camera is the ability to change lenses, the Samsung NX system currently has the following lenses available as well a Pentax K Mount adapter (RRP £90), and a number of other adapters available from third party companies. The Samsung NX has a 1.5x crop factor so any lens mounted will give 1.5x the focal length:
There are also 8mm Fisheye f/3.5 (12mm equivalent), 35mm f/1.4 (52.5mm equivalent), 85mm f/1.4 (127.5mm equivalent) and 14mm f/2.8 (21mm equivalent) lenses available from Samyang.
The Samsung NX11 has 1280x720p video, fade in, out or both fade in and fade out, program (auto) or aperture priority shooting, and optical image stabilisation options (modes 1, 2 or off).
Value for Money
Value for money is good, with the Samsung NX11 available for a similar price to the competition. Alternatives include the Sony NEX series with slightly less lenses available currently, although the camera bodies are more more styled like a compact camera than a DSLR. The Micro Four Thirds system gives you the choice of Panasonic or Olympus cameras with both companies offering three different (new) models, including the option of both DSLR styled cameras (such as the Panasonic G3, GH2), and compact cameras (such as the Panasonic GF3, Olympus EP-3, EPL3, and EPM1) as well as 20+ lenses and readily available adapters that allow the use of old Olympus OM, Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Konica Minolta lenses (the list goes on forever). At around £430 you could also look at the Pentax K-r a very compact DSLR with high speed and low noise, available for less than £399 with kit lens.
Samsung NX11 Verdict
The Samsung NX11 is a great camera to use, quick at focusing and produces Digital SLR quality photos with good colour and detail. The camera has a good rubberised grip front and back yet is still smaller than most interchangeable cameras that have Digital SLR styling. The iFunction lens gives a quick way of altering settings without having to go through menus options or move the camera away from your eye. The camera also features a smart mode and a full range of scene modes, that will help beginners, or anyone who's not sure how to get the best shot in a particular setting. The camera has a great screen, a great electronic viewfinder, and an abundance of controls and buttons on the outside and despite being made by a huge electronic company, feels like a real camera with a re-assuring shutter sound. The Samsung NX11, with a great Digital SLR styled body, is a fun camera to use and produces great images.
The Samsung NX11 makes a compelling case for itself, with a particularly impressive camera body, and good image quality.
Samsung NX11 Pros
Great handling with rubber grips
iFunction button gives another useful way of accessing options
Quite good value for money
Very good image quality
Great AMOLED screen
Low noise* (see below)
Built in EVF with eye-detection
Samsung NX11 Cons
Menu structure could be better
ISO800 seems to produce the most noticeably noisey images (coloured grain)
Kit lens with OIS is quite large
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30 Apr 2012 3:23PM