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Samsung NX200 20.3MP Mirrorless CSC Review

Samsung NX200 20.3MP Mirrorless CSC Review - Joshua Waller reviews the new Samsung NX200, the latest mirrorless compact system camera from Samsung, it features a new 20.3 megapixel sensor.

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Category : Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product : Samsung NX200
Price : £500
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Samsung NX200
Samsung NX200

The Samsung NX200 is the latest compact mirrorless camera from Samsung and is an update to the 14 megapixel NX100. The NX200 has upgraded the APS-C sized sensor with a new 20.3 megapixel sensor made by Samsung, it's also introduced a new, more compact and more stylish design.

Samsung NX200 Features


Samsung NX200

The lens features an "i-function" button - this allows you to adjust certain settings using the ring on the lens that would normally be used for manual focus. The camera also includes Full HD video, a first for the NX system, previously only having 720p video.

Samsung NX200
Samsung NX200

Another new feature of the NX200 is the inclusion of a new compact pop-up flash. With a more compact body than the NX100, the NX200 would make an ideal companion for the compact 20-50mm kit lens, or one of the pancake lenses available for the NX mount.

Samsung NX200 Pop-Up Flash
Samsung NX200 Pop-Up Flash

Key Features

  • 20.3 APS-C sensor
  • NX Lens Mount
  • 3 inch screen, 614k dots AMOLED
  • Flash Hot Shoe
  • Full HD Video mode
  • Lens based image stabilisation
  • Burst Mode: 7fps full resolution
  • Manual Control, RAW
  • ISO 100 - 12800
  • New compact pop-up flash

Samsung NX200 Handling


Samsung NX200 Flash rear
Samsung NX200 Flash rear

Handling - The camera has a textured finger grip on the front as well as the same pattern for the thumb on the rear - in addition to this, the front curved hand grip has a softer feeling texture and the back of the camera has a faux-leather look to it, although it is plastic and not particularly soft. The main body of the camera is made out of metal, with quite sharp angles. The mode dial can easily be changed with your thumb and it's easy to switch between the shutter release button and the top control wheel. A dedicated video button can also be found on the back.

Samsung NX200
Samsung NX200

Menus and display: The menus and controls have been updated to give clearer menus, with the sections more noticeably defined with larger icons and clear text - this makes it easy to navigate and set options. Settings can be changed by using the Fn button to access the rear screen controls (shown below, left) and using the control wheel on the top it is very easy to alter settings. The camera will also display additional information about the settings making it easier to use.

Samsung NX200 Rear Screen Samsung NX200 Menus
Quick access to settings. Updated menus.

Battery life - The battery life is rated at 330 shots according to CIPA standards and the camera uses a battery with a 1030mAh rating. We were able to take over 300 shots before the battery went flat. This is reasonable, although it is less than the previous model's battery life.

Samsung NX200
Samsung NX200

Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot to shot time, continuous shooting etc and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced, we also made sure to test all the cameras at the same time to ensure the cameras were being tested under the same conditions.

  Samsung NX200 Olympus EPM1 Sony NEX-5N
Shutter Reponse <0.05 <0.05 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3 0.2 0.2
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3 0.2 0.2
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.2 2.6 0.9
Shot to Shot (without flash) 1.0 0.6 0.6
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.2 1.6 0.7
Continuous Shooting (JPEG) 7fps (11 shots) 5fps (9 shots) 10fps (10 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash) 2fps (11 shots) 1.6 2fps
Continuous Shooting (RAW) 7fps (8 shots) 5fps (9 shots) 10fps (7 shots)

7fps is nice, but the delay while the camera writes to the memory card can be quite frustrating at times, taking 10 seconds "Processing" before you can take the next shot.

Samsung NX200 Performance

We've taken a number of sample photos in a variety of settings to show you the image quality produced by this camera, you can view them full size by clicking the "High-Res" link. Additional sample photos can be seen here in the equipment database, where you can add your own review.

Samsung NX200 Sample Photos


The portrait shot has very low red-eye using the provided pop-up flash, with good colour and skin tones. The camera coped well with a variety of shooting conditions including low light where the built in focus assist lamp helped focus.

Samsung NX200 Lens test images


Detail is good with sharp corners at both the wide angle and telephoto settings and there is very little barrel or pincushion distortion (although some is visible in the ISO test shots, it wasn't noticed in other shots). Purple fringing was very low and difficult to spot except in extreme areas of contrast. The lens is capable of producing reasonable macro photos, although to get close a dedicated macro lens is recommended.

Samsung NX200 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Shots show very low noise at ISO100 to ISO200, low noise at ISO400, some noise starts creeping in at ISO800 and increases at ISO1600 although results are still good, with good colour and detail. At ISO3200 noise is more noticeable and viewing the images at 100% it's possible to see the loss of detail. At ISO6400 strong noise reduction is being applied and detail suffers, it's also possible to see chroma noise. ISO12800 shows the highest levels of noise, as expected and as a result image quality is quite low, however colour still appears quite good, so images may be suitable for web use.

Samsung NX200 White-balance test images


White Balance - The auto white balance did an excellent job under both tungsten and fluorescent lighting, with the presets giving a green cast under tungsten lighting and an orange cast under fluorescent lighting, which could mean the camera is applying too much white balance correction. Detail is excellent in these photos with lots of detail in the fine textures.

1/1000 sec | f/4.5 | 18.0 mm | ISO 200
Panoramic - 1/1000 sec | f/4.5 | 18.0 mm | ISO 200

A built in sweep panoramic mode will automatically take a panoramic photo where you simply need to press the shutter button and hold it while panning around. You can shoot both horizontal or vertical panoramic photos.

Samsung NX200 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The NX200 has a number of interesting filters, as well as Old Film 1 and 2. Other features available include the ability to expand the dynamic range by switching on Smart Range. In playback mode smart filters are available as well as red-eye fix, backlight compensation, face retouch, brightness, contrast and vignetting.

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:
  • 16mm f/2.4 Pancake, 24mm equivalent
  • 20mm f/2.8 Pancake, 35mm equivalent
  • 30mm f/2.0 Pancake, 45mm equivalent
  • 20-50mm collapsible, available as a kit lens, 30-75mm equivalent
  • 18-55mm OIS, available as a kit lens, 27-82.5mm equivalent
  • 50-200mm f/4-5.6, 75-300mm equivalent
  • 18-200mm f/2.5-6.3, 27-300mm equivalent
  • 60mm Macro 1:1 OIS lens, 90mm equivalent
  • 85mm f/1.4 Portrait lens, 127.5mm equivalent
There are also a number of lenses available from Samyang, including: 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.

Video Example - The camera will record Full HD video at 1920x1080 at 30fps with stereo sound, as well as 720p at 60fps. There is the choice of colour options, fade in and out, continuous AF, white balance and manual controls are available.



Value For Money

The Samsung NX200 is available for £499 with the compact 20-50mm kit lens and comes with the small pop up flash making it great value for money. The 20-50mm lens does not feature optical image stabilisation, whereas the 18-55mm kit lens tested does. The price of the NX200 is very competitive with high speed shooting and a high resolution 20.3 megapixel sensor compared to other mirrorless cameras, with the nearest competitors the Panasonic Lumix GX1 (16mp, £580 body only), Sony NEX-7 (24.3mp, £1128), Sony NEX-5N (16mp, £529) and Olympus PEN E-P3 (12mp, £699). Have a look at other compact system cameras available here.

Samsung NX200 Verdict

The Samsung NX200 has the second highest resolution available of any compact system camera available, with a 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, this is higher than many Digital SLRs and yet it manages to produces images with low noise levels. Noise control certainly appears to be on a par with competitors from Sony and Canon with well controlled noise up to ISO3200 and there appears to be a big improvement in noise control compared to the previous NX models. The camera has a fast 7fps shooting mode and an easy to use control system and menus making it enjoyable to use.

Image quality is very good with very little to complain about. The choice really is what lens should you get with the camera? Do you go for the smaller 20-50mm kit lens with slightly less range, or the 18-55mm lens with optical image stabilisation? The 18-55mm lens on test here has excellent image quality so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, however it does add to the size of the complete camera. The camera scores highly in all areas and importantly produces great image quality whilst providing an extremely competitive price. Highly Recommended!

The Samsung NX200 is a quick, compact, high resolution camera with great image quality at an excellent price!


Samsung NX200 Pros

Good ISO noise performance
Excellent detail in photos
7fps continuous shooting
Great value for money
Good screen
Compact flash
Updated controls and menus
Easy to use

Samsung NX200 Cons

Delay after continuous shooting
White balance presets quite strong

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
VERDICT

Samsung NX200 Specifications

ManufacturerSamsung
Image Sensor
CCD pixels20.3Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5472
Pixels (H)3648
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)23.5mm
Sensor Size (height)15.7mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution614,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
  • Bracket
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder
Viewfinder ResolutionNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting7fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS60, 30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable battery : BP1030
CIPA Rating320
Box Contents
Box ContentsIntelli-studio 3.0, Samsung RAW Converter 4, Adobe Reader, Camera, 18-55mm OIS lens, hood, lens cap, Battery, Charger, Neck Strap, CD, Quick Manual, USB Cable
Dimensions
Weight220.4g
Width116.5mm
Height62.5mm
Depth36.2mm

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Photographs taken using the Samsung NX200

Blue MistNets at DawnIn ConversationA Woman's WorkA Quiet MomentSeat of LearningSeat of LearningFun in the SunclusterWater BabyWild Duck?Black SwanGive Us a HugA Little Ray of Sunshinemidnight
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Comments


franken e2
12 3.1k 4 Wales
17 Nov 2011 3:34PM
If only it was 13.99! Smile

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joshwa e2
4 600 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2011 4:27PM
The price should be correct now, thanks Josh
18 Nov 2011 12:14PM
Thanks for an excellent, balanced review. This camera has been on my wishlist for a few months now so it is good to get an in depth report. Should be really stunning when used with the NX fixed lenses.

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