The Samsung NX1000 is the latest compact mirrorless camera from Samsung and is a new entry level 20.3 megapixel compact system camera with Wi-Fi - it also features 8fps continuous shooting, a plastic body, and sits below the NX210 with metal body, and finally with the NX20 at the premium end with EVF. Nb. Due to similarities in cameras, this review is based on the NX210 review.
Samsung NX1000 Features
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, and stereo sound.
Another feature of the NX1000, like the NX210 and NX200 includes a compact pop-up flash. With a compact body the NX1000 makes an ideal companion for the compact collapsible 20-50mm kit lens as tested, or one of the pancake lenses available for the NX mount.
Wi-Fi features are shared with Samsung's compact Wi-Fi cameras, and includes mobile link, remote viewfinder, social sharing (Facebook, Youtube etc), email, Skydrive, auto backup, and TV link. The NX1000 has a dedicated Smart Link button on top to make accessing one of these even quicker. We look at these in more detail below.
20.3 APS-C sensor
NX Lens Mount
3 inch screen, 921k dots
Flash Hot Shoe
Full HD Video mode
Lens based image stabilisation
Burst Mode: 8fps full resolution
Manual Control, RAW
ISO 100 - 12800
Compact pop-up flash
Samsung NX1000 Handling
Handling - The camera has a textured finger grip on the front as well as the same pattern for the thumb on the rear, 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 plastic, with quite sharp angles. The mode dial can easily be changed with your thumb and it's easy to use the shutter release button. A dedicated video button can also be found on the back. The mode dial on the NX1000 is made out of plastic, but the camera feels well built.
The NX1000 has one less button on the back compared to the NX210, and instead of an exposure compensation button, this has been moved to the 4-way buttons. The top of the NX1000 features a "Smart Link" button instead of the control wheel, and to zoom in during playback mode you press the middle OK button then turn the rear scroll wheel. The Smart Link button can be set to open your preferred Wi-Fi connection. Both the NX210 and NX1000 have one custom button on the back, that is used as a delete button in playback, in addition to the iFunction button on the lens that can be set to alter a number of settings. Another difference is the NX1000 has a microHDMI connector, rather than miniHDMI on the NX210.
Menus and display: The menus and controls are clear, with the sections noticeably defined with large 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). The camera will also display additional information about the settings making it easier to use. The iFunction button on the lens can be used in combination with the focus ring to alter settings quickly. The NX210 and NX1000 menus are identical with the same options and settings available, however the NX210 with an AMOLED screen is noticeably brighter with better colour and darker blacks.
Quick access to settings.
Wi-Fi connectivity: Here are the Wi-Fi options available from the dedicated Wi-Fi mode on the dial, and it's also possible to access Wi-Fi sharing from the playback mode, although with limited options:
Mobilelink (for Android/iPhone) - lets you copy photos and videos to the phone although it took a while to connect and occassionally crashed on our Android phone it works quite well and makes it easy to copy images.
Samsung Mobile Link
Samsung Remote Viewfinder
Remote Viewfinder (for Android/iPhone) - lets you control the camera with your smartphone - the options available are flash, self-timer and image size, the benefit of this is that you can save the image to your phone if needed. The app doesn't work in landscape mode, so the view is smaller than the camera's screen, even on a large 4.7 inch phone.
Social Sharing - Upload photos to Facebook / Picasa (part of Google+) / Photobucket and video to Youtube.
Email - lets you email photos directly to others, images are sent resized to 2 megapixels.
Selecting Skydrive Images To Upload
SkyDrive - Lets you backup / upload your photos to Microsoft SkyDrive.
AutoBackup - Lets you backup to your PC through the Wi-Fi network - this needs to be setup on a PC using the Samsung Intelli-Studio software before it can be used.
TV Link - Links the camera to a DLNA compatible TV for viewing up to 1000 photos.
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 extended use of Wi-Fi puts additional drain on the battery.
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.
7fps continuous shooting 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 when shooting JPEG, shooting RAW is even worse. This is particularly noticeable if you are shooting RAW+JPEG as you can not alter settings while waiting for the camera to write the photo to the memory card, instead the camera will display "Processing" on the screen. The 20-50mm kit lens was noticeably slow to focus compared to the 18-55mm lens.
Despite the claims of 8fps for the new NX range, we were only able to get a maximum of 7fps from the NX1000, NX210 and NX20.
Samsung NX1000 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 NX1000 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 NX1000 Lens test images
Detail is very good with sharp corners at both the wide angle and telephoto settings and there is very little barrel or pincushion distortion. Purple fringing was very low and difficult to spot except in extreme areas of contrast, as shown in the photo of the trees. The lens is capable of producing reasonable macro photos, although to get close a dedicated macro lens is recommended. The camera has built in distortion correction, which can't be switched off with the 20-50mm lens, but can be switched off with the 18-55 kit lens.
Samsung NX1000 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 NX1000 White-balance test images
White Balance - The auto white balance did a good job under both tungsten and fluorescent lighting although the images are a little warm. The presets give a slight green cast under tungsten lighting and a slight orange cast under fluorescent lighting. Detail is excellent from the 20-50mm lens, with sharp results across the frame.
Panoramic | 1/1600 sec | f/4.5 | 20.0 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 NX1000 Digital filters
Digital Filters - The NX1000 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:
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), 24mm f/1.4 (33.6mm equivalent) and 14mm f/2.8 (21mm equivalent) lenses.
Video Example - The camera records 1920x1080 (Full HD) video at 30fps, as well as at 1920x810 24fps / 720p / VGA and 240 (email). The camera doesn't feature a wind filter. ISO can be manually set up to ISO3200. P/A/S/M modes are available, as well as Picture wizard colour options. Multimotion lets you record at different speeds 0.25x / 0.5x slow motion at VGA/720p as well as Full HD 5/10/20x for high speed playback. Smart filters, such as old film are available however video is reduced to VGA / 15fps. Selective colour is also available. The AF mode can be chosen, and MF assist is available.
Value For Money
The Samsung NX1000 is available for £599 with the 20-50mm kit lens and comes with a small pop-up flash making it more expensive than non-Wi-Fi Samsung NX cameras (the NX200 was around £499 with 20-50mm lens when reviewed, now it's available for £399), and the price doesn't seem as entry level as other cameras, such as the NEX-C3 (16mp, £340) / Sony NEX-5N (16mp, £449), Olympus PEN E-PM1 (12mp, £285) / E-PL3 (12mp, £345), Panasonic Lumix GF5 (12mp, £449), Nikon 1 J1 (10mp, £335), although none of the competition features built in Wi-Fi. The 20-50mm lens does not feature optical image stabilisation, whereas the 18-55mm kit lens tested does. Have a look at other compact system cameras available here.
Samsung NX1000 Verdict
The Samsung NX1000 features the same high quality 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor as the NX20, NX210 and NX200, this is higher than many Digital SLRs and yet it manages to produces images with low noise levels, excellent levels of detail and excellent colour. Noise control certainly appears to be on a par with competitors from Sony and Canon with well controlled noise up to ISO3200. The camera has a fast 7fps shooting mode and an easy to use control system and menus making it enjoyable to use, although the delay while it writes photos to the memory card can be frustrating at times. Focussing was also slow with the 20-50mm kit lens, although image quality from this lens is excellent.
The camera scores highly in all areas and importantly produces great image quality whilst providing excellent Wi-Fi connectivity, whether you want to upload to social network sites, or simply backup photos. The Samsung NX1000 has a plastic body available in black or white, and combined with the 20-50mm lens makes a compact camera. The lack of image stabilisation with this lens, and the lower quality screen shouldn't cause too many problems, however we would prefer it if the price matched other entry level mirrorless cameras available. If however, you want to be able to share or backup your photos straight from the camera, then this makes an excellent choice.
The Samsung NX1000 is the entry level NX model and delivers excellent images with a compact 20-50mm lens.
Samsung NX1000 Pros
Good ISO noise performance
Excellent detail in photos
7fps continuous shooting
Good IQ from the 20-50mm lens
Very good colour
Excellent Wi-Fi Connectivity
Easy to use
Samsung NX1000 Cons
Delay after continuous shooting
Better value for money than the rest of the range
Lacks IS with 20-50mm kit lens
Slow focusing with 20-50mm lens