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Samsung NX3000 Review

The Samsung NX3000 is the latest entry level mirrorless camera from Samsung, and features a stylish retro design and a new 16-50mm power zoom lens.

| Samsung NX3000 in Mirrorless Cameras


Samsung NX3000 Review: Samsung NX3000 16 50mm Lens Black (1)

The Samsung NX3000 is the entry-level mirrorless camera from Samsung, and updates the NX2000. The NX3000 features a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 1/4000 shutter speed and 5fps continuous shooting, the NX3000 has a retro design along with built in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. The camera has a 3-inch flip up display with Wink Shot, allowing you to take selfie photos by winking to activate the shutter.

Samsung NX3000 Features

Samsung NX3000 Review: Samsung NX3000 16 50mm Lens Black (2)

The Samsung NX3000 is the latest entry-level NX series of compact system cameras. Featuring state-of-the-art technical specifications and a retro design, the premium NX3000 is the perfect choice for photography enthusiasts who want a stylish camera to capture life’s most important moments in stunning detail.

The NX3000 comes with a powerful 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, 1/4000 shutter speed and 5fps continuous shooting, allowing you to capture beautiful photos in perfect clarity, at any time from any location.

The Samsung NX3000 features a convenient 3.0-inch Flip-up Display with Wink Shot. By simply opening the screen and turning the device towards your face and winking, you can capture the perfect selfie in one hassle-free motion.

As is standard for all of Samsung’s recently released SMART cameras, the NX3000 features industry-leading Tag & Go integration so you can seamlessly share images via Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity as well as take advantage of advanced features including; Photo Beam, Remote Viewfinder Pro and Mobile Link

The NX3000 is available in White, Black and Brown, and is sold as a kit with Samsung’s new compact 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 Power Zoom ED OIS Lens. This powerful yet compact, lightweight lens offers easy and convenient zoom-shooting, delivering stunning detail in every shot. Additionally, with the 16-50mm Power Zoom lens, you can control the camera’s zoom function on a mobile device via Remote Viewfinder Pro, allowing you to be even more creative with your shots.

Samsung NX3000 Review: Samsung NX3000 16 50mm Lens Black (4)

Key Features

  • 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Samsung NX lens mount
  • Optical Image Stabilisation built into the 16-50mm Power Zoom lens
  • 3inch tilting screen, 460k dots
  • Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • FullHD Video
  • ISO100 - ISO25600
  • 5fps continuous shooting
  • Panoramic shooting
  • Available in black, brown and white 

Samsung NX3000 Handling

Samsung NX3000 Review: Samsung NX3000 16 50mm Lens Black (7)

The camera has a textured plastic body with a top silver strip, with some chrome and metal touches making the camera look more stylish than expected considering the budget price of the camera. A top mode dial makes it easy to set the shooting mode, and a flash hot-shoe is used for the included flash. The camera feels well built and the 16-50mm OIS lens does not feel like a budget lens. The zoom is controlled using the buttons on the side of the lens, and there is no zoom control on the camera. There are a number of controls on the back of the camera, including a dedicated video record button. The screen quality is good, although it can be difficult to see outdoors in bright sunlight. 

Samsung NX3000 Review: Samsung NX3000 16 50mm Lens Black (6)

Menus – The Fn (Function) button brings up a control panel on the rear screen where you can quickly change some of the most commonly used settings. This means you don't need to go into the menus very often, although the menus are clearly laid out with easy to read text, as well as built in pop-up explanations of options. There is an option to set a minimum slowest shutter speed.

Wi-Fi Features:

  • MobileLink (Smart Camera app for Android and iOS) - used to transfer photos
  • Remote Viewfinder (Smart Camera app for Android and iOS) - can be used for shots, there is a noticeable delay in updates, and it can seem quite sluggish.
  • Auto Backup
  • Email
  • Send to SNS and Cloud: Facebook, Picasa, YouTube, SkyDrive
  • Allshare Play (Web storage, DLNA devices)

NFC can be used with a compatible smartphone to setup the link. The Samsung NX3000 has a very easy to use Wi-Fi sharing mode, where you can even logon to public Wi-Fi connections using the built in web-logon browser.

Samsung NX3000 Review: Samsung NX3000 16 50mm Lens Black (8)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 370 shots according to Samsung / CIPA test results, which is quite good and slightly better than average for a mirrorless class of camera.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response 0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.35secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 3.0secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.7secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.4secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
5fps (13 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 2fps
Continuous Shooting - RAW 5fps (5 shots)

Shutter response is very good, although the switch on time is a little slow due to the extending power zoom lens delaying the cameras readiness. Focus speeds are reasonable, but not as fast as some other cameras in this segment. 

Samsung NX3000 Review: Samsung NX3000 16 50mm Lens Black (10)

Samsung NX3000 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Samsung NX3000 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Photos have good colour with good saturation, and exposure is reliable. Skin tones are good, and the camera takes a pleasing portrait shot. Dynamic range can be expanded using the Rich-Tone HDR mode. 

Samsung NX3000 Lens test images

Lens Performance - The 16-50mm lens performs well with good levels of detail, although when shooting at the wide-angle end of the lens there is some softness towards the corners of the frame. The lens performs well when using the full optical zoom, and it's possible to get a decent close up photo at the telephoto end of the lens. Very low levels of purple fringing and chromatic aberrations were seen, with the camera doing a good job automatically correcting this. As long as the lens was kept clean then it appeared to performs very well in regards to ghosting and lens flare, with a little appearing when shooting towards the sun. Barrel distortion is low, with the camera automatically correcting this in camera. Vignetting was rarely noticed and shouldn't be considered an issue. 

Samsung NX3000 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - For the lowest noise and best detail possible we would recommend using ISO100 to ISO800, as images have low levels of noise and good levels of detail. For lower light situations ISO1600 to ISO3200 still provides good results, although noise increases and detail is reduced. At ISO6400 and ISO12800 noise levels become strong and we would recommend avoiding this setting if possible, although results may still be useful if resized and used on the web. ISO25600 is best avoided as noise is extremely high, and detail is very low.

Samsung NX3000 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a warmer yellow result. AWB performs well under fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset giving a warmer yellow result.

Samsung NX3000 Review: Panoramic | 1/1600 sec | f/5.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 200
Panoramic | 1/1600 sec | f/5.0 | 16.0 mm | ISO 200

Panorama mode - The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are good, and well stitched together, although with a fairly low resolution image produced.

Samsung NX3000 Digital filters

Digital Filters - Picture Wizard gives you a number of preset colour modes, as well as Custom 1/2/3, where you can alter colour hue, saturation, sharpness and contrast. Smart filters are another way of applying effects, however these are only available when shooting JPEG only and can be selected in playback mode as well.

Video - Video is recorded as FullHD (1080p) at 30/25fps, with stereo sound. Optical zoom can be used while recording, and quality is good, although moire is visible at times. 

Value For Money

The Samsung NX3000 is available for £349 with 16-50mm kit lens which makes it excellent value for money, particularly as it comes with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in the box. Alternatives to look at include the following cameras:

Sony Alpha A5000, with 16-50mm lens, Wi-Fi, £349
Fujifilm X-A1, with 16-50mm lens, Wi-Fi, £359
Panasonic Lumix GF6, with 14-42mm lens, Wi-Fi, £319
Olympus PEN E-PL5, with 14-42mm lens, £319

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Samsung NX3000 Verdict

The Samsung NX3000 offers excellent image quality, a compact and appealing 16-50mm kit lens with built in Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), as well as an impressive price considering Adobe Lightroom 5 is included in the box. For all these reasons, plus the ability to change lens (to another Samsung lens), the Samsung NX3000 makes an excellent camera. With a new 16-50mm power zoom lens, the camera is more compact, making it easy to put in jacket pockets or small bags. The camera's built in Wi-Fi is among the best available of any camera range now, making it very easy to share photos with relatives, as long as you have a working Wi-Fi connection.

Samsung NX3000 Pros

Compact 16-50mm lens with OIS
Good noise performance
Stylish two-tone silver and black design
Adobe Lightroom 5 included in the box
Excellent value for money
Very good image quality

Samsung NX3000 Cons

Moire in video
Difficult to see screen outdoors
Raw not available when shooting with some effects


Samsung NX3000 Review:

The Samsung NX3000 offers good image quality, an easy to use camera, a compact new lens, and excellent value for money. 


Samsung NX3000 Specifications

Image Sensor
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 resolutionHVGA (320x480), 460k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Face Detection
  • Multi
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
  • Bracket
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder ResolutionNo Data
MagnificationNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting5fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30, 24
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • Micro SD
  • Micro SDHC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating)370shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsIntelli-studio 3.0, Samsung RAW Converter 4, Adobe Reader, Camera, Lens, hood, lens cap, Battery, Charger, Neck Strap, CD, Quick Manual, USB Cable

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Photographs taken using the Samsung NX3000

city in the "clouds"...........Autumn sunshineLate BloomsMore rosesRose ‘Old Wollerton Hall’ IIRose "Old Wollerton Hall"VeilchenblauRoseAlexanderMore buds of MayFirst Rose of SummerThe Darling Buds of MayPiano practiceBlue in Blue

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bgbg1 9
21 Jul 2014 5:51PM
Any RAW images available from the NX3000?
Niknut Plus
13 3.6k 82 United Kingdom
21 Jul 2014 7:42PM
Very impressive image quality !!!.......& that 16-50 lens is a humdinger !!

Great review of a great piece of kit !!......M4/3 ????. you can keep it !!!Smile
franken Plus
20 5.7k 4 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2014 8:52AM
It looks great and the only disappointment for me is the difficulty in seeing what you're photographing when out in bright light.
joshwa Plus
12 927 1 United Kingdom
22 Jul 2014 12:45PM

Quote:Any RAW images available from the NX3000?

RAW files uploaded, cheers, Josh
bgbg1 9
22 Jul 2014 4:58PM

Quote:RAW files uploaded, cheers, Josh

Great, thanks!
BHSnapper 14 14 United Kingdom
10 Aug 2014 5:27PM

Quote:It looks great and the only disappointment for me is the difficulty in seeing what you're photographing when out in bright light.

I found the same using my Nikon P7700. I then read that wearing a hat with a decent shade - baseball cap, sunhat, or similar, shaded my face and made the camera screen much more visible 99% of the time.

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