Samsung NX10 Review

4.5
March 11, 2010 | Mark Goldstein |

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#1 g7star

Thank you for the review!  I didn’t expect it to have better IQ than MFT’s but “Wow”. 

Samsung is playing so aggressively and that’s good.  Now, I can’t wait to see Sony’s response.

7:31 pm - Thursday, March 11, 2010

#2 David

I’m curious how well this camera works with adapters.  I kept reading about adapters for pentax, Nikon, etc., but would like to see more flushed out details.  I know the m4/3 system has alot of followers because of the sheer # of adapters available.

I’ve read that an upcoming nikon adapter allows for automatic aperture control…anybody have info on any other lens mount?

8:12 pm - Thursday, March 11, 2010

#3 Cwalley

Good review. Just took a gamble and bought one today. I agree with your comments; a very fine camera. I am selling my Nikon kit!

9:31 pm - Thursday, March 11, 2010

#4 Funkmon

I don’t see any difference in image quality. It seems like because it’s a larger sensor, it SHOULD have better image quality, but the author never gave a real comparison, and seemed to just take for granted that the NX does take better pictures without investigation.

My comparisons say otherwise, that they’re similar.

10:42 pm - Thursday, March 11, 2010

#5 Erik

In the side-by-sides I’ve seen, the GF1 gives up to one stop faster shutter speed than the NX10 at the same ISO, aperture and final brightness. So ISO 1600 on the GF1 is doing the same job as ISO 3200 on the NX10. When considering this, it seems the IQ advantage of the NX10 is not particularly big.

12:28 am - Friday, March 12, 2010

#6 Erik

Forgot to add, the GH1 has the by far best Micro Four Thirds sensor. It would probably beat the NX10 on IQ. But it’s expensive due to its high-end kit lens.

12:31 am - Friday, March 12, 2010

#7 John

Hi Mark, as a mirrorless camera nut who now owns one camera from each brand - Olympus E-P2, Panasonic GF-1, and now the NX10, I am actually surprised by the overexuberant nature of your image quality conclusions regarding the latter ;-)

To say that the image quality of the NX10 is superior over the MFT cameras is patently inaccurate (“While the results from the NX10 are clearly a step above the MFT cameras, you will have to compromise on the size of the camera system.”)

If anything, I am surprised at how poor the out of camera jpegs look for a current 14.1MP camera with a larger sensor than the 4/3 one found on the MFT models. The JPEGs from my NX10 look clean up to ISO800, but the noise reduction is overly aggressive - fine details are destroyed even at the lower ISOs. And then if you start comparing the RAWs, all three cameras are pretty much similar. High ISO noise wise, I give the edge to the Olympus PEN - the GF-1 and then the NX10 in that order. The E-P2 has better looking noise with more details still visible. There’s also a certain ‘coherentness’ to the Olympus images that both the Panny and the Samsung lacks.

Samsung’s line that their APS-C sensor is larger and hence (automatically) superior is not reflected in actual real world performance in my experience. Their execution is actually quite disappointing.

And then there’s the issue of movie capture. Two things: The NX-10 movie quality is really pretty much so-so with very poor noise control. Second, the’jello-effect’ for movie recording due to the rolling shutter effect is a lot more apparent with the NX10. Yes I know that this issue plagues lots of CMOS type cameras but the 4/3 sensor in both the E-P2 and the GF-1 shows way less of this funny look than the NX10. I am surprised you didn’t point that out since HD movie recording is amongst one of the reasons many people would buy these new fangled cameras.

I am not returning my Samsung just yet because I am not sure if later firmware can improve these issues (I sincerely hope so), but I give the image quality lead to the E-P2 and then the GF-1. I might sell the E-P2 and pick up the new E-PL1.

Rgds, John

4:25 am - Friday, March 12, 2010

#8 r4i

Just what everybody needs; another propriatary lens mount. This camera should have offered stereo sound as well.

6:08 am - Friday, March 12, 2010

#9 Darren

Good Review - Thanks

6:09 am - Friday, March 12, 2010

#10 Graham

I presume the focal lengths quoted on the sample images are 35mm equivalents and that “308mm” is actually 200mm at the long end of the 55-200mm zoom.  For a low cost lens (at least when bought as part of a twin lens kit) the sharpness looks excellent to my untrained eyes.  Can anyone else with experience of these kind of zooms comment?

11:22 am - Friday, March 12, 2010

#11 Filipe Roque

When do you have a complete review on the new Olympus SP-800UZ that has a 30x zoom? I’m thinking on buying it, in Portugal around 310 eurosa nd will arrive in the end of March, but haven’t read yet to many expert reviews on this new Olympus Bridge ... Can someone assist me on this please? Thanks.

10:59 pm - Friday, March 12, 2010

#12 Tim

This text:

The Smart Range feature noticeably increases the visible detail in both shadow and highlight areas, as shown in the example below

is not born out by the images labelled “On” and “Off” below.

11:52 pm - Saturday, March 13, 2010

#13 Renny Martens

I am tossing up between this and the new Olympus E-PL1.

For NX10:

1. Price
2. Really good AMOLED screen
3. Built-in EVF
4. Supposedly better picture quality
5. More DOF control

Against:

1. This camera is big for something without a mirror box - I already have a DSLR. I don’t want another DSLR looking camera or DSLR sized camera. It’s sized like a D40

2. Poor Jpegs. The only decent shots I have seen so far are NX10 raws processed with Lightroom. I am not interested in raw processing and the associated time and tedium. My DSLR gives me all that hassle already!

3. No BIS (built in stabiliser). That darn pancake 30mm isn’t even stabilised. Lens become bigger, point of having no mirror becomes lost.

4. Looks like a DSLR. Heck, if I want a camera that looks like a DSLR, I might as well go buy one. Oh wait! I already have one. Give me something without that pretend-pentaprism hump.

I hope Samsung does better. The more brands making cameras means more choices for you and me. But this first attempt from Samsung is really just pretty average IMO.

Will I now buy an Olympus. Hmm, I am waiting for you to review it Mark!

11:53 am - Monday, March 15, 2010

#14 Voconce to John

I agree completely with you John : “noise reduction is overly aggressive - fine details are destroyed”

And I don’t like this kind of assertion : “because the sensor is larger, quality is necessarily better”.

Quality is what you SEE on real pictures, not what you THINK. Theory is one thing, reality is sometimes different.

The NX10 seems to be a good camera but :
- Its image quality is not astounding on these samples. Its theoretical superiority in high ISO is not visible.
- no anti-shake in the camera body, hence with the 30mm pancake

11:42 pm - Tuesday, March 16, 2010

#15 Neil

Regarding the comment that the Samsung focus speed is on par with the Panasonic G series, I kindly direct you to the below link:

http://43rumors.com/focus-test-samsung-nx10-vs-panasonic-g1/

7:27 pm - Monday, March 22, 2010

#16 Z

Interesting review but I would include the Sigma DP2s as a potential rival, at least compared to the NX10+pancake.

9:12 pm - Thursday, March 25, 2010

#17 Bikenut

Erik said “Forgot to add, the GH1 has the by far best Micro Four Thirds sensor. It would probably beat the NX10 on IQ. But it’s expensive due to its high-end kit lens.”

That’s not my findings. I own both GH1, EP1 and NX10 and also had GF1. Overall, the NX is slightly better in IQ than the GH1 and all the other m4/3s. Don’t nail the exposure spot-on with the GH1 at ISO1600 and you will get horrible banding. Even the EP1 can show hints of it at times. No such problem with NX if you screw up exposure. The NX has better color and DR especially in jpeg against the Pannys. Like with the GF1, you are nearly forced to have to shoot raw to get the most from the GH1 and spend extra time processing. Not so with NX10 as jpegs are excellently sharp and well detailed with great DR in “smart range” and requires minimal PP. And the NR at high ISOs in jpeg with NX that people moan about is overblown. It is no worse than the competition and I could show you jpegs from loads of other cameras that lose detail to NR in jpeg over raw, even with NR adjusted to low.

Also, you don’t tell us how your calculations about the GF1 being 1EV in better sensitivity derived from. Well it came from one set of amateur photos posted from a total novice on a forum. I suggest you go play or buy either camera to get *proper* facts. My GF1 only gave just over 1/3ev more sensitivity over EP1 just like along the lines that DPR tested. My NX is the same as the EP1 in exposure/sensitivity. I suggest you wait for proper testing in sensitivity (like from a DPR review) or else *actually* go use the cams in question instead of sitting on the sidelines and uttering total nonsense on various forums based on some novice’s amateur photographs.

Also, you fail to mention (like the review did here) that a Panny 20mm f1.7 + kit lens with any m4/3s body will cost you a few hundred more. I bought the NX + 18-55 + 30mm for €620 to my door from Jessops. I paid as much for a EP1 and kit lens, with the 20mm being an extra €350 over the odds to have the same set up as the NX10.

12:36 am - Friday, March 26, 2010

#18 John

One big disappointment here - the Samsung outght to have included on the NX10 a manual focus “assist”, wherein the electronic viewfinder zooms in on a portion of the image to allow more precise manual focusing.  The sensor certainly has the resolution to easily accommodate a 4x linear magnification.
Perhaps this could be provided via a firmware upgrade?

8:08 pm - Friday, March 26, 2010

#19 Imagestreet

The NX10 actually has a manual focus “assist”, wherein the electronic viewfinder zooms in on a portion of the image to allow more precise manual focusing.

I bought one (as a cheaper, more portable backup to a Nikon D3).  It’s a wonderful little camera, the jpgs are terrific up to about ISO800.  It’s traditionally styled which I actually don’t like but the payoff is superb handling.  Significantly cheaper than the GF-1 or Pen EP-2, and the integrated viewfinder while not exactly high definition does the job far more discreetly than the horrendous bolt on versions on these 4/3 cameras.  The 30mm is a superb lens.  Way to go Samsung!

6:23 pm - Saturday, March 27, 2010

#20 JohnS

The sample photos all seem devoid of any CA. Is this because this is a particularly good lens or is CA removal done in the camera. Do the raw photos show any CA? Unfortunately I don’t have a raw converter that read the NX10 files or I’d be able to answer this myself. I appreciate your supplying raw photos for cameras that have been reviewed.

3:01 am - Monday, March 29, 2010

#21 mochapaulo

Just passed by. But I am having trouble of using SRW RAW. I tried to make thing simple and have convert it into TIFF before edit it in Photoshop. There is no noise reduction in the Silkypix and just with an unsharp mask from the TIFF convertion process. I can only squeeze some finer detail from the TIFF comparing with the compressed JPEG. Now I understand why Samsung used to postpone the launching of NX10. The image quality is not satisfying if you used to pixel peep. But the colour is good. I hope she goes back to DNG since SRW shows nothing of technical merit. May be the converter is the one to give damn.

5:48 am - Thursday, April 1, 2010

#22 Dean Jones

It seems that the NX10 will not operate with an adapter. I machined a micro 4/3rds adapter to fit, but the NX refuses to fire. Has anyone tried this? Are adapters available that will allow the shutter to function?

1:39 am - Saturday, April 3, 2010

#23 Dean Jones

Novaflex in Germany staes: ‘All adapters for Samsung NX cameras will be available from end of April’.
Whoopee!

9:38 am - Saturday, April 3, 2010

#24 Raymond

Thanks for the review, Mark!

I am quite intrigued by the ‘full’ APS-C size, comparing with the PEN and GF toys. (oops)  However I am definitely basing my decision on any adapters they will be adding to the line.  Because:
1. Obviously I get to use all my other lens.
2. Don’t see Nikon or Canon coming up with a Mirrorless system soon.
3. Perfect for light travel, and as quick second body on full-equipped days.

Your review will provide a great baseline for my decision (as always)!  Thanks.

Ah, in return, since you were looking for a snappier name, I have one for you.

EVIL - which is well accepted in Asia, and actually published on media including prints.

Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens

EVIL

- that would snap!?

Ray

2:20 am - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#25 Tom

Your review is very fair and comprehensive.  I have been quite impressed by my NX10 30mm f2.0 so far - I am not so sure that the telephoto lenses would have been so positive.
Its a very good first try and I am sure a more up-market rangefinder style body will eventuate at some stage.
Meanwhile I agree that EVIL is a great and logical)acronym.  It is already used by many and is not the same as ‘Evil’ which has caused some hesitation by the timid.

5:38 am - Monday, April 26, 2010

#26 Norm

Thanks for the review, which helped me decide to buy the NX.

I sold my Nikon DSLR, had a brief flirtation with the Panasonic GF1 and then bought the NX - no regrets.

The more powerful flash, superb rear LCD that can still be read in full sun and the bigger sensor were my reasons for buying.

For those who question the abilit of the sensor, I feel (a) the camera gives excellent results (b) I am buying into a system and I expect over a short time, new bodies and better technology will undermine the points that concerrn people.

The only area of weakness that I have found is that there is some shutter lag when I use the 55-200mm for wildlife shots and this is noticable, because my DSLR was instant, but I would still rather have the NX than my DSLR simply for reasons of portability.

it is the 30mm lens that makes this body so usable, high image quality for a relatively small package - I see the bigger lenses simply as tool to make my system more flexible (i.e the 55-200mm would go to the zoo).

Using an auto focus based on contrast, I think the most important part of the learning curve is to understand what size focus area would best serve your shot, Recently I photographed the outside tap, but could not get the hand tap in focus, I then reduced the focu area to its smallest value and it immediately locked onto the rusty retaining screw on the top of the tap and gave a lovely crisp shot, full of detail.

11:43 pm - Wednesday, May 5, 2010

#27 Carlos

Great camera, the samples don´t have the “digital Look” of the micro 4/3 cameras. They are smooth with lot of detail.
Pictures taken with the 50-200 are outstanding, very, very sharp, sharper than Panasonic 45-200 and 14-140.

11:22 pm - Friday, September 3, 2010

#28 JackBassV

Going to give this a try, especially since it’s available for £400 at amazon.co.uk.

Just wish it had a tilting screen, as the 8 minute bulb setting will allow superb star-trail photographs.

JBV^_^

5:14 pm - Sunday, September 19, 2010

#29 Chris

From the past I have an experience with SLR Canon, hybrid camera- Fuji S7000 and for few last years I used Pentax istDS (DSLR camera).
I red this review than compared samples to others from different cameras and I decided mainly due to promotion ->30 mm for very low price.
After first two days of testing I have my first impression.
NX10 is faster than my old istDS in poor lighting (that camera always tried to use flash to help in focusing it was frustrating) and precise! No problems with front/back focus.
30 mm is very sharp in the centre also good out of the frame centre. No abberations problems.
I dit photo of my cat - every hair is visble you can count it!
In action scenes contrast AF of NX10 is slower than phaze detection of DSLR but I think it is matter of experience with camera.
Fine detail in jpgs? I can confirm this NR problem but it is visible on 100% screen view (I use 1920x1200 screen) so who cares?
Developped RAW without NR is very sharp (when 30 mm on F4 was used) and on 50% magnifying is visible much more detail than from jpg. But than I can’t see whole 14 MP picture!
The colors? Everything is possible in PP so I don’t care. WB also works for jpgs in software based on Silky Pix..
Kit lens I haven’t tested yet because I love this 30 mm (46mm eqv) F2:) I did only few samples with kit 18-55 sand in my opinion it is similar to Pentax kit , so it is good.

What remarks? Mainly to firmware.
In new f. version I’d like to have option of ISO range setting for AutoISo option and minimum shutter speed limit to help in action scenes - move freezing issue f.e. to avoid longer shutter speeds than 1/125s.
I’d like to have ISO indication on screen’s bottom line with time/aperture values also in ISO auto mode. In scenes menu there is not sport program - it is in smart IA setting but not always it works…
Why I bought this camera?
Because for me loooks perfect - I dont need bulky camera but its quality YES - (using Nikon D90+18-105+flash my hand was very tired). For trips NX10 is perfect for me. I’m waiting for megazoom 18-200 lens now. I have also manual lens for K-mount system so maybye adapter will be useful but as far I know there is not view magnifying when adapter is used
:(
Magnification of view in MF mode could be done via the button (request for Samsung software engineers).

OK this is not perfect camera but very nice and it can be improoved. Now it has good price too.
I wish this NX system will develop with good lens in attractive prices.
My proposal (not mentioned in Samsung plans) is zoom 17-50 F2,8 and 10-20mm.
The camera with 30 mm lens fixed, can be placed into the pocket and when used, it can deliver DSLR picture quality and using comfort, this is the most wonderful thing for this camera owner.

Greetings for NX owners.

9:15 am - Monday, October 18, 2010

#30 Corros

I love this camera! I’ve sold this camera many times, and everybody was exited with it!

I also made a little test and compared it to the Olympus E-pl1:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=nl&tl=en&u=http://cor-oskam.blogspot.com/2010/08/test-van-de-olympus-pen-e-pl1-en-de.html

3:16 pm - Monday, October 18, 2010

#31 sam

hello i want to buy this camera or nikon cp p100.. can anybody help me which one i should choose?

3:49 am - Friday, November 12, 2010

#32 Gordon

Had this now for a week, absolutely love it, high photo quality has been covered elsewhere, just like to say I’m still tracking the competition out of habit, and every time I think “Oh, maybe I could have made another choice”, logic still leads me back to the NX10, ticking all the boxes for me -

Sony NEX - Cute design, but no evf, no built-in flash (though supplied in kit and unobtrusive when installed), more expensive;
Samsung NX100 - Smaller but no evf (£optional), no built-in flash (£optional), 20-50mm kit-lens no OIS; 
Panasonic G10 - Cheaper than the NX10, but body thicker than NX10, not as ergonomically sound as the NX10, smaller sensor, additional lenses very expensive;
Olympus E-PL1 - Cute and user friendly functions, but no EVF (£optional), smaller screen, still more expensive, about to be superceded by E-PL2 (fixes a lot of basic E-PL1 minus-points like screen-size, function dial) which will not be discounted for ages;
Samsung NX11 - Coming soon - The NX10’s replacement, but an evolution rather than a revolution - effectively same body as the NX10, some additions to functionality eg sweep panorama - but as a new model it won’t be discounted for ages!

So in summary the NX10 has pretty much the full package for me, enough flexibility in terms of (current and future-release) lenses, and currently offers excellent value for money (£350 at Jacobs, and includes a camera bag!)

1:29 am - Sunday, January 23, 2011

#33 Gordon

Check out PC World for an amazing offer on the 50-200mm NX mount lens - It’s now £70! Get it get it!

Compare that to the £200+ that the rivals are charging for their zoom equivalents! 

App the price cut is because Samsung are releasing new lenses including direct replacements for the 18-55 and 50-200, but all w i-function. Only the 30mm isn’t getting a direct replacement so pricing remains firm boo…Instead they’re bringing out one or two more wide-angle pancakes with i-function.

4:46 pm - Sunday, February 13, 2011

#34 wolfdoctor

I’m a newbie, so please take this criticism with a grain of salt, but the sample images seem sort of dull and lacking in color compared to other cameras’ images that I’ve seen.  Perhaps these images weren’t a good representative sample.

2:03 pm - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#35 val

Samsung D-XENON 50-200 4-5.6 ED is it compatible with samsung nx10 ? without adapter ?

11:37 pm - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#36 Krishna

Tell em i am interested in purchasing one..

weather I have to go for NX10 or E-Pl1 or G1 ...i am thinking of E-PL1 as its cheaper among the three..but I got tempted with NX10 APS-C Sensor..

Whaich one I Should prefer??

1:09 pm - Saturday, September 24, 2011

#37 Nick Alamanos

As a wedding photographer I’m used to carrying two large dslr on me for about 10 hours. So when it’s my free time, something like the NX10 would be wecome for my back.

5:35 pm - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#38 Luke Mc

I have had an NX10 for over a year now and love it. I have the standard 18-55 and the 55-200. My question o anyone/everyone is can you get lenses not made by Samsung and use them in my NX10. I really want to get hold of a 18-200mm for a travelling trip coming up…I have seen Samsung now have one at £649 however I would like to see if I can get one cheaper.
Thanks

9:56 pm - Thursday, March 15, 2012

#39 Mario

There is no comparison with apsc and m43 sesnors when it comes to mid range iso’s. all you have t do is push the shadow areas of the pictures and you will see that m43 picture quality falls apart big time. The problem with m43 is that even in the low iso’s the image looks coarse or compressed grainality. the apsc sensor in the samung is juch more detailed and smooth in lower isos. Not to mention that the nx10 nx100 has a thicvker aa filter. One gentlemen from japan on youtube tinkered around with his nx100 and took the whol aa filter right off, and the images he took with or without the aa filter off was astounding. The nx100 kit lens is known to be a superb kit zoom lens but you dont know how good it is until you take that aa filter off the nx100 and 10’s. I hear the filter is thinner on the nx200 and nx1000 so the quality will be better.

2:11 am - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, review, 720p, 14 megapixel, dslr, micro four thirds, samsung, APS-C, AMOLED, nx 10, nx-10, nx10, Samsung NX10 Review

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