Samsung NX20 Review

June 21, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | |

Your Comments

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#1 Phil

Hello together,

first of all, thanks for that very detailed review!
I just have one objection: Samsung released an firmware update (1.0 (I realy don’t know why its also cllaed 1.0 like the old one)) which provides a much faster writing/safing time for JPEG + RAW. Before the Update it took to save for round about ten pictures up to 28 seconds (RAW * JPEG super fine). Now, with the new firmware, it only takes 12 seconds! This is really a great increase!!!
The other effect of the new firmware is, that the “black phase” between two pictures is much more shorter.
Maybe you can include this to your review !?

Best regards from Germany!

3:50 pm - Thursday, June 21, 2012

#2 Mark Jordan

After terrible “luck” with my first Samsung I thought I was through with them forever, however, you’ve given me much to REconsider. Thanks again. Great blog.

7:04 pm - Thursday, June 21, 2012

#3 Steve


Good review - but I think you’ve mixed up the smart range shots. OFF looks like it has better shadows than ON.

And to Samsung - why publish a lens roadmap with a 16-80 lens and then cancel it. It means your roadmaps are unreliable, and that means your company’s promises are unreliable. Who will invest in your system unless they can rely on you to develop it as promised ?

3:39 am - Friday, June 22, 2012

#4 Jarrett

Why does the ISO 200 shot look a half stop darker?

3:46 am - Friday, June 22, 2012

#5 Lorii Abela

Great review! Look at this innovations. Now we have Wi-Fi enabled compact system cameras. Thanks for sharing this review.

3:04 pm - Friday, June 22, 2012

#6 Giuseppe

But I’m the only one to find the photos over 800 iso horrible?

3:24 pm - Friday, June 22, 2012

#7 duel78

The Night Shot are missing. They are “403 forbidden”. Please check it.

11:06 pm - Friday, June 22, 2012

#8 zebarnabe

While not that bad (I assume you have some control on camera settings) JPEGs look over processed, you can even see halos around some edges. Well, you have RAW at least.

The kit lens fares really poorly in this sensor.

Samsung really needs better glass and a better processing engine…

11:23 am - Sunday, June 24, 2012

#9 zoon

Such bad lens and such high price…

7:42 pm - Monday, June 25, 2012

#10 Paul Bentley

I’ve got this camera, and love it more than the NX10 - a camera I thought was seriously underrated.

The image quality is better than anything I’ve used, except the full frame canons.

I don’t like the iFunction much, and the WiFi is pointless for me. The viewfinder app is okay, but only works in jpg and the equivalent of smart mode.

Since this was written, firmware 1.01 has been released.

6:54 pm - Friday, September 14, 2012

#11 Phillip

I have Sumsung NX 10. Picture resizing starts at 1.1 then regualr steps upwards.

WHY OH! WHY does the new NX 20 resizing start at 2.1.

Useless as half the picture has alreday gone!

Or am I missing something!?

5:16 pm - Tuesday, September 18, 2012

#12 René Kraaijeveld Photography

I have watched some comparing shots on imaging resorts. and wow.. has anybody seen? it outresolves almost all cameras on low iso. It blows away Canon 5D mark 3 in sharpness.. or am i so mistaking?  Go in fine detail to compare, also shocked by that macroshot. My goodness, blows away Sony NEX 7. Or have they added so much sharness to their jpg? would like to see comparisons in raw

12:46 pm - Thursday, September 27, 2012

#13 zebarnabe

René Kraaijeveld,

No. The lens used in this Samsung are not that good (but I’ve seen worse kit lens). The camera over sharpens the images a bit by default, you can probably change that with in-camera settings.

“It blows away Canon 5D mark 3 in sharpness.”, your sentence makes little sense, while it is true that some cameras have stronger or weaker AA sensor filters, most of the sharpness on a interchangeable lens camera system depends on the lens used.

Regarding detail resolving power, Sony glass is a tad bad, but if you put some adapter and use a Voigtlaender or other manual focus (hint: Leica) lens with good sharpness you’ll see that it can resolve a lot of detail. Likewise, Canon 5D Mk. III is a beast, but you need to pay well for good glass to take advantage of it.

This camera is a bit over priced and has little appeal due to the neither size nor lens available are that remarkable. That said, it is not a bad camera and it is certainly a much better camera than the previous one.

1:52 pm - Thursday, September 27, 2012

#14 ei

Bought this camera last month and the picture quality is unbelievably good better than my Rebel t3i. The video is excellent too. Colours are more vibrant than my t3i Canon Rebel. The low light on this thing is insanely good. People can bitch about the electronic viewfinder all they want but it is definitely pretty damn good for mirrorless. The price is definitely worth it. People who don’t have this camera can’t review it…. simple as that. The new firmware fixed all lag and tweeks. I would not trade this camera for any other mirrorless on the market. Samsung has taken all the best features from competitors and put it into this camera. Im so crazy in love with it, best investment ever. Samsung is building a beautiful reputation. And this isn’t coming from someone without experience, I’ve been working in a camera shop for over two years and we carry all mirrorless competitors so believe me, I’ve done my research. Don’t be fooled by peoples ignorance around Samsung products just because they aren’t huge in the market (yet!). I do not regret this purchase in any way, shape or form.

1:43 am - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

#15 r bates

Does it take Pentax lenses?

4:26 pm - Saturday, October 27, 2012

#16 JohnZ_NYC

I was fortunate to purchase my NX20 body on sale for $499 from one vendor and the 18 mm - 55 mm Lens Kit on sale from another vendor for $149 for an unbelievable total price of $648!

Earlier this year, I purchased a Sony RX100 for the same price.  I had been leaning towards a Sony NEX-7, but at the sale price, I figured why not go for the Samsung?

I could not be more happy with that decision!  Compared to the RX100, the Samsung image quality is far superior, especially in low ISO conditions.  At high ISO, the Samsung is much sharper with better color rendering.  While there is less noise than the RX100, I have to admit a was expecting a bit better high ISO performance from the Samsung NX20.  Unfortunately, I do not own another APS-C or Full-Frame camera for a more fair image quality comparison but compared to high-ISO NEX-7 images I viewed on the web, the Samsung NX20 certainly holds its own, with better low-ISO image quality.

Regarding WIFI, I am disappointed in that the one WIFI feature I really wanted to use, smart phone remote viewfinder, only supports one automatic mode and manual settings with the remote smartphone viewfinder feature is not possible. 

Finally, the lack of lens and lens quality is an issue.  I did see a test comparing Samsung mirrorless camera lenses to those from Sony—better than Sony mirrorless camera lenses
but that is not saying much.  An adaptor does exist and for my next lens purchase, I will look into that and a third-party lens.

In summary, the Samsung holds up well to its intended competition, the Sony NEX-7.  In certain ways, it is clearly superior with features clearly targeted to on-the-go users who want both high quality, portability and WIFI/Internet access.  However, I would trade WIFI for a little better high-ISO performance and better lenses.

7:59 pm - Sunday, February 10, 2013

#17 Min-Hwee

thank you so much! your blog has been helping me out lately, because I’m trying to choose a camera :)

3:29 pm - Monday, September 23, 2013

#18 Jahir

I have seen some comparing shots on imaging resorts. and wow.. has anybody seen? it out resolve almost all cameras on low iso. It blows away Canon 5D mark 3 in sharpness. Finally, the lack of lens and lens quality is an issue.  I did see a test comparing Samsung mirrorless camera lenses to those from Sony—better than Sony mirrorless camera lenses.

7:01 pm - Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Entry Tags

hd video, review, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, compact system camera, dslr, micro four thirds, 20 megapixel, samsung, APS-C, AMOLED, ifunction, i-function, Samsung NX20 Review, nx 20, nx-20, nx20

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