Samsung NX210 Review

4.0
July 17, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 20.3 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

The Samsung NX210 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS megapixel sensor used in the NX210 produces noise-free JPEG images at ISO 100-800, with ISO 1600 also looking very good. ISO 3200 only shows a little noise, while the fastest settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 are quite a lot noisier and suffer from softening of fine detail and a loss of saturation, but the images are still perfectly usable for small prints and resizing for web use. The NX210 does apply quite a lot of noise reduction to the JPEGs, as demonstrated by the RAW files which have more noise at the comparable high ISO settings.

The images were a little soft straight out of the NX210 at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting for JPEG files. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and bulb mode of 8 minutes allowing you to capture plenty of light.

Colours were vibrant without being over-saturated in the default Standard Picture Wizard mode, and you can always choose Vivid if you want even more punch or one of the other seven presets to change the mood of your JPEG images, with three customisable settings also available. The Panorama shooting mode and range of Smart Filters are welcome additions, although the Magic Frames are rather less useful.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Samsung NX210. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and RAW on the right.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Samsung NX210 has 3 different JPEG image quality settings available, with SuperFine being the highest quality option, and you can also shoot in RAW format. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

20M SuperFine (6.50Mb) (100% Crop) 20M Fine (3.89Mb) (100% Crop)
   
20M Normal (2.44Mb) (100% Crop) 20M RAW (32.3Mb) (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the Samsung NX210 are Smart Flash, Auto, Auto+Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in+Red-eye reduction, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain and Off . These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (18mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (18mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (55mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (55mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. Neither the Auto setting or the Red-eye reduction mode caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye reduction

Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Samsung NX210's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's also a Bulb setting of up to 8 minutes, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Picture Wizard

Samsung's various Picture Wizard options are similar to Olympus' Picture Modes, Nikon's Picture Styles and Canon's Picture Controls, offering preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings, all of which can be changed. The nine available Picture Controls are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There are also three additional Custom styles so that you can create your own looks.

Standard

Vivid

   

Portrait

Landscape

   

Forest

Retro

   

Cool

Calm

   

Classic

 
 

Smart Filters

The NX210 offers ten creative filter effects that can be applied to both stills and movies.

Vignetting

Miniature

   

Fish Eye

Sketch

   

Defog

Halftone Dots

   

Soft Focus

Old Film 1

   

Old Film 2

Negative

Panoramas

The Panorama mode captures either a Live Panorama, which allows you to also capture subject movement at several points during a sweeping panorama, or a 3D panorama.

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, review, 1080p, wi-fi, wireless, csc, dslr, micro four thirds, 20 megapixel, samsung, APS-C, wi fi, compact system, 8fps, AMOLED, i-Fn, i-Function, nx-210, nx210, Samsung NX210 Review, nx 210

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