Samsung GX-20 Review

Review Date: July 24th 2008
Author: Mark Goldstein

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were captured using the [14.6M] 46723104 pixels, Super Fine setting, producing a file that is around 10Mb in size.

Noise

The Samsung GX-20 has 7 ISO settings from 100-6400. There is no discernible noise between ISO 100-400, and ISO 800 also looks pretty good. There is some quite obvious noise at ISO 1600 though, and by ISO 3200 it is very obvious, together with high blurring of detail. ISO 6400 is very noisy but still useable if there's no other option. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

File Quality

The Samsung GX-20 has 4 different JPEG file quality settings available, with 14M Super Fine being the highest quality JPEG option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

14M Super Fine (8.02Mb) (100% Crop)
14M Super Fine 2 (6.04Mb) (100% Crop)
   
14M Fine (3.49Mb) (100% Crop)
14M * Good (1.62Mb) (100% Crop)
   
14M RAW (23.06Mb) (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 at the default setting are a little soft and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Alternatively you can change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default results.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   
   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Samsung GX-20's kit lens handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with some limited purple fringing present around the edges of the frame in particularly high-contrast situations. Here are some 100% crops which show the typical chromatic aberrations that you can expect:

Chromatic Aberrations (100% Crop)
Chromatic Aberrations (100% Crop)
   

Flash

The flash settings on the Samsung GX-20 are Fill In, Fill In + Red-eye, 1st Curtain Sync, 1st Curtain Sync + Red-eye, 2nd Curtain Sync, Wireless Mode and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (82mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (82mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64
   

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Fill In + Red-eye option caused any amount of red-eye.

Fill In

Fill In (100% Crop)
   

Fill In + Red-eye

Fill In + Red-eye (100% Crop)
   

Night Shot

The Samsung GX-20's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's also a Bulb mode for really long exposures, which is great news if you're interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds, aperture of f/8 at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)
   

Anti Shake

The Samsung GX-20 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti-shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show the results. As you can see, with anti-shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti-shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti-Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti-Shake On (100% Crop)
1/15th sec / 28mm
1/15th sec / 82mm
     

Overall Image Quality

The Samsung GX-20 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 800, with significant levels of noise first appearing at ISO 1600. The fastest speeds of 3200 and 6400 are undoubtedly noisy but still useable. The Samsung GX-20 also dealt very well with chromatic aberrations, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only at the edges of the photo in high contrast situations. Anti-shake is a feature that sets this camera apart from its competitors and one that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with a small amount of red-eye and good overall exposure. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in all situations. The 14 megapixel images were quite soft straight out of the camera 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. Overall a great performance by the GX-20.

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Samsung GX-20 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.