Samsung NX30 Review

February 24, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Samsung NX30 is a new, traditionally-styled APS-C compact system camera. The DSLR-like NX30 features a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, tiltable electronic viewfinder (XGA, 2,359K-dot resolution), 3-inch swivelling Super AMOLED touchscreen, ISO range of 100-25600, Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system with both phase and contrast detection, built-in pop-up flash, full 1080p HD movie recording with stereo sound, 9fps continuous shooting, top shutter speed of 1/8000th second, NFC and Wi-Fi capabilities, and support for Samsung's unique i-Function lenses. Available in black, the Samsung NX30 retails for £899.99 / $999.99 with the 18-55mm OIS III kit lens.

Ease of Use

The Samsung NX30 feels like more of a mass-market device than its premium price-tag might suggest, with an all-plastic body that weighs just 375g. If you're expecting a metal chassis with machined controls, the NX30 is not the camera for you. This isn't to say that the NX30 isn't well-built though, and you'll certainly appreciate the NX30's lack of bulk during a long day's shooting. At 127 x 95.5 x 41.7mm, the NX30 isn't that much bigger than some Micro Four Thirds cameras, impressive given the physically larger APS-C sensor inside. The depth and weight obviously increase when the supplied metal mounted 18-55mm OIS III kit lens is fitted, making the NX30 instantly more DSLR-like, but fitting a slimmer optic like the 30mm pancake lens creates a much more compact combination.

The lenses are still the main area where the NX30 suffers in comparison to the Micro Four Thirds cameras, especially if you're looking for the smallest overall package. The NX30 is relatively tiny when twinned with the 30mm pancake lens, but the 18-55mm and especially the 50-200mm lens are quite a lot bigger and heavier than their MFT's equivalents. This is completely understandable given the larger sensor that lies at the heart of the NX30, and is the trade-off for the image quality advantages that an APS-C sensor offers. Only you can decide if size and portability or image quality is more important to you.

The supplied 18-55mm kit lens features Samsung's now standard i-Function button, an innocuous looking button on the lens barrel which when pressed activates a sub-menu of key options and allows you to change them simply by turning the focus ring. Consecutive presses of the i-Function button moves through the five available settings - shutter speed and/or aperture, ISO speed, exposure compensation and white balance. The latter two settings can optionally be turned on or off in the main menu, allowing a degree of user customisation. The i-Function button provides a quick way of accessing certain key settings, and is well suited to the NX30 with its electronic viewfinder where you can hold it up to your eye, press the button and turn the focus ring with your left hand, and grip the camera with your right. Holding the NX30 at arm's length to view the settings while pressing the i-Function button and rotating the focus ring is more cumbersome, especially when you can also use the rear control wheel to perform the same actions, something that we found ourselves doing by default.

The new i-Function Plus mode enables you to use the iFn button in combination with with the metering, exposure compensation and AEL buttons to directly even more options. By default the three customisable buttons are set to Dynamic Range, Focus in Center and DIS (Antishake), but they can each be reconfigured to one of 13 settings. Having to hold down the iFn button whilst pressing the metering, exposure compensation or AEL button is a little awkward in practice, but it does add to the configurability of the NX30.

The NX30, like several of its rivals, now features a Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system, similar to the one in the NX300 camera. This combines phase- and contrast-detection autofocus methods to deliver an auto-focus system that's snappier and more accurate than the conventional contrast-detection system used by the previous NX20, particularly in low-light, thanks to the 105 phase-detection and 247 contrast AF points. The NX30 isn't quite as quick as the class leading Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Fujifilm X-T1, but we doubt that most users would notice the difference in reality. There were very few occasions when the NX30 failed to lock onto the subject, especially when using the centre AF point, which can be usefully set to one of four different sizes.

Optical image stabilisation is supplied via the lenses, rather than being built-in to the NX30's body. It can be turned on and off via the OIS menu option, rather than via a more handy switch on the lens barrel, with two different modes available. When enabled, the NX30 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds when the camera is hand held. In practice we found that it does make a noticeable difference. You don't notice that the NX30 is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos. Thankfully leaving the anti-shake system on all the time didn't affect the battery-life too badly, achieving around 350 shots before needing to be recharged.

Samsung NX30 Samsung NX30
Front Rear

One area where the NX30 shines is styling and layout. It has a clean and modern DSLR-like design rather than the retro look of the Olympus' PEN series and the Fujifilm X range, whilst being more curved and "organic" than the Panasonic G-series or Sony NEX models. Perhaps more importantly it also offer a logical and intuitive interface, striking a great balance between providing easy access to the main features and achieving an uncluttered control system whilst still managing to cater for both beginners and more competent prosumers alike.

On the front of the Samsung NX30 is a small focus-assist and self-timer indicator lamp, lens release button, a metal lens mount, the rubberised hand-grip, and a handy Depth of Field Preview button. Samsung have redesigned the camera's grip, which in comparison to the previous NX20 is much more pronounced and taller. There's a generous, textured black plastic hand-grip on the left-front of the camera with a notch for your forefinger, and a large thumb-grip on the rear finished in the same rubberised, faux-leather material.

Large metal neck strap eyelets are located on top of the NX30 at the sides, with the rear dominated by the swivelling 3 inch AMOLED screen. On the right side of the body, viewed from the rear, is a plastic cover that houses two different ports - a shared USB / AV Out port and a mini HDMI for connecting the NX30 to a HD television or monitor.

Located on the bottom of the camera is the battery compartment protected by a plastic lockable cover. The BP1410 battery provides up to 360 shots under the CIPA testing standard, on a par with most of the NX30's main rivals. When it comes to storing your photographs the NX30 uses SD / SDHC / SDXC cards, with the memory card slot sharing the battery compartment like most cameras do. Also found on the bottom of the camera is a metal tripod mount which is commendably located in-line with the centre of the lens mount.

The NX30 features a built-in electronic viewfinder. The mere mention of an EVF is usually enough to elicit loud groans from any serious photographer, as they have traditionally been poorly implemented in the past, with low-res, grainy displays that were only really suitable for still subjects. Thankfully the electronic viewfinder on the NX30 is much better than older generations of EVFs. It has an impressive 0.96x magnification, offers 100% field of view and the resolution is an impressive 2,359K dots, resulting in a large, detailed and bright display that should persuade most non-believers to use it.

Interetsingly the viewfinder can be physically tilted through 90-degrees, acting as a conventional finder or a waist-level finder. To operate it, you grip the viewfinder on both sides and pull it backwards, then rotate it upwards to 0 degrees, with two further click stops in-between. As with the rest of the NX30, the tiltable viewfinder feels a little plasticky, and using it inevitably makes the camera more bulky, but it's definitely more than a gimmick, proving useful for more candid shots or when mounting the camera on a low tripod.

Samsung NX30 Samsung NX30
Front Top

There's also a handy eye sensor alongside the EVF which switches seamlessly between the LCD screen and the EVF when you hold it up to your eye, saving battery power and removing the unwanted distraction of the LCD display. As the EVF is reading the same signal from the image sensor as the rear LCD screen, it can also display similar information - for example, you can view and operate the Function Menu and see all the current settings, giving quick access to all the key camera settings while it's held up to your eye.

The NX30's 3-inch, 1037k-dot rear LCD touchscreen is very impressive, incorporating AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology that provides a number of key advantages over traditional LCD screens. These include easier viewing in bright sunshine and a very wide viewing angle, 10,000 times faster refresh rate than conventional LCDs, less power consumption and a high contrast ratio of 10,000:1. The swiveling LCD screen can be moved 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically and is a very welcome addition, particularly when shooting video or stills from more unusual angles, or dare we say it, for that all-important selfie.

The NX30's touchscreen can be used for a while multitude of things, including accessing the Main menu and Function menu options, setting the AF point, and even firing the shutter. The Touch AF mode offers a very clever feature that we haven't seen before on any other camera. You touch the subject to set the point of focus, and can then drag a second box across the screen to where you want to meter the exposure from - very clever. Finally, you can drag down from the top of the screen to see a summary of the camera's main settings (screen brightness, storage, battery level and recently changed camera settings). In conjunction with the iFn lens and physical controls, the Samsung NX30 is one of the most adaptable cameras around in terms of it user interface.

The NX30 has a built-in dust-removal system that vibrates the sensor 60,000 times per second to remove any unwanted specks from appearing in your images. By default this feature is turned off, something of an oversight by Samsung, so make sure to enable it so that it works every time you start-up the camera (it only takes about one second). You can also perform a manual sensor clean at any point. The NX30 has a built-in pop-up flash which is activated by a switch on the top of the camera. This useful pop-up unit offers a range of flash synchronisation modes, guide number of 11 at ISO 100, an X-sync speed of 1/200 second, and coverage for a 28mm wide lens. The NX30 also offers a flash hotshoe that will accept compatible Samsung flashguns.

Also found on top of the NX30 are the stereo microphones either side of the flash, small metering and Direct Link buttons, on/off switch encircling the small but tactile shutter button. A new addition to the NX30 is a handy manual dial for switching between the single frame, continuous shooting, self-timer and bracketing options.

Completing the top of the NX30 is a traditional round shooting mode dial with a positive click for the different exposure modes, which is a typical feature of DSLR cameras and enables you to quickly change between the various options. The usual selection of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual are available for the more experienced photographers, and more beginner-friendly Scene modes and Smart Auto mode are also accessed via this dial.

Smart Auto is Samsung's equivalent of the intelligent auto modes on competitors models. You simply point the NX30 at a scene or subject and the camera hopefully recognizes it from 16 commonly used presets and automatically adjusts its settings to deliver optimum results. This means that it's not necessary for the user to manually delve into scene modes to call up the likes of 'landscape' or 'flower', making the NX30's operation merely a case of point and shoot. In practice the Smart Auto system works very well, with the NX30 usually picking the most appropriate combination of settings for the current situation. Obviously not all situations are covered by the 16 scene modes that the system uses, but it does work for the majority of the time. It makes it possible for the less experienced photographer to easily take well-exposed, sharp pictures of people, scenery and close-ups by simply pointing and shooting the camera and is more intuitive than the traditional scene modes (which are still available).

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Tilting LCD Screen Tilting Viewfinder

When the i-Scene shooting mode is selected, the NX100 automatically recognises what type of lens has been attached and suggests a list of scene modes to choose from that are tailored to that specific lens. While this helps to narrow down the usual vast number of choices, it would have been more effective if combined with the Smart Auto shooting mode, rather than being a stand-alone mode, as you still have to pick from the scene modes that are presented to you.

The Samsung NX30 offers built-in Wi-Fi, with an array of options available. Users can email their images, upload them directly to Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket and YouTube, or instantly copy them to a home PC via Auto Backup. Samsung’s AllShare Play and Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud services provide free storage space that's accessible by anyone with an account. MobileLink allows you to directly send images to a compatible smartphone or tablet, while Remote Viewfinder uutilises a smartphone as a live image previewer. Finally TV Link takes the place of a physical HDMI connection by playing back photos on any device that's connected to the same wireless access point as the camera. The NX30 is also one of the first compact system cameras to feature NFC (Near Field Communication) technology (the same technology that's used for mobile payments), which allows you to connect it to a compatible internet enabled device or another NFC-enabled camera by simply tapping them together.

Completing the camera's top-plate is a control dial which is used for, amongst other things, changing the aperture and shutter speed by turning from left to right and back again (it also doubles up as zoom in/out during image playback). As with the shooting mode dial, this is a common feature found on DSLR cameras, so you'll be right at home if you've used a DSLR before - compact camera users will need to become accustomed to using this dial. In Manual mode you use the control ring that encircles the rear navigation pad to change the aperture. If you prefer to use this ring rather than the top dial, it also changes the shutter speed and aperture too in those priority modes.

The NX30 can record full HD 1080p 1920x1080 and 720p 1280x720 movies in the 16:9 aspect ratio and standard VGA 640x480 or 320x260 movies in the 4:3 aspect ratio, all using the H.264 format at 30 frames per second. There's also a special 1920x810 Cine mode that records at 24fps. The Movie mode is accessed via the convenient one-touch record button on the rear shoulder of the camera. Stereo sound is recorded during video capture via the small internal mics on the top of of the camera, complete with an onscreen Audio Level Meter and adjustable input levels, and there's a standard 3.5mm microphone input for higher quality audio capture on the left-hand side of the camera. The HDMI port allows you to connect the NX30 to a high-def TV set, and for more advanced users the camera offers HDMI live streaming with Full HD 30p output to a larger screen, recorder, and other HDMI devices.

The NX30's movie mode offers full control over ISO speed, metering, white balance, timer settings and exposure during video recording via the Programme, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual shooting modes, and all of the various Smart Filters and Picture Wizard settings can be applied (and the selective color options too). Multi-Motion recording can either slow down (by 05x or 0.25x) or speed up (by 5x, 10x or 20x) the video, the quality can be set to Normal or High. Three auto-focus modes are available - single, continuous and manual - and there are three manual focus assist options to help you achieve accurate focusing. Finally, the optical image stabiliser also works for video recording as well as stills.

Samsung NX30 Samsung NX30
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Turning to the rear of the NX30, to the right of the large LCD screen that we've already mentioned is a familiar round navigation pad with four buttons above and two below. Starting at the top are handily placed buttons for setting the exposure compensation and locking the exposure, then the Menu button. The main menu system on the NX30 is very straight-forward to use, with five main menus presented as a row of horizontal icons, much like Canon's DSLR camera range. The Fn button provides quick and easy access to 14 of the most important camera settings, which are presented as a HUD-type display in the EVF or LCD screen. Used in combination with the four directions on the navigation pad that set the Display Mode, AF Mode, ISO and White Balance options, you really can access most of the NX30's key options with one press of a button, although changing them takes a couple more presses. Completing the rear controls are buttons for playing back and deleting your images, with the latter also accessing the Custom mode during shooting. By default this opens the Drive Settings menu, but it can be reconfigured to the AF area settings.

There are four AF Area modes on offer, including Selection AF with a selectable focus area, Multi AF, Face Detection, and Self-Portrait Tracking, with Single, Continuous and Manual AF Modes available. The NX30 also has a useful AF Priority function that begins focusing as soon as you point the camera. Manual focusing is assisted by the 'enlarged display' function. Once you have selected manual focus mode on the lens barrel, turning the manual focus ring automatically increases the magnification on the LCD display, which is a big help in getting the focus spot on. This is real, non-interpolated magnification, very useful for accurate manual focusing - provided you find a way to steady the camera. The screen cleverly returns to normal magnification when you stop using the manual focus ring for a few seconds. Metering options include Multi, Center-weighted and Spot, while the ISO range runs from 100-25600. There are 6 white balance presets plus Auto and Custom settings and the ability to set a precise Kelvin value, and if you can't make up your mind the white balance, exposure and even the Picture Wizard settings can all be bracketed.

The start-up time from turning the NX30 on to being ready to take a photo is impressively quick at around 1 second. It takes about 1 second to store a JPEG image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card, with a brief LCD blackout between each image. Storing a single RAW image takes around 3 seconds, but thankfully it doesn't stop you shooting another image while the first file is being written to memory, with the dreaded "Processing" message that afflicted the previous NX20 being conspicuous only by its absence. The Samsung NX30 has a great Burst mode which enables you to take 9 frames per second for 45 JPEG images at the highest image quality, or 9 RAW images, again a big improvement on the NX20. The interesting Burst mode shoots at 10, 15 or 30fps for 30 shots with a single press of the shutter button, but only for small JPEGs.

Once you have captured a photo the Samsung NX30 has a fairly good range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 40 onscreen at the same time), zoom in and out up to 7.6x magnification, view slideshows, delete, share and protect an image and set the print order. There are a number of different ways to alter the look of an already-captured photo, including smart filters, redeye fix, backlight, changing the photo style, resizing, rotating, face retouch, brightness, contrast and vignetting. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed, there are small brightness and RGB histograms available, and the Highlight option makes any blown-out highlights areas flash on the LCD screen.

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 8Mb.

The Samsung NX30 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS megapixel sensor used in the NX30 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 6400-25600 are quite a lot noisier and suffer from softening of fine detail and a loss of saturation. The NX30 does apply quite a lot of noise reduction to the JPEGs, as demonstrated by the RAW files which have more noise at the comparable ISO settings.

The images were a little soft straight out of the NX30 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 4 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 presets to change the mood of your JPEG images, with three customisable settings also available. The Panorama shooting mode, Dynamic Range mode and extensive range of Smart Filters are welcome additions.


There are 9 ISO settings available on the Samsung NX30. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and RAW on the right.


ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

File Quality

The Samsung NX30 has 3 different JPEG image quality settings available, with SuperFine being the highest quality option, and you can also shoot in the RAW format. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

20M SuperFine (6.81Mb) (100% Crop) 20M Fine (4.41Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
20M Normal (2.45Mb) (100% Crop) 20M RAW (23.0Mb) (100% Crop)
quality_normal.jpg quality_raw.jpg


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)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg


The flash settings on the Samsung NX30 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.

Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Fill-in - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Off - Telephoto (82mm)

Fill-in - Telephoto (82mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Fill-in or the Fill-in + Red-eye reduction settings caused any red-eye.


Fill-in (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Fill-in + Red-eye reduction

Fill-in + Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Samsung NX30's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's also a Bulb setting of up to 4 minutes, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 30 second setting the actual exposure takes 60 seconds.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

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.



picture_wizard_01.jpg picture_wizard_02.jpg



picture_wizard_03.jpg picture_wizard_04.jpg



picture_wizard_05.jpg picture_wizard_06.jpg



picture_wizard_07.jpg picture_wizard_08.jpg



Smart Filters

The Samsung NX30 offers 13 creative filter effects that can be applied to both JPEG stills and movies.



smart_effects_01.jpg smart_effects_02.jpg

Colored Pencil


smart_effects_03.jpg smart_effects_04.jpg

Wash Drawing

Oil Sketch

smart_effects_05.jpg picture_wizard_06.jpg

Ink Sketch


smart_effects_07.jpg smart_effects_08.jpg



smart_effects_09.jpg smart_effects_10.jpg



smart_effects_11.jpg smart_effects_12.jpg



Dynamic Range

The Smart Range+ feature noticeably increases the visible detail in both shadow and highlight areas, although it does tend to wash-out the stronger colours in the process. The new HDR option successfully combines three shots taken at different exposures into a single photo with greatly expanded dynamic range.


Smart Range+

dynamic_range_01.jpg dynamic_range_02.jpg




The Panorama mode allows you to take vertical or horizontal panorama photos simply by pressing the shutter release button once and then moving the camera in the direction of the on-screen guides. Multiple shots are then combined into a single panorama photo.

Horizontal Panorama

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Samsung NX30 camera, which were all taken using the 20.3 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Samsung NX30 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Samsung RAW (SRW) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 at 50 frames per second. Please note that this 20 second movie is 63.7Mb in size.

Product Images

Samsung NX30

Front of the Samsung NX30

Samsung NX30

Front of the Samsung NX30 / Lens Fitted

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Front of the Samsung NX30 / Flash Raised

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Side of the Samsung NX30

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Side of the Samsung NX30

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Side of the Samsung NX30

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Side of the Samsung NX30

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Rear of the Samsung NX30

Samsung NX30

Rear of the Samsung NX30


Samsung NX30

Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Image Displayed

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Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Turned On

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Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Main Menu

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Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Function Menu

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Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Tilting LCD Screen

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Front of the Samsung NX30 / Tilting LCD Screen

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Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Tilting Viewfinder

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Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Tilting Viewfinder

Samsung NX30

Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Tilting Viewfinder

Samsung NX30

Rear of the Samsung NX30 / Tilting Viewfinder

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Top of the Samsung NX30

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Bottom of the Samsung NX30

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Side of the Samsung NX30

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Side of the Samsung NX30

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Front of the Samsung NX30

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Front of the Samsung NX30

Samsung NX30

Memory Card Slot

Samsung NX30

Battery Compartment


Samsung have continued to heavily invest in developing their compact system camera range, with the new flagship NX30 offering the best technologies, image quality and handling of any NX-series camera to date. We'd expect a more premium finish at this price-point, though, with the light weight, cheap dials, and the plastic flip-up viewfinder all contributing to a certain lack of quality. Still, the Samsung NX30 offers something genuinely different to its main competitors, and is well worthy of consideration.

The NX30's traditional DSLR-like design remains intact, with a well-thought-out and very customisable user interface, further improved i-Function button, class-leading swivelling LCD screen, and an innovative high-resolution, flip-up viewfinder. The NX30 benefits from the same image quality advantages that a large APS-C DSLR sensor camera usually offers, namely better performance at higher ISOs than the smaller Micro Four Thirds format. Happily Samsung have also addressed some of the performance concerns that we noted when reviewing the NX20, with a much larger buffer for continuous shooting and generally all-round quicker performance.

Whereas the cost of the NX20 was relatively high in relation to the market at the time of its launch 18 months ago, the NX30 instead feels more fairly priced given that several other flagship compact system cameras now cost well over £1000 / $1300. Despite our reservations about the level of build quality, the new Samsung NX30 offers more than enough innovation, performance and image quality to ean our Highly Recommended award.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Samsung NX30.

Canon EOS 700D

The Canon EOS 700D (called the Canon EOS Rebel T5i in North America) is a new DSLR camera that boasts 18 megapixels, full 1080p high-definition videos with continuous auto-focusing, and a touch-screen interface. Other key features of the 700D / T5i include burst shooting at 5fps, a vari-angle 3-inch LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution, ISO range of 100-25,600, 14-bit image processing and Canon's Digic 5 processor. Is the Canon EOS 700D / T5i the best mid-range digital SLR camera on the market? Read our expert review to find out...

Canon EOS 70D

The new Canon EOS 70D is not just another DSLR camera, thanks to its innovative Dual-Pixel CMOS AF system. This new technology aims to deliver much better Live View and Movie shooting than any other DSLR on the market. Read our in-depth Canon EOS 70D review to find out if it delivers on its promise...

Fujifilm X-E2

The new Fujifilm X-E2 is a faster, more full-featured version of last year's X-E1 compact system camera, promising better image quality too. Can this gorgeous retro-styled model improve on one of our favourite cameras of 2012? Read our Fujifilm X-E2 review to find out...

Fujifilm X-T1

The Fujifilm X-T1 is a brand new compact system camera that looks, feels and performs very much like a classic DSLR that''s been shrunk in the wash. Is this the best X-series camera that Fujifilm have released, and can it compete with the likes of the Sony A7/A7R and Olympus OM-D E-M1, not to mention DSLRs from Canon and Nikon? Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-T1 review to find out...

Nikon D7100

The D7100 is a new prosumer DSLR camera from Nikon, succeeding but not replacing the popular D7000 model. The weather-proof D7100 features a 24 megapixel DX image sensor, 51-point autofocus system, 6fps burst shooting and a high-resolution 3.2 inch LCD screen. Read our detailed Nikon D7100 review to find out if it's the right DSLR camera for you...

Olympus E-P5

The Olympus E-P5 is a new compact system camera that's both old-fashioned and cutting-edge, with a gorgeous retro design that harks back to the 1950s and the very latest digital technologies. Read our expert Olympus E-P5 review to find out if this is the best PEN camera yet...

Olympus OM-D E-M1

The Olympus O-MD E-M1 is a new professional compact system camera. Targeting its DSLR rivals, Olympus are promoting the E-M1 as a smaller and more capable camera. Read our expert Olympus E-M1 review to find out if it really can beat the competition...

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Olympus have expanded their Micro Four Thirds family with the launch of the OM-D E-M5. Boasting the World's fastest autofocus system, the E-M5 brings the original design ethos of the 1970's film OM series kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Read our expert Olympus E-M5 review to find out if it's the best compact system camera on the market.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 is an exciting new compact system camera aimed firmly at keen photographers. With a built-in tilting electronic viewfinder, 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch tilting LCD touchscreen, pop-up flash, 60/50p high-definition video, integrated wi-fi and NFC connectivity, both lens and in-body image stabilization, and a stylish design, is the GX7 the ultimate interchangeable lens camera? Read our expert Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 review to find out....

Panasonic Lumix G6

The Panasonic Lumix G6 is a new compact system camera that offers a lot of bang for your buck. Standout features of the Panasonic G6 include a 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor, capacitive touchscreen control system, OLED viewfinder, wi-fi and NFC connectivity, fast auto-focus system, 1080p AVCHD movies with stereo sound, 7fps burst shooting and an extensive range of creative effects. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 review now to find out if it can take on its DSLR and CSC rivals...

Pentax K-3

On paper at least, the new Pentax K-3 is the most full-featured prosumer DSLR camera, offering a long list of features that will leave serious photographers salivating. Read our in-depth Pentax K-3 review to discover if this new DSLR can compete with the fierce competition from Nikon, Canon and Sony, not to mention the excellent compact system cameras from Olympus, Fujifilm and Panasonic...

Pentax K-5 II

The Pentax K-5 II is a new DSLR camera that features a faster auto-focus system, better LCD screen and a much lower price-tag than the original K-5 model. Read our Pentax K-5 II review to discover if this new DSLR can compete with the competition from Nikon, Canon and Sony.

Sony A7

The Sony A7 is the second mirrorless camera in the World to offer a full-frame sensor, but this time it's a slightly more modest 24 megapixels, rather than the A7R's 36 megapixels. The cheaper Sony A7 also offers a more innovative and potentially quicker hybrid AF system, faster flash sync and burst shooting speeds, and a quieter electronic shutter. Is the Sony A7 just as good as its big brother? Read our Sony A7 review to find out...

Sony NEX-7

The Sony NEX-7 is a new compact system camera with a long list of photographer-friendly features. Offering a 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 1080p HD movies, high-res 3 inch tilting screen, 10fps burst shooting, built-in electronic viewfinder and pop-up flash, the NEX-7 seems to be on paper at least a very exciting proposition. Read our full Sony NEX-7 review, complete with sample JPEGs, RAW files, and movies, to find out if this is the ultimate compact system camera...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Samsung NX30 from around the web. »

The Samsung NX30 is the latest edition to the company's steadily evolving line of compact system cameras, assuming top-dog position and unseating the visually comparable NX20. Its headline spec 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor might sound eerily familiar - Samsung been using that resolution and sensor size since it shipped the NX200 in 2011 - but in almost every other respect it marks a significant advance.
Read the full review »


Image Sensor

Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7mm
Effective Pixel Approx 20.3MP
Total Pixel Approx 21.6MP
Color Filter RGB Primary Colour Filter


Usable Lens Samsung Lenses for Samsung NX Mount
Mount Samsung NX

Image Stabilisation

Type Lens Shift (depends on Lens)
Mode OIS Mode1 / Mode2 / OFF

Distortion Correct

Mode LDC On / Off (Depends on Lens)


i-Depth, i-Zoom (x1.2, 1.4, 1.7, 2.0), i-Contrast

Dust Reduction

Type Super Sonic Drive


Type Super AMOLED with Touch Panel (C-Type Touch Control Enabled) and Swivel (Horizontal: 180degree, Vertical: 270degree)
Size 76.7mm (3")
Resolution FVGA (720 x 480) 1037k dots (S-Stripe)
Field of View Approx 100%
User Display Grid (4 types), Histgram, Icons: On / Off, Distance Scale: ft / m / Off, Electronic Level, Overexposure Guide


Type Tiltable EVF w / Eye Contact Sensor
Resolution XGA (1024 x 768) 2359K dots
Filed of View Approx 100%
Magnification Approx. 0.96x (Equivalent to a 50mm lens)
Eyepoint Approx. 18.5mm
Diopter Adjustment Approx. -4 ~ +1m-1


Type Hybrid AF (Phase & Contrast)
Mode Single AF, Continuous AF, MF, Touch AF&Shutter
Focusing point Total AF Point: 105points (Phase Detection AF), 247points (Contrast AF), Selection: 1point ( Free selection ), Multi: Normal 21 (3 x 7) points, Closeup 35points, Face Detection: Max. 10 faces
AF-Assist Lamp Yes

Shutter Speed

Type Electronically Controlled Vertical-Run Focal Plane Shutter
Speed Auto:1/8000sec. ~ 1/4sec. (EFS available), Manual:1/8000sec. ~ 30sec. (1/3EV step) (EFS available), Bulb (Limit time: 4min.)


Metering System TTL 221 (17 x 13) Block segment, Metering: Multi, Centre-weighted, Spot, Metering range: EV -3 ~ 18 (ISO 100 · 30mm, F2)
Compensation ±3 EV (1/3EV step)
AE Lock AEL Button
ISO Equivalent Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600 (1 or 1/3EV step), * AUTO ISO upper level is selectable. (Up to ISO3200)

Drive Mode

Mode Single, Continuous, Burst (5M size only), Self-timer, Bracket (AE / WB / PW / Depth)
Continuous JPEG: High (9fps) , Normal (4fps) selectable, Burst: 10, 15, 30fps selectable , RAW: High (9fps), Normal (4fps) selectable
Bracket Auto Exposure Bracket (±3EV), WB, PW, Depth
Self-Timer 2 - 30sec (1sec Step)
Remote Controller Via Micro USB port


Type A-TTL Pop-up flash
Mode Smart Flash, Auto, Auto+Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in+Red-eye reduction, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain, Off
Guide Number 11 (at ISO 100)
Angle of View Coverage 28mm Wide-Angle (Equivalent to 35mm)
Sync. Speed Less than 1/200sec
Flash Compensation -2 - +2EV (0.5EV step)
Internal Flash Yes
External Flash Samsung External Flash available
Synchro (Flash attachment) Hot Shoe

White Balance

Mode Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent (W, N, D), Tungsten, Flash, Custom, K(Manual)
Micro Adjustment Each 7 Steps in Amber / Blue / Green / Magenta Axis

Dynamic Range Expansion

Off / Smart Range+ / HDR

Picture Wizard

Mode Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm, Classic, Custom (1 ~ 3)
Parameter Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Colour


Mode Smart Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Custom1, Custom 2, Lens Priority, Smart, Wi-Fi
Smart mode Beauty Face, Landscape, Macro, Action Freeze, Rich Tone, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks, Light Trace, Creative Shot, Best Face, Multi-Exposure, Smart Jump Shot
Smart Filter Vignetting, Minature, Coloured Pencil, Watercolour, Wash Drawing, Oil Sketch, Ink Sketch, Acryl, Negative, Selective Colour (R / G / B / Y 4 Colours)
Image Size JPEG (3:2): 20M (5472 x 3648), 10.1M (3888 x 2592), 5.9M (2976 x 1984), 2M (1728 x 1152), 5M (2736 x 1824): Burst mode only, JPEG (16:9): 16.9M (5472 x 3080), 7.8M (3712 x 2088), 4.9M (2944 x 1656), 2.1M (1920 x 1080), JPEG (1:1): 13.3M (3648 x 3648), 7M (2640 x 2640), 4M (2000 x 2000), 1.1M (1024 x 1024), RAW: 20M (5472 x 3648), * 3D mode with 3D lens is available only with JPEG (16:9) 4.1M (2688 x 1512) or 2.1M (1920 x 1080)
Quality Super fine , Fine, Normal
RAW Format SRW (ver.2.0.0)
Color Space sRGB / Adobe RGB

Image Play

Type Single image, Thumbnails (15 / 24 images), Slide show, Movie
Editing Smart Filter, Red-eye fix, Backlight., Resize, Rotate, Face Retouch, Brightness, Contrast
Smart Filter Vignetting, Minature, Coloured Pencil, Watercolour, Wash Drawing, Oil Sketch, Ink Sketch, Acryl, Negative, Selective Colour (R / G / B / Y 4 Colours)

Movie Clip

Format MP4 (H.264)
Compression Movie: H.264 / Sound: AAC
Mode Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual
Recording Audio On / Off (Shooting time: Max. 29' 59'')
Smart Filter Vignetting, Miniature, Coloured Pencil, Watercolour, Wash Drawing, Oil Sketch, Ink Sketch, Acryl, Negative, Selective
Image Size 1920 x 1080, 1920 x 810, 1280 x 720 , 640 x 480, 320 x 240(for Sharing)
Frame Rate 60fps, 30fps, 24fps (1920 x 810 Only), (* 3D - 30fps Only)
Multi-Motion Recording x0.25 (640, 320 only), x0.5 (1280, 640, 320 only), x5, x10, x20
Quality High Quality , Normal
Sound Stereo Sound (w / Input Level Adjustment, Audio Level Display)
Movie Editing Still Image Capture / Time Trimming


Media SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-1 Support
File Format RAW (SRW ver2.0.0), JPEG (EXIF 2.3), MPO (for 3D), DCF
Capacity (2GB) 20M: RAW 57 20M (3:2): Super Fine 150, Fine 180, Normal 224 10.1M (3:2): Super Fine 271, Fine 325, Normal 405 5.9M (3:2) : Super Fine 411, Fine 492, Normal 613 2M (3:2) : Super Fine 797, Fine 952, Normal 1180 Burst (5M): Super Fine 464, Fine 555, Normal 690 16.9M (16:9): Super Fine 174, Fine 209, Normal 261 7.8M (16:9): Super Fine 335, Fine 401, Normal 499 4.9M (16:9): Super Fine 471, Fine 564, Normal 701 2.1M (16:9): Super Fine 781, Fine 933, Normal 1158 13.3M (1:1): Super Fine 214, Fine 257, Normal 321 7M (1:1): Super Fine 363, Fine 435, Normal 542 4M (1:1): Super Fine 538, Fine 643, Normal 800 1.1M (1:1): Super Fine 1030, Fine 1227, Normal 1519 Movie: 1920 x 1080 60p: High Quality 10m 10s, Normal 12m 43s 1920 x 1080 30p: High Quality 17m 41s, Normal 22m 9s 1920 x 810 24p: High Quality 21m 35s, Normal 27m 02s 1280 x 720 60p:High Quality 16m 51s, Normal 21m 6s 1280 x 720 30p: High Quality 29m 11s, Normal 36m 35s 640 x 480 30p: High Quality 120m 47s, Normal 153m 30s 320 x 240 30p: High Quality 218m 48s, Normal 278m 24s ※ These figures are measure under the Samsung standard.


30 Languages (Korean, English, Danish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Czech, French, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Polish, Finnish, Russian, Norsk, Simplified / Traditional Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew, Thai, Greek, Hungarian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Serbian, Croatian)




Digital Output Connector USB 2.0 (micro USB Jack)
Video Output NTSC, PAL, HDMI 1.4a
External Release Yes
DC Power Input Connector DC 5V, 1A via Micro USB port


Power Source Type Rechargeable battery: BP1410 (1410mAh, 7.6V)
Battery 180 min / 360 shots (CIPA Standard)

Physical Specification

Dimension Dimension (WxHxD) 127 x 95.5 x 41.7mm (excluding the projection part)
Weight 375g (without battery)
Operating Temperature 0 - 40°C
Operating Humidity 5 - 85%

S/W and PC OS

Bundle PC S/W Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, iLauncher


Wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n support Dual Channel (Smart Camera 3.0) . AutoShare . SNS & Cloud . Email . Auto Backup . Remote Viewfinder Pro . Mobile Link . Samsung Link . Group Share . Photo Beam . HomeSync . Baby Monitor

System Requirement

Windows iLauncher Intel® i5 3.3GHz or Higher AMD Phenom™ II x4 3.2GHz or higher Minimum 512MB RAM (1GB or more recommended) Windows 7 / 8 250MB of available hard-disk space (1GB and above recommend) USB 2.0 port CD-ROM drive nVIDIA Geforce 7600GT or higher / ATI X1600 series or higher 1024 x 768 pixels, 16-bit colour display compatible monitor (1280 x 1024, 32-bit colour display recommended) Microsoft DirectX 9.0c or later
Macintosh iLauncher Mac OS 10.5 or higher (except PowerPC) Minimum 256MB RAM (512MB or more recommended) Minimum 110MB of available hard-disk space USB 2.0 port CD-ROM drive

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