Samsung NX10 Review
Text and Photos by Allison Gibson
Interchangeable Lens Digital Cameras
A new genre has emerged in digital photography gear: the compact interchangeable lens digital camera. Not to be confused with its rival, the Micro Four Thirds system camera—which is, in turn, the rival of the digital SLR camera—the interchangeable lens digital camera is, in bare-bones terms, a hybrid point-and-shoot/D-SLR. With a large APS-C size CMOS image sensor that’s as big as those found in entry-level D-SLRs, the compact interchangeable lens camera has the advantage of a smaller, more lightweight body. The major defining difference between the compact interchangeable lens digital camera and the D-SLR is that the former is mirrorless, meaning it abandons the mirror box (which in a D-SLR is necessary for the viewfinder to see exactly what the lens sees), operating exclusively with Live View shooting—the same way that the Micro Four Thirds camera does. (See my recent review of the Panasonic Lumix GF1 to learn more about the Micro Four Thirds standard.)
So far in 2010, three cameras of this type have been announced: the Samsung NX10, which was floated as a concept at PMA 2009 and then introduced in full at CES 2010; and the Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5, which were both announced on May 11, 2010 after Sony introduced the concept at PMA.
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Announced this weekend at PMA in Anaheim, the new Samsung TL500 has been creating a good amount of buzz for the past few days. Samsung‘s new flagship compact fits right into that increasingly popular “prosumer” category, making it an ideal step-up camera for those looking to move into more advanced equipment without jumping straight to D-SLR, and for those pro shooters who like to keep a more compact camera on-hand alongside their D-SLR.
The TL500 has a 24mm ultra‑wide angle Schneider KREUZNACH f/1.8 lens, and as shown above, can be paired with an optional wide-angle adapter that takes the lens from 24mm to 18mm. It has a super bright 3-inch swiveling AMOLED screen that shows deep blacks and really rich colors. The camera has a sturdy, pro-like feeling when it’s in-hand, and I anticipate this high end compact—with full manual shooting modes—will be giving others in its category a run for their money. Samsung is definitely emerging as the dark horse in the digital camera game, thanks especially to their new CES announcement, the NX10, and now the TL500.
Samsung has announced the NX10, which they will be unveiling at CES this week in Las Vegas. DP first got a taste of this camera at PMA in March of 2009. According to the manufacturer, the “NX10 has the heart of a D-SLR embedded inside the compact frame of a digital camera, successfully integrating the APS-C size CMOS sensor with a mirrorless interchangeable lens, for a sleek, lightweight camera that users can easily take with them everywhere they go.”
Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced the Samsung NX10 – an innovative digital camera that provides users with optimum image quality in a sleek, compact body. Delivering creativity without compromise, users can now be as creative as they want on the move, without having to compromise perfect images. The NX10 will be on display during the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show, January 7-10, in the Samsung booth #11026 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The NX10 incorporates a fast and decisive auto focus (AF), 14.6 MP APS-C size CMOS sensor and unique, large 3.0” AMOLED screen, allowing users to easily view their images, even in bright sunlight. Users can also record in HD movie to create the full story. Available in two colors, Noble Black and Titan Silver, the Samsung NX10 is small, light and ergonomically designed to ensure maximum portability for everyday use.
The Samsung NX10 ensures users never miss a moment, with one of the fastest AF in its class on the market. The company’s latest innovation, the new DRIMe II Pro engine and advanced AF algorithm, also provide ultra fast AF speed with the higher precision of contrast AF.
The Samsung NX10 has the heart of a DSLR embedded inside the compact frame of a digital camera, successfully integrating the APS-C size CMOS sensor with a mirrorless interchangeable lens, for a sleek, lightweight camera that users can easily take with them everywhere they go.
Consumers are not just limited to taking shots but can also tell their own stories in video format with HD movie recording (H.264 codec).
Samsung continues to extend the usage of AMOLED screens across many products, using a large 3.0” AMOLED screen in Samsung NX10. AMOLED provides easier viewing even in bright sunshine and at acute viewing angles, meaning users no longer need to shield their screen with their hand. The category leading screen also provides 10,000 times faster response rate than conventional LCDs, has a far lower power consumption and higher contrast ratio – 10,000:1 vs. 500:1.
“The new Samsung NX10 marks the start of the next generation of cameras,” said Mr. SJ Park, CEO of Samsung Digital Imaging Company. “We know from our detailed research over several years that what consumers want from their cameras is evolving, which we’ve reflected in the development of the Samsung NX10. With specialist equipment open to everyone and no longer restricted solely to the professional, more and more people want to capture something creative and tell a story through their camera – but they also want something compact that they can carry around with them all day. The large sensor and the ultra fast auto focus give consumers the quality they demand as well as the compactness they want in one exceptional package.”
Mr. Park continued: “Samsung has always been quick to implement cutting edge technology and no more so when it comes to quality of images. For the first time in the market, Samsung has successfully integrated an APS-C size sensor into a compact body by eliminating the mirror box, meaning that our users can now be as creative as they want to be on the move without having to compromise on image quality.”
The Samsung NX10 also contains a range of intelligent features to put professional quality images within reach of the amateur photographer. The Samsung NX10 includes in-depth manual controls and also a Smart Auto function which automatically detects the surrounding environment of the shot and selects the best shooting mode. Its Smart Range feature also enables the user to vividly express both bright areas and dark areas in the same frame, and the Supersonic Dust Reduction system keeps those dust particles clear of the image sensor that can often impair an image. It even senses when the user brings the camera close to their face to look through the viewfinder, and puts the AMOLED screen on standby to conserve power.