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Samsung NX10 Digital Camera Review

By on October 10, 2010
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The NX10 is Samsung’s entry into the mirror less interchangeable lens camera (ILC) market

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Editor's Score
Features:
Performance:
Value:
The Verdict:
A flawed attempt by Samsung to establish themselves in the ILC market

Taking Pictures

With the sensor cleaning system on, it takes up to 3 seconds for the camera to be ready for use when you switch it on. With it disabled, you can take pictures as soon as you switch on the camera.

You can capture JPEG images in 9 different sizes in 2 ratios
• 3:2 :
• 14MP (4592*3056)
• 10MP (3872*2592)
• 6MP (3008*2000)
• 2MP (1920*1280)
• 1.4MP (1472*976) – Burst mode

• 16:9
• 12MP (4592*2584)
• 8MP (3872*2176)
• 5MP (3008*1688)
• 2MP (1920*1080)

You can only shoot 14MP RAW images though you can also take it together with any sized JPEG image of your choice. Every JPEG image can be shot in three different qualities : Super fine (highest quality), fine (medium quality) and normal (lowest quality and maximum compression).

Focusing speeds and accuracy was similar to those found on high end point and shoot cameras which meant it outclassed a DSLRs live view focusing performance but lagged behind the viewfinder focusing performance. Focus was achieved in about 0.7-1 second in well lit situations while it struggled in low light situations taking up to 3 seconds to lock focus with the help of the focus assist light.

The camera has two modes allowing you to shoots multiple images in one go. One is the ‘Continues’ mode that allows you to take photos at full resolution at 3fps with a buffer of 36 JPEG or 3 RAW images and the other is the ‘Burst’ mode that allows you to shoot at 10fps at a reduced resolution of just 1.4 megapixels JPEG images with a buffer of 30images. Both of these modes aren’t very impressive due to buffer or resolution limitation which was a huge let down when shooting fast moving objects though the 10fps burst mode was fun in some rare occasions.

The NX10 comes equipped with something called Picture wizard which allows the user to choose between various styles and adjust their parameters (contrast, saturation, color and sharpness) through simple sliders. With its multiple options and customizability, the picture wizard is fun to use especially with the picture wizard bracketing feature. Another feature that can be found on the camera is the Smart range which reduces highlight clipping though it makes the camera slower by increasing processing time.

Moving on to the ISO test to see how the camera performs at different ISO settings. We first shoot some objects under control studio lighting.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

The image look very clean and noise free at ISO 100 and 200. At ISO 400, you see a bit of noise in the darker color but the images still look quite impressive. At ISO 800, noise is visible all over the picture but this should still be good to make decent large prints. At ISO 1600, a lot more noise is visible while there’s a loss of detail. At ISO 3200, the colors looked slightly duller while there is a lot of detail loss. Shooting RAW and putting the picture through some noise reduction software helps improves performance at high ISO levels but there is a lot of noise at anything over ISO 800.

Now to see how the camera performs in low light.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

There is a bit of highlight clipping around the bright areas. Anyway at ISO 100, the images look clean with hardly any sign of noise. At ISO 200, a lot of noise seems to have crept into the picture around the darker areas which gets worse at ISO 400. At ISO 800, noise increases further and detail loss is quite evident. Things go further downhill at ISO 1600 making only small prints possible and at ISO 3200 pictures are completely unusable.

The image quality was quite average to say the least. The colors were well saturated and looked nice straight out of the camera but lacked sharpness. Noise was indeed on the higher side which was disappointing to see especially seeing that the camera comes with an APS-C sensor which tends to have better noise control.

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