Quick Look: Samsung NX20 & NX1000 Cameras

By on January 2, 2013
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Samsung’s new cameras are here to prove their worth and outdo their competitors in terms of bells and whistles. We look at two of them.

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Samsung’s new lineup of digital cameras is doing something different to stand out from the crowd. Yes, there’s way too many digital cameras from mulitple companies in the market already fighting for the best image quality and specifications. But instead of trying to outdo other companies in that regard, Samsung is focusing on their strengths – innovation. And hence, their lineup has some very nifty features that most other cameras in the market do not offer. Today, we’ll do a quick look of 2 of their latest cameras – the big-league Samsung NX20 as well as its smaller counterpart NX1000.

NX20

To start off with the NX20, this is one of the higher end models in Samsung’s lineup and is being marketed as the closest to a DSLR that they have. From the looks of it, it definitely exudes the body of a compact DSLR. The design is very much like a DSLR with the buttons placed just the way you’re familiar with. But at the same time, Samsung has managed to keep the device light and portable without the big lens on (the pancake lenses are much more portable and lighter). Even the screen itself can swivel around, just like the newer DSLR’s like 600D and others. On the design end, Samsung has succeeded in making this a DSLR-like body without the added weight that most of them have.

On the specifications side, the NX20 packs enough power to compete with the best of mirrorless cameras in the market. With a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, 1080p video recording, 3 inch AMOLED screen, ISO 100-12800, features like 3D Panorama and intelligent auto modes, Samsung hasn’t cut any corners power-wise. And because of that, the image quality doesn’t disappoint from the brief tests that we conducted with it. There’s a lot of detail in the images which come out vibrant and vivid and actually not only match the quality of other competing mirrorless compact cameras in the market but also some entry level DSLR’s in the market.

But it’s the extra features where the camera really impresses – particularly the built in Wi-Fi on the camera that allows transfer of images without the need of a memory card slotting into your laptop. Other cameras are catching up to this technology, but Samsung can boast being one of the first cameras to do so in the market. Then there’s also the I-Function lens system, which allows you to control the most common shooting elements through the focus ring of compatible lenses and that’s a huge timesaver that I’m sure other companies will implement soon enough. The ability to automatically select shooting modes is something that professionals may frown upon, but it allows casual users to take the best pictures out of an already robust camera system.

Overall, the Samsung NX20 is a surprisingly impressive entry into the mirror-less camera segment with great design and solid image quality to boot. But most of all, there’s functional features here that are hard to find in the segment that give it the overall edge.

NX1000

Next up is the Samsung NX1000, which serves as the little brother to Samsung’s big boy lineup. But don’t mistake it to be underpowered, because the NX1000 is targeted for people looking for an even more compact and more importantly pocketable camera that still has enough power inside it for great image quality. And NX1000 slots in right there for that need. The camera feels lighter than the NX20, but that has to do with the plastic body used in the model. The design itself is quite appealing and mirrors a DSLR a lot in terms of the dials and buttons, but of course this is a small mirrorless camera which means it doesn’t have the ability to change lenses and comes with a default 20-50mm zoom lens.

With a 20.3 megapixels APS-C sensor, a lot of the features from its bigger brother are carried over into this camera including the Wi-Fi capabilities which is impressive. The 8fps continuous shooting mode leads to some very snappy shots when the time calls for it, but the zoom isn’t particularly helpful in that regard but does the job adequately. The image quality doesn’t quite match the NX20 in terms of detail and color, but does a very good job for its size and will impress with its swift autofocus. Also impressive is the fact that the camera can record a full 1080p resolution video that looks pretty good and crisp. In night shots, there may be some noise issues as well as shakiness since there’s no strong image stabilization built in, but that’s a problem with every camera of this size.

Conclusion

In the end, Samsung NX1000 complements the NX20 in a positive manner. Both these cameras show that Samsung is here to make a dent in the camera market and aren’t further behind in terms of specifications of quality, and may even be a step or two ahead in terms of the extra bells and whistles designed to make your life easier. Depending on your budget, both these cameras are solid choices in a market saturated with digital cameras.


About

Filmmaker and film writer. An ironically strange combination. Follow his tweets on @faisalhashmi for his escapades in film.

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