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I suppose I should not have been surprised when I first set eyes on this camera at a press preview just before Xmas 2009.
Signs of Samsung’s photographic ambition have been evident over the last two years and the company’s release of a pair of very competent compacts (NV24 HD and ST1000) recently confirmed that it was a serious player.
Now it is visibly in the business, not only with a fresh approach to the game in the DSLR-style camera, but with its own range of lenses, the NX.
The Samsung NX10 uses an APS-sized CMOS sensor, along with a bright 7.6cm Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) LCD; the latter promises higher contrast and brighter display and does not rely on backlighting to improve the picture as well as a quicker refresh rate and lower power draw. In bright daylight conditions I found the screen performed very well.
Samsung quaintly states that the “NX10 has the heart of a DSLR embedded inside the compact frame of a digital camera …”, which means there is no reflex mirror nor optical viewing path: the turret finder is electronic and the camera is delightfully small.
The NX10 is available in black or silver and is launched with a range of lenses, three of which were supplied with the review camera: an f2/30mm, f3.5-5.6/18-55mm and the f4-5.6/50-200mm ED optic.
The CMOS can capture 14.6 million pixels, with a maximum image size of 4592×3056 pixels: expect to make a 39x26cm print.
Video is saved in the MPEG4 format, mono sound and a maximum size of 1280×720 pixels at 30fps.
There are no surprises in the camera’s layout: legible text identifies the various external controls and the viewfinder menu is copious but fuss-free. The NX10 has to be one of the easiest DSLRs to get around, although it is not a true reflex camera due to its electronic finder. I found myself very quickly at home.
You can select auto, Program AE, shutter or aperture priority as well as manual exposure determination; three scene modes are directly selectable on the mode dial and nine more are found in the finder display …including macro.
A quick little devil, the NX10 could shoot its first shot just one second after startup, then follow-on shots were pulled in just about as fast as I hit the shutter.
Quality: the NX10’s very, very sharp and fully colour saturated pictures surprised me. Great performance.
Why you would buy it: small size, light weight; budget price.
Why you wouldn’t: no optical finder; new brand; no track record.
The Samsung NX10 has undoubted appeal, not only because of its surprisingly good image capture ability but also compact size — and price!
Image Sensor: 14.6 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multi-weighted, centre-weighted metering and spot.
Effective Sensor Size: 23.4×15.6mm CMOS.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 1:5x.
Compatible lenses: Samsung NX3 mount.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/4000 second, Bulb. Flash sync: 1/180 sec.
Continuous speed: 3fps.
Memory: SD/SDHC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4592×3056, 4592×2584, 3872×2592, 3872×2176, 3008×2000, 3008×1688, 1920×1080. Movies: 1280×720, 640×480 at 30fps.
Viewfinders: Electronic turret display plus 7.6cm LCD screen (2614,000 pixels).
File Formats: RAW, RAW+JPEG, MPEG4.
Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 3200.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI, DC input.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, AC adaptor.
Dimensions: 127x87x39.8 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 499 g (with 30mm lens, battery and card).
Price: Get a price on the Samsung NX10 with 18-55mm Lens.