Samsung NX20 review

Samsung NX20 review

T3 4
  • The Samsung NX20 is the brand's new flaghsip Compact System Camera and sports a 20.3-megapixel sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity and a Clear AMOLED screen

    Samsung NX20 review

    Love

    • Brilliant AMOLED screen
    • Easy to use
    • Impressive 20.3MP Sensor

    Hate

    • Expensive
    • Heavy in the hand

    The Samsung NX20 is the company’s new flagship compact system camera taking on the likes of the Fuji Film X-Pro 1 and the Sony NEX-7. With a mirrorless system and easily interchangeable lenses it manages to cram some serious features into a compact body.

    With WiFi-upload, GPS and the now standard Clear AMOLED display it has certainly been built for the serious enthusiast in mind and is certainly a camera for the techy inside all of us. Question is, with a body that isn’t actually that much smaller than an SLR is the NX20 really worth the £900 asking price?

    Samsung NX20: Controls

    Using the NX20 is easy and the inclusion the Samsung's iFn system makes shooting even easier. A shortcut button to ISO, EV, White Balance and iZoom you’re then able to scroll through them and adjust using the focus ring.

    It’s a great system and something that is almost essential on a camera that is designed to ease those into using professional standard cameras.

    The rest of the camera is extremely easy to use, with all the buttons being laid out in such a way that feels natural.

    One of its more unique features of course is the Wi-Fi dial option on the top of the camera, switch it into Wi-Fi mode and you’re given the option of uploading to SkyDrive, sending to a compatible smartphone or emailing straight from the camera.

    Setup is surprisingly breezy and once logged in the camera performed admirably in uploading our photos to SkyDrive. Due to the size of the sensor this could have implications for those with a slow internet connection so do be aware that this will be a factor.

    Samsung NX20: Screen

    One of its flagship features and partly the reason you’ll be forking out nearly £900 is the large adjustable Clear AMOLED display on the back. Taken from Samsung’s smartphones, it’s instantly clear to see why the brand has chosen to move this technology over to its cameras as well.

    Images are clear and vibrant and while the screen can be reflective at times the sheer brightness of the display will often defeat a sunny day or brightly lit room.

    Even more interesting however was the more we used the NX20 the more we actually found ourselves using the ultra high-resolution (800x600) electronic viewfinder. While usually considered to be notoriously uninspiring with low resolutions and bad picture representation the NX20 actually excelled in all of these areas.

    If there was one issue we had it was with the automatic eye sensor. Designed to automatically switch from the main display to the viewfinder when it detects you’re looking through it the camera was quite slow in responding. Something that is ultimately crucial when trying to take a quick shot.

    Samsung NX20: Picture quality

    The NX20 comes with a 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor onboard designed to produce professional-grade images despite the smaller frame of the camera.

    The sensor performs extremely well using the 18-55mm lens that came with the camera. Low light results are also very impressive, surprisingly even more so when you place the camera into auto-exposure mode.

    Fast moving shots are also a breeze thanks to the 1/8000s shutter system and while zoomed images can contain some distortion, overall it feels worth the hefty price tage.

    Samsung NX20: Video

    By simply hitting the dedicated video button recording Full 1080p HD video is extremely simple and while its video features aren’t up there with the likes of bigger SLRs it’s a simple but effective feature that will more than amply suite any amateur enthusiast. Samsung

     

    Samsung NX20: Verdict

    The Samsung NX20 is not cheap. At £899 it’s a big investment for a camera that isn’t a fully-fledged SLR and can cost even more if you want to start splashing out on the lenses.

    What you get though is a seriously capable piece of kit for those who want the option to go technical but not so far down the rabbit hole that you end up spending hours fiddling with the ISO, EV and focus modes.

    Heavy but sturdy it’s about as portable as an SLR but offers a great grip design which makes prolonged shooting pretty easy.

    A brilliant and intuitive piece of kit it successfully if expensively bridges the gap between compact camera system and SLR levels of performance.

    Samsung NX20 release date: Out now

    Samsung NX20 price: £899 (with 18-55mm lens)

  • The Samsung NX20 is the brand's new flagship Compact System Camera and sports a 20.3-megapixel sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity and a new Clear AMOLED screen

    Samsung NX20 review

    Love

    • Brilliant AMOLED screen
    • Easy to use
    • Impressive 20.3MP Sensor

    Hate

    • Expensive
    • Heavy in the hand

    Set to replace the NX11, the Samsung NX20 is the flagship model in the brand's new Wi-Fi-enabled NX Compact System Camera lineup that also includes the Sasmsung NX210 and the NX1000. With top-notch cameras such as the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and the Olympus E-PM1 and the Sony NEX-7 already on the market, does the NX20 offer enough to stand out from the crowd?

    The new top-of-the-range snapper sports an DSLR body, while the ergonomic grip has been improved since the NX11 to make the camera more grippy and comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

    Samsung NX20: Controls

    There's no dedicated Wi-Fi button, as found on the NX200, but instead there's a Wi-Fi setting on the top dial. As with the NX200, this enables you to upload your images directly to your mobile device or to the 25GB of Microsoft SkyDrive cloud storage.

    You can also download the free Remote Viewfinder app from Google Play which enables you to control various camera functions using the touchscreen on your Android smartphone or iPhone.

    The early preview models that we got our hands on at the demo weren't yet geared up for Wi-Fi but that's something we'll be testing out in full when we have full review model in at T3 HQ.

    Samsung NX20: Screen

    The NX20 includes Samsung's new Clear AMOLED screen which the brand describes as "improving visibility by 20%" compared to its standard AMOLED panels. We didn't get to try the screen out in bright daylight, but the viewing angle was excellent.

    The screen folds out from the camera body and can be swiveled 180 degress, which makes it useful for shooting at awkward angles such as low down on the floor or over heads in a crowd. It also means that the screen can be folded away against the chassis to keep it safe from harm.

    Samsung NX20: Picture quality

    Along with the 20.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the NX20 also has an SVGA electronic viewfinder (800x600 pixels) for the pro touch, along with a 1/8000s shutter and an improved version of the i-Funtion lens, as introduced on the NX11. The button on the side of the lens means you can easily flip through settings without having to take your eye off what you're shooting.

    We rattled off a couple of test shots in the dingy demo room, but we'll have to wait until we're able to take the camera out into the wild before we can give a fair judgement on the picture quality.

    As with the other cameras in the new NX range, you'll also get a selction of smart filters such as minature, vignettng and selective colour along with a series of arty border called 'magic frames' including Old Film, Classic TV and Newspaper.

    The NX20 is supplied with a 18-55mm lens which features an improved design that includes metal mounts for a more premium build. There's also a built-in pop-up flash, along with a hotshoe adaptor for attaching an optional external flash.

    Samsung NX20: Video

     

    The NX20 includes a dedicated movie button to make it as easy as possible to start shooting at a moment's notice and you'll be able to capture in full HD, at up to 30fps.

    Samsung NX20: Verdict

    As the replacement model for the NX11, the Samsung NX20 brings with it more megapixels, an improved AMOLED display, an updated chassis design and the all-important Wi-Fi capability. We won't know for sure until we can get our hands on a full review sample, but the NX20 certainly looks like a worthy successor.

    Samsung NX20 release date: May 2012

    Samsung NX20 price: £899 (with 18-55mm lens)

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

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