Samsung NX20 review

The Samsung NX20 is the brand's new flagship Compact System Camera

Reasons to buy
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    Brilliant AMOLED screen

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    Easy to use

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    Impressive 20.3MP Sensor

Reasons to avoid
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  • -

    Heavy in the hand

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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

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)

Thomas Tamblyn

Thomas Tamblyn studied journalism at the University of Westminster, where he was a contributing presenter at the award-winning Smoke Radio station. He then moved to as a Staff Writer where he proceeded to write news, reviews and features on topics such as phones, electric vehicles, laptops, gaming, streaming services, headphones, tablets future tech and wearables.