Samsung GX-20 review
The GX-20’s 14.6 megapixels mark it out in a section of the DSLR market that has largely settled on 12 megapixels as a standard resolution, but that’s not the whole story. This is one of the most flexible DSLRs we’ve seen. Not only does it include features that cheaper cameras are missing, such as white balance bracketing, but it builds on them. For instance, it offers three- or five-shot bracketing, giving you up to eight stops of exposure compensation in a single burst.
There’s an unusual sensitivity priority mode, in which you set the ISO you want and the GX-20 adjusts its shutter speed and aperture to get a balanced exposure. Stranger still is the shutter and aperture priority mode, in which you lock the exposure time and aperture and the GX-20 sets the ISO itself in order to get a good exposure.
The GX-20 offers both front and rear control wheels and a second LCD screen for displaying shooting information. You also get dedicated switches for exposure and focus modes. It shares its lens mount with Pentax’s range, so it will take any lens that fits a Pentax.
The GX-20’s body is chunky, and it compares badly to the neat lines of Sony’s Alpha range or the no-nonsense, comfortable design of the Nikon D3000 and D5000. It feels tougher than any other camera here, though, and those with a track record of broken cameras will appreciate it. There’s even a memory card slot release catch, and both the memory slot guard and battery compartment have rubber seals in the name of weatherproofing.
The GX-20 was reasonable in our quality tests. Its maximum ISO of 6400 sounds impressive, but we found images totally unacceptable at this setting. Still, at ISO 1600 our images were reasonably clear, if not to the superlative levels of the Canon 500D or Nikon D5000.
It’s disappointing that the only real difference between the GX-20 and last year’s GX-10 is a bump in sensor resolution. With the GX-10 standing at an acceptable 10.2 megapixels, Samsung would have been wiser to concentrate on making the body easier to use without losing any of its nifty features. Considering Sony’s A330 is cheaper, there’s simply no contest.
|Camera megapixel rating||14.6mp|
|Camera screen size||2.7in|
|Camera optical zoom range||3x|
|Camera maximum resolution||4,672 x 3,104|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||142 x 72 x 101mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||Lithium-ion|
|Battery life (CIPA standard)||500 shots|
|Aperture range||f3.5 - f5.6|
|Camera minimum focus distance||0.25m|
|Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)||27|
|Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)||83|
|Minimum (fastest) shutter speed||1/4,000|
|Bulb exposure mode?||yes|
|RAW recording mode?||yes|
|Exposure compensation range||+/- 3EV|
|ISO range||100 - 6400|
|Selectable white balance settings?||yes|
|Manual/user preset white balane?||yes|
|Progam auto mode?||yes|
|Shutter priority mode?||yes|
|Aperture priority mode?||yes|
|Fully auto mode?||yes|
|Burst frame rate||3.0fps|
|Memory-card type||SD, SDHC|
|Secondary LCD display?||yes|
|Tripod mounting thread?||yes|
|Data connector type||Mini-USB|
Manual, software and accessories
|Full printed manual?||yes|
|Software supplied||Samsung Master, Samsung RAW Converter 2|
|Accessories supplied||Shoulder strap, USB cable, video cable|