Samsung NX10 review
The number of serious DSLR-style compact cameras has been slowly growing over the past year, but all the models we’ve seen so far have been based on the Micro Four Thirds system. The Samsung NX10 offers a similar approach, trading the mechanical mirror and optical viewfinder of a traditional DSLR for lower weight and a smaller size.
It gets there in a slightly different way, however: the main difference between the NX10 and its fellow compact DSLR hybrids is its sensor. Remove the lens and what you see is a far larger sensor than in Micro Four Thirds cameras. In fact its 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor is the same size (APS-C) as employed by the majority of consumer DSLRs, promising greater dynamic range and lower noise in low light.
Another advantage the NX10 holds over its competitors is a built-in viewfinder – not optical but digital – a serious advantage when shooting in bright conditions (others charge extra). As you raise the camera to your eye, it switches from screen view to viewfinder, enabling you to focus and frame your shots without having to squint or shade the screen with a hand. It’s sharp too, boasting a resolution of 920kpixels.
Not that the screen is a bad one. In fact, the NX10’s 3in OLED, 614kpixel display is about as bright and clear as you’ll find on any camera, compact or not, and the OLED panel’s self-illuminating pixels aren’t only good news for image quality but should help battery life too.
Even better news is that it manages to squeeze all this in, along with a pop-up integrated flash, without compromising on portability or build quality. The NX10 may look like a full-blooded DSLR but in the metal it’s a lot smaller, measuring 121mm front to back with the 30mm pancake lens, and 77mm with the standard 18-55mm kit lens.
The shaped, rubberised grip to the right of the lens makes it comfortable to handle, the body feels extremely solid, despite its small size, and there’s a good selection of manual controls littering the top edge and rear panel. A four way control offers shortcuts for focus, white balance, metering and ISO, while a wheel at the top allows quick shutter speed and aperture adjustments.
There are downsides to the design. It’s still a little worrying to see the sensor exposed to the air when you change lenses and not tucked away behind the protective barrier of mirror – this isn’t a camera you can change lenses on casually.
|Camera megapixel rating||14.6mp|
|Camera screen size||3.0in|
|Camera optical zoom range||3x|
|Camera maximum resolution||4,592 x 3,056|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||122 x 121 x 87mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||Lithium-ion|
|Battery life (CIPA standard)||400 shots|
|Aperture range||f3.5 - f5.6|
|Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)||27|
|Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)||83|
|Minimum (fastest) shutter speed||1/4,000|
|Maximum (slowest) shutter speed||30s|
|Bulb exposure mode?||yes|
|RAW recording mode?||yes|
|Exposure compensation range||+/- 3EV|
|ISO range||100 - 3200|
|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||2.6fps|
|Secondary LCD display?||no|
|Tripod mounting thread?||yes|
|Data connector type||Proprietary USB|
Manual, software and accessories
|Software supplied||Samsung Master, Samsung RAW Converter 3.1|