New eyes for the world.
Why Capture? Create!
I’ve been waiting for long to see the new lens interchangeable type camera from Samsung. However, I’m so happy to see it now. When I pushed the shutter for the first time, I felt something special. Through the NX10, lens interchangeable type cameras which the APS-C sensor is installed will face the second generation. Samsung is the world first for a mirror-less camera with the APS-C sensor having drastically reduced distance between mount part and the sensor. It’s the beginning of Samsung Evolution.
Evolution of Camera NX10 having APS-C as a heart
When the consortium between Panasonic and Olympus released a hybrid system for the first time, I thought they found the right way. Even though there were some complains, it was beyond my expectation with movie recording, a sensor having good image quality, slim body, great lenses, and quick shot function. And in 2008, Samsung also announced that they would develop cameras similar to Micro Four Thirds. It was not just announcement. Samsung has now made such a difficult work, because they had to develop both new mount and lenses. Through their lens technology and all the know-how, they have given birth to the Evolution of Camera NX10. Samsung is now almost threatening not only other brands, but also Micro Four Thirds. From now on, please remember the Samsung NX10 as Evolution, not just hybrid.
Great combination of Compact digital cameras and DSLRs
As time goes by, everyone wants the same things such as small, convenient, and high quality. A smaller one is definitely more popular than heavy one, if they have the same functions. Especially, in these days, out focus images and interchangeable lenses are more for women, I think. The NX10 has a nice combination of additional functions of compact digital cameras and image quality of DSLRs. Great but Large DSLR, small but insufficient Compact digital cameras.. Now we have the NX10 having everything such as a compact body, convenient interface, HD movie recording, free lenses, DSLR image quality, and compensations.
New mount standard Samsung NX, 14.6M APS-C CMOS large sensor
Samsung has designed everything based on their sensor. They have eliminated the mirror and drastically reduced the flange back which is a distance between mount part and a sensor. The thickness of the body is almost the same as Micro Four Thirds and it also has very quick AF speed. Moreover, the performance of the new lens from Samsung is quite good. Of course, they still need some time to compose NX lenses properly, but considering the compact body concept, 30mm F2.0 pancake, 18-55 OIS, and 50-200 OIS are enough as a beginning.
High Performance lens interchangeable type camera with Samsung’s Intensive technology
The NX10 is not a popularized model. Next lineup has not been released yet, but there will be more various products for sure. The NX10 has 920K pixels Electronic View Finder with good grip. Its body concept is similar to the GH1 from Panasonic, but it has a smaller body and sensor.
Approx. 14.6 Mega-pixels
Approx. 15.1 Mega-pixels
Samsung NX Mount
Samsung Lenses for Samsung NX Mount
Field of View
Approx. 0.86x (APS-C, 50mm, -1m-1)
Single AF, Continuous AF, MF
Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
Auto：1/4000sec. ~ 30sec.
±3 EV (1/2EV, 1/3EV step)
Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (1EV step)
Single, Continuous, Burst, Self-timer, Bracket (AE, WB, PW)
Metering : Multi, Center-weighted, Spot Metering range : EV0 ~ 18 (ISO100•30mm F2.0)
Single, Continuous, Burst, Self-timer, Bracket (AE, WB, PW)
JPEG : 3fps up to 10shots , Burst mode : 30fps, 30shots by 1 released
Auto Exposure Bracket (±3EV), White Balance Bracket (±3step), Picture Wizard Bracket (Selectable 3modes)
2-30sec. (1sec. step)
Wired : SR9NX01 (Optional)
Smart Flash, Auto, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in + Red-eye reduction, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain, OFF
TTL Auto Pop-up flash
11 (at ISO 100)
Angle of View Coverage
28mm wide-angle (Equivalent to 35mm)
Less than 1/180sec.
Samsung External Flash available (SEF-42A, SEF-20A : Optional)
Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent (W, N, D), Tungsten, Flash, Custom, K(Manual)
Smart Auto, Program, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE, Manual, Night, Portrait, Landscape, Scene, Movie
Beauty shot, Children, Close Up, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach & Snow
JPEG (3:2)：14M (4592×3056), 10M (3872×2592), 6M (3008×2000),
Super fine , Fine, Normal
sRGB, Adobe RGB
Movie : H.264 , Sound : AAC
With Audio or without Audio
1280×720 , 640×480 , 320×240
Still Image Capture, Time Trimming
RAW (SRW), JPEG (EXIF 2.21), DCF, DPOF 1.1,
14M : RAW 35
“Red eye fix, Back light comp., Photo Style Selector, Resize, Rotate, Face Retouch
Single image, Thumbnails (3/9/20 images), Slide show, Movie
Photo Style Selector
Soft, Vivid, Forest, Autumn, Misty, Gloomy, Classic
Digital Output Connector
USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED)
NTSC, PAL (user selectable)
DC Power Input Connector
DC 9.0V, 1.5A (100 ~ 240V)
Rechargeable battery : BP1310 (1300mAh)
200min/400shots (CIPA Standard)
353g (without batteries and card)
0 ~ 40 °C
5 ~ 85%
Samsung Master, Samsung RAW Converter 3.1
As you know by the specifications, it supports Beauty Shot, Smart Auto, and HD video recording mode in H.264 format. It also has 3” AMOLED, 0.86x 920K pixels Electronic View Finder, Full Manual Shot, and Contrast AF moving up to 195 points, so by the specifications, it could be either a compact camera or a lens interchangeable camera. That means the NX10 is a great camera for everyone. Anyway, now I’m going to talk a closer look at the mirror-less NX10 with the APS-C.
The First lens interchangeable type digital camera having the APS-C sensor
Compared to previous days, Micro Four Thirds shows better image quality than I expected, but some users want a bigger sensor. The slight quality different from a large sensor is not that small. If a sensor is bigger when the pixel number is similar, basically the pixel area is bigger and receives more light, so the quality will be different. Below pictures are the sensors I drew by looking at materials from Internet.
When we say 1.5x crop, 1.6x crop, or 2x crop, it’s a rate of focus length considering the film size 35mm as 1x. Looking at t he area, not the comparison of crop, the different between the NX10 sensor and Micro Four Thirds becomes larger. The sensor of the NX10 has 1.6x larger than the sensor of Micro Four Thirds. That means the NX10 has better detail, color expression, and gradation with the same pixel number. And with the same angle, it gets bigger out of focus pictures. It might be not easy to distinguish the difference with small pictures for web sites, but for those who think quality as the first, the slight difference is a difference of value. As far as I know, the NX10 outdoes Micro Four Thirds in gradation, resolution, and detail. On the other hand, in a movie recording, it’s not as good as the Panasonic Micro Four Thirds and when it comes to details in high ISO, the image processing needs to be improved.
* The body and lens I used was not the official product, because the firmware upgrade was still going on. Therefore, attached pictures and the performance might be different from the official one. Especially, the lens had a problem to display the focus length and the finishing was also incomplete. However, I think it was at least 90% of the performance.
Samsung NX new standard mount 1.54x crop
The NX10 has Samsung’s own mount. AF is controlled by the lens unlike the Pentax body and through signal exchange, when recording a movie, continuous AF can be used by the depth preview button on the front. Now, it’s impossible to take a shot without a lens, and in order to use previous Pentax and Samsung lens, an adapter is needed, but even though you have the adapter, the AF doesn’t work. Image Stabilization works in the lens, not in the body. It provides stability and advantage for a video recording, but you can’t apply it to all lenses through the body image stabilization unlike Olympus, Sony, Pentax, and previous GX body, and it will affect the size and cost of the lenses. On 35mm, the focus length is 1.54x, so the 30mm lens has 46.2mm and 18-55mm lens has 27.7-84.7mm.
Below is the cropped mount of the NX and Micro Four Thirds with setting the sensor height to the same. The difference of the aperture is not that much. After this comparison, I thought the flange back of Micro Four Thirds should have been reduced more.
Both Micro Four Thirds and the NX10 expose the sensor when the lens is detached and Focal plane shutter type which shutter curtains moves twice when the shutter is pushed has been applied for both. It’s because the exposed sensor displays images in real time and after pushing the shutter button, the shutter curtains come down once and also needs to cut out the light by the shutter curtains. (If possible, I could have shown the movement of the shutter curtains.) Therefore, when it comes to shutter lack, it’s not as good as a middle range camera, but you will not feel the lack much, so there will be no much inconvenience. The shutter sound is quite loud and thick.
Shutter Sound (Continuous Shots)
The NX10 supports an anti-dust function and it can be activated when it’s on. But people said the coated front sensor might be changed to something strong to dust. Anyhow, it will be as great as Olympus or Panasonic, but we can expect it, because they said they would do their best to make the body strong to dusts. According to my experience, it didn’t seem to be very strong to dusts.
Compact Lens interchangeable camera always with me
Super compact might not be suitable for the body size, but it’s amazing they’ve made this small size with the APS-C sensor. Looking at the body structure, if the view finder is taken out, it’s possible to make a similar body size to the Panasonic GF1, I think. To be honest, it wasn’t easy for Samsung to make everything from sensors to lenses fitting the NX system. They needed to make the body as small as possible, put all the functions in the small body, and make their own lens, not like the GX. That’s why I would like to give a high score to the NX10. With the pancake lens, it fits in a small hand bag or a brief case without any burden.
Convenient, comfort design and Great grip
When the photo of the NX10 was exposed for the first time, people were disappointed at the featureless design. However, now they are accepting it as a comfort. It has better grip than mirror-less Olympus E-P series and Panasonic G series, and compared to DSLRs, it provides quite good feeling. It seems like an old friend. Samsung has made rather comfort and modern style than classical square type. If you like a classical style, it’s featureless to you, but if you like comfort and circular type, you will feel it when touching it. I like it more and more.
It has really good grip. Probably, Samsung has taken care of this comfort grip very much. Grip is appropriate not to harm the slimness and the urethane on the grip is also good to hold the body. Samsung also has considered the interface of thumb much. There’s no spot to place your little finger, but it doesn’t affect the grip.
On the front, assist light, depth preview button, and lens separate button are located. If you get accustomed to previous Samsung bodies, the lens separate button might be unfamiliar. Because the grip is a little curved to outside, it’s easier to hold the camera. I don’t know why but I’m proud of the Samsung logo and NX mark.
3” 624K pixels AMOLED
It has 624K pixels 3” AMOLED. The panel is made of multi coated hard panels. The advantage of the AMOLED is 3000x faster response time than TFT LCD, wide viewing angle almost 180 degree, less power consumption, 100,000:1 contrast ratio, and so on. The image contrast might be weaker than TFT LCD, but through outdoor visibility, natural colors, and appropriate exposure review, it looks like real pictures. That’s why the sharpness isn’t that high. Color temperature is slightly warm and through approximately 100% viewing angle full time live view, you can take cool pictures. The viewing angle is approximately 100% here, it means it’s close to 100% and you won’t feel the difference. One more thing! When using a large sensor and telephoto zoom lens, if you move a camera a little, the screen looks like slightly moving. It’s a feature of a large sensor, so you should be used to this.
VGA level 920K pixels Electronic Viewfinder
The viewfinder is automatically activated by the eye sensor and it’s 640×480 VGA 920K pixels. It has outstanding quality compared to normal high zoom cameras, but not as good as the GH1 from Panasonic. The specification is 0.86x 100% visibility and it’s like an entry level DSLRs. On the side, there’s an adjusting controller. I wish there was a button to change the mode from the display to viewfinder. It’s a little bit brighter and all information is displayed, so it’s useful when it’s difficult to check the display or you need to hold your position.
User convenient button arrangement
One of the themes of the NX10 is a convenient control. Looking at the buttons on the back, only a menu button is on the left and most other buttons are on the right side such as display, FN, play, delete, 4 way, AEL and exposure button. The whole control is convenient. However, I thought the menu button should have been in the right side. Because of the menu button, I had to take out my left hand often in this cold weather.
A Flash button is located on the left top, while mode dial, power dial, shutter button, command dial, green button, and continuous/timer setting button are located on the right side. The command dial is in a line like Rico or Minolta. It’s good to control the exposure button for manual exposure. Command dial and mode dial are appropriate, but when it comes to the command dial, the value changes a bit slowly than the real control.
HDMI, supporting release port
Looking at the side, ED, HDMI, Release port(SR9NX0), and USB/AV port are located in a line. On the other side, SD/SDHC memory is inserted and it can be changed even when a tripod is connected. 8GB memory is officially supported, but after testing, more 16GB is supported. I think it will be decided with the official product.
Built-in pop up flash, TTL supporting Hot shoe
There will be accessories related to flash, but the hot shoe is the same as the previous GX system, so TTL flash with SEF 42A and SEF 20A from Samsung can be used. With the previous Pentax flash, only manual flash using x contact point is possible without TTL flash. It has 1/180 sec of synchronize speed, guide number of the flash is 11 in ISO100. Flash can be compensated with the range -2 ~ +2EV and without the hood it pops up in order to have sufficient light with the 18-55 lens.
Battery capacity enough to take More than 400 photos on CIPA
The battery capacity was on the specification as CIPA 400 shots, but I could take more shots. Of course, it depends on the flash or a movie recording, but I think the battery is good. The battery is 1300mAh Lithium battery and I think it can sufficiently stand for a day. If you’d like to travel around, you’d better have a spare battery. The charging time is 150 minutes, so I recommend charging it before getting sleep.
The battery is inserted to the bottom and there’s a battery lock. The battery cover has an inside lever for safety. The bottom of the camera doesn’t look pretty, but firm. The tripod hall looks also very strong to abrasion.
APS-C sensor, the best contrast AF
What I worried the most was the contrast AF speed. Contrast AF recognizes the location and contrast of the image a, not using a mirror sensing a distance, so large sensor might have some disadvantage. It’s because the large sensor takes more time to recognize the objects and set a focus on it, if it’s in a long distance or near. The important thing is how quick the camera gets it. That’s why wide angle lenses are faster than telephoto zoom lenses. The Contrast AF speed of the NX10 is faster than I expected. It’s too fast as a model having the APS-C sensor.
30mm Pancake Shooting
AF performance for multi zone (18-55 lens, Telephoto)
AF performance for multi zone (30mm pancake)
Actually, it takes at least 2~3 sec if the APS-C is applied. It doesn’t matter if the body is expensive or not. The reason of the outstanding performance of Panasonic Micro Four Thirds compared to Olympus Micro Four Thirds is the combination of their great contrast AF showing in the compact digital cameras and feature of the sensors they have been developing. I was quite surprised at the AF speed of the NX10, even though the APS-C sensor has been applied for the first time. If another sensor was applied and there was no Panasonic Micro Four Thirds, I don’t think Samsung would make this great performance. Even if it’s very dark, it sets the focus within 1 sec using the assistant light and with a little light, quick AF is possible. Current contrast AF speed among mirror-less large sensor cameras is Panasonic G > Samsung NX > Olympus E-P > Rico GXR > Sigma DP.
4 size AF, Max. 195 zone spot AF.
When it comes to Multi zone AF shots, it comparably takes near and deep contrast. However, it failed to set the AF a lot, so you would use selection 1 point AF more.
AF frame adjustment and Spot AF
Using the selection 1 point AF, the 4 different sizes of AF zone can be set to 11×9, 13×11, and 15×13 with Spot AF. Especially, the Spot AF is useful when more accurate AF is needed such as a small flower, insects, eyes, and so on. When it comes to a thin and small subject, if the focus is set on the background, you can use MF to move the focus a little forward, and then use the Spot AF.
Larger AF zone Spot AF
However, Spot photometry is not connected to AF location. The Spot Photometry is only made on the center of the screen, so you have to set the photometry in the center and then you can move the body while having AE lock executed or use M mode. Personally, I use Spot AF linking AF location a lot, so I hope this would be updated by firmware.
Face Recognition up to 10 faces
It has 4 AF such as 15 points multi, selection 1 point, Face Recognition, and Self Guide. Face Recognition can recognize up to 10 faces. This is useful when faces are too dark or too bright, or for portrait shots. However, if it’s too dark, it used to fail to set an accurate focus on a face, so you need to look at the screen first.
Face Recognition off Face Recognition on
Setting the AF to Self Guide, it recognizes faces and tells you whether the face is located in the center or not with beep sounds.
The closer to the center the face is, the more frequent the sound is made. When the face is out of the angle, there’s no sound.
The NX10 users will use the MF shots quite a lot such as Focus, Free composition, Focus ring adjustment, MF videos. The MF of the NX10 is magnified from the center to surroundings.
It’s good to see because the quality of zoomed screen is great. But it’s not possible to zoom the spot I want, so when zooming, we should move the camera. And there’s no quick shift focus system. (Not in all 3 lenses and no setting menu for it.)
If a lens has an AF/MF change switch, the mode change is only possible from the lens. If not, it has to be done from the body. Using Pentax K mount switch adapter, previous Pentax Samsung lens can be used. But AF is not supported. In order to use the AF, it’s activated from the adapter not from the body, so I don’t think it’s easily possible now.
Better AF than my expectation
I’m satisfied with the AF speed and performance. However, if it’s too dark inside or backlight, when taking portrait shots with 30 or 18-55 lenses, the focus used to set on the background. Then we need to move the focus using MF and re-focus. It’s not a problem, because it didn’t happen a lot. However, for those who enjoy shots in a dark place, I hope the accuracy of the selection AF is a little bit improved. I think it’s surely possible by looking at the technology of Samsung. With firmware updates, I’ve experienced the upgrade of AF by myself and it’s still going on. Let’s look forward to the official model.
Pretty and convenient Graphic Interface
The GX was also praised by the user friendly interface unlike Pentax, and the NX10 also look pretty and convenient. It’s very use friendly, I think as a Samsung product. The design looks plain, but GUI looks different.
Turning the camera on, icons are displayed on the left and right side, and shot information is displayed on the lower side. Real time histogram is also displayed and 4 different composition lattice can be set such as 2×2, 3×3, X, and +. Brightness can be adjusted to 5 levels and with auto brightness adjustment system, it can automatically be adjusted. Color detail setting is also possible by adjusting A, G, B, and M. I didn’t need to set the color or brightness of the NX10, but I adjusted the brightness to a little dark.
Convenient FN button
The Fn button on the back sets picture size, quality, AF, flash, color region, smart range, and OIS. When it comes to flash intensity, it can be adjusted by looking at a circular graph with a command dial. Self Timer can also be set to 2 to 30 sec increased by 1.
Menu screen is divided into shot and setting, and it can easily be found with pull down menu. Clicking one item, it goes into the sub menu and it’s similar to previous Minolta.
AE lock button can be set to AE, AF, and AE+AF and while the button has been pressed, the lock function is activated. The depth preview button on the front can be set to an optical preview or one touch white balance function. I personally set it to one touch white balance, so when pushing the shutter after pressing the depth preview button, it can be directly set to custom.
Through the way button, AF/MF setting, Photometry, White balance and ISO can be set. In AF mode, pushing the OK button, AF size or location can be quickly set. It should have been better if the flash setting button is outside.
Manual operation reflecting exposure in real time
When operated in Manual mode, the histogram exposure value and brightness change in real time. The response of command dial and brightness is kind of slow, but I think the whole display interface in Manual mode is the best, I think.
Manual mode operation
In A mode (Aperture) and S mode (Shutter speed), using the exposure button and command dial, exposure can be quickly adjusted and in P mode, through Program shift, aperture value can temporarily adjusted. While in Program shift, pushing the green button on the top, it gets back to the previous screen. The green button on the top also not only takes a role of zooming, but also initializing from Program shift, detailed setting of Picture Wizard, White balance, Color temperature, Color adjustment, Self timer, Flash EV, focus on the center from changed position in Selection AF, Exposure compensation, and so on.
Interesting Manual mode
The shutter speed of the NX10 is 1/4000 to 30 sec. (8 min with bulb) Through Depth control by adjusting aperture or shutter speed control, various photos can be created. There’s also an advantage in night shot. By tightening the aperture of the 18-55mm OIS lens, light is divided into 14 ways. By adjusting the shutter speed, light or snow can become long thread.
3 different Photometry
It supports Spot, Central, and multi photometry. It’s generally stable with 19×13 247 zones TTL Photometry. It tended to take a little dark shot on a sunny day, so it needed to a little brighter exposure and in a dark background, it took a little bright shot. However, there was no problem in exposure at all. But images are slightly dark.
Sunny day Portrait shot – Multi pattern Photometry, 30mm, Exposure 0.0
Pictures can be sorted by date, week, or file and played by Smart Play. While in play, through the display button, RGBY graphs and various shot information can be checked and magnification movement is also very good. Especially after magnification movement, by FN button, pictures can be cropped right away.
The most outstanding function in the scene mode of the NX10 is Beauty shot. Beauty shot recognizes a face and makes the face flawless and smooth. It’s like Photoshop in a camera. Beauty Shot is included in the Scene mode and brightness and the intensity of skin complexion can be set to 3 levels.
The results compensated by the APS-C sensor are really good. People might think it’s a little unnatural, but it’s incomparable to other compact digital cameras. Moreover, there was nothing to set in Beauty Shot of compact digital cameras, so faces got easily dark, but it’s possible to compensate exposure with the command dial with the NX10.
The most natural intensity is +1 or +2. ‘+3’ is normally too strong. The compensation is concentrated on the bright parts of skin while working on the dark part more smoothly. When it comes to a compact digital camera, due to its deep depth, it used to compensate even the background similar color to skin, but I haven’t seen it from the NX10.
Let’s enjoy retouching more slowly
Taking a shot in Beauty Shot, compensation time is too long enough to miss the next shot. Therefore, retouching with pictures taken after shooting could be better. When it comes to retouching, only skin complexion can be compensated to 3 levels not brightness. And after moving JPEG files converted from RAW, they can be read and retouched in a computer.
(18-55 lens, Multi-Metering, AWB, Highlight off, ISO100, A-mode, 37mm, F4.5, 1/200s)
Beauty retouching in the NX10
(Play->Image editing->Skin complexion->Skin complexion intensity+3)
Soft compensation of Retouched files in the camera
(Image editing->Photo Style->Soft editing menu)
Not only skin complexion, but also Red eye elimination, Backlight Compensation, Photo Style Compensation, and Size conversion are also possible. Skin Complexion is located at the very end of image compensation. Among them, Soft compensation in Photo Style is quite useful. It brightens dark parts and smoothens rough pixels. It can consecutively compensate retouched shots, so it’s good to execute skin complexion and soft compensation one by one.
Smart Auto with 16 kinds of Scene auto recognitions
Scene Recognition function of compact digital cameras is installed in the NX10. In Smart Auto mode, 8 different scene modes are listed and among them, Portrait, Backlight, Scenery, Night Scenery, and Macro are divided into detailed items. Once the scene is recognized, the color of the icon changes. Up to 16 scenes can be automatically recognized.
Macro Portrait Auto Recognition (Automatic Beauty Shot)
The camera recognizes Portrait, Backlight, and Macro the most among all recognition modes. However, I don’t think it perfectly recognizes Night Portrait or Backlight Portrait. Moreover, once it was recognized properly, sometimes flash was too strong or the focus was on the background. If it’s too dark, you’d rather use Manual mode and adjust ISO, Exposure, and flash by yourself than Smart Auto, I suppose. Below is the 16 scene icons which can be changed in real time on the lower part of the screen.
In ISO Auto, even if it’s recognized as Night mode, ISO800 is the limit and in Program Auto mode, ISO goes up to 800, too. Sometimes, we need more ISO to secure the shutter speed, but it’s more important for Smart Auto to minimize hand-blur. In Smart Auto or Program Auto, no matter how dark it is, regardless of angle of view, it’s suppressed to ISO400 and turning the flash off, more detailed ISO values are applied in Smart Auto. Looking at the second, you can see ISO 480 when the flash was off. In Smart Auto, once Face Recognition and Focus work well, Smart Flash automatically adjusts the intensity of flash. Looking at the third, the flash is more appropriate than P mode.
MPEG4 Format H.264 HD video
The NX10 supports a MPEG4 format HD video function with 1280×720, 640×480, and 320×240 of size in 30 fps. The quality is either normal or fine and capture and cutting video are supported for editing in the camera. (Attached videos are not 100% quality.)
With 1GB memory, up to 15 min can be recorded as a Fine HD size and with 8GB, up to 2 hours, but it can record up to 25 minutes at once. Sound is mono, but not that bad.
P mode and A mode are supported for the Video recording mode and by adjusting aperture, depth of field for the background can be freely applied. However, once tightening the aperture too much for deeper depth, it might cause noise and insufficient exposure. It could have been better if Face Recognition is supported for the video recording.
Various Photo Style and White Balance can also be applied and wind noise elimination and fader for the beginning and end of videos are supported, too.
Picture Wizard Portrait
Picture Wizard Custom
Picture Wizard Classic
Fader (fade in / fade out)
Wind cut off
Wind cut on
HD videos keep being improved. While I was using the NX10, there were updates for video quality at twice. That’s why I couldn’t tell it’s exactly the complete quality, but I can say the feature of videos roughly..
SAMPLE1 – 30mm Focus (manual) [Download original]
SAMPLE2 – 30mm [Download original]
SAMPLE3 – 30mm [Download original]
SAMPLE4 – 18-55mm [Download original]
SAMPLE5 – 30mm [Download original]
The quality for inside and outside is relatively good and there was not much color noise. But the screen used to be tilted if the camera is moved, and it doesn’t support an additional IS function, so IS is only possible with the lens supporting OIS.
55mm OIS off
55mm OIS on
55mm OIS off (Shaking on purpose)
55mm OIS on (Shaking on purpose)
According to the manual, continuous AF can be executed by the depth preview button, but not for some lenses. However, all the 3 lenses I mentioned support continuous AF while recording. Clicking the depth preview button on recording, continuous AF is activated and turned off by one more click.
AF with walking – Continuous AF with the 30mm lens
Indoor continuous AF – Continuous AF with the 18-55 OIS lens
Outdoor continuous AF – Continuous AF with the 18-55 OIS lens
It’s the consideration of the NX10. You can either use it or manual mode. However, the performance of Continuous AF does not work perfectly. Taking movement of a person or a pet with Continuous AF, sometimes it was failed or slowly responded, or the screen got fuzzy. The 18-55 OIS lens is the best for the video recording, but I think MF is better so far.
What I was wondering about the NX10 was the color, because I expected the original pictures from a large sensor. In 2009, Samsung digital cameras had deep, strong red and familiar colors, so they were very satisfactory. The color of the NX10 is between Panasonic and Pentax to me and color temperature is quite warm. You can feel it more for indoor shots. Because colors are not so strong, it might be a little too plain in a basic setting. However, various picture wizards, 3 custom colors, and detailed color parameter setting allow wide range of colors to users.
The color of the NX10 is natural and realistic. My first impression was the same as well. Generally, yellow tone is involved in pictures rather than cold feeling, and at some point, it gets stronger. But it changes depending on situations. Under the sunlight in the afternoon, it’s warm, in the morning a little cool, and warmer for indoor shots. Like previous Pentax body, in the middle range, yellow and green patterns tended to be applied. If you like warm patterns and rural areas, it’s good, but if you like vivid skin tone and blue sky, it’s not good. As a middle level product, the NX10 creates natural and high gradation based on a little compensation not vividness.
In outdoor portrait tone comparison with Panasonic, the NX10 shows more vividness. When it comes to flash shots in ISO800, Samsung has better details and skin colors. (GF1+20mm lens vs NX10 + 30mm lens)
Panasonic has reduced green casting a lot compared to previous models and color balances are set to a little cool for both indoor and outdoor shots. However, the GF1 has 1/3EV brighter than the NX10 with the same shot value. Taking with the same M mode value with both the NX10 and GF1, the GF1 takes more bright shots. (Comparison below) That means despite similar brightness with the same aperture and ISO in A mode, the shutter speed of Panasonic tends to be slightly shorter. (Comparison First, top)
Comparison Setting Exposure to the NX10 in M mode (Over exposure in the GF1)
Comparison Setting Exposure to the GF1 in M mode (Underexposure in the NX10)
Panasonic is definitely better in Shot performance, but when it comes to gradation of bright parts and details, the NX1 is certainly better. It’s the same pancake lens, but considering angle of view, Samsung pancakes takes narrow shots. (Lumix 20mm is 40mm and Samsung 30mm is 46.2mm.) Looking at the comparison picture, the background of the NX10 got knocked out of focus more. If Samsung 30mm pancake lens supported 1.x aperture like Lumix, it would be unbelievable, I think. The 30mm pancake lens is really good lens.
Picture Wizard, Various color expression
Picture wizard is similar to Photo Style Selector of Samsung VLUU compact digital cameras. It can be directly set from the delete button on the back and it comes with 9 modes such as Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm and Classic. It has 3 user settings and from Picture Wizard, Color, Saturation, Sharpness, and Contrast can be adjusted to 9 levels.
Standard Custom1-Strong Saturation
Custom2-Strong Saturation, Cold Color Custom3-Max.Saturation, Max.Contrast
There’s nothing about colors in manual, but colors have their own features. Standard is natural and well balanced. Vivid is the best for color feeling. Scenery is more natural and better in gradation than Vivid. For Portrait, Standard or Portrait mode are the most appropriate to me.
Colors are generally cool here. Personally I prefer Calm with natural red. It has less red than Retro and when taking portrait shots, it creates special atmosphere.
Color Temperature, Detailed White Balance
It supports 9 White Balance modes from Auto to Custom and Color temperature from 2500K to 10000K in every 100K. Color Temperature is quite important. When White Balance doesn’t satisfy you, Color Temperature allows more detailed color settings. Custom White Balance is also very easy to use. It can be set from the depth preview button or Custom White Balance in White Balance. I hope it can save 2 more Custom White Balance settings.
Various Bracketing Modes
Exposure, White Balance, and Picture Bracketing are supported. Detailed settings of each Bracketing mode are possible from the menu. For example, exposure interval, type of Picture Wizard, and color pattern of White Balance. Exposure Bracketing is continuous, but because White Balance and Picture Wizard save captured pictures in 3 colors using RAW file format.
Picture Wizard Bracketing
3 consecutive shots in a sec, High speed shots in 30 fps
JPEG consecutive shots take 3 shots in a sec. The number of consecutive shots depends on image quality, Compression rate, and file size. If you want to increase the number of pictures, you’d lower the compression rate from Super Fine to Fine or less and setting it to Normal compression, the camera keeps the speed in 3 fps until the memory is filled.
According to the specifications, it’s up to 10 pictures in 3 fps, but I think it’s the minimum number. As you can see from the below video, in Super Fine, it took up to 15 pictures and in Fine, it kept the speed until 32 shots, and then the speed got slower. The number of shots changes depending on files, size, and the number of shots. (Class6 SDHC)
Super Fine Compression JPEG consecutive shot
Fine Compression JPEG consecutive shot
Normal Compression JPEG consecutive shot
As far as I remember, in Super Fine, the shots haven’t been below 12 shots. Using it in RAW format, it keeps the speed only up to 3 shots. The compressed file size of Super File JPEG is about 5~6MB. The compression rate is relatively high. I hope it will support RAW compression. I think this great camera needs that performance. With high sensitivity reduction on in ISO 3200, it can’t reach the speed, no matter how fast the shutter speed is, because of noise reduction image process.
High Speed Shooting mode
In the consecutive shot mode, there’s a high speed shooting mode called burst shots. It takes a video for a sec while the sensor is open and captures it to 30 shots. The image size is 1.4M 1472×976. It used to take shots with inappropriate exposure, but it’s a little larger than the Video capture, so it will be useful when saving a video to GIF or keep it to small JPEG files.
Using the High speed shooting, the sound of lightening fast consecutive shots comes, and then it’s going to be automatically displayed as a GIF animation. It’s a kind of funny thing.
Smart Range can be turned on or off. It’s totally different from ACB function of compact digital cameras, but almost the same as highlight compensation of Pentax. Turning this on, ISO starts from 200 and details of bright part are restored. Of course, it’s also good to apply highlight compensation or dynamic range by using RAW file format, but the file size is quite big and it’s difficult to handle RAW files, so turning Highlight Compensation on is much better. Even if it goes up to ISO 200, it doesn’t involve noises much. Below pictures were taken a little brightly for the comparison of Smart Range performance.
It restores highlight more than when it’s off. Generally, it much more widely keeps the bright part details, so let’s use Smart Range properly.
Wide range of compensation, RAW
Using RAW format, it allows much wider compensation range. In order to compensate important pictures to high quality, I tried to take shots in RAW format. It’s 25MB, but due to the heavy delay of image saving, it didn’t bother my shots. The image process of the NX10 is quite fast. It basically includes Samsung RAW converter 3.0 and this software is based on Silky Pix software. Because it has more than 14M pixels and good RAW converting details, let’s try to cut out useless part of images and crop them.
RAW file Crop JPEG conversion
Final JPEG file [Download original]
The reason I use the RAW file is dark part compensation, noise, White Balance, and bright part gradation. It can compensate high contrast shots more naturally, and noise and details can be more strongly handled than JPEG images. The details of bright parts going white can be restored more, so it allows more natural and good looking image for highlight on faces.
Original JPEG of RAW+JPEG [Download original]
RAW file conversion [Download original]
Of course, the RAW files of the NX10 can widely be compensated, but the bright part gradation is not as great as Fuji or Kodak, so please do not use overexposure a lot. It’s a similar to the previous GX20 or K-7, or a little bit better? That’s why it might be better to take shots in JPEG with Smart Range rather than very large RAW. However, I used RAW files a lot unintentionally. It’s because RAW format can freely adjust not only gradation, but also White Balance, and high sensitivity noise pattern.
Original JPEG of RAW+JPEG [Download original]
RAW file conversion (WB, Dynamic Range, etc.) [Download original]
Setting the menu variously regarding noise and details, it creates all different results. Below picture was taken with the 30mm lens in JPEG ISO3200, and color noise, noise reduction, noise reduction intensity, and so on were applied. What do you like?
ISO 3200, 30mm lens, F8.0
1. JPEG shot 2. RAW file conversion 3. RAW file(compensation-1)
4. RAW file (compensation-1) 5. RAW file(compensation-2) 6. RAW file(compensation-3)
7. RAW file(compensation-4)
The color of RAW conversion picture with no compensation is stronger than JPEG. JPEG high sensitivity images looks more focusing on clarity of images without color noises than detailes.
14.6M, Great details
The NX10 has adopted the APS-C 14.6M pixels CMOS which is the same as the GX10, K20D, and K-7. When the bodies applying this sensor had come out first, it had the best quality in the same level cameras. I’m expecting the NX10 applying the sensor very much. The NX10 is a middle level among lens interchangeable type cameras and the image quality is also great as much as the sensor. Everything such as Detail and sharpness is good. The power of the APS-C sensor is based on image quality and pixels and it’s the fundamental point superior to Micro Four Thirds. However, I don’t think more than 14.6M pixels is needed, but high sensitivity image process needs to be upgraded. Image details in over ISO1600 are slightly insufficient. However, it’s not that much and with less color noises, it’s good enough for web sites..
Landscape, ISO200, 18-55 OIS, F10.0
Night Scenery with long time exposure, ISO100, 18-55 OIS, F11.0
ISO100, 30mm, F2.0
ISO1600 detail Crop
Especially, with the 30mm pancake lens, you can enjoy outstanding quality for indoor, outdoor, portrait, and snap shots. The 18-55 OIS lens has also great sharpness for outdoor scenery. With these 2 lenses, great pictures can be taken. After taking in RAW format and compensating, better details can be expressed.
The overall image is a little dark. Under the same shot setting values, more than 1/3EV is bright. During the comparison I did before with Panasonic in M mode, there was a reason of a little dark shot by the NX10. This is the same as the quality test below by ISO.
Soft Pattern high quality
Fortunately, I’ve received the V1.00 official firmware right now. Of course, the body is not yet the official one, but it’s a good reference for those who are about to buy the NX10. The NX10 supports ISO 100 to 3200. Setting Smart Range, ISO starts from 200. Below is the comparison of image process by ISO with the K20D, K-7 which have the same sensor and so on. Pentax body is in a natural mode with pancake 40mm F2.8 lens in A mode F8.0. The NX10 is with 39mm F2.0 lens in A mode F8.0. I personally wanted to put the same 30mm Pancake lens on the Pentax body. While testing there was some angle difference, I hope you understand this. For your reference, the shutter speed was the same by each ISO.
Body level is a little different, but it will be a good material to see the image quality. High sensitivity image pattern of the NX10 is slightly unique. On the whole, it has less red and blue color noises which are soft and calm. Low sensitivity quality is clean. From ISO100 to ISO400, by increasing the ISO, color balance moves to blue a little and from ISO800, with disappearing this blue, and getting some noise. From ISO1600, green pattern noise starts coming and red/blur colors get weaker, and in ISO3200, saturation becomes even weaker. Even though the Pentax body was set to Natural, the color of the Pentax body is deeper than the NX10.
High sensitivity images of the K-7 developed with prime engine and its extremely high speed of consecutive shots are vivid and good, but the pixels are a little too rough, so medium brightness is not clean enough. After this comparison, the noise pattern of the K20D is so nice and traditional. As ISO increases, there’s no color change and only color noise increases, so increased ISO doesn’t ruin the details. When it comes to the NX10, it ruins details a little bit, but they are smoothened and become natural. The NX10 is the best for web sites. But over ISO1600, especially ISO3200 needs to maintain the details.
The brightness difference in the same setting value is quite big. According to a test, in 1/3~2/3EV, the NV10 is a little darker. That means if taking with the same brightness, the shutter speed of the NX10 gets longer and it’s weak to hand-blur. Therefore, I considered testing with the same brightness with more brightness in the NX10, but on second thought, I didn’t, because this comparison according to the real value could be easy for you to understand. Actually, pictures taken were kind of dark and when taking indoor shots with proper exposure, the shutter speed was a bit insufficient. Looking at the image quality of the NX10 in ISO1600 and ISO3200, difference of details is noticeable. The K20D and K-7 adopted different color noise and noise reduction not allowing ruining details and colors. Considering the body level of the NX10 which is a little lower than them, once they make a little progress, users will like it more.
Noise Reduction in ISO3200
High sensitivity noise reduction can be turned on or off and it works only in ISO3200. In ISO3200, 3fps consecutive shots are not supported. However, results are quite good, because it reduces color noises a lot without affecting any details.
NR off (ISO3200) NR on (ISO3200)
Sharpness can be adjusted to 9 levels. Standard is well balanced and +2 is also appropriate if you want a little sharp pictures.
Samsung’s Compact 3 kinds of NX lens
With the release of the NX10, 3 lenses have also been released. Like other brands, they are composed of pancake lens, standard zoom lens, and 50-200 telephoto zoom lens. There will be more lenses, but anyway it’s good enough as a beginning with the 30mm F2.0 pancake lens and 18-55 OIS lens, because the performance of the 30mm F2.0 lens was beyond my expectation. OIS has been applied only for zoom installed for 2 zoom lenses. These are the specifications of each lens.
SAMSUNG 30mm F2
(equivalent to 46.2mm in 35mm format)
(equivalent to 27.7-84.7mm in 35mm
(equivalent to 77-308mm in 35mm format)
in 5 groups
in 9 groups
(1 Aspherical lens included)
in 13 groups
Angle of View
F2 (Min. F22),
(Number of Blades : 7, Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
F3.5 – 5.6 (Min. F22),
F4 – 5.6 (Min. F22), (Number of Blades : 7, Circular Aperture Diaphragm)
Samsung NX Mount
Samsung NX Mount
Samsung NX Mount
Optical Image Stabilizer
Minimum Focus Distance
0.25m ~ ∞
0.28m ~ ∞
0.98m ~ ∞
61.5 x 21.5mm
63 x 65.1mm
70 x 100.5mm
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
5 ~ 85%
5 ~ 85%
5 ~ 85%
Value of the NX! 30mm F2.0 Pancake lens
The lenses of the NX series are made by Samsung and Schneider has not been involved at all. Especially, the performance of the 30mm F2.0 is incredible and it seems like designed by someone from another world. Image quality in F2.0 is wonderful and it’s really slim and light as 85g. Because it doesn’t support IS, it couldn’t be started from 1.x. However, I think the performance in this size is the best among all pancake lenses. There was no inconvenience yet caused by absence of the zoom function. With this lens only, I could enjoy it all day long. It doesn’t’ take much space in a bag and makes users comfortable. This is possible only by a pancake lens.
The front of the lens is cute and looks like cut with a sharp knife. The slim size is by the lens structure and the thin focus ring. But there’s no inconvenience to adjust manual focus. While adjusting focus ring, there’s some noise, so while recording a video, it could make operational sounds. While AF, inside barrel comes out and in again for a moment, and the AF speed is really fast.
Satisfactory Inside and outside Portrait,
Snap Scenery, and Objects shots
Even though it doesn’t have an IS function, with F2.0 and open sharpness, it will show great performance indoors and outdoors. In F2.0, the background of a whole body will be knocked out of focus. The pretty out focus of background makes a person more remarkable. Converted focus length on 35mm film is 46.2mm and it can comfortably cover inside portrait and objects, and it’s useful for outside scenery and portrait.
Full body F2.0 Full body F8.0
Indoor half of the body F2.2 Indoor half of the body F8.0
Outdoor half of the body F2.0 Outdoor half of the body F8.0
Is it a power of the sensor? The whole feeling of pictures is prettier than Micro Four Thirds lenses. Through the background out focus, useless background can be arranged well.
Minimum Shot length 25cm
It’s impossible to expect macro shot like a Macro lens, but it provides a reasonable shot length. 25mm can easily cover normal snap shots. Below is the comparison of the shortest shots which can set AF with Panasonic and Olympus Micro Four Thirds to 3:2 ratio.
Pancake Shortest Shot
When taking a coin, it’s slightly smaller by the NX10 and similar by Olympus and Panasonic. One more thing I can deduct is that the indoor color temperature is the highest with the NX10 and lowest with Panasonic. And Olympus is between.
Strong open sharpness
It’s strong to all open sharpness, Focusing, backlight flair, and chromatism. The reason I consider the lens is better than the NX10 body is that it’s the most remarkable among existing pancake lenses. As you can see from the resolution test, its performance is not easy to understand by looking at it.
You don’t need to be afraid of F2.0, because of the great performance and the quality of surroundings is also very good and there’s no light reduction in Open. It provides the best sharpness in F8.0-11.0, but it’s not much different from F2.0. Little distortion doesn’t bother much. Once it’s over F16.0, the quality starts to degrade. The weaknesses of this lens are that it has no OIS and overall video recording functions are not as good as a standard zoom lens. Nothing else.
Standard zoom lens
Samsung 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS representing the NX.
The 18-55 OIS lens from Samsung has 3x zoom and 27.7-87.4mm of focus length on 35mm. Telephoto zoom lens is good for Portrait and Macro shot while wide angle lens is good for Scenery and Various Portrait shots.
Elegant design and OIS
Lens hood is basically included. OIS and AF/MF conversion switch is provided. When using telephoto zoom, the lens barrel comes out. In order to reduce the weight, the mount is made of plastic not metal, and zoom and focus control is smooth. Most of all, the AF is fast and the performance of consecutive AF function is the best among 3 lenses released and the focusing is so smooth that you can’t feel the operational sounds. Turning the OIS on, from the inside menu, OIS option is activated and it can be selected as always or when shooting.
It’s true that it’s smaller and lighter than previous standard zoom lens, but compared to pancake lens, it doesn’t have many advantages in size and weight. Filter is a 58mm bigger filter. On the other hand, the appearance is neat and elegant fitting the NX10 well.
The most various shots
Because it has F3.5-5.6, compared to the F2.0 pancake lens, it’s difficult to secure a shutter speed indoors. On the other hands, it’s very useful for outdoor shots. When zooming, the background is knocked out of focus properly and Macro is maximum 0.22x and good for temporary Macro shots.
Maximum wide angle shots 55mm Maximum telephoto zoom Macro shot
It has great quality in telephoto zoom angles, the various expressions by narrow angles are as great as a pancake. Before Super zoom lens is released, this lens is used as a standard zoom, and according to the quality and performance, it deserves it.
Great Sharpness in all regions and quality degradation
Open sharpness in all regions is awesome. Therefore, when taking scenery shots on a sunny day, I didn’t think I need more lens for scenery shots. It’s good for resolution, flair and chromatism reduction, but there’s some distortion. Below is the comparison table for wide and telephoto zoom lens
Maximum wide angle 18mm
Sharpness of the central part is great independent to aperture value. And in wide angle, there’s some quality degradation in surrounding parts. The surrounding quality is improved at F8.0, so when taking a scenery shot on a sunny day, the aperture needs to be tightened to about F11.
35mm Resolution by aperture
The image quality from 35mm is wonderful. From here, the quality is as great as a single lens.
55mm Resolution by aperture
I was surprised that there’s no quality degradation in 55mm maximum telephoto angle. The surrounding quality is even better. Considering everything, in sharpness, I think the maximum telephoto angle is the best. There’s some dented distortion, but I don’t think you will notice this on normal scenery not on this type of chart.
The performance for Night scenery is also very important, so there are a lot of people wondering the light division. The aperture has 7 edges and the light is divided into 14 ways. In order to make it look nice, the aperture needs to be tightened to more than F11.0. As tightening the aperture, the light gets longer. If long time exposure is not intended, you’d better use up to F16.0 for proper light division and keeping details.
Beyond my expectation
I don’t think I was the only one who worried about this camera. It’s really not easy to create contrast AF performance, mount, own technology not invading other patents, and lenses. However, this passion and performance deserve more expectation. From the moment I pushed the shutter at first, I can’t help saying you’ve done a really great job for this. Fast AF, quality and gradation, Beauty shot for women, and HD video recording are combined well and it will become the most popular lens interchangeable camera for Koreans.
Falling in love with the Pancake lens
To be honest, I give a higher score to the 30mm F2.0 lens than the NX10. I’m sure that at least 90% of people would agree with me. It’s really great and beyond my expectation in size, weight, design, and so on. The 18-55 OIS lens is also great, but not as much as the 30mm pancake lens. That’s right. The fascinating power of the Samsung pancake lens from the combination of the APS-C sensor for indoor and outdoor portrait, Scenery, and Snap shots is the strongest among all the digital cameras.
The next step of the NX
The NX10 is not finished. It keeps making progress. And it has to be. Originally, continuous firmware upgrade or something has been made in highly expected DSLR cameras for their customers. Even after releasing a product, there will be things to solve or consider. Personally, the NX10 is needed to be upgraded in accuracy of AF to a person in a dark place or backlight condition, video recording function, high sensitivity detail, dark image, and Scenery Recognition in Smart Auto. In addition, there are some functions I hope to be added. They are only viewfinder option, connection between AF location and Spot photometry in Selection AF, compressed size of RAW files, Quick shift focus system, RAW function in a camera, saturation/brightness editing in a camera, faster command dial, compensating vertically in OIS, and additional video recording button, and so on. Of course, there are people who don’t agree with me.
Evolution camera NX10 representing Korea
When I got the NX10 at first, I was expecting and worrying it. It’s because Samsung’s own lens interchangeable type digital camera was different from other cameras in design and feelings. The NX10 began its way for the first time as a mirror-less lens interchangeable type cameras having the APS-C sensor, but other competitors are not going to just watch it. Therefore, Samsung needs to keep going on. I’m so wondering the next step of the Samsung evolution, but I’m sure their work will never be useless.