Review: Samsung NX1000

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Quick Facts

Brand: Samsung
Model: NX1000

20.3MP APS-C Sensor, 8fps, 1/4000 shutter speed, 1080p fullHD video recording

Standard lens: 20–50mm 
Weight: 0.22kg (without battery+SD card) 
Other lens options: 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 16mm f/2.4 Ultra Wide Pancake, 85mm f/1.4

Full spec sheet

Note: I received the Samsung NX1000 camera as a review unit.

“I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the pics in your gallery. I don’t want to even begin to believe that a compact camera can do those shots.

I won’t believe it.”

When I first heard about Samsung’s new NX series line, I was a little intrigued. Samsung is not exactly known for its cameras, although that also means that I went in with no expectations.

When I actually managed to take a few pictures with one, I was surprised. The Samsung NX1000 holds its own when it comes to photography as a compact camera for those wanting the options of inter-changable lenses while still carrying around a more portable device. And before you ask, yes, it does come in pink.

Overall, the camera is definitely recommended as a quality 20.3 megapixel camera that takes great shots whether in all-auto (SMART) or various less-auto/manual modes, at a competitive price in its range. The NX1000 does have features such as Wi-Fi, i-Fn and inbuilt filters that those cameras don’t; so it’s a good buy for the photo aficionado that wants something in that price range and quality.

All other things being the same, I think its worth discussing the three elements that give the camera (well, the series, considering other cameras in the Samsung NX range have them as well) a little edge.

Wi-Fi

Samsung has incorporated Wi-Fi capabilities into the NX series. This allows you to:

  • Upload pictures to an offsite storage (currently integrated with SkyDrive)
  • Upload pictures to social media (Facebook, Picasa)
  • Extract pictures to your smartphone (iPhone, Android)

For the share-the-second-I-take-a-picture generation, these are must-haves, although my own use of this during the review period wasn’t excessive. The Skydrive and social media integration are pretty self explanatory. The smartphone option is enabled with a Mobile-Link app for iOS and Android that allows you to connect to the camera as a hotspot, and offload pictures to the phone. This is actually quite nice, since you can edit them a bit if you like, and shuttle them off via social networks or email.

Setup was rather easy so it wouldn’t be a pain for the non-network-savvy. Just a few clicks, and you’re on your way.

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Pulling photos onto a smartphone was a breeze

i-Fn

I used this feature the most out of the three. The Samsung smart lenses have an outer ring that allows you to activate menu controls to select options such as ISO and filters (see below) by rotating the ring rather than clicking the buttons. This made for a seamless experience during shooting without losing your grip, particularly if you want to take the setting to an extreme value.

Filters

In today’s Instagram age, filters are a smart add-on, no pun intended. The camera comes built in the a variety of smart filters such as vingetting, fish-eye, haftone dots, old film, etc. If I were to use filters, this’d be a better way I’d do it since you can actually position your shot to meet the filter rather than hope it works out in post-processing/uploading.

Filter selection was easy enough and didn’t take more than a minute to master.

Vingetting Filter with Samsung NX1000

Using inbuilt filters: Dragon Mart, Dubai with Vingetting

Now onto the usual.

Build

I was happy with the build quality. While the body is plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap and is steady to use even when sitting in a moving vehicle (and no, I don’t mean while also driving!).

Something was bothering me about the camera as I held it, but it took me more than a day to figure out what it was. I was about to take a macro shot of my favorite photography subject — that’s right, food — and as I brought the camera close to my face, I realized… the NX1000 does not have a viewfinder at all. Your interface with the camera is entirely with 3.0" LCD screen. This wasn’t tough to get used to but it took me by a little surprise as I’m someone that uses both for photography. That said, I’m sure the lack of a viewfinder helped with the form factor and I imagine most ready shooters will not mind.

There’s no built in flash, but an external flash is provided. I’m personally not a fan of using a flash in the day-to-day photography I do, so was happy with the decision since I’m sure it helped keep the weight that little bit down.

Low light

For a compact camera in its range, the NX1000 seems to handle low light shooting rather well. Both twilight shooting and indoor shooting were simple enough to do without too much modification; the auto-ISO settings seem to work well, and I was able to get a decent shot in with the ISO set at 12,800 (max setting). Granted, the picture was a little noisy but it did mean that a lower setting would have worked fine.

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Low light indoor shooting looks good too. Hummus!

Overall

With the right amount of manual and effective auto controls, the NX1000 is a good camera for people of any expertise level, and the build is a plus because it’s definitely something you’ll be happy carrying around. I think the NX1000 will compete directly with some entry level DSLRs on price — such as the Canon 550–650D range — and while they don’t exactly fall into the same class of cameras*, it’s a comparison that will happen considering the price point. The NX1000 carries the edge in portability and savvy features such as Wi-Fi and filters, while the DSLR would probably still be more appealing to the traditional photographer with more specific requirements.

You can see more sample shots in the picture gallery below. As the opening quote suggests, the shots are pro-photographer (and big Canon-fan) approved!

https://chiragnd.jux.com/653345?sans_gallery=true

PS I’m currently looking at the other end of the same range, the NX20, so stayed tuned for a review soon!

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*The NX1000 is a mirrorless camera. Mirrorless cameras tend to be more portable and compact compared to their DSLR counterparts, but suffer a bit in action-shot making. At the end of the day, these are two different systems although the price points are starting to line up. If you’re interested, this link has a good overview of the difference.

Chirag Desai @Chirag