9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent challenge to established CSC manufacturers,
This review is from: Samsung NX1000 Digital Compact System Camera - White (20.3MP, 20-50mm Lens Kit) 3.0 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)I have to say that before reviewing this camera I was not really aware that Samsung were becoming a significant player in the camera market. Moving on from point and shoot cameras the NX1000 forms part of their development of Compact System Cameras (CSC) - cameras which feature changeable lenses more typical of digital SLR cameras - together with a far greater range of picture settings than found on a point and shoot camera, and a far better, larger, image sensor.
This particular model is the lowest spec model of three new CSC's released by Samsung, the others being the Samsung NX210 Digital WIFI Compact System Camera - Black (20.3MP, 20-50 mm Lense Kit) 3.0 inch AMOLED display and the Samsung NX20 Digital Wi-Fi Compact System Camera - Black (20.3MP, 18-55 mm Lens Kit) 3.0 inch LCD. Model numbers are not particularly helpful in determining the specification of each camera with the NX1000 as the lowest spec, followed by the NX210 and then the NX20! The first two models resemble more closely compact point-and-shoot camera whereas the NX20 looks more like a DSLR.
The NX1000 has a number of advantages over the other models - most obviously it's cheaper, and following its release I'd expect the price to fall steadily. It's also lighter, and it has a number of `high-end' features shared with the costly models.
Most important, the image sensor is enormous and would not be out of place in a mid-range DSLR with 20.3 mega pixels. In good light conditions this means that a photo can be blown up in size exponentially without pixilation. With a standard 6"x4" print this number of pixels goes far beyond what the human eye can detect, and the same is true for A4 prints. However, in poorer light the size of the sensor is more important with more light reaching it reducing noise in dark conditions. Indeed my experiments show the camera produces excellent low-light photos.
The user interface is also brilliant, by far the best I've seen on a point and shoot or CSC. Context sensitive help is inbuilt into the camera at a far more detailed level than I've seen before. So with the camera set, for example, shutter priority, the camera will tell you what this means, and will provide information on a range of selectable options including light metering choices, focus options, ISO selection etc etc. It's an easy way to get into more complex photography but the camera has the easier point-and-shoot choices of `smart' photo selection, and selecting a photo by scene - from landscapes, sunset shots, portraits and more. And the lcd screen shows you what changing the settings is likely to look like.
The real innovation comes in WiFi functionality. This allows easy transfer of images to a mobile phone, allows photos taken on the camera to be e-mailed to people direct from the camera (no phone required) and really brilliantly allows a mobile phone or tablet to act as the camera view-finder. So in taking low light pictures there's no need to buy a wired remote shutter cable to avoid camera shake. You can use your phone or tablet to take the photo by pressing the virtual button on the screen. You can even select photo options via the phone screen rather than the camera screen. In these areas I think Samsung leads the pack and I found them to work very well in both their iOS iPhone/Pad iterations and their Android forms. You just download the Apps to your phone or tablet free.
Other fine elements include a fairly good bundled 20-50 zoom lens, a small detachable flash, outstanding full high definition video recording, the lens built iFunction which allow a lot of options to be selected from the lens making the buttons on the back of the camera less complicated, and 3D options.
Every product has weaknesses and for the NX1000 I came close to giving the camera 4 stars rather than five. Ongoing price falls were the primary reason for me not doing this. At the full list price it's a bit expensive. It's also not a Canon, a Nikon, an Olympus or Sony CSC. I guess I'm prejudiced agains Samsung as a quality camera maker. If they carry on producing NX1000 quality cameras that will change though. As with most other manufacturers, and to my ongoing annoyance, you don't get a memory card or a basic case with the camera - neither would cost Samsung much.
More substantively the camera body is made of plastic. This is the most obvious attempt to keep costs down. I'd prefer metal. And image stabilisation is not built into the camera but into the lenses and the supplied lens doesn't have this feature built in. You would expect that lenses with stabilisation would be costly but the NX lens range is remarkably good value. The 50-200mm lens would be a good addition to the camera with the 20-50mm lens pretty much giving you all the lens options you need. Plus the screen is a standard LCD not a AMOLED although viewable in bright sunlight and these's no GPS inbuilt so the camera won't tell you where you've taken your photos (unless you want to buy the add-on GPS module).
In the few weeks of using the camera I've enjoyed the functions and the help system and been surprised at the quality of the pictures. If the price is right I'd ditch other manufacturers and go for Samsung. I'm likely to buy the cheap 50-200mm lens so I'll cover all bases with the CSC.
A final though, the review camera came in white. I'd go for black if you have the choice but wouldn't pay more for it.