Samsung NX20 review

Added on by TEK.GADG.

Samsung NX20 is the top dog in Samsung's compact system cameras, and it comes with the most expansive feature set to live up to its title. The NX20 comes with a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS censor, 3-inch AMOLED swivelling display, AMOLED Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), shutter speeds up to 1/8000, and WiFi Smart Camera functionality. Read on to find out how it performs. 

LIKE

Unlike most mirrorless cameras today, the NX20 looks more like a traditional SLR camera with a viewfinder and an angled-grip. Many mirrorless cameras feel awkward to maneuver when paired with longer lenses due to small grip, but I didn't have this problem with the NX20. Primarily shooting with the 18-200mm/3.5-6.3 lens, the camera felt very good in the hands. 

The AMOLED EVF is another highlight of the device. My previous experience with electronic viewfinders in other camera models were disappointing due to slow refresh rates and low resolution, but the NX20 does away with all of these problems.

The NX20's EVF looks as good, if not better than, OVFs. It could be the high resolution SVGA (800 x 600, 1.44M dots) panel or the AMOLED technology, but the EVF looks very lively and realistic. In addition, this EVF boasts 100% coverage, which is better than most OVFs on entry-level DSLR cameras. The EVF can be automatically activated by putting your eyes near the viewfinder, and it is functionally identical to the live view display. This means you can review photos and changing settings right in the EVF. The EVF performs best under good lighting, but it was usable in low light situations as well.

SMART CAMERA WIFI

Samsung NX20 comes with WiFi functions, so you can take advantage of AllShare functions with other Samsung devices. This means you can fling photos between your Samsung AllShare-enabled smartphone, TV, tablet, and cameras.

It is a pain to enter WiFi passwords on the NX20 using its jog-dials - it doesn't have a touchscreen - but everything's a smooth ride after that. You can share photos to Facebook, Twitter, Email, and other devices pretty easily within the menu. You can even turn some Android phones and tablets into a remote viewfinder/trigger for the NX20.

It is worth mentioning, however, that the Samsung remote camera app only works with certain Android devices. The app was a bit buggy with the Acer Iconia Tab A700, and it wasn't functional with the Google Nexus 7. On top of that, the app erased existing WiFi passwords on those devices for some reason. The app should work with new Samsung smartphones, Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note, just fine.

PHOTO QUALITY

The 20.3 megapixel sensor takes excellent quality images with accurate colours and sharp details. Even at ISO 1600, it produces usable photos. Check out the samples above.

VIDEO QUALITY

The NX20 also takes great looking videos. It takes videos up to 1080p/30, and you can get true slow-motion at 720p resolution. I shot a music video primarily using the NX20 and the NX210 - both have same sensors. Watch the embedded music video from Miss You In Tuques above.

DISLIKE

This is what the viewfinder looks like

Even after doing the latest firmware update (version 1.01 at the time of writing) RAW processing time is unacceptably slow. On average, the NX20 takes about 7 seconds to process each RAW images, and the camera will get stuck on some files on occasion. Hopefully these bugs will be squashed in future updates.

Another point of annoyance is the location of the movie record button. The red button is located too close to the shoulder buttons, so I mistakenly pressed the record button many times while trying to access other features. The movie record button should be placed lower and far from other buttons. 

TEK.GADG SCORE

HARDWARE

SOFTWARE

IMAGE QUALITY

VALUE

Overall, i really enjoyed using the NX20. If you are not attached to other camera systems - Nikon, Canon, etc - the NX20 is a great camera to consider. The NX20 system is growing with some attractive lenses from Samsung and some 3rd party manufacturers. You can get the NX20 for about $900 right now.

Sean