Big sensor hybrid to worry the Micro Four Thirds faithful
Although this new Samsung is capable of handling massive RAW files (25MB) I could not test the quality of these as the NX10’s RAW files are not yet compatible with Photoshop and Lightroom and shamefully Samsung’s own RAW workflow software is only compatible with Windows and I, like millions of others photographers, use a Mac. Iridient Digital's RAW Developer does allow Mac users access to NX10 RAW files but at a cost of £89
RAW image shooting is hampered by limited software support
As with most compact cameras the NX10 uses Contrast Autofocus rather than Phase Detection Autofocusing, commonly employed by DSLRs. Surprisingly Samsung managed to perfect this normally sluggish system and created one of the fastest and more accurate autofocusing performances I have seen in this class of camera and in most entry-level DSLRs.
Its 15-Area-Focusing system (1-point and 35-area, for close-up only, are also available) silently and flawlessly locks onto the main focus subject with speed and precision, unlike the Micro Four Thirds Olympus PEN I used recently. The NX10 begins focusing even before you touch the shutter button, thanks to the AF Priority function.
The system includes four AF modes; Single, Continuous, Face detection and Manual, and four Focus Areas to select from; Selection AF, Multi AF, Face Detection and Self-Portrait. Not only can you select the position of the AF point, but also set the size to one of four options to suit every scene. Manual focus uses the focus dial on the barrel to automatically magnify the image to ensure more accurate focusing.
I can appreciate the good intentions behind this display technology but I found it immensely frustrating, as you have to wait a few seconds before the screen resumes to normal magnification and you can return to the composition. It would have been more sensible to include this focus aid as a selectable option.
Its large, bright screen and a range of in-camera editing functions allows for some on-the-spot tweaking
Apart from the now familiar Picture Wizard offering a number of colour and white balance presets at point of capture, the NX10 presents a commendable range of alternatives for playing back, editing and storing images. In particular I liked the slideshow viewing preference and Image Edit menu that lets you modify the look of an image through a set of in-camera postproduction options including: Red-Eye Fix, Backlight Composition, Picture Style Selector with cool effects altering the mood of the picture, Resizing, Rotating and Face Retouch.