Samsung NX200 20.3Mp APS-C compact system camera
A serious take
Review Samsung's NX200 compact system camera (CSC) is not a mere upgrade of its predecessor but a game-changer for the company’s place in the mirrorless cameras market. Not only does the NX200 look completely different to the NX100 but Samsung has also upped its game and provided this newcomer with head-turning specs designed to attract enthusiasts and semi-pro users.
Mirrorless magnificence: Samsung's NX200
The NX200 features an aluminium frame with a 20.3Mp APS-C CMOS sensor, a boosted ISO range of 100-12800 and high-speed performance including 7fps continuous shooting. Add to that ultra-fast auto focusing, 1080p HD movie recording and a growing family of i-Function lenses and there’s a lot to like. All this comes at with a £600 price tag though but you should be able to find the 18-55mm lens kit for £100 less if you shop around. Still, it’s quite a jump from its NX-series predecessors – do the improvements justify the increased cost though?
The new NX is as much better and more professional looking camera than any previously released model. Samsung has abandoned the toyish, futuristic, plasticky looks of the NX100 for a new scaled-down, sleek and functional design with the unquestioned appeal of an all-metal body and a metal lens mount.
APS-C with a 20.3Mp resolution takes some beating in a body this size
Handling has also been improved with a protruding and texturised front grip that makes the camera feels secure and stable in the hand. The NX200 has a good selection of useful controls at the back, including direct movie recording, exposure compensation and the Fn button, which gives quick access to most of the camera’s functions and settings in virtually one or two steps.
The Fn button brings up a newly designed smart panel on the screen that can be easily navigated through the control wheel at the top. For the most frequent settings Samsung provides and even quicker shortcut in the shape of its unique and ingenious i-Function mode provided on the lens that gives immediate access to Aperture, Shutter Speed, EV, ISO, WB and i-Zoom.
A fixed LCD panel leaves room for an articulating upgrade in the next model
Compared to previous versions, iFunction 2 featured on the NX200 certainly increases the customisation and speed of operation, as the iFn button placed on the lens can now be user-defined to control one or all the five settings available. The settings themselves can be changed by either turning the lens focusing ring or using the rear scrolling wheel.
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Drop the gimmicks, add useful features
If I want to make my pictures look like drawings, or oil paintings, or acid-induced fever dreams, I can do that on my computer, thankyouverymuch. Drop that crap, and put useful features in the camera, like high dynamic range capture, panoramic assist (you don't even have to do the stitching in the camera - just help me do the pointing to acquire the pictures), and GPS/magnetometer geotagging. Better still - give me the ability to quickly annotate the picture - maybe a simple voice recorder function?
Much to like
The NX200 does look like an interesting choice, with a nice selection of compact primes (Sony take note!) making for a compact and portable kit.
The only downside I can see is the loss of the accessory port that the NX100 had and therefor no way to use the EVF that was available for that camera which does look like a retrograde step.
Samsung NX200 20mp - good results, especially in low light.
The low light handling for a 20mp sensor is pretty good. Noise in the ISO 6400 is quite noticeable and there's some colour bleeding, but still it's not bad for that speed. Also, noise is well weighted, for example in low light grays at the pixel level there's not noticeable numbers black pixels (as with cheap sensors).
Samsung has the makings of product that will shake up Canon and Nikon methinks.