Could a small, mirrorless camera that features a 14.6-million-pixel APS-C-sized sensor give the Micro Four Thirds format a run for its money? We find out
Resolution, noise and sensitivity
Image: These images show 72ppi sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using matching 105mm macro lenses. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.
As it features a 14.6-million-pixel sensor, you would expect the Samsung NX10 to perform well in our resolution chart test, and it did, reaching past 24 when shooting at ISO 100 and 200.
Of course, the in-camera noise reduction does reduce the amount of detail in JPEG images as the sensitivity increases, but at ISO 3200 the NX10 is still able to reach up to around 18 on our chart. This is impressive and is as good, if not better than many DSLRs with similar resolutions.
What is very impressive is that colour noise is extremely well controlled in JPEG files; there is barely any colour noise visible even when the image brightness is dramatically increased. Obviously, noise is more visible in raw files throughout the sensitivity range, but this is easily reduced using the comprehensive settings that can be found in the bundled Samsung raw software.
By leaving some luminance noise in the image, the amount of detail that can be resolved is improved, particularly at higher sensitivities. It would have been useful if Samsung had allowed the user to select the level of noise reduction in JPEG files rather than just providing simple on or off options.
Another issue is the presence of curvilinear lens distortion in both the kit and pancake lenses. This isn’t really noticeable when shooting natural scenes, but it does become an issue when shooting architectural images. I hope that Samsung will release a firmware update in the future to combat this distortion issue in the camera body software.