Could the 20.3-million-pixel Samsung Galaxy NX with Android operating system change the way enthusiast photographers use and think about their cameras? Read the Samsung Galaxy NX review...
Samsung Galaxy NX review – Build and handling
The Samsung Galaxy NX looks very similar in style to the firm’s own NX20, although measuring 136.5×101.2×25.7mm the Galaxy NX is larger but with a thinner body profile. The size increase is largely due to the giant 4.77in screen on the back of the camera. This screen covers most of the camera’s rear, leaving only a small amount of space for a raised, rubberised thumb grip. Coupled with the large handgrip, it is really comfortable to hold, especially with larger lenses. I find both thumb and fingers have great support.
There are very few buttons on the Galaxy NX as most of the controls are handled by the touchscreen. The main physical control is the mode dial, which is located on the top of the camera. This can be pressed and held in to quickly access Android, or pressed to access different settings and then scrolled left or right to change their values. The same control is also achieved via the i-Function button on the lens. A power button is located to the left of the mode dial, and a designated video record button is located between the mode dial and the shutter. I found these physical controls to be quicker when changing settings than using swipe gestures on the touchscreen, but the two methods mean that you will quickly settle on a way that suits you.
The control layout of the camera menus are intuitive and open to lots of personal customisation, which is something that I feel makes the camera stand out from the crowd. Certainly, the camera controls are far from traditional – in fact, the controls are more closely related to those of a smartphone than a traditional camera layout – but they are easy to pick up even after only a short time of use.
The Android operating system is fantastic. It unlocks a great deal of the camera’s potential and it works brilliantly. I downloaded several applications to the Galaxy NX and found all of them to work without a hitch. Image editing was quick and effective using Adobe Photoshop Touch, and linking the device with my home Wi-Fi allowed me to automatically upload to Dropbox.
The start-up time on the Galaxy NX is a little complex. When the camera is first turned on it takes around 23secs to boot the Android operating system and get into the camera mode. Once fully booted, the camera goes into sleep mode when powered off and takes just over 1sec to start-up into camera mode thereafter. If the battery is removed or the camera is left inactive for 48 hours, the Android system will again need to be booted up, taking the full 23secs before the camera is ready for use. I found that when the camera was in sleep mode, the battery dropped by just 1% over a 12-hour period of inactivity. Samsung has said that sleep mode uses only 1.8% of the power that would be used if the camera remained on. This is an effective way around the long Android start-up time.
As a result of having a lot of hardware to process in-camera, the Galaxy NX has a huge 4,360mAh battery. Comparatively, this is nearly four times the capacity of the NX300’s 1,130mAh battery, but it is most certainly needed to power the large 4.77in touchscreen and Android OS. Much like a smartphone, the battery life can vary depending on use. I found that when I used the camera with the brightness turned to 50% and everything turned off, the battery drained by around 30% after 100 shots. Also, using the EVF uses less battery. Turning on Wi-Fi, GPS, using apps, uploading images and editing photos in-camera is power-intensive, and drains the battery much more quickly.