Samsung’s NX100 is impressively compact and stylish, while maintaining the APS-C-size sensor found in the NX10
The NX100 maintains many of the features found in the NX10. Images are recorded using the same 14.6-million-effective-pixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and are displayed on a bright 3in AMOLED screen.
Images can be saved as raw, JPEG or raw + JPEG files simultaneously. Both Intelli-Studio 2.1 and Samsung Raw Converter software are supplied with the NX100.
Intelli-Studio 2.1 is new to the NX series and can be used to view still and moving images, while raw images can be edited and converted using Samsung Raw Converter.
One of the key features of the NX100 is its size. At 120.5x71x34.5mm it has similar dimensions to many compact-system Four Thirds cameras, such as the Olympus Pen E-P2, and is only slightly bigger than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2. Of the cameras with an APS-C-size sensor, only the Sony NEX3 and NEX5 are smaller. However, when the lenses are compared, the Samsung NX optics are more compact than those on the Sony NEX cameras.
The i-Function button on Samsung’s new lenses works like any function button, and many of the key exposure settings, such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, ISO and manual exposure control, can be operated through this menu. These settings can also be operated on the camera via dedicated buttons and the control dial.
The two new i-Function lenses released with the NX100 are the 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and a 20mm f/2.8 pancake lens. Samsung NX10 users will be pleased to know that a firmware upgrade is already available to enable them to use the new i-Function lenses.
Other features to note include a continuous burst of ten frames per second for up to 3secs (30 frames), which can be shot in JPEG only, while the beauty scene mode with face retouch options is a handy in-camera option for those interested in taking portraits.
There are several optional extras available for the NX100, not least of which is a GPS module (GPS10). This can be attached via the hotshoe and automatically tags each image with time and location data. Also available is an electronic viewfinder (EVF) and two appropriately sized hotshoe flashes.
Features in use: i-Function lens
Key exposure controls of white balance, ISO, aperture, shutter speed and manual exposure compensation can be operated via the i-Function lens. By pressing the button on the lens, the function can be selected by the control wheel on the top of the body and the settings can be changed by turning the manual-focus ring on the lens. Given the target audience, this is a clever idea as no doubt it will encourage photographers to learn about and use these functions.
The i-Function lens can also be controlled using the navigation buttons on the body, and I found that I instinctively operated the i-Function from the controls on the body rather than via the intended manual-focus ring. After a little practice, I realised that this is due to the fact that I was viewing the scene from the screen rather than from a viewfinder. When I used the lens with the NX10 through its viewfinder, I found that operating exposure controls came more naturally to the intended manual-focus ring on the lens. The i-Function control is a good feature and will speed up operation, especially when used with a viewfinder, so purchasing the extra viewfinder is advisable.