Samsung’s new top-end compact system camera is the first to offer an online connection for photographers in the field as well as at home, but does this built-in Wi-Fi have any real benefits?

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Samsung NX20

Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:
Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:

Product:

Samsung NX20 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£899.95
TAGS:

Verdict

If detail resolution is your ‘thing’, and you like smaller cameras, the Samsung NX20 is very hard to beat. It certainly has better detail-recording ability than any compact system camera we’ve tested so far, and it beats the vast majority of DSLRs, including some of those with more pixels on their sensor. The quality of the system’s lenses is exceptional, and really helps the NX20 to show its strengths. Resolution isn’t everything, of course, and those who rely on responsive AF systems for fast-moving subjects will do better to look for a camera that doesn’t use contrast-detection AF, but for most normal uses the NX AF does OK.

The company has designed a good menu system and decent handling, except for those processing delays, and a well-shaped and comfortable body. And that is enough to convince me. The Wi-Fi is a great idea, and it will be made to work more effectively soon, but even without it the NX20 is a very good camera.

Samsung NX20 – Key Features

Electronic viewfinder
Sensors at the base of the EVF detect when it is held to the eye and switch the viewfinder on automatically. The 1.44-million-dot resolution gives a clear-enough view, and enhanced contrast helps with focusing.

AMOLED screen
Having a flip-out screen is great for shooting from unusual positions, but even with it tucked in against the body its wide viewing angle makes it easy to see.

Focusing options
The NX20 offers single-shot, continuous and manual-focusing options, and full-time manual override with most lenses. When the manual-focusing ring is turned, the screen view magnifies to assist.
With face detection and sensor-group AF settings, the camera allows a single point to be placed anywhere on the screen.

Log-on to Wi-Fi
An on-screen keyboard, navigated with the thumb rocker switch, allows text to be input to the camera – for adding a password for access to a network, or for adding a caption to a picture for emailing or uploading. It is a little time-consuming, but is effective enough.

Video capture
Movie capture in this model has a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a fastest frame rate of 30fps. Stills can be cut from a movie, and picture effects applied during shooting. Twin microphones on the top plate record sound in stereo.

iFunction 2.0
The latest version of Samsung’s iFunction menu system is 2.0. This allows users to customise the number of features that appear on screen by pressing the lens-based iFn button. It’s a good idea, and makes the system even more usable and useful.

Function button
This button gives the user access to a Smart Panel menu that includes most frequently needed features and which is quick to navigate and to use

Movie mode
A button under the right thumb provides direct access to movie recording start/stop on a single press.

Details

Video:1080p HD, 30fps, MOV (H.264)
External mic:No
White Balance:Auto, 7 presets, custom and manual, with fine-tuning
Dioptre Adjustment:Yes
Built-in Flash:Yes – 11m range
Shutter Type:Focal-plane shutter
Memory Card:SD, SDHC or SDXC
Viewfinder Type:1.44-million-dot-equivalent EVF
Output Size:5472 x 3648 pixels
Field of View:100%
LCD:3in, 614,000-dot AMOLED
White Balance Bracket:Yes
AF Points:Single-point, 15 multi-point (35 close-up), face detection
Sensor:20.3-million-effective pixel CMOS
Max Flash Sync:1/180sec
Focal Length Mag:1.5x
Exposure Modes:PASM, lens priority, smart auto, 16 scene modes, 9 smart filters
Weight:341g (without battery or card)
Power:Rechargeable BP1030 Li-Ion
Shutter Speeds:30-1/8000sec + bulb (max 4mins)
File Format:JPEG, SRW (raw), MOV
Drive Mode:8fps
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
RRP:£899.95
Lens Mount:Samsung NX
ISO:100-12,800
DoF Preview:Yes
Focusing Modes:Single, continuous, manual, face detection
Dimensions:122.5 x 89.6 x 35.5mm
Connectivity / Interface:USB 2.0, HDMI, wireless
Metering System:221-block segment TTL metering, with multi, centreweighted and spot
Compression:3-stage JPEG, 1-stage raw
Exposure Comp:±3EV
Tested as:Advanced CSC
  1. 1. Samsung NX20 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Wireless connection
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. White balance and colour
  6. 6. Metering
  7. 7. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. Dynamic range
  10. 10. LCD, viewfinder and video
  11. 11. The competition
  12. 12. Verdict
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