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?
Noise, resolution and sensitivity
Images: Image noise only becomes noticeable from ISO 800. It is prominent at ISO 3200 and a problem beyond
The relationship between noise reduction and resolution is an inversely proportional one, and in the previous bodies Samsung has favoured resolution over the reduction of the little coloured speckles. The company claims that in this body new processing has allowed greater sensitivity with less noise and the maintenance of fine detail.
Our resolution charts do seem to support the idea that some advances have been made, as the figures the camera achieves even at the new highest ISO setting of 128,000 are impressive.
In raw as well as in JPEG formats, from the lowest sensitivities to the highest, the Samsung NX20 outperforms all the competition from the compact system camera market and a very large number of DSLRs, too.
Colour noise is noticeable in images at ISO 800 when well blown up, and is a feature of images at ISO 3200. The top ISO 128,000 setting can only have been created for bragging purposes, and while noise levels do allow enough detail to describe the subject, contrast is much reduced and coloured speckles alter real-life shades.
This is an improvement on previous NX models, though, and Samsung’s work has definitely shifted the usable ISO settings by at least 1EV. However, this achievement is shaded by the astonishing resolution figures.
These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using the Samsung 85mm f/1.4 lens. 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.