With its 20.3-million-pixel APS-C sensor, Samsung’s slim compact system camera certainly raises the stakes. We find out what the NX200 has to offer advanced photographers
Build and Handling
The slim body of the NX200 is comparable with the likes of the Sony NEX-5 and the Olympus E-PL3, and is noticeably smaller than the NX100. Measuring just 24mm at its thinnest point, the lens mount actually extends out from the body, to maintain the required flange depth. The casing is now made from magnesium alloy rather than plastic, giving a more solid feel, while the rubber and leatherette grip is comfortable and allows a solid hold combined with the rubber thumb grip on the rear.
It is reassuring that, despite its small frame, the NX200 feels sturdy in the hand and not too fiddly in operation. The main adjustment controls are split between a small top dial and the rear rotating multi-directional control. The Fn button provides access to a quick menu, which you can then scroll between the main features and quickly adjust them, while a custom button can be set for an optical preview, one-touch WB or one-touch raw+. It is a shame that only the one button can be customised as it would be handy to be able to adjust the mode of the Fn button and even the multi-direction button controls.
The lens ring can provide adjustment thanks to the i-Function system. The functions, which range from aperture, white balance and shutter speed to scene modes, can be controlled using the lens and swapped between with a press of the iFn button on the lens barrel. This is a handy method of changing modes that allows a solid grip to be maintained, although with such quick access to functions via the rear Fn button and adjustment dials within a finger’s reach, it is easy to forget about the i-Function options.
Having the flash as a separate unit rather than part of the camera is slightly prohibitive, although without a current viewfinder option to challenge the hotshoe position, there is no reason why it can’t be permanently stationed on the camera. The high ISO settings and creative options also mean the lack of flash is not the issue it once was.
AMOLED screens are known for their high refresh rates, crisp detail and low power consumption, but the 3in, 640,000-dot screen on the NX200 is the same as the version fitted to all the previous NX models. While the quality is still more than acceptable and offers a decent angle of view, this resolution has now been surpassed in quality by the 921,000-dot LED panels in many system cameras, and by the Super and HD Super AMOLED screens featuring in other Samsung products. As the screen resolution has not been raised, it would have been nice to at least see a vari-angle bracket for the screen to allow high and low-level composition.
The new battery unit in the NX200 (BP1030) claims a 120-shot increase from the NX100 unit, from 210 up to 330, despite the power reducing from 1300mAh to 1030mAh. In practice, the NX200 does stand up to these claims with roughly a 300-400-shot life, depending on usage, although this still seems on the low side compared to a nearly 800-shot life of the recently tested Sony NEX-7 (AP 19 November).
The compact size of the NX200 makes it ideal for street photography