With a 20.3-million-pixel APS-C-sized sensor inside a light DSLR-styled body, is the Samsung NX30 the camera to provide competition to the likes of Olympus, Panasonic and Sony? Callum McInerney-Riley find out

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Samsung NX30

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Samsung NX30 review


Price as reviewed:


Hands-on review

Samsung NX30 at a glance:

  • 20.3-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor
  • DRIMe IV processor
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Price £899.99 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens

Samsung NX30 – Introduction

A Replacement for the NX20, the Samsung NX30 compact system camera features a 20.3-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor that is virtually identical to that found in the NX300, but with enhanced algorithms, so we should expect to see a slightly improved performance. Combined with the sophisticated DRIMe IV image processor, the NX30 has a broad ISO range from 100-25,600.

The sensor also incorporates both contrast-detection and phase-detection AF to deliver a hybrid AF system. While I didn’t get a chance to shoot any moving subjects while handling the NX30, the speed in single AF mode was very good, delivering fast and precise focusing.

Other elements of note are the NX30’s ability to shoot at 9fps, a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000sec, an Over Exposure Guide that warns of clipped highlights and 1080p HD video at 60p. There is also a 3.5mm microphone socket and, as you would expect, the NX30 also features NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Image: The NX30 has virtually the same 20.3MP APS-C-sized CMOS sensor as the NX300

Samsung NX30 – Display and EVF

Samsung has taken the design of the electronic viewfinder one stage further than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7’s tiltable EVF, with the NX30 offering a double-tilt mechanism to aid low-angle shooting. The mechanism is well made and pulls outwards easily, but not to the extent that it will work itself loose. The EVF has an impressive 2.359-million-dot resolution, but I was unable to see exactly how this performs as the EVF in the sample camera I examined wasn’t the final version.

The NX30’s rear 3in articulated screen has a much-improved resolution compared to the NX20, with a jump from 614,000 to 1.073 million dots, as well as being 30% brighter. Colours were punchy, contrast was good and the touch-sensitive interface was very responsive, as was expected from a company with so much success in the smartphone sector.

Samsung NX30 – Build and handling

The design of the Samsung NX30 has been substantially revised compared to the NX20, most notably in the handgrip. More pronounced than on its predecessor, the NX30 feels incredibly comfortable, and the soft, finely textured grip adds to the premium feel that is enhanced by the quality texture of the controls.

The NX30 features a host of quick-access controls for the photographer, including drive, ISO, white balance and AF, making it very quick to operate. The i-Function feature on compatible lenses also provides quick adjustment of various controls via the manual-focus ring of the lens.

From my short time with the NX30, I believe it has a lot of potential. It is nicely made with a logical control layout and strong specification. Watch out for our full test when we will assess the NX30’s image quality and new features in more detail.

The Samsung NX30 will be available from around the end of February, price £899.99 with the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens.

Image: Metering performed well during our brief hands-on test


Dioptre Adjustment:Yes
White Balance:Auto, 7 presets, custom and manual, with fine-tuning
Built-in Flash:Yes (GN 11m at ISO 100)
Shutter Type:Focal-plane shutter
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC
Output Size:5472 x 3648 pixels
Viewfinder Type:2,359,000-dot tiltable EVF with proximity sensor
LCD:3in, 1,037,000-dot Super AMOLED
Field of View:100%
White Balance Bracket:Yes
AF Points:105 points (phase detection AF), 247 points (contrast AF), selection 1 point (free selection ), multi normal 21 (3 x 7) points, close-up 35 points, face detection
Sensor:20.3-million-effective-pixel CMOS
Max Flash Sync:1/200sec
Focal Length Mag:1.5x
Exposure Modes:PASM, lens priority, smart auto, 16 scene modes, 10 smart filters
Weight:375g (without battery or card)
File Format:JPEG, SRW (raw), MP4
Power:Rechargeable BP1410 Li-Ion
Shutter Speeds:30-1/8000sec + bulb (max 4mins)
Drive Mode:9fps
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Lens Mount:Samsung NX
ISO:ISO 100-25,600
DoF Preview:Yes
Focusing Modes:Single AF, continuous AF, MF, touch AF and shutter
Dimensions:127 x 95.5 x 41.7mm (excluding the projection part)
Metering System:221-block segment TTL metering, with multi, centreweighted and spot
Connectivity / Interface:Micro USB 2.0, HDMI, wireless
Compression:3-stage JPEG, 1-stage raw
Exposure Comp:±3EV
Tested as:Enthusiast CSC
External mic:No
Video:HD 1920 x 1080, at 60fps, 30fps, 24fps
  1. 1. Samsung NX30 at a glance:
  2. 2. Samsung NX30 review - Build and handling
  3. 3. Samsung NX30 review - Metering
  4. 4. Samsung NX30 review - Dynamic range
  5. 5. Samsung NX30 review - Autofocus
  6. 6. Samsung NX30 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  7. 7. Samsung NX30 review - White balance and colour
  8. 8. Samsung NX30 review - Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  9. 9. Samsung NX30 review - Our verdict
  10. 10. Hands-on review
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