With a 20.3-million-pixel APS-C sensor and a brand new 16-50mm F/3.5-f/5.6 kit lens for around £350, is the Samsung NX3000 the best value NX camera yet? We find out in our Samsung NX3000 review
Exactly like the recent NX Mini, the NX3000 features a flip-up screen – a 3in TFT LCD with a resolution of 460,800 dots.
In use, the screen isn’t difficult to see in bright daylight and the refresh rate is also good. Colours on screen appear to be accurate to the final image produced. The tilt-up screen is advantageous for those users who like shooting from low angles or from the hip. By default, tilting the screen up will power the camera on and activate Self Shot mode for taking selfies – this can be turned off inside the menu.
Its predecessor, the NX2000, boasted a 1,152k 3.7in TFT touchscreen LCD. For the serious photographer this would of course have been a much more desirable option as the low resolution flip-screen of the NX3000 feels like a downgrade from the older model.
Recent Samsung NX cameras such as the NX30 and NX300 have featured on-chip phase detection AF alongside contrast detection AF. This hybrid autofocusing was very fast, finding focus quickly and accurately. Rather disappointingly though, the NX3000 has the same 21-area contrast autofocusing system as the older NX2000.
In bright conditions the AF is quick and finds focus well in both single AF and Continuous AF. In low-light conditions the focusing isn’t slow but I found the camera less capable of identifying the right focal point of the image. It has a tendency to gravitate towards areas of high contrast where it can obtain focus.
More accurate control over the AF point can be gained by using selection AF – this a single point which is re-positionable. However, this is where the lack of touchscreen functionality is a huge disadvantage.
Within the menus there are also options for manual focusing. Although the camera doesn’t feature focus peaking, it does have MF assist enlargement of x5 or x8.
Metering options are Multi, Centre-Weighted and Spot. A setting inside the menu allows users to link or unlink the metering to or from the AF point. In general the metering is quite accurate although the camera does tend to meter in a way that preserves lots of highlight detail. I found when shooting backlit subjects in Multi metering and evaluative the camera would meter for the small portion of the frame which was very bright in exposure. This forced me to adjust the exposure compensation up to +3EV in order to correct it.
Colour rendition can often vary between shots even when shooting in similar lighting conditions, but for the most part the colours are usually very punchy and vibrant while the darker tones are rendered low in saturation.
The automatic white balance setting does a good job across the board although when faced with conflicting light sources it does struggle to render colours between the two sources.