The NX500 places the NX1’s impressive 28-million-pixel sensor into a compact body. Andy Westlake finds out whether it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing
Samsung NX500 review: Introduction
At a glance
- 28-millon-pixel, APS-C BSI CMOS sensor
- Samsung NX lens mount
- ISO 100-51,200 (extended)
- 3in, 1.04-million-dot tilting touchscreen
- 9fps continuous shooting
- 4K video recording (with 1.7x crop)
- Price £599 with 16-50mm lens
Samsung was the third manufacturer to bring a compact system camera to market, with the NX10 in early 2010, not all that long after Panasonic and Olympus with their initial Micro Four Thirds models. But despite offering good value for money and an increasingly impressive lens range, the NX system has never quite managed to capture photographers’ imaginations in the way that others have. With somewhat bland ‘me-too’ designs, Samsung has previously offered little to make its cameras stand out from the crowd, and persuade photographers that it understands what they need and want.
With the launch of the NX1 late last year, however, things have changed. This hugely capable SLR-style model has a clever sensor design that combines high image quality with remarkable continuous shooting and autofocus capabilities, not to mention 4K video recording. Indeed it impressed us sufficiently to win our Innovation of the Year award this year. Now Samsung has placed the same sensor into a small, relatively inexpensive and more compact, rangefinder-style body. The result is the NX500.
Superficially, the new model looks much like its predecessor the NX300, which we liked well enough when we reviewed it back in 2013. But aside from the new sensor and an updated DRIME Vs processor, there are a couple of less obvious, but still useful changes. Samsung has added a second control dial, supplementing the small one on the top-plate with an equally little one on the back. It may look like a minor change, but having twin dials always makes the camera more pleasant to use if you like to take control over exposure settings. The rear screen also now tilts up 180° to face fully forwards, pandering to the selfie generation.