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: Test results
With the same sensor as the hugely impressive NX1, the NX500 gives excellent image quality that’s at least as good as any other APS-C camera, regardless of price. In fact, you’d have to spend several times the money to clearly surpass it. Resolution is superb at low ISOs, while noise is kept well under control at higher sensitivity settings. I would be perfectly happy shooting at up to ISO 1600 as a matter of course, and to use ISO 3200 and 6400 where the situation demanded it. Even at ISO 12,800 the image quality isn’t too bad, although at this point it’s probably best to shoot raw and apply your own processing. Here Samsung deserves credit for including a copy of Adobe Lightroom, which is much better than most bundled raw processors. As always, the highest settings are best used only when light levels are so low that there’s no other choice.
With its 28-million-pixel sensor, the NX500 can record stacks of detail, reaching 3800lph on our resolution test chart at ISO 100. It drops off relatively slowly as the ISO is raised, to about 3400lph at ISO 800 and 3200lph at ISO 3200. Beyond this point noise has an ever-increasing impact on fine detail, but while ISO 6400 still looks reasonably clean, and even ISO 12,800 doesn’t look too bad in these test chart shots, there’s a very significant resolution drop at the highest ISO sensitivity settings.