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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Samsung NX500

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • - Excellent image quality – high resolution and low noise
  • - Impressive autofocus – fast and accurate
  • - Extensive video recording options, including 4K

Cons:

  • - Small, fiddly control dials
  • - OLED screen can be difficult to see in bright light
  • - No electronic viewfinder option

Product:

Samsung NX500 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£599.00 (with 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 lens)
TAGS:

Samsung NX500 review: Verdict

Samsung NX500

When Samsung told us it planned to put the NX1’s sensor into a smaller, cheaper camera, we were pretty excited at the prospect, and the NX500 goes a long way towards meeting our expectations. It offers excellent image quality, incredibly sophisticated autofocus, and rapid continuous shooting in a design that’s compact enough to fit into a small bag and carry around all day. In many ways it’s the perfect family camera – simple enough in auto mode that anyone can use it, but with a full range of creative control for the enthusiast photographer, and without the bulk of an SLR.

It may not be the prettiest camera in the world, but the NX500 handles well, and is fast and slick in operation. The handgrip is worthy of mention, as one of the most comfortable I’ve used on a camera this size. The good range of physical controls should please enthusiast photographers, although I’m not a fan of the tiny, recessed and imprecise main dials. Meanwhile, the touchscreen adds useful features like touch-focus, and should make the NX500 more approachable to less experienced users who are more familiar with smartphones.

My biggest concern is the OLED screen’s poor visibility in bright sunlight, which requires its brightness to be turned up to the maximum in the menu for it to be usable at all. On a camera of this price, it’s also a shame that there’s no option to use an add-on electronic viewfinder, which would be especialy welcome when shooting with longer lenses.

Overall, the NX500 is a hugely capable camera that can deliver great results. However, it does face very strong competition from other compact CSCs, some of which offer similarly sophisticated autofocus and/or built-in EVFs. Even so, it’s an excellent alternative to the more established brands.

TESTBENCH RECOMMENDED 4.5

Details

Sensor:28-million-pixel, APS-C BSI CMOS
Output size:6840 x 4320 pixels
Focal length mag.:1.5x
Lens mount:Samsung NX
File format:Raw (SRW), JPEG, raw + JPEG
Shutter speeds:30-1/6000sec + bulb
ISO sensitivity:100-25,600 (standard), 100 - 51,200 (extended)
Exposure modes:PASM, auto, scene
Metering:Multi, centreweighted, spot
Drive:9 fps
Movie:4K (DC24p or UHS 30p)
Viewfinder:None
Display:3in, 1.04-million-dot tilting AMOLED touchscreen
Focusing:205-point phase detection, 209-point contrast detection
Memory card:SD, SDHC, SDXC
Dimensions:120 x 64 x 43mm
Weight:330g (with battery and card)
  1. 1. Samsung NX500 review: Introduction
  2. 2. Samsung NX500 review: Features
  3. 3. Samsung NX500 review: Video
  4. 4. Samsung NX500 review: Build and handling
  5. 5. Samsung NX500 review: Performance
  6. 6. Samsung NX500 review: Test results
  7. 7. Samsung NX500 - Dynamic Range
  8. 8. Samsung NX500 review: Verdict
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