The larger APS-C format of the Samsung NX10 goes up against the Micro Four Thirds system of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 as we test two micro-system cameras in our Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 vs Samsung NX10 camera test
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 vs Samsung NX10 – Features
The biggest difference between the two cameras is that they use different sized sensors. Panasonic adheres to the Micro Four Thirds standard and the Lumix DMC-G2 has a 17.3x13mm, 12.1-million-pixel, Live MOS, Four Thirds sensor. Samsung has opted for a larger, 23.4×15.6mm, APS-C-sized sensor for its NX-system cameras, including the NX10, which has a 14.6-million-pixel CMOS sensor.
As the G2 is a Micro Four Thirds-system camera, it already has an established range of compatible lenses, including those produced by Olympus for its own Pen series of Micro Four Thirds cameras.
Samsung’s NX system is far newer, though, and there are currently only three lenses available. With focal lengths of 18-55mm and 55-200mm, as well as a monofocal 30mm pancake lens, there is enough coverage to satisfy every photographer’s basic requirements.
Samsung has also promised that the NX lens range will quickly build to eight optics, adding 20mm pancake, 60mm macro and 18-200mm superzoom lenses initially. If the company sticks to this lens plan, within a year there should be a full complement of NX-series optics to match those produced by Panasonic and Olympus for the Micro Four Thirds system.
One reason for the popularity of micro-system cameras is that they have a smaller flange depth compared to 35mm and DSLR models. This means that many lenses can be mounted to micro-system cameras via a simple adapter. Novoflex produces adapters that are compatible with both the NX and Micro Four Thirds mount and these enable many popular lenses to be used, including those with Canon EOS, Nikon F and Sony Alpha mounts.
It is also possible to mount Leica M-series lenses onto the G2 via a suitable adapter. However, due to the length of the bayonets on Leica M-series lenses, it is not possible to fit them, even using an adapter, to the Samsung NX mount.
Many photographers regard the compact Micro Four Thirds system as the perfect opportunity to use Leica M-series lenses on a digital camera, without spending the thousands of pounds necessary for a Leica M9. While the number of people wanting to do this may be a small proportion of the market, it is nevertheless a benefit that an adapter can be used to mount these lenses on the G2, whereas they can’t be mounted on the NX10.
With the digital markets being so competitive, it is innovation that often helps to drive camera sales, particularly for companies that have traditionally been electronics rather than camera manufacturers. These companies hold one definite advantage over the traditional camera manufacturers, which is the ability to transfer new features into their own cameras from their other electronic devices.
Panasonic offers a fine example of this in the form of the G2’s touch-sensitive screen. The G2 is the first interchangeable-lens camera to feature such technology, and it provides photographers with an alternative to buttons for setting adjustments.
Samsung has also incorporated technology in the NX10 that can be found in its other electronic devices. The camera’s 3in, Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (AMOLED) screen uses the same technology found in many of the company’s other products. As AMOLED screens do not require backlighting, they consume less power and have a higher refresh rate, so they should be brighter than traditional LCD screens.