My NX10 Review

Started May 29, 2010 | Discussions thread
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AdamJRed
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My NX10 Review
May 29, 2010

My Samsung NX10 Review

Background & Introduction

I’m not sure I could even qualify myself as an amateur photographer, I prefer the word enthusiast. Photography is a passionate interest of mine, one of the extremely few that allows me to express and find creativity. I’ve been involved in photography in some form for the past 15 years, although I’d say my involvement has grown exponentially with the advent of the affordable DSLR (circa 2004).

I have previously either owned or used extensively the following cameras: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 40D, T1i; Nikon D700, D300S, D90, D40; Sony a700; Pentax K10D, K20D, K-x; Panasonic GH1, GF1; Olympus E-P2. My comparison bias will primarily be from my personal experiences with one of those cameras (mostly with the micro Four-Thirds segment).

I’ve owned the NX10 for a few weeks and have enough time to become comfortable with it, and its output. The information in this document is really nothing more than a highly subjective opinion of one single user, please do not assume anything further. This review won’t be a technical feature or pixel-peeping image comparison (plenty of other review sites handle that just fine). This is a real world list of my observations and experiences.

Please feel free to post questions. I will NOT be posting any kind of side-by-side photographs with the output from other cameras, or provide many sample images for that matter - as the naysayers always find fault with such comparisons and the overall image quality is so often more of a reflection of the person behind the camera, as opposed to the camera itself. Plus the fine review here at DPReview does that for us.

Exterior & Handling

The NX10’s exterior is built of textured plastics, but has solidity and rigidity more of a mid-level DSLR. The body is very solid and the SD and battery card doors are thicker than average, with no creaking or inappropriate movement. The fit and finish of all the materials is measurably better than entry DSLRs with tighter gaps and less flex (if any) of panels. The build quality is better than that on the Panasonic GH1 (larger fitment gaps, panel flex) and Olympus E-P2 (panel flex), in fact the only ILC camera I would place at a similar build quality would be the GF1.

As I’ve inevitably been asked multiple times now, if I had to compare the build quality to the camera with the closest resemblance (of quality), I would place it somewhere between the Nikon D5000 and D300 - or on par with a . It feels more solid than a D5000, but is not quite at the point of the D300. For the Olympus fans, its similar albeit slightly better than the E-420 in terms of build. (The Canon DSLRs go from the somewhat ‘plasticy’ low to mid range, directly into the metal bodied 50D, and neither comes close to a ‘similar’ feeling build; forced to choose I would say the T2i is the closest).

The front has a rubberized grip with a very welcome steep finger perch, the shutter button is placed on a pedestal at the top of the perch with its own extrusion. These subtleties are important as they allow you to have natural resting positions for your fingers while gripped. The camera will not slide down, nor will your finger be overly tired. Those with larger hands and finger will tend to hold the camera using the middle finger along the length of the perch, sandwiched between thumb, palm, and middle finger. While those with smaller hands/fingers (like myself) will tend to use more of a DSLR type of hold, with the tips of multiple fingers on the perch and the camera held into palm. The left side is free from sharp edges, allowing you to use a two-handed hold comfortably.

The rear also provides a raise thumb perch, along with a rubberized thumb pad, again very welcome from an ergonomics point of
view.

The camera is surrounded in buttons that have a good feel with little extraneous movement, although they are on the small side and difficult to operate while you’re looking through the viewfinder, winter time use will be frustrating with gloves on.

The display is Samsung’s AMOLED and it is simply beautiful. The resolution is not quite on par with the 912K screens, but is noticeably above the 320K screens. More importantly is how useable the display is outdoors. While the sun still makes its argument against its use, compared to other LCD based screens the display is incredibly more useable. This is easily a strong key point I would consider in the NX10’s advantage. With an ILC camera you are going to find yourself using the display much more often for composition and general pre-capture operations, and having bright and useful display is a joy.

Oddly, the real-time display is provided at a resolution that is less than the actual resolution of the screen. I’ve seen this mentioned elsewhere, and it is a disappointment. Switching between an image review, and a real-time preview its obvious to see how reduced the image quality is. While its not prohibitive, its just a disappointment. More thoughts on this discussed below under manual focusing.

*You will notice in some of my photos that I have a leather wrist strap attached. This item is handmade by Gordy’s Camera straps.

 AdamJRed's gear list:AdamJRed's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Lytro Light Field 8GB Fujifilm X-E1 Sony Alpha 7 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +5 more
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