NX20 user report and photos

Started Aug 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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NX20 user report and photos
Aug 6, 2012

Hi there.

I have now had a NX20 with the 18-55 OIS kit lens for a few days and I thought I'd report my feelings about the camera along with some photos in the following message.

I'm used to photographing with DSLR's (mostly Canon) and compact cameras (including the enthusiast "bridge cameras") and I've been looking at the mirrorless Compact System Cameras for as long as they have been available. I just haven't seen a satisfactory camera for me until the Samsun NX20 came out. The first things to get me really excited about the camera were the great EVF and LCD. I've tried for example the Olympus E-PL3 (and been disappointed by it's horrible LCD and also it's image quality) as well as the Sony-NEX cameras, which all have too small (and dim) LCD:s with small image area and not good enough EVF (on the NEX-7).

After a long selection process, I eliminated other choises (micro 43, NEX) as inferior to my use and selected the Samsung NX20. So far, I'm remain satisfied with my choise.

I will list my findings so far with simple + - 0 lists (good, bad, neutral):

The good

  • The camera feels very good in hand and the controls (buttons and wheels) are pretty well placed. It's possible to shoot one-handed without problem with the kit zoom and definitely with pancakes.

  • The mechanical quality of the camera is good.

  • The camera is easy and logical to use, not as quite as straightforward as large DSLRs, but good enough for a mirrorless. On the same level with Sony NEX-7. I wish Samsung would come out with an even more enthusiast oriented camera in the future, that is similar in size, but with DSLR level operational features (direct AF-lock, direct EV correction and so on).

  • The EVF is of very good quality, the best EVF that I've seen in a camera so far, markedly better than the EVF of the Sony NEX-7

  • LCD is also very good (bright, good contrast) and it's got enough image area for the photos (unlike Sony NEX cameras or Olympus E-PL3). The LCD works well in practice. The visibility of the LCD is good in sunlight, better than for example the LCD of the Canon 600D.

  • Battery lasts surpisingly well for a camera with no optical viewfinder. At least 400 shots with my use.

  • Sensor size and image ratio is just right - apropriate for DOF control, image quality and so on. I usually take photos in 3:2 ratio and often crop the images to even wider ratio like 16:10. If I were to use a camera that has a 4:3 ratio, I would systematically lose 20% of the pixels / image area.

  • compatible spare batteries can be had for under 20€.

  • lenses are reasonably priced

  • Samsung has a public (at least pretty public) lens roadmap and the selection of available lenses is already decent and good compared to competition like NEX cameras.

The bad

  • Diopter adjustment is easily changed by accident, because the adjustment wheel is quite protruding, loose and hits easily the edges of the camera bag or the clothes. I wish the following camera models will have a stiffer diopter adjustment wheel, that does not protrude so much

  • Changing the Exposure Value is not reflected correctly on the real time histogram or LCD/EVF, instead it is understated. For example, when dialing + 1 stop of EV correction, the live histogram and LCD may display some increase in exposure, but when looking at the image in playback, the image more exposed. The playback histogram and LCD display show the correct exposure for the image. Now, this is something that for example Canon is able to do correctly. I hope to see a firmare update that fixes the display of exposure on histogram and display after EV correction

  • There is no "blinking higlights" feature in playback - a hugely beneficial feature that should definitely be included as standard. I really wish this will be fixed in a firmware update along with the real time display of exposure after EV correction

  • Clearing of buffer from RAW images is slow. If you take a series of photos, you are forced to wait for the buffer to clear before the next series.

  • It shoud be possible to make the AEL button to work as a straight AF-lock button. The current way of operation is ok, but now you need an unneccessary step, when locking AF and reframing. Like this: 1) you AF with shutter button, then 2) lock the AF with AEL-button 3) reframe and shoot. If the AEL-button worked as direct AF-lock (like for example on Canon cameras), you would only need to 1) AF lock with AEL/AFL button, 2)reframe and shoot with shutter button. This would be easy to fix in firmare for example as a fifth menu choise in the AEL-customisation menu, were there are at the moment four choises. The fifth choise might just as well be direct AF-lock with AEL-button.


  • The kit lens 18-55 OIS is average in quality among kit lenses. The mechanical quality is not so great, with stiff zoom operation, but on the other hand the OIS seems to function well and the lens focuses silently unlike for example the Canon 18-55is kit lens, which makes quite a buzz.

  • JPG's are of worse quality than for example on Canon or Sony cameras, but this doesn't bother me much, because I never shoot JPG. RAW quality is about equal among Canon 600D, Sony NEX-7 and the micro43 OM-D EM-5. If you shoot purely JPG, then you're probably not that picky about image quality anyway and the JPG that the Samsung produces should be good enough. But just to let you know, other cameras in this class make a bit cleaner JPG's.

All in all, I'm happy with the camera, but I wish that the few small flaws will be fixed with a firmware update.
pics: http://www.pbase.com/arn

 Arn's gear list:Arn's gear list
Sony RX100 II Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 7D Samsung NX20 Sony Alpha 7 +19 more
Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5) Olympus PEN E-PL3 Samsung NX20 Sony Alpha NEX-7
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