NX20 - full CNET (DE) review

Started Jun 1, 2012 | Discussions
BearT
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NX20 - full CNET (DE) review
Jun 1, 2012

Hi all,

after tons of hands-ons and other previews I just came across a full review of the NX20 at the localized German site of CNET.

http://www.cnet.de/tests/digicam/41564231/testbericht/samsung_nx20_im_test_gelungene_kompakt_systemkamera_fuer_anspruchsvolle.htm

For non-German readers I took the liberty to translate the reviewer's synopsis correspondingly.

"What we like

  • felicitous design

  • excellent image quality

  • solid choice of lenses

  • decent features

What we don't like

  • very lazy writing speed

  • suboptimal JPEG engine

Our two cents

With the NX20 Samsung puts a solid all-around-camera on the market that offers a satisfying image quality and feature set. While the burst mode is very fast, the low writing speed is worrisome."

Cheers,
Berti

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Samsung NX20
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sensibill
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meh.
In reply to BearT, Jun 1, 2012

Sounds about right. At least it's not a Lori Grunin 3.5 stars for everything review.

Honestly, I'm disappointed in Samsung. The RAW processing times are indeed quite bad, and their inability to address that with the latest gen is not good. I don't think it means they're going to collapse next week or leave the camera market, but it does indicate some issues at the engineering level that doesn't jibe with their status and size as an electronics manufacturer.

I may stick with this NX200, I might not. But without a big improvement in RAW compression and writing and a better JPEG engine, I see little reason to stick with the brand despite very good sensors, great IQ capability, nice quality bodies and promising lens assortment.

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Ariston
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Re: meh.
In reply to sensibill, Jun 1, 2012

I see the only way of speeding up write times is to use DNG format rather than SRW. I don't see file compression as an issue since I'm used to handling big files. for something like 20MP and over, this is to be expected. better jpegs would be nice, but not really a dealbreaker for me. I can't complain about IQ because I'm getting what I expect from a 20MP camera and make full use of it.

other than write times and lock-up improvement, AF speed and accuracy would certainly be a very good thing for mirrorless. if Samsung beats everyone on producing a sports/action mirrorless photo camera, now that would be a different ballgame.

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sensibill
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Re: meh.
In reply to Ariston, Jun 1, 2012

I guess it's the lockup processing thing that really blows it, although I can't help thinking other cameras in the 20MP region (like a T3i or D3200) can purge the buffer faster. I don't see why Samsung can't adopt or integrate a compression standard, even of their own design. They have considerable technical R&D resources.

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Ian Leach
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Re: NX20 - full CNET (DE) review
In reply to BearT, Jun 1, 2012

It is a little odd that Samsung aren’t fixing the main criticisms that are levelled at their cameras in reviews. If it was a style choice or targeting a particular audience it would be fine. But I can’t see any group of buyers wanting poor jpegs and slow write times. I’d also like to see the sensors DR matching the competition.

It puts me off buying the NX20 but on the other hand I still prefer its general design over other manufacturer’s efforts. It leaves nowhere to go. Maybe Canon will finally produce a good CSC.

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jj74e
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Re: meh.
In reply to sensibill, Jun 1, 2012

it's especially disappointing considering we know samsung is capable of much better processing. they make processing chips for their galaxy smarphontes, which have been reviewed very well in terms of speed and performance.

not saying it translates exactly over to the camera industry, but as an electronics company, samsung shouldn't be struggling in this area. it doesn't make sense that they should skip such an upgrade, especially when many reviews have point it out to be one of the few major flaws.

but, at least it's no fuji pro x1, which has bad write times and poor AF performance, among other issues (and yes, better iq/build quality/hybrid VF, but also much more expensive)

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wictred
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Re: meh.
In reply to sensibill, Jun 1, 2012

sensibill wrote:

I guess it's the lockup processing thing that really blows it, although I can't help thinking other cameras in the 20MP region (like a T3i or D3200) can purge the buffer faster. I don't see why Samsung can't adopt or integrate a compression standard, even of their own design. They have considerable technical R&D resources.

with a fast card the total processing time is a bit less than 4 seconds on the nx200.

judging by my experience with different cards (and also shooting without card and testing delay shutter release -> menu access) still only half of that is actually writing to the card, the rest of a bit less than 2 seconds seems to be processing (looks like 20mb/sec write speed is the maximum).

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jj74e
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Re: meh.
In reply to wictred, Jun 1, 2012

just finished reading the review- at least they are improving though, even if they're not the big things we would like fixed.

for example, being able to switch between photos while maintaining a zoomed in level to check sharpness.

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tecnoworld
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Re: meh.
In reply to jj74e, Jun 1, 2012

very few or no improvements compared to nx 200, but biiiig price difference

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sensibill
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Re: meh.
In reply to wictred, Jun 1, 2012

wictred wrote:

with a fast card the total processing time is a bit less than 4 seconds on the nx200.

judging by my experience with different cards (and also shooting without card and testing delay shutter release -> menu access) still only half of that is actually writing to the card, the rest of a bit less than 2 seconds seems to be processing (looks like 20mb/sec write speed is the maximum).

With a supposedly 20MB/s PNY Class 10 card, I get 7 seconds from shutter to menu access.

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sensibill
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Re: meh.
In reply to tecnoworld, Jun 1, 2012

tecnoworld wrote:

very few or no improvements compared to nx 200, but biiiig price difference

Did you forget that the NX200 debuted at $899?

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tecnoworld
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Re: meh.
In reply to sensibill, Jun 1, 2012

well, but I consider the present market price....today's market is the one the nx20 is moving into, not yesterday's!

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Greynerd
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Re: NX20 - full CNET (DE) review
In reply to Ian Leach, Jun 1, 2012

The What Digital Camera review just posted on their site for the WB850F talks of several second write times! It is rather a short review and does not give much detail so I do not know how rigorous their testing has been. They give it a good overall rating but slow write speed does seem to be associated with Samsung at present.

I do wonder if there are compatibilty problems with cards which may cause problems in tests. Since I put a Samsung card in my NX11 I have not had a single lockup which I frequently had with a Lexar card. The Lexar card had worked fine until I upgraded to the latest firmware. Then the processing light would intermittently just flash permanently and the only way to stop it was to take the battery out and the image was lost. I believe Viking79 mentioned getting lockups on his NX11. It is so difficult to pin these things down and one can only speculate. You should not have to use a Samsung card in their cameras but possibly some cards just do not work properly.

Ian Leach wrote:

It is a little odd that Samsung aren’t fixing the main criticisms that are levelled at their cameras in reviews. If it was a style choice or targeting a particular audience it would be fine. But I can’t see any group of buyers wanting poor jpegs and slow write times. I’d also like to see the sensors DR matching the competition.

It puts me off buying the NX20 but on the other hand I still prefer its general design over other manufacturer’s efforts. It leaves nowhere to go. Maybe Canon will finally produce a good CSC.

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Ariston
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Re: meh.
In reply to jj74e, Jun 2, 2012

jj74e wrote:

but, at least it's no fuji pro x1, which has bad write times and poor AF performance, among other issues (and yes, better iq/build quality/hybrid VF, but also much more expensive)

true. considering the Xpro-1 is only 16MP. despite it's bad write times and poor AF, I would still prefer it over the NEX. because Fuji did their homework with regards to producing premium lenses. I wonder why Sony can't do the same? it's too bad it costs at around $1,600, all thanks to the popularity of it's X100. I would had gotten the body for $1,000. if Samsung releases one better than the NX20, I might skip the Xpro-1.

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RMW487
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Re: NX20 - full CNET (DE) review
In reply to Greynerd, Jun 2, 2012

This review seems to demonstrate poor iso above iso100 which is not what I would have expected. Not seen this on the nx200 to this degree.
RMW487.

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jonathanj
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Re: NX20 - full CNET (DE) review
In reply to RMW487, Jun 2, 2012

There's a line in the review:

Die Speicherzeiten zwischen zwei Aufnahmen sind mit 0,9 Sekunden im JPEG- wie im RAW-Format ebenfalls akzeptabel. Mit zugeschaltetem Blitz verschlechtert sich der Wert auf 1,3 Sekunden.

Google translate renders this as:

The storage times between shots are 0.9 seconds in JPEG as RAW format is acceptable. With lightning NSHAPE the value deteriorated to 1.3 seconds.

Could anyone who understands the original German explain what the last bit means? What's lighting NSHAPE supposed to mean?

Slow write times are annoying, but not a deal breaker for me. So far I haven't seen anything that puts me off the NX20, but at the same time I haven't seen a really compelling reason to upgrade. Maybe later in the year after the price has dropped I can justify it as a birthday present to myself...

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rurouni
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Re: write times.
In reply to sensibill, Jun 2, 2012

Gosh you mean from shutter firing (single shot RAW) to write to the card takes 7 secs???

I thought the lag only comes from shooting burst. My workflow is in RAW so space is not an issue but if the write times for single shot are that long, its a deal breaker for me : /

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sensibill
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Re: meh.
In reply to tecnoworld, Jun 2, 2012

tecnoworld wrote:

well, but I consider the present market price....today's market is the one the nx20 is moving into, not yesterday's!

Buuuut by this logic you could say a 5DmkIII is a ripoff because it's so much more than the street price of a mkII.

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Robert N
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Re: NX20 - full CNET (DE) review
In reply to jonathanj, Jun 2, 2012

jonathanj wrote:

There's a line in the review:

Google translate renders this as:

The storage times between shots are 0.9 seconds in JPEG as RAW format is acceptable. With lightning NSHAPE the value deteriorated to 1.3 seconds.

Could anyone who understands the original German explain what the last bit means? What's lighting NSHAPE supposed to mean?

It means activated flash.

Slow write times are annoying, but not a deal breaker for me. So far I haven't seen anything that puts me off the NX20, but at the same time I haven't seen a really compelling reason to upgrade. Maybe later in the year after the price has dropped I can justify it as a birthday present to myself...

Well said.

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mhike
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Re: meh.
In reply to tecnoworld, Jun 2, 2012

Exactly.

The fact that they aren't fixing the main criticisms is proof of lack of vision and/or unwillingness or inability to devote resources into fixing the right things about the cams. They don't realize the catch 22 people are in- jpegs are terrible, but RAWs are huge and cause major slowdowns.

tecnoworld wrote:

very few or no improvements compared to nx 200, but biiiig price difference

"only" 16MP? We're at that point now?

Ariston wrote:

true. considering the Xpro-1 is only 16MP . despite it's bad write times and poor AF, I would still prefer it over the NEX. because Fuji did their homework with regards to producing premium lenses. I wonder why Sony can't do the same? it's too bad it costs at around $1,600, all thanks to the popularity of it's X100. I would had gotten the body for $1,000. if Samsung releases one better than the NX20, I might skip the Xpro-1.

Well, you're the one they're obviously marketing to and designing for: the outspoken internet guy that doesn't care and isn't too particular about photography.

jonathanj wrote:

Slow write times are annoying, but not a deal breaker for me. So far I haven't seen anything that puts me off the NX20, but at the same time I haven't seen a really compelling reason to upgrade. Maybe later in the year after the price has dropped I can justify it as a birthday present to myself...

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