Samsung NX100 - Worthy to be seriously considered
As an (admitted some years ago) avid user of a Canon 40D which was good and of course the $$ you ahve to spend on good glass I did switch some 2+ years ago to a Panasonic G1 (the 1st of that series) with the 14-45mm & the 45-200mm lens andlter got the flash for it. I was immediately satisfied though did not like so much the crop factor of 2x typically for the MFT's system. That was one of the smallest mirrorless DSLR's back then and the electronic viewfinder was just brilliant. However over time I found myself using the system lesser and using a P&S (Sony S600 from my wife) as I was not so keen anymore running around with a kit and attracting people of the gear I wear on me.
And now just a few days ago I saw here in a belgian (I'm based in Belgium) kind of electronics superstore the Samsung NX100 incl. the standard kit lens 20-50mm. As this model employs an APS-C CCD the crop factor gets to 1.5x so effective (35mm film based) lens range is from 30mm to 75mm. Well that is a little too little wide-angle and a little short in the long end. However the quality of this lens (which really surprised me...) is outstanding for such a kit lens.
The whole pack incl. 2yrs warranty was 299€ which would translate to 400U$. This just for conversion properties as I know that in the US prices are a bit different (to say lower) Anyway for a EU based country this was a kind of very good price (was not an internet offer).
I am not a pixelpeeper though I sometimes check immediately if all works well and no dead pixels or faults.
Here my short overview (which is not really a review but more an impression) and I do not claim to be a photographer, photoshop experts and so forth...
- Very stylish looking and not too heavy
- Picture quality even at ISO1600 (though not perfect) is nice
- Picture in daylight ISO100 to ISO400 are extremely pleasing to my eye
- I like the selectable 1:1 picture ratio (though 9MP then) in the in-camera mode setting
- HD video is handy but well I consider this just an option but not essential
- The AMOLED screen is simply outstanding in its resolution and still acceptable in outside conditions
- iFunction once mastered in operation is simply a very nice concept operating this cam
- I was surprised that albeight the missing OIS with this lens I was able to take good pictures in low light
without ramping up the ISO too much. Handheld 1/10 to 1/20s was still good looking (I do have quiet hands..)
but of course the subject better does not move (FREEZE !!)
- Color rendition I find way better than on my previous G1 expecially in high ISO settings
- It is cute looking reminding me a bit of the olderanalog rangefinders cameras
- Battery runtime is very good (Give it 2 to 3 cycles at least to develop full capacity)
- Playback operations is lightning fast as are most of the MENU operations
- For sure I will not get the optional EVF as it is quite expensive and also low resolution
- Manual focus is working good (but needs at least some more light as display and not optical based)
- the up to 30frames/s mode is fun though reduced in pic. size
- I appreciate full PASM modes and even the smart mode is quite useful
All in all I like this NX100 quite a lot from the perspective of picture quality, looks and handling. Sure there is always something better and so forth but that pretty much goes for everything in life.
I would not have bought it for its initial price when it was introduced but thats one of the good things in our
"fast world". Things get cheaper on-the-fly. Always good to give something a little wait.
I always had a little eye on outsiders besides the mainstream crowd and first wanted to get a RICOH GRIII digital or Samsung EX1 but wanted to opt for the bigger APS-C sensor. Also the Sigma was in my list to be considered but played with it once and did not like the handling response (too slow) and oh well certainly would not spend the cash on the Leica X1 (which I really like...)
- None reported (though had it only for a week or so)
- A little built-in flash would be nice (but I knew of its absence before so not complaining really)
- Case could have had some rubber elements to be less slippery though not really a problem.