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Samsung NX mini First Impressions Review

March 2014 | By Allison Johnson

Preview based on pre-production Samsung NX mini

Samsung has a history of trying something unexpected every once in a while. This is the company that gave us the Dual View series, point-and-shoots with small secondary LCDs on the front panel, as well as the first cameras to run full Android operating systems with LTE connectivity. In a similar spirt they've introduced the Samsung NX Mini. Using a BSI 20.5MP CMOS sensor of the 1"-type, it nabs the title of 'world's slimmest interchangeable lens camera.'

The NX Mini gives the world yet another lens mount, accepting NX-M lenses. There are three planned at launch - a 9mm F3.5 (24.3mm equivalent) prime, 9-27mm F3.5-5.6 (24.3-72.9mm equivalent) collapsible zoom both available in April with the camera, and a 17mm F1.8 (45.9mm equivalent) prime slated for July. An NX mount adapter will be sold separately for $149.99.

Samsung engineers have clearly put an emphasis on the 'slim' aspect of the camera. It's only 22.5mm thick, and with the diminutive 9mm prime it's well within the bounds of jacket-pocketability. The body itself is the size of a compact point-and-shoot, and the couple of lenses we saw in the office inspired the same kind of 'those can't possibly be real lenses!' reaction that the Pentax Q7 and its lenses did when we first laid eyes on them.

Samsung NX Mini key features

  • 20.5MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • 1080/30p HD video
  • P/A/S/M modes
  • Raw shooting
  • Capacitive 3.0-inch 460k-dot touch screen LCD, tilts upward 180 degrees
  • Electronic shutter with 1/16000 max shutter speed
  • 650 shot battery life with 9mm lens, 530 shots with 9-27mm lens

It may be a fresh face, but the Samsung NX Mini isn't the only super-small interchangeable lens camera game in town. Nikon's 1 series uses a 1" sensor and proprietary lens mount, while Panasonic offers the GM1 with a larger Four Thirds sensor and Micro Four Thirds mount. The intrepid Pentax Q7 came before them all, though it uses a 1/1.7" sensor - smaller than any of the above.

 
Samsung NX Mini
Panasonic GM1
Nikon 1 J3
Resolution
20.9MP
16MP
14.2MP
Sensor
1" (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
1" (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Lens mount
Samsung NX-M
Micro Four Thirds
Nikon 1
ISO range
100-25600
125-25600
160-6400
LCD design (tilt up/down)
Tilting (180° up)
Fixed
Fixed
Screen resolution
3.0" / 460K dot
3.0" / 1036K dot
3.0" / 921K dot
Max burst rate
6 fps
5 fps
15 fps
Video resolution
1920 x 1080 / 30p
1920 x 1080 / 30p
1920 x 1080 / 30p
Battery life (CIPA)
530 shots (with 9-27mm)
230 shots
220 shots

Kit options and pricing

The NX Mini will be sold in white, brown, black, mint green and pink. A kit with 9mm lens will be offered at $449 US / €399. Bundled with the 9-27mm zoom and external flash, it will cost $549 / €499.

The Samsung NX Mini will be offered in several colors with the 9-27mm kit zoom.

As with Samsung's recent advanced cameras, the NX Mini ships with a full version of Adobe Lightroom 5.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2014 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 566
1234
tkbslc

Just like all the rest, it's not slim with a lens mounted. Might as well use an RX100

4 upvotes
Digitall

A Fujifilm XF1 style, with interchangeable lens.

3 upvotes
abortabort

Except the XF1 has two control dials... This? None :(

6 upvotes
tkbslc

And f/1.8 on a 2/3" sensor beats f3.5 on a 1" sensor by about a stop.

0 upvotes
Franka T.L.

well, another mount ... I wonder if Samsung would have an adapter for their larger NX mount lens to be mounted for this NX-M mount If they do not screw up on thier marketing and deliver, it can be an interesting and very viable entry, Ok let's consider, we have for the NX mount already the 16, 20, 30 pancake, and the 60 macro as well as the rather nice 45mm & 85/1.4 .. I would discount the zoom as quite clearly a zoom for this rather smaller coverage ( the sensor ) really would benefit better with a dedicated lens specific to that sensor coverage.

Between the Nikon 1 and this NX-M they represent some really forward thinking though it remain to be seen if they can pull it off

1 upvote
Jeff Keller

There will be an adapter to use NX lenses. The price $100-something.

4 upvotes
Eugene232

price is fair unlike a new Nikon 1 for $1200

7 upvotes
arrr

Is there a contest on Who Can Make the Most Useless Interchangeable Lens Camera?

12 upvotes
Eugene232

why? GM1 is ok

0 upvotes
arrr

GM1 is great! *I did not say mirrorless.* The OMD EM10 and Panasonic G6 are on my wishlist.

Edit, so is the XT1, GH4, A7R and A6000. Great MILC are all over the place... just this one.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
BJN

GM1 is not great. Poor handling. Lousy flash sync. Only a couple of lenses are are really appropriate for it. It's not a bad camera, but it's far from "great".

7 upvotes
gerard boulanger

"Rangefinder style mirror less"? Looks like an interchangeable lens P&S
This will sell like crazy in Asia, not in Europe or US

2 upvotes
drummercam

Where Pentax leads (Q-series), others eventually follow.

3 upvotes
rtogog

If Pentax want to compete (win!), they should add to complement
its Q series with 1" sensor on it but maintain its lens mount size. The smaller size does not meet today standard of IQ of the image and has been taken over by mobile phone camera.

4 upvotes
arrr

At least the Q is cute.

8 upvotes
fakuryu

@rtogog

Have you even shot with a Q and the 01 prime lens? Even a 40mp Nokia is no where near the clarity, sharpness and the dynamic range of the Q and 01.

1 upvote
Trollshavethebestcandy

22fps selfies!!!!

9 upvotes
peevee1

DPR wrote: "On the top of the camera here's a built-in flash nestled under the panel just above the lens mount"

1) "there is"?
2) In your spec table it says "Built-in flash: no".

1 upvote
Richard Shih

Thanks for pointing out the spec table error. The built-in flash is in the top-left corner.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
peevee1

It is bigger than GM1 in all dimensions, including depth (if you count kit lenses). Pointless thing.

7 upvotes
Richard Shih

The body is surprisingly thin, and when you flip up the LCD into selfie mode, only then do you get an impression of how thin the internals are. Granted, you'll always be limited in thinness by the size of the lens.

4 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic

One more mirrorless mount?
Was NX and the APS-C mirrorless mount such a bad seller?

6 upvotes
peevee1

More appropriate for developing countries at $99 including kit zoom. At that price, Samsung will probably still have some profit.

3 upvotes
samfan

DPR guys, seriously, please. First impression is the exact opposite of a review. Stop calling it that. Don't hunt for clicks this way.

16 upvotes
neo_nights

100% Agreed!

This "First Impressions REVIEWS" term is totally silly and unnecessary. Go back to "Previews" (because that's what they are!) and be done wit that.

15 upvotes
samfan

Also, isn't this NX Mini supposed to have 22 fps continous shooting speed? So much for 'not being positioned to keep up'. Also so much for a 'review'.

1 upvote
Jeff Keller

At full resolution it's 6 fps. We initially heard 22 fps but that's incorrect.

4 upvotes
beavertown

It makes the Nikon 1 looks stupid.

4 upvotes
photofan1986

No, the Nikon 1 did not have to wait for this camera to look stupid. :D

12 upvotes
beavertown
3 upvotes
pew pew

the pricing looks good, if I was on the market for the sony rx100 or nikon v3 I would have a look at this camera.

4 upvotes
peevee1

Looks don't pay bills.

3 upvotes
Neodp

... not legally anyway. ;)

5 upvotes
Richard Murdey

...because Nikon 1 was so successful, Samsung knew the world needed another 1" sensor format ILC...

21 upvotes
Neodp

Wins "Cupie doll" (Prize) for best summary..

2 upvotes
rtogog

Not the Nikon 1 series, but for the 1" sensor size to meet today IQ standard against smaller sensor which has been already taken by mobile phone.

0 upvotes
beavertown

Nikon 1 has never been successful.

Sony RX100 was and still is.

6 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

Nikon 1 could be successful, but they are just asking for too much money for this system.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Neodp

Well, the sensor will always pale behind bigger and better performing sensors and DR, and color sensitivity matter to me. Nikon will have to make a camera like this FF, and APS-C, and then provide an adapter for F-mount compatibility whether or not using F-mount is better or worse than new lenses.

The RX100 and up to the III is the best pocket cam, and pushing up toward bigger cameras; but not anywhere near larger camera performance enough yet. Go ahead and argue differently; but if it were the same size as the best of any size, then it wouldn't complete. It's only the pocket-size, and that's great, that it does. That's means it's over priced by far and a first adopter toy. Why? It will drop like a rock when better comes about. Which, should have by now and is late and very slow.

1 upvote
Neodp

Plus, this promotes buying multiple cameras instead of one that covers more situations. Manufacturers love that and you should not. Vote with your wallet. Not that two cameras isn't a good idea in two or more people families; but how many of you have 10 cameras, and do only TESTS!? LOL.

1 upvote
shademaster

really don't get it. not for soccer moms. not for enthusiasts. not small body for pros. not for face-bookers. who is it for? (I know, I'm a grumpy old man).

3 upvotes
neo_nights

Not for grumpy old men, either :o)

13 upvotes
samfan

Just like Nikon 1, it has the potential for being a nice small ILC system like Pentax 110. (Remember that, grumpy old man?)

Now let's see if Samsung learned from Nikon's mistakes.

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

Pentax 110 was somewhat cooler than this. There was something interesting in having a fully fledged SLR, with lots of tiny accessories. This could be cool, although I am not a huge fan of the design. I think for the cool factor, I would go with Pentax Q and for utility - with M4/3.

2 upvotes
kai liu

lens are not interesting. This is relative small sensor. We need faster lens.

12 upvotes
DDWD10

460k LCD, no control dial, f/3.5 prime... get real.

27 upvotes
Spectro

wow, that is thin. But with a lens attached it still not that pocketable. Maybe if they had a pancake lens.

2 upvotes
gerard boulanger

the 9 mm is very tiny

3 upvotes
edu T

Had you bothered to read the article before commenting you'd know they do have a 24mm-equiv f/3.5 pretty shallow pancake. (Pictured in "specifications" above.)

2 upvotes
Spectro

I don't see the pancake model photo yet. They plan to have a 9mm, no other physical description is here. "" It's only 22.5mm thick, and with the diminutive 9mm prime"" that the camera size nothing on the 9mm except it is diminutive?

0 upvotes
Robert Morris

LOOK at the picture above the specifications page!

4 upvotes
Spectro

I see it now.

0 upvotes
Xentinus

see it is that tiny you can't even see :D

2 upvotes
DStudio

How can he get the first post if he reads the article?

2 upvotes
Total comments: 566
1234