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Body and Design

Physically the NX10 - much like Panasonic's first Micro Four Thirds camera (the DMC-G1) - has a surprisingly conventional design, and looks for all the world like a shrunk-down SLR. That much is easy to see from the pictures here, but what it's hard to appreciate until you have it in your hand is just how small the body is - compared to any APS-C SLR or even it's nearest direct competitor (which, based on features, would probably be Panasonic's G2). With the pancake lens attached it doesn't feel significantly larger than the Olympus E-P1 or Panasonic GF1 (though the bulges of the viewfinder and grip mean it isn't quite as compact).

From a construction point of view it's hard to find fault: this is a solid, well built camera with a pleasing 'density' that gives it the same impression of sturdy quality you get from the E-P1 and GF1, but with the added benefit of a good handgrip for more stable handling. The grip itself has a non-slip rubber coating meaning that you can shoot with one hand without worrying about dropping it. There's a good supply of external buttons and a well-placed control dial so you don't need to use the menus very much in everyday shooting.

In your hand / grip

Initially, we were slightly disappointed that Samsung chose such a conservative design for the NX10, but whilst it might lack the slightly retro styling and ultra compact dimensions of the Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic GF1 it does offer noticeably better handling. The small but effective front and rear grips and non-slip body texturing make a significant difference, and the result is that despite its size, the NX10 is a surprisingly comfortable camera to hold and use.

Side by side

Below you can see the NX10's weight and dimensions compared to the smallest of its Micro Four Thirds competitors and the Olympus E-420, currently the smallest DSLR on the market (you can see pictures of the NX10 next to the E-420 and Panasonic G1 on the previous page). The NX10 is roughly the same size as the Panasonic G2 (which has a deeper grip and greater viewfinder overhang). Just looking at the body itself (ignoring the viewfinder eyepiece and hand grip) it's amazing how slender the NX10 is (around 40mm deep) - especially when you consider that the APS-C sensor inside is more than 1.5x bigger, which requires a greater distance to the lens. If nothing else, this shows that Samsung could easily make a more Pen-like version by stripping away the bulky bits. We've heard no comment on if or when as yet though...

Camera Body Dimensions (including grip and viewfinder) (W x H x D) Body weight
(inc. battery & card)
Olympus E-420 128 x 91 x 73 mm (5.0 x 3.6 x 2.9 in) 434 g (0.96 lb)
Panasonic Lumix G2 124 x 85 x 70 mm (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.8 in) 426 g (0.94 lb)
Samsung NX10 123 mm x 88 mm x 60 mm (4.8 x 3.5 x 2.4 in) 412 g (0.91 lb)
Panasonic Lumix GF1 119 mm x 72 mm x 37 mm (4.7 x 2.8 x 1.5 in) 350 g (0.77 lb)
Olympus E-P2 121 x 76 x 36 mm (4.8 x 3.0 x 1.4 in) 384 g (0.85 lb)

Three lenses, five more on the way

There are currently three lenses available for the NX10, all of which we've used to create the samples in this review. Here are the basic specifications:

  30mm F2 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED OIS
Focal length (equiv)
46.2mm
27.7-84.7mm
77-308mm
Elements / Groups
5 elements in 5 groups
(1 Aspherical lens included)
12 elements in 9 groups
(1 Aspherical lens included)
17 elements in 13 groups
(2 Extra-low Dispersion lens
included)
Angle of view
50.2°
75.9°- 28.7°
31.4°- 8.0°
Aperture
F2 (Min. F22)
F3.5 - 5.6 (Min. F22)
F4 - 5.6 (Min. F22)
Number of blades
7
7
7
Optical stabilizer
No
Yes
Yes
Minimum focus dist.
0.25m
0.28m
0.98m
Lens hood
Optional
Included
Included
Filter size
43mm
58mm
52mm
Dimensions
61.5 x 21.5mm
63 x 65.1mm
70 x 100.5mm
Weight
85g
198g
417g

In addition to these three lenses, Samsung has also announced another five by the end of 2010; namely a non-IS version of its kit lens, a more compact 20-50mm standard zoom, a 20mm wide-angle pancake prime, 60mm macro and 18-200mm superzoom. This eight lens NX system should keep most keen photographers happy for the time being.

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