Seriously underrated

Started Sep 29, 2013 | User reviews thread
Flat view
strata83 Contributing Member • Posts: 720
Seriously underrated

I think this camera is seriously underrated and, perhaps not surprisingly, Samsung is to blame: they priced it too high right from the beginning. On paper it's competitive with other top-end mirrorless cameras of the same vintage (Sony NEX-7, Olympus OM-D E-M5). However, it has a couple of pretty significant downsides.

The biggest asset of this cameras is its sensor. I like it more than the critically acclaimed Sony 16MP sensor: it has the same very wide dynamic range, but is much less prone to clipping of individual channels. This makes the NX20 and its siblings my favorite cameras for color output.

The build quality of the NX20 itself is very nice. Its casing is plastic, but it feels very solid and dense. The only thing I don't like in terms of build is the EVF eyecup which is made of a rather hard material and is uncomfortable to press my eye against.

The ergonomics of the camera are awesome. I seriously recommend other mirrorless camera makers to borrow a page or two from the Samsung's book. The number of controls and their location are perfect, the menus are very well laid out and easy to operate. I prefer the ergonomics of this camera to both Olympus E-M5 and Sony NEX-7 (I used both before the NX20).

I suspected I wouldn't use the NX20's Wi-Fi functionality, but it's surprisingly useful. I shoot RAW + 2MP normal JPEGs and use Samsung's excellent Mobile Link app to copy JPEG files to my smartphone and post them to social media. 2MP is plenty for Facebook or Twitter.

The biggest problem of the NX20 is its operational speed, or lack thereof. Even changing the shooting modes feels sluggish (thanks to obnoxious animations that can't be turned off). The RAW files are unnecessarily huge (33-35 MB) and it takes a long time to write them down to the memory card. It's even worse if you shoot RAW+JPEG. However, if you use SanDisk Extreme Pro memory cards (rated for 90MB/s sustained write speed), the camera is okay in terms of speed — not as fast as the current generation of Micro 4/3 cameras, but fast enough for my uses.

The AF speed, once again, is okay — I can describe it as being on par with Sony NEX-7. However, in low light the camera sometimes simply refuses to focus, which can be rather puzzling.

I worked around the downsides the NX20 by buying Nikon 1 V1 double kit when it was on firesale: that camera obviously doesn't have the same excellent image quality, but it's competitive with top-end professional DSLRs in terms of speed with its excellent AF, unmatched continuous shooting performance and no shutter lag. I use Nikon 1 V1 for action and Samsung NX20 for everything else and I'm pretty happy with this setup.

 strata83's gear list:strata83's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Nikon 1 V1 Fujifilm X-E2 Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Samsung NX20
20 megapixels • 3 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Apr 19, 2012
strata83's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow