New NX30 - first impressions

Started Jul 20, 2014 | Discussions
jonathanj
jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 945
New NX30 - first impressions
2

So I decided to treat myself to the NX30, upgrading from the NX20. So far, delighted with the new camera - not a massive improvement, but a number of nice new features makes it great to use.

  • The first thing I noticed was a surprise to me, the deeper grip is really is excellent. Generally I prefer cameras to be as small as possible, but the NX30 feels much better in the hand. A definite improvement.
  • Faster performance! Finally, I can shoot a multi shot panorama without seeing that damn "processing" message! To me, this alone is worth the upgrade cost...
  • Drive mode dial. Not essential, but nice to have. Definitely less fiddling around to switch from bracketed to single shot, which I do a fair bit. The only thing is that I think the thing you push to turn the dial should be orientated about 45 degrees clockwise, if that makes sense, if the camera is set to single shot I have to awkwardly contort my thumb to push it around. A minor niggle.
  • Other controls - the exposure compensation button is quite hard to find whilst looking through the viewfinder. I think this is something I'll get used to, but it seems like a bit of a lack of attention to detail. The on/off button feels a bit flimsy. But the center "OK" button is an improvement on the NX20 - that one always felt like it was going to fall off.
  • The new wi-fi app is a huge improvement on the old one, i.e. it's actually useful. I need to play around a bit more in order to decide whether I'll actually use all the options, all I wanted was to be able to remote trigger shots in RAW, rather than just full auto JPGs. I've got that, so I'm happy, the rest is just a bonus. But Samsung should have been able to deliver this to the NX20 with a firmware upgrade.....
  • Articulated viewfinder - cool, but I haven't found a use for this yet. But it's early days, and I suspect it will be like the articulated screen, generally I'll ignore it but occasionally find it invaluable.
  • Improved screen, improved EVF. Noticable, but not massively signficant. I never had a problem with the old ones (or those on the NX10 for that matter, I use the viewfinder for composition and don't spend much time reviewing pictures when I'm out). But better is always good.
  • Minor new options. Did the NX20 have depth bracketing? I don't think so, although I never noticed the lack before. Option to have multiple shots triggered on a timer is something I did miss once or twice on the NX20. Intervalometer doesn't do much for me, but maybe I should play with this one day. Better Auto ISO and auto Shutter speed, small things that probably make more of a difference to me.
  • The electronic level doesn't work in portrait mode? A bit strange...

Personally I'm pretty happy with what Samsung have done with the NXxx line. The NX30 delivers incremental improvements on the NX20, and now it feels fast and responsive I can't honestly say as there's anything I personally feel is missing. The image quality seems pretty much the same as the NX20, as you'd expect, but that's good enough for me!

I took a wander around some of the Shanghai tourist spots as an excuse to try the NX30 out. Just a few pictures with the 16mm and 30mm, minor PP in lightroom.

In the Yu classical Chinese Garden with the Shanghai Tower under construction behind

Inside the Temple of the Shanghai town god

Twilight long exposure from the balcony. This is actually me playing with the android remote wi-fi app.

Today had some remarkably fine weather for Shanghai, which normally brings people out in their thousands, so in a quest to find somewhere not too busy I walked around the Longhua Martyrs' Memorial Cemetery.

Memorial Sculpture

Detail of memorial wall

Longhua Temple, nearby to the cemetery

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Usee
Usee Senior Member • Posts: 2,223
Re: New NX30 - first impressions - congratulations!

jonathanj wrote:

So I decided to treat myself to the NX30, upgrading from the NX20. So far, delighted with the new camera - not a massive improvement, but a number of nice new features makes it great to use.

  • The first thing I noticed was a surprise to me, the deeper grip is really is excellent. Generally I prefer cameras to be as small as possible, but the NX30 feels much better in the hand. A definite improvement.
  • Faster performance! Finally, I can shoot a multi shot panorama without seeing that damn "processing" message! To me, this alone is worth the upgrade cost...
  • Drive mode dial. Not essential, but nice to have. Definitely less fiddling around to switch from bracketed to single shot, which I do a fair bit. The only thing is that I think the thing you push to turn the dial should be orientated about 45 degrees clockwise, if that makes sense, if the camera is set to single shot I have to awkwardly contort my thumb to push it around. A minor niggle.
  • Other controls - the exposure compensation button is quite hard to find whilst looking through the viewfinder. I think this is something I'll get used to, but it seems like a bit of a lack of attention to detail. The on/off button feels a bit flimsy. But the center "OK" button is an improvement on the NX20 - that one always felt like it was going to fall off.
  • The new wi-fi app is a huge improvement on the old one, i.e. it's actually useful. I need to play around a bit more in order to decide whether I'll actually use all the options, all I wanted was to be able to remote trigger shots in RAW, rather than just full auto JPGs. I've got that, so I'm happy, the rest is just a bonus. But Samsung should have been able to deliver this to the NX20 with a firmware upgrade.....
  • Articulated viewfinder - cool, but I haven't found a use for this yet. But it's early days, and I suspect it will be like the articulated screen, generally I'll ignore it but occasionally find it invaluable.
  • Improved screen, improved EVF. Noticable, but not massively signficant. I never had a problem with the old ones (or those on the NX10 for that matter, I use the viewfinder for composition and don't spend much time reviewing pictures when I'm out). But better is always good.
  • Minor new options. Did the NX20 have depth bracketing? I don't think so, although I never noticed the lack before. Option to have multiple shots triggered on a timer is something I did miss once or twice on the NX20. Intervalometer doesn't do much for me, but maybe I should play with this one day. Better Auto ISO and auto Shutter speed, small things that probably make more of a difference to me.
  • The electronic level doesn't work in portrait mode? A bit strange...

Personally I'm pretty happy with what Samsung have done with the NXxx line. The NX30 delivers incremental improvements on the NX20, and now it feels fast and responsive I can't honestly say as there's anything I personally feel is missing. The image quality seems pretty much the same as the NX20, as you'd expect, but that's good enough for me!

I took a wander around some of the Shanghai tourist spots as an excuse to try the NX30 out. Just a few pictures with the 16mm and 30mm, minor PP in lightroom.

In the Yu classical Chinese Garden with the Shanghai Tower under construction behind

Inside the Temple of the Shanghai town god

Twilight long exposure from the balcony. This is actually me playing with the android remote wi-fi app.

Today had some remarkably fine weather for Shanghai, which normally brings people out in their thousands, so in a quest to find somewhere not too busy I walked around the Longhua Martyrs' Memorial Cemetery.

Memorial Sculpture

Detail of memorial wall

Longhua Temple, nearby to the cemetery

Thank you very much for this great example,

how dpreview could really work!

-

A nice, thoughtful, neutral and well presented presentation of first impressions.

-

Even the selection of the example pictures, including their order, makes sense!

...at least I like it!

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U see?

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Philip Scott
Philip Scott Senior Member • Posts: 1,135
Re: New NX30 - first impressions - congratulations!

Good write up. Just got mine here a week ago too. Have an NX300 and really wanted teh viewfinder.

Very pleased with results so far. I agree on the +/-EV button being a little hard to feel, but I like the ergonomics a lot. Compared to my Nikon D7000, it's nice to have that drive dial to choose bracket/burst etc.

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jonathanj
OP jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 945
Re: New NX30 - first impressions - congratulations!

Thanks to you and Usee!

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gameguru1360
gameguru1360 Regular Member • Posts: 352
Re: New NX30 - first impressions - congratulations!

Only irritating thing for me is lack of an external charger and the one available is on back order on adorama and bh photo's websites. I thought newegg had one and when i ordered it, turned out it was a battery/charger combo for the GoPro. Luckily it was only $22 so it wasn't worth the trouble of returning it. I have bought higher rated mah batteries from amazon and noticed I have gotten more shots than the oem battery. With the oem battery, you get roughly 360. With the 1600 mah batteries i have i get about 500 or so.

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jonathanj
OP jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 945
Re: New NX30 - first impressions - congratulations!

gameguru1360 wrote:

Only irritating thing for me is lack of an external charger and the one available is on back order on adorama and bh photo's websites. I thought newegg had one and when i ordered it, turned out it was a battery/charger combo for the GoPro. Luckily it was only $22 so it wasn't worth the trouble of returning it. I have bought higher rated mah batteries from amazon and noticed I have gotten more shots than the oem battery. With the oem battery, you get roughly 360. With the 1600 mah batteries i have i get about 500 or so.

Yes, that's a good point, I meant to mention it. I actually ordered the bag + charger + battery combo from b&h even though I don't much care about the bag, but for somewhat complicated reasons I ordered this from the US to Australia, then a friend to bring it to me here in China, so I haven't got it yet. In the meantime I bought a cheap USB power pack to top up the camera battery where necessary, but I noticed yesterday the camera got quite hot whilst charging. It was quite a hot day (35 C) so I'm not sure if this is always the case. If it is I'd be a bit worried about the camera overheating....

I don't mind optional charging via USB, but not having a separate charger is a bit of an oversight...

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Nomadical Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: New NX30 - first impressions

Edit: Nevermind, oops.

viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,148
Re: New NX30 - first impressions

jonathanj wrote:

  • Articulated viewfinder - cool, but I haven't found a use for this yet. But it's early days, and I suspect it will be like the articulated screen, generally I'll ignore it but occasionally find it invaluable.

Thanks for the well written report.  My favorite use for the articulated finder after shooting a couple weddings is pulling it straight out and it makes it much easier to look into the finder and far more comfortable to use the camera (especially with glasses on).

Nice pictures!

Eric

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viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,148
Re: New NX30 - first impressions - congratulations!

gameguru1360 wrote:

With the oem battery, you get roughly 360. With the 1600 mah batteries i have i get about 500 or so.

How many charges have you used with each?  I got about 500 with my generics as well, but with my OEM batteries I haven't tested them.  The last time was about 360, but I also had a lot of wireless uploading, playing around with camera settings, where the 500 shots with generic was hardly any reviewing and a lot of back to back shots with the monitor turned in so it was off.  This saves a lot of battery power.

I will have to shoot a few thousand shots to really see if the generic lasts longer, but I still think capacity is likely similar in similar usage profile.

However, the generic batteries work at least as well as Samsung and seem to be good quality, so no regrets buying them.  Surprised I only went through 2 batteries at the last wedding, that is pretty decent.  Thanks for the tip on them.

Eric

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Joe Melillo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,112
Build quality
1

Can someone comment on the build quality of the nx20 versus the nx30?

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Krudawd Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: New NX30 - first impressions

Great pics of Shanghai.  Did you make it to the 580 Store for some super buys

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jonathanj
OP jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 945
Re: Build quality

Joe Melillo wrote:

Can someone comment on the build quality of the nx20 versus the nx30?

Sorry - missed this earlier. To be honest, I can't really tell the difference, if they didn't come off the same production line, they are probably produced to the same specifications. There are some details that are better on the NX20 (the on/off button) and some that are better on the NX30 (the back dial and buttons). I suspect the extendable viewfinder might be a bit of a weak spot if you use it a lot.

Generally I think both cameras are reasonable middle of the road quality. Not pro-quality build, but not bottom of the range either.  I'm happy with the price/ quality balance.

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jonathanj
OP jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 945
Re: New NX30 - first impressions

Krudawd wrote:

Great pics of Shanghai. Did you make it to the 580 Store for some super buys

Thanks! I've been here for several months - I've already had to buy a new suitcase to fit everything in when I leave!

(There's a photography market in Shanghai that's pretty good too, I think it's called Xing Guang, but I might be getting that mixed up with another location. Anyway, recommended to anyone who visits Shanghai!)

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Krudawd Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: New NX30 - first impressions

I work for an airline and have had several visits to Shanghai.  If you are living there you might also check out the Science and Technology Center basement - Lots of deals on stuff but no photography stuff.  I have yet to fine a camera area but I should be flying out to Shanghai soon so I'll ask around

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Joe Melillo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,112
Thanks for the detailed response (nt)
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