Samsung NX500 Review

Key Features

  • 28MP BSI CMOS sensor (APS-C)
  • DRIMe Vs processor
  • Samsung NX lens mount
  • Hybrid autofocus system
  • 3" flip-up touch Super AMOLED display
  • 9 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K/UHD video recording
  • Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth

With the release of its NX1, Samsung showed that they can play with the 'big boys' in the enthusiast ILC arena. The company's NX500 brings the majority of the features from the NX1 and put them into a compact body with a more consumer-friendly price point. The most significant features inherited by the NX500 are the NX1's excellent 28MP BSI CMOS sensor and hybrid autofocus system.

Some of the other features on the NX500 are very similar to those of its big brother, just scaled back. The image processor is not as powerful, video recording not as elaborate (no full-sensor readout), burst speed slower and the body not weather-sealed. The NX500 also lacks an electronic viewfinder, built-in flash and and top-mounted LCD info display.

So what does the NX500 have, aside from the aforementioned sensor and autofocus system? It has a compact, lightweight body with a 180 degree tilting touchscreen LCD. Unlike a lot of mass market ILCs, the NX500 has twin dial operation, making shutter speed and aperture adjustments a snap. It doesn't have a built-in flash, though it does have a hot shoe and a small external flash comes in the box. The NX500 also has an advanced Wi-Fi system that uses Bluetooth to maintain connections, so there's no need to re-pair every time you want to transfer a photo (with compatible devices). The one feature that really separates it from other cameras in its price range is its 4K video capability, which will be covered in more detail later in the review.

To say that the NX500 is in a crowded market is an understatement. Every major player has a camera that matches up against it, including the Canon EOS M3, Fujifilm X-A2, Nikon 1 J5, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7, Olympus PEN E-PL7 and the Sony Alpha a5100. By the end of this review you should have a pretty good idea as to how the NX500 stacks up.


Samsung has quietly built up a good-sized collection of NX-mount lenses. In addition to standard kit lenses (18-55mm, 20-50mm) and inexpensive zooms (50-200mm, 18-200mm) there are also a decent selection of primes, ranging from 16mm to 85mm (plus a 10mm fisheye).

This is the 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS kit lens. It's a power zoom, which keeps it compact when shut off and zooms when you rotate the ring on the front of the lens or the + and - button on the barrel. Above is Samsung's premium S-series 16-50mm F2-2.8 OIS lens, which we've been very impressed with.

The two most impressive lenses are in Samsung's S-series, which include a 16-50mm F2-2.8 and 50-150mm F2.8 OIS. They look kind of silly when mounted on the petite NX500, but they're fantastic lenses.

Colors and Pricing

The NX500 comes in three colors - brown, black and white - and includes a 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom lens with optical image stabilization at a suggested retail price of $799.