Samsung Galaxy NX Hands-on
Body & Design
With a body design that's defined by the massive 4.8-inch LCD, the shape and feel of the Samsung Galaxy NX will seem unusual to those accustomed to standard SLR and mirrorless camera design. The overall message of the design, however, is that this is a substantial camera compatible with interchangeable lenses. The front of the camera features an AF-assist lamp and lens release button, while the left side has a joint headphone/mic jack, and HDMI and USB jacks are concealed beneath a plastic door to the side.
Top of camera
The top view shows the the Galaxy NX's physical controls. Literally all of them. There's a flash pop-up button, diopter control, power button, rear dial, record button, and shutter button. Stereo microphones flank the viewfinder hump. A large rubber eyecup surrounds the electronic viewfinder, and simple polished strap loops jut out from the sides. You can see in this view, too, just how slim the body of the NX is, and by contrast, how bulbous the hand-grip seems (a consequence of the very large battery installed within it).
In your hand
The extremely large screen on the back of the Galaxy NX presents both opportunity and obstruction. In our time with the camera, we were left with the impression that the electronic viewfinder was nearly superfluous, given that the camera's primary interface is the rear LCD. Although you can take advantage of the iFunction control on Samsung's lenses for some manual control in concert with the top-mounted dial, it is impossible to change most key shooting settings with your eye to the Galaxy's viewfinder.
|The grip and thumbgrip combination are designed well enough that they keep your thumb largely off the screen while holding the camera, but the long beam between the lens and grip does feel a bit cumbersome.|
With very few buttons, the Galaxy NX Camera's main interface is the 4.8-inch LCD screen, which uses largely the same onscreen controls found on the Galaxy Camera. A series of virtual dials slide out from the right side of the screen, which the user then manipulates with onscreen swipe motions. Standard and Expert modes change how complex the interface appears. Unfortunately for those more accustomed to using an electronic or optical viewinder, this interface is unavailable when you put the camera to your eye.
Working with the built-in GPS, the Galaxy NX's 'Photo Suggest' feature recognizes your location and consults a database of photographs to suggest 'popular photography spots.' 'Story Album' is a timeline feature that helps create digital photo books that can be viewed and shared on other devices. Creative filters are accessed via an arrow at the bottom of the screen and are applied to the camera's live view.
Camera Studio is expected to allow users to give third-party apps control of the camera in ways that aren't normally available for simple smartphone applications.
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