Samsung NX10 Review
Here you can see a generated GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart, place your mouse over any of the labels below it to see the color reproduction in that mode. Select a camera/setting combination from the 'Compared to' drop-down to see comparative boxes inside each patch.
It's in this area that the Samsung diverges furthest from commonly accepted behavior. Digital cameras are a fairly mature product so it's not surprising that most manufacturers have reached a common conclusion about what sort of options consumers want. Default, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, a more muted option and mono are the standard offerings. Samsung has other ideas though - in addition to the expected options you get Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm and, collectively they're not terribly useful.
Samsung is currently the only manufacturer to conclude that people will want to give their images a prominent green or blue tinge (Forest and Cool, respectively). But, in fairness, the faded print browns of 'retro' might appeal to some and 'calm' is just an unusual name for 'muted.'
|Samsung NX10||Compare to:|
Artificial light White Balance
In most real-world situations the NX10's white balance does a very good job, rendering color well. Like many cameras, auto white balance leaves a considerable orange cast when the scene is lit using conventional tungsten lightbulbs (and this brings us back to the argument of whether you want auto white balance to correctly balance the color channels or leave a hint of 'atmosphere'). It's a good performance though and one helped by the inclusion of white balance fine adjustment so that you can tweak the camera's default behavior to your liking.
We liked that you can assign 'set manual white balance' to the depth-of-field preview button on the front of the camera. We weren't quite so impressed with its performance, though, which stayed defiantly on the cold side of neutral.
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 9.4%, Blue: -12.2%, Poor
|Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red: 3.3%, Blue: -4.8%, Average
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 1.8%, Blue: -1.0%, Good
|Fluorescent - Fluorescent W preset WB
Red: 4.4%, Blue: -4.4%, Average
The NX10 has a comparatively sophisticated flash system, allowing you to select first or rear curtain slow-sync flash, as well as two fill-flash options (one that attempts to reduce red-eye). The flash output can then be adjusted between +2 and -2 if the effect is too prominent.
Flash exposure is generally pretty good, and for social snaps or a little fill-in for shadowed faces it's far more useful than having no flash at all. The slow-sync options are handy and, if your subject stays still long enough, can produce nicer results than the fill-flash.
What contemporary camera would be complete without a dynamic range boosting feature for high-contrast situations? Samsung's implementation is called Smart Range and, as we see on the Dynamic range test page, works very much like Canon's Highlight Tone Priority or Pentax's Highlight Correction function.
The result is around an extra stop of dynamic range in the highlights, which we'd usually expect to result in an increase in shadow noise - however, this doesn't appear to be the case in this instance (see Image Quality Specifics below). Both shots taken at ISO 640, F5 and 1/13 seconds (as chosen by Auto ISO). There is slight camera shake in the Smart Range Off shot but the key thing is the different level of detail in the lit areas of the painting in the background.
|Smart Range Off||Smart Range On|
|33% crop||33% crop|
|100% crop||100% crop|
Overall Image Quality / Specifics
The image quality from the NX10 is generally good. Reliable metering and white balance, combined with a sensible color response mean that most pictures it produces are likely to leave most people quite happy with the results.
However, the noise reduction that affects fine, low-contrast detail such as hair, fur, grass and skin texture might be a problem for people wanting to crop into their images to any greater degree. The problems seem to be particularly prevalent when Smart Range is engaged. Rather than letting more noise through as most other manufacturers do, Samsung appears to be applying considerably higher levels of noise reduction to keep noise levels consistent between shots taken with Smart Range on and off.
|Smart Range Off||Smart Range On|
The effect is only apparent in the finest, low contrast detail but because this can include skin texture and fabrics, it can be disturbing. It's enough to prompt us to make sure we only turn Smart Range on in extreme contrast situations where it's needed.
Auto ISO is the other problem and one we think will affect more potential users- the camera regularly chooses such low ISO values that it requires shutter speeds that cannot be reliably hand-held by most people.
We're not sure whether Samsung has over-estimated the effectiveness of its image stabilization though, as far as we can tell, no attempt is made to consider what focal length is being used or whether image stabilization is switched on (the two most important factors in terms of image shake).
In side-by-side tests with a Canon EOS 550D (with both cameras set to 55mm F5.6), the NX10 chose to use 1/13 sec at ISO 480 while the Canon chose to use 1/80 sec at ISO 3200. The two cameras differ in terms of the maximum ISO they're willing to use, and if Samsung feels that ISO 800 is a sensible limit from an image quality perspective, we don't consider that to be a problem (though it'd be nice to be able to specify the maximum). However, most people can't hold a camera steady enough at this focal length for 1/13th of a second. Even with a maximum ISO limit of 800, the camera still has the option of increasing the ISO to make things more manageable but simply doesn't.
One of the most common complaints for users moving from compact cameras to DSLRs (a demographic that is clearly a target for Samsung with this camera), is that they find that more of their shots come out blurry. Because of the NX10's Auto ISO, which is always engaged in Smart Auto and all Scene modes, blurry photos are likely to be a particular problem for this camera. Its low weight also makes the camera rather susceptible to shake, which risks exacerbating the problem.
- 16 Photographic tests (DR)
- 17 Photographic tests (Lenses)
- 18 Photographic tests (Lenses)
- 19 Photographic tests
- 20 Movie Mode
- 21 Compared to (JPEG)
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (RAW)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 28 Compared to (Resolution)
- 29 Conclusion
- 30 Samples
|Al Fateh Grand Mosque by mallen1976|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture
|Fascia walkie talkie building London by ian herridge|
from Abstract Architecture
|Beakable by Hobbyfotograaf|
|St Paul's - DT NYC by mollymcd|
from Modern - Old-Fashioned
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.