Samsung NX10 Review
In the process of re-checking the behavior of the pre-production K-mount adapter used in this review, we found the focus of the main test shot could be improved (as a result of the difficulty of assessing manual focus). This improved shot has now been added and the conclusions adjusted accordingly.
The idea of a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera had been circulating for many years before Panasonic and Olympus announced the Micro Four Thirds camera system in August 2008, so it's not surprising that they didn't have the market to themselves for very long. Back when there was still only one Micro Four Thirds camera on the market, electronics giant Samsung showed a prototype of what was to be the first mirrorless interchangeable camera with an APS-C sized sensor. Ten months later that prototype has evolved into a finished product in the form of the NX10.
While other large manufacturers are starting to talk about launching mirrorless systems, Samsung has become the third manufacturer to actually to turn talk into tangible product. However, while Samsung is only the third party to enter the fray, enough time has passed for the other mirrorless makers to have moved on to their second-generation of cameras, including the newly-launched Panasonic G2 and G10. Between them these two cameras (which like the NX take many of their styling ideas from DSLR designs) are likely to make life pretty difficult for the Samsung. The G10 doesn't match the NX's spec but is aggressively priced while the G2 offers smarter video compression and touch-screen cleverness, which will be attractive to some. And they have the advantage of being second-generation products, with the enhanced level of refinement that this tends to bring.
The big distinction is that Samsung has decided to use the larger APS-C sensor of the type that is the de facto standard size in DSLRs. This offers the potential of good low-light performance (its sensor has a 50% greater surface area than those used in Micro Four Thirds and that means more light for any given exposure) but the lenses are not likely to be smaller than those used on DSLRs.
Samsung NX10 Key Features
- 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (presumed to be close relation to Pentax K7 sensor)
- 14.6 million effective pixels
- New Samsung NX mount (25.5mm flange-back distance)
- 720p movie capture (H.264, 30 fps)
- Contrast-detect autofocus
- 3.0" AMOLED screen (614,000 dots, PenTile RGB array)
- 921k dot Electronic Viewfinder
- 30mm F2 pancake and 18-55mm standard zoom options
Samsung is a global electronics giant, able to draw on resources (and in-house technologies) most camera manufacturers can only dream of. And as one of the newer players in the camera market and crucially one of those without the burden (or blessing, depending on your point of view) of a legacy 35mm system to support, it's hardly surprising that Samsung is one of the pioneers of this new hybrid camera category.
Despite doing pretty well at grabbing a decent share of the compact camera market (mainly, it must be said, by undercutting its Japanese competitors) Samsung has struggled to gain any traction from its partnership with Pentax, which has seen it co-developing sensors (including the one inside the NX10) and slapping its logo on Pentax SLRs. At this year's PMA, Samsung told us that although relationship with Pentax remains one of 'close co-operation', the NX10 has been developed entirely in-house, independently of Pentax (or any other partner: Samsung claims the NX is 100% Samsung).
As 2010 gets underway, Olympus and Panasonic no longer have the mirrorless interchangeable lens market to themselves. As well as the Samsung NX10, Sony recently announced (at this year's PMA show in Anaheim) its intention to create a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera as well. The forthcoming Sony offering, like the NX10, will feature an APS-C sensor too. How the market evolves remains to be seen, but for now, it's all very exciting.
The NX System
Samsung describes NX as a 'hybrid' system (there's still no consensus on nomenclature for this new category of camera) that (to quote the original press release) offers "the performance and image quality of a DSLR and the portability and convenience of a compact point-and-shoot". So far, so Micro Four Thirds with a bigger sensor.
As with Micro Four Thirds the key to NX is that it allows the cameras to be slimmer by removing the mirror box and optical viewfinder and replacing them with an all-live view system (using the sensor itself to display a preview image on the screen or electronic viewfinder). The flange-back (lens mount to sensor) distance is reduced by around 40% to 25.5mm, the lens mount itself is shrunk and the net result is a camera with an SLR-sized sensor and interchangeable lenses, but in a considerably smaller package.
For Samsung, a company with little experience in optics but an awful lot of experience in solid-state electronics it's also a way to make a system camera that contains little, if any legacy technology and very few moving parts. Digital SLRs use a sometimes awkward pairing of cutting edge electronics and decades-old mechanical systems harking back to the days of film, whereas these new 'hybrid' system cameras are designed and built from the bottom up as purely digital devices. It's our understanding that they're also a lot cheaper for a company like Samsung and Panasonic to make than anything requiring a precision engineered fast-moving mirror and reflex viewfinder.
At present, the NX system is fairly small, but five more lenses are on the way, including a 20mm pancake, a 60mm macro, and a new 18-200mm 'superzoom'. For now though, the NX system comprises the following:
- NX10 body
- Three lenses (30mm, 18-55mm, and 50-200mm)
- Dedicated flashguns (SEF20A or SEF42A)
- Various cases, straps and cables
- 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
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.
You’d have to be pretty brave to immerse your $50K RED cinema camera underwater. But if you've got the guts, Gates just released a new housing you can be pretty sure won't wreck your unbelievably expensive toy.
Adobe has released a 'Lightroom Downloader' app for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra that allows you to download all of your images from the Adobe Cloud, all at once.
After releasing a popular 4K action cam and an affordable mirrorless M43 camera, Chinese camera maker YI is diving into yet another market: 360° VR. Meet the YI 360 VR: a powerful little two-lens camera that can shoot and stream in 4K.
The DJI Spark has received a lot of attention thanks to its diminutive size, but how does it stack up? In our review, we take a look at what it's like to fly this pint-sized drone, as well as what's in it for photographers.
Between now and the end of the year we'll be counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Coming in at #10 is a fast wide prime and part of the highly-acclaimed Sigma Art series.
DxOMark has awarded the Pentax 645Z 101 points, making it the second-highest scoring medium format camera it's tested (or the highest scoring from 2015 to now, based on the originally published results).
A small explosion that sounded like a gunshot caused a panic and 24 flight cancellations at Orlando International Airport last Friday. As it turns out, it was a camera battery that exploded inside a traveler's bag.