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
|Mt Hood Night in Black and White by rainrunner|
from Seven ways to shoot a landscape: Monochrome
|The Borgia Stairs, leading to Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli,Rome by wam7|
|Lijiang, China by charita|
from Topped off
Weeks after he was first reported missing, Chinese authorities have confirmed photographer Lu Guang has been arrested near China's far western region Xinjiang.
For the past few weeks, our readers have been voting on their favorite photographic gear released in the past year in a wide range of categories. Now that the first round of voting is over, it's time to pick the best overall product of 2018.
Thanks to camera drones, it's easier than ever to capture stunning photos from an aerial perspective. We present the 10 drone images that inspired us most this year.
After previously teasing the website, DJI has officially opened up its Pro-branded website for photographers and videographers alike.
Fujifilm has made firmware version 2.0 available on its website for its X-T3 and X-H1 mirrorless cameras, as well as an incremental update for its 80mm F2.8 macro lens.
The Nova 4 is the brand's first model with a circular cutout for the front camera in the display.
Sony had the full-frame mirrorless market to itself for nearly five years, but it's no longer alone – the Nikon Z6 and Canon EOS R have both arrived priced to compete with the a7 III. We take a head to head to head look at these three cameras.
As if it needed one, the triple-camera smartphone might really be the final nail in the compact camera's coffin. DPR contributor Lars Rehm brought the LG V40 on a hiking trip recently and found it to be a huge leap forward in terms of creative freedom.
Renowned UK-based landscape photographer Nigel Danson has been using DSLRs for years. In this video, created exclusively for DPReview, Nigel discusses his experience using the Nikon Z7 and why he's excited about mirrorless cameras. (Spoiler... beautiful scenery ahead.)
Tenba has unveiled a collection of products to help keep lenses, cables, batteries and more safe and organized when traveling and shooting.
Tune in this week to see Chris and Jordan's review of the Nikon Z6 full frame mirrorless camera, and also find out what Chris thinks of the popular 35mm focal length. (Rant alert!)
There are plenty of ways to spend well over $250 on photography gear, but we've picked out some standout accessories that are sure to wow the photographer on your shopping list.
Facebook has disclosed a major photo API bug that left the private images of millions of users exposed to third-party apps from September 13, 2018 to September 25, 2018.
Loupedeck has added support for Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 to Loupedeck+, its newest keyboard-style editing module.
YouTuber Casey Cavanaugh has produced a handy video guide for those looking for buy their first film camera.
If you're looking for a photography gift that's a bit more substantial than a stocking stuffer, we've got some suggestions that should fit the bill.
Chinese optical manufacturer Kipon has added the Nikon Z and Canon R mounts to its range of adapters made to attach medium format lenses from Hasselblad, Mamiya, Pentax and others to full frame cameras.
Palette Gear has announced an update to its modular, physical editing interface that lets MacOS users now use their palette with Capture One 11 and 12.
German company OPC Optics announced that it has acquired the trademark rights to Meyer Optik Görlitz at the insolvency procedure of NetSE in Koblenz.
Shopping for a photographer? We've got some gift ideas for all budget sizes, but here you'll find our budget-friendliest suggestions – just right for stockings.
It's not always easy to find marble, wood or concrete surfaces on demand. Enter Replica Surfaces, small tiles designed to replicate popular photo surfaces and backdrops.
Lensrentals Founder Roger Cicala set aside some time to take apart Canon's new 50mm F1.2L RF lens and in doing so revealed a number of interesting discoveries.
Google is cracking down on unsupported video files being uploaded to its Photos platform and taking up free storage space.
With a nickname like 'bokeh master,' we had to see what the Sigma 105mm F1.4 was all about. Take a look at our gallery of samples shot with the Sony a7R III.
The Nikon Museum in Shinagawa, Tokyo has an exhibition showing off some of the most rare and unique prototype lenses Nikon ever developed.
VSCO has announced it will stop selling its film emulation presets for desktop programs March 1st, 2019.
On their latest models the two smartphone manufacturers have replaced the dreaded display notch by a design that features a circular hole for the front camera in the display.
With the latest version, Adobe Camera now lets you import Raw files from the newest iPhones, Pixel devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Nikon Z6 among others.
The Nikon Z6 may not offer the incredible resolution of its sibling, the Z7, but its 24MP resolution is more than enough for most people, and the money saved can buy a lot of glass. Find out what's new and notable about the Z6 in our First Impressions Review.
Sigma says its 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM Sport lens is set to hit shelves by the end of December 2018 at a retail price of $1,499.