Samsung NX200 Review
The NX200's movie mode has, compared to the predecessor NX100, been improved in a number of ways. The new model records 1080p video at a rate of 30fps (vs 720p on the NX100) and allows for full manual control over shutter speed and aperture (you can shoot video in all PASM modes versus only P and A mode on the NX100). The NX200 is also capable of recording 60fps at 720p and offers a so-called Multi-motion parameter that allows you to pick a playback speed before shooting. It offers slow motion (x0.25 at 640X480 and 320X240, x0.5 at 1280X720, 640X480 and 320X240) and a fast playback mode (x5, x10 or x20 at all resolutions). In the Multi Motion modes the camera essentially records video at increased (slow-motion) or reduced (fast playback) frame rates and then plays back at the standard 30 frames per second.
Other than that the NX200's video specs are pretty much in line with other cameras in this bracket of the market. Video is recorded using the efficient H.264 compression (but there is no AVCHD option) and there are a few editing options - you can apply smart filters, trim the footage and save stills from a video file. Sound is recorded via the built-in stereo-mic on the camera's top plate but the lack of a connector for an external microphone will probably turn serious videographers away.
Video quality options
1920 x 1080p (30 fps)
1280 x 720p (60/30fps)
640 x 480 (30fps)
320 x 240 (30fps)
|Audio||Stereo sound (AAC)|
|Format||H.264 / MPEG4|
|Max file size per clip||4.0 GB|
|Recordable time||25 minutes|
Handling in Video mode
The NX200's operation and handling in video mode is very straightforward. You can record video from all still image modes by pressing the dedicated movie button. When the camera's mode dial is set to video you can start and stop recording footage by pressing either the shutter or the movie button. In movie mode you also have access to a range of essential video parameters, such as AE mode, quality and resolution or fading effects, via the Fn-menu.
|A press of the NX200's dedicated movie button lets you capture video footage from any shooting mode but only when the mode dial is set to movie mode do you get the full control over all movie shooting parameters.|
Depending on the shooting mode you are in the top dial controls aperture or shutter speed. In manual mode you can change the aperture by turning the rear dial and shutter speed via the top dial. Exposure compensation is applied in the same way as in stills mode - by pressing the exposure compensation button and turning the top dial at the same time.
By default the AF is set to continuous in movie mode but you can press the AF button while recording to switch to manual focus.
Video image quality
In its Standard 'Picture Wizard' mode the NX200 produces smooth 1080p video with accurate exposure and reasonably correct auto white balance but, especially in lower light, the footage shows slightly more moire and compression artifacts than some of the competitors in this class. When recording a scene with brightness changes, the exposure is adapted pretty smoothly but occasionally some 'stepping' is noticeable. Colors are nicely saturated without being unrealistic. Autofocus is set to continuous by default which can result in some focus pumping when tracking moving subjects.
Audio recording is crisp and clear but the NX200's lack of a wind-cut feature means that the sound quality suffers significantly in windy conditions. When shooting handheld at longer focal length the operating sounds of the Samsung OIS stabilization system are also recorded on the sound track. Unfortunately the NX200's lack of a connector for an external microphone means that there is very little you can do to improve the sound quality when the conditions are challenging.
The camera's OIS image stabilization system does a very good job at minimizing camera shake when shooting hand-held. When shooting in a static position a tripod is your best option to avoid both camera-shake and the recording of OIS operating sounds but if none is to hand the OIS makes hand-held shooting a viable option.
This short panning clip shows a fairly smooth exposure transition from the initial contre-jour situation to a less contrasty scene. The Samsung OIS does a good job during the handheld panning movement at keeping things steady and the motion of the clip is smooth. Like in stills mode, the Samsung tends to render low-contrast detail a little mushy but with moving images that's much less of an issue. As you can hear wind-noise is being captured by the built-in stereo mic, unfortunately there is no windcut-option.
|1920x1080 30p, MP4, 16 sec, 26.0 MB Click here to download original file|
This is a 1080p clip in overcast lighting conditions. Again wind noise is quite intrusive, pretty much drowning out the engine sounds of the starting plane. There are also a lot of moire artifacts in the fine detail of the buildings in the background.
|1920x1080 30p, MP4, 8 sec, 11.5 MB Click here to download original file|
A 1080p video in good light. The built-in stereo microphone is doing a decent job when it's not as windy as in the samples above.
|1920x1080 30p, MP4, 8 sec, 16.9 MB Click here to download original file|
This short clip of a tennis match was recorded at 720p and 60 frames per second. Although not as high resolution as the 1080p mode you can still watch these clips at full-screen magnification if you keep a little distance. The 60 fps mode captures very smooth motion and is therefore well suited to fast moving action.
|1280x720 60p, MP4, 5 sec, 5.3 MB Click here to download original file|
This clip was recorded with a tele-lens at a longer focal length to zoom in on a single player. While the OIS is doing quite a decent job at keeping the footage steady (this video was shot handheld) its working noises are being recorded and clearly audible on the sound track. Since the NX200 doesn't come with a connector for an external microphone there is unfortunately no way to avoid this other than using a tripod and switching OIS off.
|1280x720 60p, MP4, 11 sec, 15.6 MB Click here to download original file|
The NX200 offers a 0.5x (at 720p) and a 0.25x (at 480p) slow motion mode. No sound is being recorded but it's a cool feature that allows you to slow down fast action like this tennis serve. At 480p resolution and detail are not great and there is a lot of moire but the footage is good enough for internet clips and as an entertaining party trick.
|640x480 0.25x slow motion, MP4, 16 sec, 5.3 MB Click here to download original file|
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