EXCLUSIVE: Hands On With the Samsung NX200 – Sample Photos and Video

BIG BOLD WARNING: This is not a “review”, instead it’s a sneak peak from our friends at Samsung of their beautiful new NX200 APS-C sensor based camera.

The folks at Samsung were kind enough to loan me a pre-production version of this camera, which means it’s not finished yet. Certain things that we see in this model may, and probably will, be changed before the final version hits the shelves.

Still, its fun to see what is coming down the road for Samsung, and based on this camera I’d say the future looks very bright! So without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Samsung NX200.

Samsung NX200 Specs

The NX200 includes a 20.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor (3-4 times larger than competitive sized camera sensors), high-speed continuous shooting at up to 7 frames per second with 100ms Advanced Auto Focus, ISO 100-12,800, 1080p 30 FPS h.264 movie recording with stereo sound, and Samsung’s unique i-Function lens.

The NX200 is compatible with nine different i-Function lenses that enable toggling between shutter speed, aperture, exposure value (EV), white balance (WB), and ISO quickly and easily through a button and ring on the lens. Lenses for the i-Function system include 18-200mm, 16mm, 60mm and 85mm focal lengths.

NX200 Specs

  • Camera Type: Interchangeable Lens
  • Effective Pixel: 20.3 Mega-pixels
  • Image Sensor Type: CMOS
  • Lens Mount: Samsung NX Mount
  • Shutter Speed: 1/4000sec. ~ 30sec.
  • Exposure Compensation: ±3 EV (1/3EV step)
  • ISO Equivalent: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (1 or 1/3EV step)
  • Metering: Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
  • Metering range: EV 0-18 (ISO 100 · 30mm, F2)
  • Focusing Modes: Single AF, Continuous AF, MF
  • Display Field of View: 100%, VGA ( 640X480 )
  • Flash Modes: Smart Flash, Auto, Auto+Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in+Red-eye reduction, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain, Off
  • Sync. Speed: Less than 1/180sec.
  • Self-timer: Variable 2 sec. – 30 sec.
  • Dust Reduction: Yes
  • White Balance Modes: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent (W, N, D), Tungsten, Flash, Custom, K(Manual)
  • File Format: RAW (SRW), JPEG (EXIF 2.21), DCF, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0
  • Video Recording Speed: x0.25 (640, 320 only), x0.5 (1280, 640, 320 only), x5, x10, x20
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 4.6″ x 2.46″ x1.44″

Samsung NX200 Capabilities

I spent nearly two weeks with the NX200, and used three different lenses, the 16mm f2.4, 60mm Macro OIS f2.8, and the 85mm f1.4. Considering the NX200′s size, I was extremely impressed by its color range, low light sensitivity, “Smart” shooting mode, and lens selection.

As many of you probably know, my daily shooter is a Canon 1D Mark IV, which is a $5,000 body alone. What I like about the 1D is that it has superb image quality, combined with all of the buttons and knobs that allow a professional to work quickly. This is very important, because being able to make rapid changes means the difference between getting a shot and not!

Most of the compact cameras accomplish their size by moving all of the manual control buttons into a software interface. And this means the process of taking a photo is very slow unless you are shooting in fully automatic mode. However, Samsung has included a unique iFn (or iFunction) button right on the lens, which combined with a digital ring (think focus ring) allows you to quickly change things like exposure, ISO, aperture and white balance.

My one concern is that the ring doesn’t currently allow you to easily take over manual focus mode through the iFn button, but I’m hoping the engineers get that sorted before final release. If they do, you’ll basically be able to get access to everything you might need to adjust on the fly and make changes within 3-4 seconds, as opposed to digging through menus which takes much longer.

Make no mistake, a full sized body like the Canon 1D will allow pros to change settings much faster. But that comes at not only greater monetary cost, but also physical cost as a 1D is about 3-4 times larger than an NX200.

Samsung NX200 Sample Photos

Here is an interesting little test. I took photos with a Canon 1D Mark IV and a 50mm 1.4 Sigma lens, and also the Samsung NX200 with a 60mm 1.4 lens. Take a look at the two and see what you think. Remember, we’re talking about a $5,000 camera vs a $1,000 camera.

Chocolate Test - Canon 1D Mk IV

Chocolate Test - Canon 1D Mk IV

Chocolate Test - Samsung NX200

Chocolate Test - Samsung NX200

There are a whole boatload of sample photos I took with the NX200 in the embedded slideshow below. You can let it go automatically or hover over it to control the flow.

Here are several stock photos of the NX200 so you can see it from different angles.

Final Thoughts on the Samsung NX200

There is a lot to love about the Samsung NX200, starting with the excellent image and video quality. The iFn button improves the functionality of this camera dramatically for pro-level photographers who are looking for a backup camera, or for advanced amateurs who are looking to step up their game with manual controls.

Personally, I miss the viewfinder, but I can live with an LCD-only display as long as it’s at least as clear as the NX200′s. And I love the fact that this camera has a rugged metal body that feels as solid as a tank. That makes me worry less about tossing it in my bag on the go.

When the first production units come out I’ll take another look and see if some of the minor issues have been worked out, but so far Samsung’s newest micro SLR is looking very good. For more information you can check out Samsung’s NX200 site.

Comments

  1. bill says

    Nitpick: The screen is AMOLED, not LCD.

    Downloadable RAW conversions would be really great to see (as opposed to processed Picasa samples), if you can post them.