Review: Samsung’s compact NX10 camera by Dawkinstheory


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Review: Samsung’s compact NX10 camera
By Jefferson Graham

You're seeing a lot of new cameras aimed at the in-betweeners: photographers
who have outgrown their point-and-shoots but aren't yet ready to step up to a
big digital SLR.

Olympus and Panasonic answered the calling with the Pen and Lumix G micro-
four-thirds cameras. These cameras eliminate the mirror, for a more compact
body, and have a smaller image sensor, yet have inter-changeable lenses like big
digital SLRs.

Samsung and, later this year, Sony also ditch the mirror but have a regular-size
APS sensor (the same size as found in most digital SLRs) in the NX and Sony's
amazingly similar-sounding Alpha NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras.
I spent some time this week with the 14.6-megapixel Samsung NX10, a nice small
camera that can fit in the pocket, if you use the cool 30mm 2.0 "pancake" lens
that Samsung sells, one of only three lenses for the camera.

                                   By Jefferson Graham

What you get by ditching the point-and-shoot: manual controls (easier to adjust
shutter speed and f-stops, for controlling action and low light) and higher-quality
720p high-def videos (on a bigger image sensor than a point-and-shoot, hence
the better images).

Point-and-shoot fans will still like the automatic controls, scene modes, to let the
camera assist for shooting at night, and other tough situations, and a light body.

                                   By Jefferson Graham

Prognosis: good image quality, and because the camera weighs less than SLRs, I
was able to get razor-sharp images in low light, and very low shutter speeds. (The
shot on the right, of the cup, was done at 1/20th of a second.) A heavier camera
(i.e., a full-size SLR) would have probably encountered camera shake. The LCD on
the back for composing is typically hard to see outside in bright sun but seemed
a little better on the eyes than most.
What I didn't like: The auto-focus system takes some getting used to. Many times
I would home in on an image, and the focus ring would go round and round,
trying to get it, until I finally gave up and went to manual focus.

                                   By Jefferson Graham

The depth of field (blurry backgrounds) was terrific, even with the wider-angle
30mm lens, which has a nice big lens opening at f 2.0 (great for low light). The
kit 18-55mm lens is no bargain--a typical kit lens--good in great light, not so
great in darker situations.

The biggest problem with buying this camera: Only three lenses are available, so
you'd be at a great disadvantage if you wanted to expand your photography
skills. Canon and Nikon have over 50 lenses available. Samsung promises more in
the future.

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