Wi-Fi adds a dash of excitement to Samsung’s compact system camera
When it comes to stuffing products full of features, you can always rely on Samsung. And the Korean firm has done it again with its latest NX system interchangeable lens camera, cramming Wi-Fi into its metallic guts.
Before any camera enthusiasts out there shout it, we know that the older NX20 features Wi-Fi too – but the NX1000 is a much smaller and sleeker camera than the chunky, mini-DSLR-looking NX20, and it’s aimed at a different kind of buyer.
Samsung NX1000 – Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi works in much the same way as on the Samsung WB150F compact camera: after connecting to a network, you can email photos or videos, upload them to Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket or YouTube, beam them to a DLNA-equipped TV and back them up to a PC (not a Mac, sadly) or, via Microsoft SkyDrive, the cloud.
There are also a couple of Wi-Fi features aimed at Android and iOS device users. Download the MobileLink app and you can wirelessly transfer them to your phone. The Remote Viewfinder app is more intriguing, letting you look through the NX1000’s lens and even take photos on your smartphone’s screen; you could even do this from the other side of the world as long as the camera’s switched on and connected to Wi-Fi.
All these ideas are sound enough, and go some way towards bringing the camera in line with a phone when it comes to sharing photos and videos – but there’s a long way to go until it’s all as seamless. Typing in Wi-Fi keys and Facebook captions using a cursor and button, for instance? A total pain in the posterior. Until manufacturers start putting top-notch touchscreens on cameras, that’s always going to be a problem.
Samsung NX1000 – design and features
Wi-Fi skills aside, the NX1000 is a solid compact system camera, much like the NX200 we reviewed earlier in the year. There’s a compact, mostly-metal body; a crisp, rich and lag-free AMOLED screen; a healthy smattering of controls and manual options to keep seasoned snappers happy.
There’s Samsung’s trademark i-Function lens, too (a 20-50mm zoom comes with the camera and others are available), and this gives usability a major leg-up. The i-Fn button, situated perfectly for your thumb, can be assigned to a setting like ISO or aperture: hit it, then twist the lens ring to change the setting in double-quick time.
Samsung NX1000 – performance
Performance is better than a compact and a little bit worse than the average DSLR. Photos and 1080p video clips are sharp and clean in good light, but a little too grainy for our liking when things get dimmer (you may find yourself attaching the included flash a lot). The autofocus is a lot faster than older NX models, but still lags a shade behind compact system cameras from Sony and Panasonic.
The NX1000 is yet another impressive compact system camera from a major manufacturer, and while we’d rather spend our money on a Sony NEX-5N or Panasonic GX1, there’s nothing here we can point to as particularly disappointing. The addition of Wi-Fi makes it more interesting still from a sharing point of view, although if you’re expecting smartphone-like levels of simplicity you’ll find the fiddliness frustrating.