Samsung’s previous NX series models have been chunkier and heavier than models from the likes of Sony and Panasonic, but the new NX200 changes that – at least a little bit.
Samsung NX200 – spec and build
While its still a touch heftier than its competitors the Panasonic GX1 and Sony NEX-5N (forget sticking this in your pocket) the NX200 is reasonably svelte and lightweight – and yet sports a 20.3-megapixel sensor that’s physically the same size as those on most DSLRs.
Samsung has also ladled the tech treats on thick. There’s a gorgeous, lag-free AMOLED screen with eyeball-strokingly lovely colours and contrast, a rapid new autofocus system, 1080p HD video recording with lots of enthusiast-pleasing manual options, a 7fps high-speed shooting mode and compatibility with i-Function lenses (more on those in a moment). And all that squeezed into a metal body – none of that plastic nonsense of older NX models.
Samsung NX200 – happy snapper?
On paper it looks like a winner, but there’s a nagging sense that Samsung still has a little way to go to match its rivals. High ISO shots reveal more grainy noise than we’ve seen on the Sony NEX-5N and Panasonic GX1, so you’ll be using the flash (external, but included in the box) a lot for low light shooting. The new autofocus, meanwhile, is fast but still left looking a tad sluggish by the GX1’s lightning quick locking on.
That said, the NX200 is a joy to use. The interface may be old-school – things are done with buttons and dials rather than a touchscreen – but that just means experienced photographers will feel more at home. Then there’s the i-Function lens, which lets you switch settings in moments: just hold down the i-Fn button and twist the lens ring to adjust the likes of ISO, aperture and white balance, all without taking your eye from the scene.
Samsung NX200 – verdict
All things considered, this is the best compact system camera Samsung has made thus far: user friendly, solidly built and capable of taking DSLR-quality shots in the right conditions. But would we choose one over a Panasonic GX1? Not on your nelly.