Samsung’s next-gen lens-swapper is put through its paces – can it keep up with the best in class?
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.
Samsung NX200 review
The best NX camera Samsung has made – but it can’t quite match its rivals