Samsung NX10 - Quick Look - Verdict
DSLR Reviews - DSLRs

First Look Verdict

EVIL cameras are obviously the hottest camera type of the year. In Japan we're now seeing a market share of around 40% which is beyond the wildest expectations. It makes sense that the non-traditional electronics companies such as Panasonic, Sony and Samsung are at the fore-front here - it is a segment where all manufacturers have to start from scratch after all. Consumers demand small system cameras - either as secondary system or as the next logical step from a digicam - and that's where EVILs find their place. The lack of the mirror box allows a substantial size reduction not only for the camera but also for the system lenses.

The tiny and lightweight Samsung NX10 features an APS-C sensor - just like most consumer DSLRs. So technically the image quality is very similar although that's only really obvious when using RAW files rather than JPEGs. Samsung prefers an aggressive post-processing so the JPEGs are less than optimal at mid to high ISO settings. The fast and reliable contrast AF is easily comparable to the current micro-four thirds camera whereas DSLRs remain clearly superior here specifically with respect to AF tracking. During our field tests we didn't run into sensor dust problems so the dust reduction system seems to be reliable. The layout and handling of the user interface is convincing - it's simple enough for beginners yet feature-rich enough for enthusiasts. Movie fans will be quite thrilled by the quality of the HD video functionality although there're still better alternatives out there.

However, there are also a few of shortcomings here. Generally, electronic viewfinders have some advantages like a customizable viewfinder screen with almost 100% coverage but they are rather unsuitable for sports photography due to slow refresh rate and they have their share in eating battery power. The Samsung NX10 is no exception to the rule here. The viewfinder is also comparatively small and dark and it's also somewhat less sharp than e.g. the one used in the Panasonic G2. The Samsung NX10 is suitable for all kinds of photography except sports but it is limited by the number of available lenses for the system. However, due to the small and lightweight body it is especially attractive for light-weight travel photography so the compromises may still be worth it ... that is if you are lucky enough with your lens samples. Our two Samsung 18-55mm /3.5-5.6 OIS kit zooms as well as the 50-200mm /4,0-5,6 ED OIS tele lens were all decentered so we had to rely on the 30mm f/2 pancake lens throughout most of the reivew. This is somewhat discouraging especially because we - the OpticalLimits team - really liked the NX10 as a camera.

Pros and Cons
small and lightweight bodyelectronic viewfinder (EVF) slightly worse compared to the Panasonic G2
very good build qualityEVF refresh rate (useless for sports photography)
good ergonomicsinsufficient number of system lenses
quite fast and reliable contrast AFrather average effective resolution
decent albeit not stellar battery lifeno articulating screen
effective dust reduction systemnot really suitable for lens adapter solutions
HD video functionality

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