Samsung NX30: Design
The NX30’s body is marginally larger than its predecessor, the NX20 – measuring 127 x 95.5 x 41.7mm rather than 122 x 89.6 x 39.5mm. The front grip is now much bigger, more like that of the Galaxy NX, as is the thumb grip. Furthermore, the buttons have been rearranged slightly for better ease of use. The result of all these tweaks is a camera that feels very well balanced, secure and is very easy to use.
Controls including metering, ISO, and white balance can be changed using the function menu. The standard 18-55mm, f/3.5-5.6 lens (which has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 27-82.5mm) is fitted with Samsung’s iFunction button, which can also be used to change settings. So too can a tab in the bottom left of the touchscreen.
Values can be altered with a swipe of the touchscreen, by moving the focus ring of the lens, using the scrollwheel on the top-plate or via a scrollwheel / d-pad on the back. To cap this versatility, there’s an easy to read menu laid out on screen to check and adjust settings accordingly.
In short, this is one the best-designed CSCs for some time. The only downside is the polycarbonate construction, which feels disappointingly plastic-like. It doesn’t do justice to the camera’s qualities nor does it reflect its price.
Samsung NX30: Performance
Let’s begin with the AF performance. Samsung claims a 35% improvement in speed of autofocus – and it does appear faster, most noticeably in low-light situations.
In very low light the focus locks on to areas of low-contrast in around half a second – with a good degree of accuracy, although it’s not faultless. In optimum lighting conditions the focus is very snappy and accurate
In Spot AF mode you can use the touchscreen to manually select the required area of focus, which is more intuitive than scrambling through menus. For those who prefer to focus manually there’s focus peaking and controllable MF-assist, which enlarges and area x5 when the focus ring is moved. This is particularly useful for portraits with a shallow depth of field as it helps to get the focus precisely on the eyes.
As for metering, the NX30 performs well across a variety of lighting conditions, with centreweighted, spot and multi-metering consistently providing good exposures. Even at night and with long exposures the camera managed to strike a happy balance between highlights and shadows. Spot metering, meanwhile, can be linked with a focus point and positioned by touching an area on the 3-inch LCD display.