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Samsung NX10 - Performance, Image Quality & Verdict

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The NX10's performance is good, but . In single shot mode it has a shot-to-shot time of 1.2 seconds, while in continuous shooting mode it can maintain a shooting speed of 2.5 frames a second for about 15 shots with a standard class- 6 SD card, or up to 28 shots with a faster class 10 card. It also has a burst mode which can shoot at 30fps but only at a resolution of 1.4 megapixels.

The NX10, like its rival s from Olympus and Panasonic, uses a contrast detection autofocus system, but it is a particularly good one. It has several modes, with 15-zone multi-point or single selectable point. It focuses very quickly and accurately in good light, with performance comparable to a standard DSLR, and is also pretty good in low light, performing approximately as well as the more expensive Panasonic G2 in similar circumstances. It has an AF assist lamp, but the effective range is only about two metres.

Where the NX10 really scores is its overall image quality, which is absolutely superb. The standard zoom kit lens is particularly good, with flawless edge-to-edge sharpness and no trace of chromatic aberration. The 30mm pancake lens is even better, and even the relatively cheap 50-200mm telephoto zoom produces good results, with no image distortion even at maximum zoom. Shooting in Raw mode and converting the images using either the supplied software or Adobe DNG converter produces a level of detail comparable to a good full-sized DSLR of similar resolution. Colour rendition is excellent, and dynamic range is also better than average. Automatic metering is very reliable, and copes well with unusual lighting.

Image noise control is also very good, producing reliably noise-free images at 400 ISO and usable images at 800 ISO in quite low light, although performance at 1600 ISO leaves something to be desired. It's not going to convince anyone to trade in their EOS 7D just yet, but for a sub-£500 camera it produces excellent results. As for the crucial question of whether or not it produces better image quality than a comparable Four-Thirds camera, I would have to say that yes it does. The margin isn't wide, but detail, colour depth and dynamic range are visibly superior.


In the NX10 Samsung has achieved something remarkable, a real alternative to a full-sized APS-C DSLR with all the features, performance and picture quality in a lightweight and compact package smaller than some super-zoom cameras. For a surprisingly low the price the NX10 is a great little camera, and a very serious competitor to the Micro Four Thirds systems.


May 11, 2010, 1:14 pm

It cost's more than a Nikon D5000, but it isn't as good. What exactly is it's purpose. I have the same question about all of these 4/3rds cameras. They're far too expensive for what they are: DSLR's but not quite as good.


May 11, 2010, 4:43 pm

@Carlos: The idea is that you get DSLR-quality photos in a *much* smaller and more portable package. All the photo mags last year seemed to think this was the future. I have to say they don't particularly appeal to me - I can't live without a proper optical viewfinder - but maybe they really do appeal to the sort of people who're dissatisfied with the image quality and shooting limitations in a compact, but would still like something they can slip into a pocket.


May 11, 2010, 5:23 pm

The "purpose" of these mirrorless cameras should be to make smaller camera than a DSLR. That's the basic advantage in removing the mirror. However, manufacturers still couldn't understand that once you attach a zoom to these cameras the size advantage becomes irrelevant. They should first be providing a good lineup of small, fast primes (so that users would see the advantage in switching to such system) and after introduce zooms for those who already bought into the system and sometimes don't mind the size and prefer the comfort.


May 12, 2010, 12:59 am

I get the impression that in a way Samsung have missed much of the true appeal of the 4/3rds cameras, which is that they look good in a retro sort of way and have nice names like Olympus and Leica adding to that certain 'retro-quality'/ designer value. Samsung may even have produced a better camera, but in the fashion and name-dropping stakes they are a non-starter, and as the fate of a lot of the resulting photos is to be seen on computer screens rather than A3 prints, it's probably not the point really. It will be interesting to see how Sony get on - from the few pistures I've seen i can't tell if they have used the Zeiss brand on the lenses.


May 13, 2010, 12:39 pm

Luis is absolutely right: small, fast primes (plus combination with HD video)with smaller body at the price of an entry level DSLR would make mirrorless a reasonable choice. Add fat zooms and 50 percent to the price, and you wind up with an inferior product: as big or bigger (or one hundredth of an inch smaller) as a DSLR, more expensive, more limited choices, with more compromises in image quality... Nothing to get enthusiastic about, or rather disappointing, really.


May 14, 2010, 12:52 am

Could you do a video review of this product?


May 14, 2010, 1:00 am

Already done, will upload tomorrow.


May 14, 2010, 8:17 pm

How about replace these photos with examples that are actually in focus?


May 14, 2010, 8:40 pm

Video review uploaded.


May 14, 2010, 9:10 pm

Nice thanks for the video upload.

John McLaren

May 14, 2010, 9:15 pm

I must agree with PrimaryKey, those photos of the model cars are very out of focus. Why?


May 18, 2010, 9:17 am

I've bought the camera. Got it at a nice discount.

I think the 30mm combo is simply fabulous. Got the 18-55 OIS as well for those situations where I need to be a little flexible.

John Shewsbury

May 19, 2010, 3:21 pm

Well... be it Samsung, Olympus and my favorite brand Panasonic... this "new type" of camera is certainly interesting but I was hoping that the price can be slightly lower... at all of their current prices... I personally feel it's quite expensive for me... many "entry level" DSLR camera prices (from Canon/Nikon/Olympus/Pentax/Sony)have been slashed down for the last several months due to the appearance of newer models and thus Samsung/Olympus/Panasonic have to seriously consider about the price war if they wanted more consumer to buy this "new type" camera... I surely love to try 1 but the higher prices makes me considering the bridge/superzoom digicam like those Panasonic FZ38 or Fujifilm HS10 or S200 EXR instead...

Volker Schenk

June 5, 2010, 11:24 pm

Quite informational review - just more care for your sample photos has to be taken. They really do not show, what they could/should, and the model cars for ISO quality test are absolutely the wrong choice for the subject. Some of them even look, like they are out of focus!

Mike B

June 13, 2010, 2:18 pm

Many who need reading glasses, like me, need an optical viewfinder with diopter correction as using the LCD screens on most cameras is not easy (without putting my glasses on!). In particular the use of an EVF allows users to be able to see the menus and settings with ease. This makes bridge cameras, like the Panasonic FZ38, ideal but the image quality is not quite as good as a DSLR.

This is what attracts me to the micro four thirds cameras. Now ideally I would like to see the four thirds imager in a light compact camera like the FZ38 and I will forgo the interchangeable lens! But failing that a compact and lightweight camera with EVF and HD video (less devices to carry around) is quite attractive. To this end the Panasonic GH1 is the most interesting as the 10 times zoom lens supplied is ideal but the price is too high (even though it has dropped to £825 with cash back).

Lets hope with Samsung joining in the micro four thirds market it pushes the prices down!

Steve Davies

June 17, 2010, 11:51 pm

This is the camara I was dreaming about and looking for when I bought my Nikon coolpix P6000 last year.I will definatly be selling It shortly and buying one of these ,or one of the other brands.Nikon undoubtly will be anouncing one soon.


November 24, 2010, 12:52 am

I just found and bought this camera with the 18-55mm lens on ebay for 302.99 (+9.90 shipping) from digigood, everywhere else had it for £387 minimum. You can't beat it for this price the only thing it is missing is an articulated screen.


January 12, 2011, 10:31 pm

Would this camera be suitable for sport photography? I have used my son's Nikon D2000 with a 70-200 zoom kens and motordrive at kart race meetings and had some great shots that print crisp, sharp images at A4. the downside is the sheer weight especially when travelling.

A zoom of 200mm is fine because I can always get a press pass and go out on track so no real long distance work.

The Samsung zoom lens at around £150 looks very attractive compared to over £600 for the Olympus and the £1500 ish fo the Nikon lens my son has.

George E

January 24, 2011, 3:37 am

I bought this camera for my two months trip to Aus. following the Ashes Tour.

In the last thirty years all my previous SLR lenses have all been metal or metal reinforced.

The Pancake lens has the regular metal fitting but the 18-55mm lens is a plastic fitting and guess what the fittings are so flimsy they just broke thankfully its still under warranty.

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