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Samsung NX10 - Screen, Performance & Video

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The NX10 has an electronic LCD viewfinder which is also exceptionally sharp, with a resolution of 920,000 dots. It replicates the display on the monitor, and a proximity sensor mounted just below the eyepiece automatically switches the display from the monitor to the viewfinder when the camera is held up to the eye. Despite its huge resolution the viewfinder display isn't quite as clear as the monitor, and the individual dots are visible. It's not really sharp enough for manual focusing, and it has no magnification to check focus, surely an easy feature to implement on and EVF. Compared to the flawless field-sequential display viewfinder of the Panasonic G2 it does look a bit weak. The refresh rate isn't as fast as the monitor, and it doesn't handle high-contrast scenes as well either, burning out highlights and losing details in shadow areas. The eyepiece has dioptric adjustment to compensate spectacle wearers, but the adjustment dial is fiddly and difficult to set accurately.

As is usually the case with the first model of an entirely new line of cameras, the NX10 is better equipped with useful features than most entry-level models, and is roughly on a par with a mid-range DSLR. One of the most useful features is the Picture Wizard function, which is more or less identical to Canon's My Colours features, found on nearly all of that company's cameras. Operated by a dedicated button it provides a range of tone pre-sets, each of which can be individually customised with contrast, saturation, sharpness and tone. Similarly the white balance pre-sets can be adjusted using a 2D colour temperature chart, and it also has both manual and dial-in colour temperature settings.

Other useful additions include an adjustable self-timer with a delay from two to 30 seconds, although there is no interval timer or ability to take multiple timer shots. The camera also has several auto-bracketing options, including fully adjustable exposure and white balance bracketing, and also Picture Wizard bracketing, which can take three pictures using different tone presets. Thanks to the superb monitor the visual interface for all of these options is extremely clear, with a combination of menu and graphical control interfaces. There is also an on-screen function menu for the most common shooting options, however it would have been nice if this too could be customised.

The NX10 has the obligatory HD video recording mode, but it is not one of its best features. It records in MP4 format at a maximum resolution of 1280 x 720 at 30 fps with mono audio. There are a number of menu options in video mode including Picture Wizard, exposure, white balance, metering and AF options, and audio options including wind cut and fader, but it has to be said that the audio and video quality are not brilliant, and it does suffer badly from the notorious CMOS “Jello Effect”, in which the video image wobbles if the camera is panned quickly.


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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