The NX200 ditches the mostly plastic chassis of its predecessor in exchange for a predominantly metal outer casing. The silver top-plate of the previous model has gone too, with the NX200 instead treated to a classy matt black and faux leather finish. Picking it up for the first time the NX200 body feels well made and solid, if not a little angular.
Indeed, these sharp lines and flat surfaces are very much the defining traits of the NX200, at least in terms of aesthetics and handling. The NX100 was undoubtedly a much curvier camera overall. The edges of the NX200 are much sharper too, compared to the filed edges of the NX100 and most other cameras of this type. Even the handgrip has little concession for finger and hand comfort in the shape of rounded corners.
Does this make the new model harder to grip? Yes and no. It’s certainly true that all the sharp edges don’t make the NX200 the most comfortable camera to hold, however the restyled grip works pretty well and is big enough for three fingers. The textured strip where the tips of your fingers naturally sit adds a bit of extra grip too. Along with the textured thumb rest on the back it’s possible to hold the NX200 quite securely. Of course, for additional security you should also attach the supplied neck strap.
Physical buttons are generally quite well spaced offering direct access to all of the most regularly accessed settings, including ISO, Drive mode, AF selection point and suchlike. The NX200 does lose the AEL button of the NX100, replacing it with a one-touch movie record button instead (although you can still lock exposure to the AF point should you wish to). While we can appreciate that many users want to be able to record movies without delay, a dedicated AEL/AFL button often proves invaluable to more advanced shooters.
That said, we especially like how the Fn button on the back of the camera can be used to call up a tiled Quick Menu that’s really intuitive to use, which in turn enables you to quickly access and make changes to your key shooting settings. The main menu also proves easy to navigate in order to access more in-depth settings.
In keeping with its predecessor the NX200 lacks a built-in flash. Samsung does however bundle the NX200 with a small two-position flash that attaches to the hotshoe. When angled down this flash is automatically switched off make to make the overall camera package more compact and prevent the flash from firing mistakenly. While it certainly works, it’s hardly the neatest or tidiest solution and also feels a bit flimsy next to the robust metal body of the NX200.
On the back of the NX200 you’ll find a 3-inch AMOLED-type monitor. This produces a bright, colourful and detailed image and offers an especially wide viewing angle although (as is typical for AMOLED displays) we’ve found it can sometimes serve up a slight blue or green hue, especially when viewed from an angle.
Start-up time is around the one-second mark, and while the headline continuous shooting speed of 7fps is pretty good too, overall performance is a little hampered by somewhat pedestrian processing speeds – not altogether surprising given the size of the files produced by the camera when used at full resolution.
With the NX200 set to Continuous (high) drive mode, it’s possible to record a total of 10 JPEGs at full resolution and super-fine quality before the buffer is full. From here it takes about 12 seconds for the camera to process the images, during which time the camera cannot record any new ones. Switching to Raw recording things slow down considerably, with the camera able to record eight consecutive images before grinding to a halt, from where it takes approximately 35 seconds to process them. Combined Raw and JPEG shooting is slightly slower still, with a maximum eight consecutive frames taking 40 seconds to process - you better hope you got the shot within those first 8 frames!