The Samsung NX200 is built around an all-new APS-C CMOS sensor that is manufactured by Samsung and which offers an effective resolution of 20.3-megapixels. Maximum output at full resolution in the default 3:2 aspect is an impressive 5,472 x 3,648 pixels – of all the compact system cameras currently on the market only the 24.3MP Sony NEX-7 outputs higher. Sticking with 3:2, resolution can be reduced to 10.1MP, 5.9MP and 2MP, with further options to shoot in16:9 and 1:1 at slightly reduced resolutions. There is, however, no option to shoot in 4:3.
The NX200 can record both JPEG and lossless Raw (.SRW) image files, with three levels of JPEG quality: SuperFine, Fine and Normal. You can expect images shot at maximum resolution in the SuperFine setting to equal around 7-9MB in size, although this will of course vary, depending on the complexity (colour saturation, available light, number of sharp edges etc) of the scene being photographed.
Exposure metering is handled via a 221-pixel TTL module, with the camera able to capture a maximum dynamic range of 18 EV. It’s also possible to dial in ±3 EV compensation however there is no AEL button with which to lock exposure in tricky light, which is a little disappointing for an advanced camera of this type. Sensitivity, meanwhile, ranges from a baseline ISO 100 up to 12,800, which is fairly standard for an upper-level CSC like this.
Looking at the exposure mode dial, it comes as no surprise to find all of the regular semi- and fully manual options: Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual. These are complimented by a range of point-and-shoot modes including 15 individual Scene modes and a Smart Auto mode that automatically detects and selects what the camera believes to be the correct Scene mode for whatever it happens to be faced with.
The NX200 also comes with Samsung’s own easy-to-use Panorama mode that enables you to create high quality 180-degree panoramic images simply by sweeping the camera in a predetermined direction with the shutter button held down. Additionally, the NX200 also offers a Magic exposure mode that’s split into a generous selection of Smart Filter digital effects, along with some Magic Frame border deisgns. While the Smart Filters offer some easy-to-use creative effects, the Magic Frames are pretty cheesy and feel distinctly out of place on a camera of this calibre.
The final notch on the exposure mode dial is given to Lens Priority mode, which uses the lens-mounted iFn (intelligent Function) button to toggle between the NX200’s various Scene modes and the digital zoom. While the iFn button is undoubtedly a clever idea and a well executed one at that, we do think that it’s infinitely more useful when shooting in one of the regular PASM modes where it can be customised to switch between other shooting functions, turning it into a kind of Quick menu/additional Function button.
As might be expected the NX200 offers excellent movie recording abilities, with a maximum capture setting of 1080/30p Full HD. This is complemented by additional options to record at 720/60p HD, 720/30p HD, 640x48/30p VGA and 320 x 240/30p QVGA – a clear improvement over the 720p top setting of the NX100. Sound is recorded in stereo via two microphones positioned on the top of the camera body but there’s no port with which to attach an external microphone.