Samsung NX200: Lab Test Results & Comments

Jill Rahn's picture
The Samsung NX200 is a Compact System Camera (CSC) with an interchangeable lens system. It is based on an APS-C-sized sensor and Samsung’s NX-mount system, which currently comprises nine Samsung lenses. The range of lenses will be expanded this year, with the latest being the Samsung 85mm f/1.4 ED SSA, which is a fast portrait lens that supports Samsung’s i-Function technology. The lens ring—which is normally used for manual focusing—can be used for i-Function settings, a very handy feature that can be programmed by the photographer to change various settings right from the lens.

The Samsung NX200 is a CSC camera with an APS-C sensor and 20MP resolution. It offers easy and comfortable handling with a large and brilliant AMOLED display. It offers the ability and performance of an SLR camera in a very compact size, plus is able to record Full HD videos.

The NX200 supports Samsung’s i-Function system, which allows users to set up image parameters like ISO speed, white balance, and more. It is activated with the help of the i-Function button on the lens ring.

The Samsung NX200 has a large (3”) AMOLED display with 614,000 RGB dots, although it is a fixed monitor. Menu navigation is via a setup dial located around the four-way cursor field and a second dial on the top.

A large dial on the top allows the user to choose standard exposure modes or scene modes. In addition, the camera offers a “MAGIC” setting with creative filter effects and a video recording mode.

The camera lacks an integrated image stabilizer and relies on stabilizer systems in the lens itself. Our test NX200 was equipped with the standard zoom lens (18-55mm; 3.5-5.6) with an OIS system that worked very well. Images can be taken with longer exposure settings equivalent to 3 to 4 EVs.

The camera has a stylish design that sports a classic, retro look. The body has no optical or electronic viewfinder, although viewing is quite good via the large AMOLED display on the back. This monitor shows crisp and brilliant images with 614,000 RGB dots and is quite readable in situations with bright ambient light.

The camera offers all standard image modes such P, S, A, and M. In addition, the photographer can choose from 14 scene modes and the “MAGIC” setting on the mode dial, which allows for use of special effect programs like “Magic Frames” (which will create an image frame like an old photo album, a newspaper title, or other effect around the photo). Using the “Smart Filter” function, which is also available in the MAGIC settings, the user can create miniature, fisheye, or sepia-tinted image effects.

The camera has two setup dials to change image parameters. The first dial is located on the top and near the shutter release button; the second dial is placed around the four-way cursor field on the back. This allows for changing parameters like aperture setting and shutter speed very fast and efficiently.

The camera can record Full HD videos with 1920x1080 pixels and 30 frames per second. Picture wizard settings are available in video mode to create a retro-style look (sepia-tinted movie) or other effects. A built-in stereo microphone records additional sound, but only with 32 kHz. An interface for an external microphone is missing. Videos are recorded as MOV files with H.264 compression.

The NX200 creates natural-looking colors due to its very precise automatic white balance system; note the neutral gray background in our standard test image. Only some red elements show a slight shift into the orange-colored nuances. The LDC (Lens Distortion Correction) system works fine. Right: The Samsung NX200 yielded a nearly perfectly exposed rendition of our portrait shot. The excellent sharpness is noticeable in fine details like in the hairs or the structure of the red fabric. The background shows a little shift into more bluish colors.

Image Quality
Color:
The camera reproduced the GretagMacbeth test chart with a saturation of 102.5 percent, which we consider nearly perfect saturation. Color errors are on a very low level and the automatic white balance system yields nearly perfect “neutralized” colors. Skin tones are superb—only red colors had a slightly elevated yellow rate and shifted into the more orange-colored area.

This close-up shot displays a consistent quality of almost all the photos using the NX200—crisp edges and very good sharpness. At ISO 100, f/11 at 1/125 sec at -1/3 EV exposure compensation.
All Photos © George Schaub

Sharpness: The Samsung showed an excellent performance in our resolution tests. The ISO 12,233 chart was reproduced with 3437 lines per image height, which is a remarkable result for a camera with a nominal resolution of 3648 lines per picture height. Fine details like the hair in the portrait shot are clearly visible, as well as the fibers in the fabric of the model’s T-shirt. Differentiation of red nuances is very good, even though the red nuances had a somewhat high yellow rate.

Even at ISO 800 and auto white balance this handheld photo of a statue in the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico, stays sharp, lacks the color cast typical of museum photos, and even when enlarged shows virtually no noise and very good sharpness, results that are similar in other photos in our test. Exposure was f/5.6 at 1/8 sec, evidence that the image stabilization system does its job.

Noise: The camera has a very intelligent and efficient anti-noise system. The test images showed nearly no noise artifacts taken with ISO speeds up to ISO 800. At ISO 1600 you will start to notice some minor noise effects in homogenous gray fields, but even images taken with ISO 6400 are still usable, even though there are clearly noticeable color clouds. Images taken with ISO 12,800 show a distinct noise pattern.

The MAGIC settings are quirky and can be fun, such as this portrait of Grace made with ship and horizon on a full moon night setup.

This photo of a back road north of Taos shows the wonderful sharpness and very good and true color rendition the NX200 delivers. In some cases bright highlights tended to wash out a bit, but this was easily corrected without discoloration with a local adjustment brush in Lightroom/Camera Raw.

Color, contrast, and sharpness come to the fore in this early winter photo of the banks of the Rio Grande. The bright viewing screen helped in the high elevation light, although an articulated screen would make the experience, and for me the camera, even better. Exposure at ISO 100 was f/11 at 1/400 sec with daylight white balance.

Image Tech
Image Tech is where we publish web-exclusive lab reports on cameras. To read the reports please go to the Shutterbug homepage at www.shutterbug.com and click on the Image Tech tab on the top navigation bar. New reports are published frequently, so check Image Tech for updates. The following reports are available now:
• Leica X1
• Ricoh GR Digital IV
• Nikon P7100
• Olympus E-P3
• Panasonic FZ48
• Sigma SD1
• Sony SLT-A35
• Sony NEX-C3

Scorecard

This graphic demonstrates a comparative rating on the camera (100 is the top score) based on image quality, resolution, handling ease, and “scope of supply,” which is a “value/features/benefits” summary. This graphic will appear in future Image Tech test results and may be used for comparative purposes.

Pro
• Compact and stylish retro design
• Very good color reproduction
• i-Function system for comfortable handling
• Optional GPS system available (mounted on accessory shoe)

Con
• Missing optical viewfinder

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Comments
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This is not a toy but a sophisticated device with a wide range of optics and much lighter in weight than a DSLR. And the quality of the photo is not bad, just look at any of the reviews. http://overnightessay.com/

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i think you cant go wrong

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