Review: Samsung NX200 System Camera

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Quick specs
Dimensions (WxHxD) 116.5 x 62.5 x 36.6mm (excluding lens)
Weight 220.4g (without battery and memory card)
Sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm CMOS
Pixel count Approx 20.3MP
LCD display 3.0″ AMOLED (640×480)
Shutter speed 1/4000 – 30 sec (1/3EV step)
ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800

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When one mentions system cameras, other brands typically come to mind, most commonly the Sony NEX series. Samsung, a relatively new player in the market, is slowly trying to change this mindset with its latest offering, the NX-200.

Great body, kinda sharp though

Design-wise, the NX-200 manages to captivate with its smooth curves and well-placed grip design. The body is actually slightly lighter than the bundled 18-55mm OIS lens, which also helps when taking photos as the weight is nicely distributed between the left and right hand, making it more stable for accurate focusing. However it is rather sharply cut at the top and bottom, which is nice to look at, but may be slightly uncomfortable for some.

A note though: The NX-200 does not have a built-in flash, so you’ll have to get one separately. It uses a standard hotshoe, so any external flash should do.

Fast, sharp, no-fuss pictures

Taking pictures with the NX-200 was a breeze; the engineers at Samsung got it right when they designed this baby for speed. With proper lighting, it only takes 0.13 seconds from boot-up to picture snapped. No kidding – I timed it. Pictures turned out pretty well too, even on SMART mode (i.e. full auto). Photography enthusiasts will appreciate the full DSLR-level control of P/A/S/M modes.

Videos were sharp and crisp as well, though it took a little while to re-focus whenever I switched from near to far objects. Of course, there’s always manual focus for the more seasoned users.

Better night vision than your eyes

(Left) Picture with SMART mode; (Right) Scene->Night mode, with 30 sec shutter speed

The NX-200, coupled with the stock lens, does a wonderful job capturing images under low light. The picture on the left is actually very close to what the human eye sees – nearly pitch black. The same scene looks drastically different with Night mode, and is wonderfully sharp too, all the way in at 20MP. Of course, you’ll need a tripod or someplace to put the camera for 30 seconds for this. However if you’re planning to take pictures of moving people during the night, you’ll need to use a flash.

Newbies to photography will have a fun time with the Night mode. This effect was achieved with 2 sec shutter speed.

Landscaping made easy

Making flexible landscape pictures is a breeze with the NX-200. This picture is about 80° wide.

One nifty feature I surprisingly found myself using rather often, is the landscape mode. It’s incredibly easy to take landscape pictures with the NX-200 – simply switch the dial to landscape mode, press-and-hold the shutter button, and move the camera towards the left or right direction. The camera constructs the picture on the spot, depending on how wide you take the shot. This means, you can make a short 50° picture if you so choose, or a full 180° landscape shot. Definitely no post-processing cropping or joining to worry about.

Summary

The Samsung NX-200 is a strong contender in the system cameras category, as it is easy enough for absolute photography newbies to use, and has enough features for the veteran to drool over. You may need a spare battery though – snapping pictures can get pretty addictive with this one.

The NX200 retails for RM2,499 at time of writing.

Value: 8/10
Features:
9/10
Performance:
9/10
Design:
8/10
Usability :
10/10

Total Score: 8.8/10

Verdict: Great for absolute newbies and photography veterans alike

Michael

Michael

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I run Pixl, a web design and development agency in Hartamas Kuala Lumpur.

This is a place for me to pen my thoughts… and sometimes sell my second-hand stuff.

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