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Samsung NX300 - A Luxurious Compact System Camera

1/26/2014 9:42:55 AM
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The NX300 is Samsung's latest compact system camera, and while in many ways it's similar to the company's previous offering, the NX210, in a number of ways it's an improvement.

Samsung NX300

Samsung NX300

Our test NX300 came with a 50-200mm lens and on the whole, the image quality offered is excellent from the 23.5x15.7mm 20.3Mp CMOS sensor. Images are vibrant, color reproduction is accurate and white balance is exemplary.

Our only quibble is that there's the tiniest amount of softness - not a great deal, just enough that images aren't absolutely sharp and may need tweaking in post-production. However, noise levels are almost undetectable up to reasonably high ISOs.

Video quality is similarly very good, providing smooth videos in Full HD. The position of the record button on the top right on the rear means you're unlikely to inadvertently press it while trying to take still shots. It's a shame there's no option for plugging in an external mic, though, as noise from the wind can interfere.

The image quality offered is excellent

The image quality offered is excellent

Samsung describes the styling as 'retro modern', which it has achieved well and build quality is good. Although the back does feel a little plasticky, the brushed aluminum top makes up for it somewhat. At 122x63.7x40.7mm the size is similar to many other CSCs out there, and at 284g it's not too heavy either.

As is common with CSCs, there's no viewfinder so your shots can only be composed on the live view AMOLED screen. Like its competitor, the Sony NEX-6, the NX300's articulated screen can be tilted up by 90 degrees and down by 45 degrees to allow for awkward angles.

However, the Samsung camera has a slight edge over Sony's as at 3.31 inches it's fractionally bigger than Sony's 3in, and perhaps most importantly, it's a touchscreen, which the NEX-6's isn't. We found it bright, crisp and easy to view even in direct sunlight.

The screen is bright, crisp and easy to view even in direct sunlight

The screen is bright, crisp and easy to view even in direct sunlight

The NX300 is easy to navigate without too many buttons cluttering up the rear. Unfortunately, there's no wheel for speedy scrolling when you've taken a lot of images. There is a handy button for instantly sending photos and video via Wi-Fi to any smartphone, tablet or TV with the necessary capabilities, though.

Verdict

The NX300 is a great CSC, with decent image quality for both stills and video and good build quality. It's easy to use, too. However, the price tag is a little steeper than similar cameras.

The price tag is a little steeper than similar cameras

The price tag is a little steeper than similar cameras

Specs and price

·         Price: $1,025

·         Type: Compact system camera

·         20.3Mp compact system camera

·         23.5x15.7mm

·         CMOS sensor

·         ISO 100-25600 equivalent

·         3.31in AMOLED screen

·         USB 2.0 output

·         HDMI output

·         Wi-Fi

·         122x63.7x40.7mm

·         284g (body only)

Rating

·         Build: 4/5

·         Features: 4.5/5

·         Performance: 4/5

·         Value: 3.5/5

·         Overall: 4/5

 

 
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