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Samsung Galaxy NX Camera Review
By Steve Rhys 04.10.2013
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Samsung Galaxy NX Camera Review

Your Score

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera image 1
Samsung Galaxy NX Camera image 2
Samsung Galaxy NX Camera image 3
Samsung Galaxy NX Camera image 4

Key Features

  • TEST
Best Price £1599

Score Breakdown

Appearance

Size

Screen

Performance

Overall quality

Value for money

Processor

Software

Specification

Design

Memory

Dislikes

  • Hefty price tag
  • Heavy battery
  • Can be slow saving shots
  • Touchscreen-only controls

Specification

MEMORY

3GB
RAM

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Samsung Galaxy NX Camera Review 

Samsung brings Android Jelly Bean and a host of new ideas to compact system cameras, but will the Galaxy NX experiment reinvent the digital camera?

 

Overview

What do you get if you combine a Compact System Camera with 3G/4G capabilities and an Android operating system? Well if you’re expecting the world’s greatest smartphone camera, you’re going to be a smidge disappointed (this thing doesn’t even make phone calls.) But if you’re after a digital camera with some solid specs, a user-friendly interface and a plethora of unique, industry-first features, you should seriously consider taking a look at the Samsung Galaxy NX.

Samsung were among the first manufacturers to produce a compact system camera so the Taiwanese giant is no stranger to the mechanics of a snapper. Having already taken the smartphone world by storm with the range of Galaxy handhelds, the electronics firm has shifted the concept to launch the first interchangeable lens Android camera. But does the idea work?

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera – slick operator and instantly accessible to anyone with a Samsung smartphone

 

The Galaxy NX camera is a CSC with a difference. Whilst Wi-fi enabled cameras aren’t exactly new, the Galaxy NX takes the idea one step further by introducing 3G and 4G connectivity. All you need to do is to buy a data-only sim card and you have the most well connected camera on the market, allowing you to browse the net, share your photos and even store back-up copies whilst on the go.

For fans of social media, the NX runs like a dream, especially if you are already familiar with the Android operating system. The Galaxy NX comes touting Jelly Bean 4.2, making it a slick operator and instantly accessible to anyone with a Samsung smartphone. The camera also gives you direct access to the Google Play store, from which you can download millions of apps to edit, crop and share your pictures.

The physical presence of the Galaxy NX is easy on the eye, but less so in the hand. It´s a pretty weighty beast, with a huge matchbox sized battery stored in the hand grip, presumably needed to power the huge LCD screen and its other wireless capabilities.

Samsung claim the 4,360mAh Li-ion battery can take up to 420 pictures on a single charge (which is significantly better than the Galaxy Compact.) But whilst you can charge the battery whilst it is in the camera (smartphone style,) it does seem a little stingy that a separate battery charger isn’t included, especially considering the gorged price tag.

What is also immediately obvious about the Galaxy NX is that it doesn’t have the array of buttons, dials and knobs that are usually the bane of the amateur SRL user. Pretty much all functions are instead done on the beautiful 4.8 inch LCD screen fixed to the rear plate. Yes, purists may sneer, but in reality the touchscreen is wonderfully responsive, making adjustment of aperture settings and shutter speed a breeze.

 

controls are operated through the touchscreen, which given you have a slick Android OS to navigate through is not so much of a chore as it sounds.

 

The few buttons sported by the Galaxy are located on the top of the camera. On the forward slope is your familiar shutter release button, behind which is a video button to activate the record function. There is also a multipurpose command dial that lets you cycle quickly through your shooting modes, adjust exposure settings and even change the volume.

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

Beautiful 4.8 inch LCD screen fixed to the rear plate

 

All the other controls however are operated through the touchscreen, which given you have a slick Android OS to navigate through is not so much of a chore as it sounds. Having said that, enthusiasts and fans of old skool manual controls fixed to the chassis of the camera may take a little more time to adapt.

You could also same the same thing about Samsung´s ‘i-Function’ capability that it has brought back to the NX series.  This innovative feature allows the user to adjust settings through a button on the lens. All-in-all, i-Function is a surprisingly versatile set-up, although traditionalist may find it takes some getting used to.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

2GB of RAM and 8 / 16 GB of internal storage.

 

In practice the Galaxy NX works like a dream. As it is part of the NX series, the camera uses the same lens mount as its predecessors, giving you 13 lenses to play with from the go. Combine these with the i-Function technology and customizable lens ring, and you have a pretty impressive range of shooting options.

If you’re willing to pay a bit extra you can get a bundled 18-55mm kit lens that can take some very impressive DSLR-style shots. The AF is generally very fast, although busy periods can momentarily confuse it, as can altering the framing of your subject mid shot.  If you fancy doing the job yourself, there is also a manual focus option.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

APS-C 20.3 Megapixel sensor, 1080p HD recording, Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad-Core processor.

 

Traditionalist will also be glad to know that the camera features an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a rather nifty sensor that can intuitively detect your eye when you raise the camera to line-up your shot. Although the EVF is useful when sunlight blocks the image on the LCD, for the most part it is difficult to resist using the screen and enjoying the vivid images it offers.

As in any camera, it is picture quality that counts the most and thankfully the Galaxy NX does not disappoint. Contrasts are sharp, with bright, accurate colour no matter the weather – especially when viewed on the LCD screen. The camera also borrows the smartphone invention of being able to choose a focal point by simply scrolling through menus by swiping your finger up and down the screen and tapping to select your setting options.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera 3

Lens family – the standard 18-55mm, 55-200 and another 85mm.

 

Images can be saved both as JPEGs and RAW files, although occasionally JPEGs are cropped around the edges. It is also worth noting that the camera can be a little slow when it comes to saving pictures, especially when several have been taken at once.

 

Who is it for?

Given the hefty price tag, high-end specs and smooth functionality of the Galaxy NX, you could argue that it is suitable for professionals – except it is doubtful whether most professionals would be interested in this snapper given its lack of manual controls mounted to the body. But then again you never know.

Some users may prefer the Android operating system’s clutter-free back-plate which makes the NX a non-threatening piece of kit that even an amateur can enjoy. Taking quality photographs couldn’t be easier, and the added function of being able to share instantly to Instagram and Facebook adds even more to its mass-market appeal. Whether amateurs are prepared to meet the cost is another matter!

 

Value for money?

Wait for it! You can pick up a Galaxy NX for £1199, or £1299 with the 18-55mm kit lens. We know – feels like a kick in the gonads doesn´t it! Whilst the camera is a remarkable piece of kit with special features that will surely one day become the industry norm, the inflated price is very hard to justify and goes against the Samsung philosophy of producing quality products for affordable prices.

However, what we should consider before laying into Samsung is that the Galaxy NX is a pioneering snapper that does not have any direct competition in terms of innovative features and Android operating system. But even still, when you consider you can pick up a professional SLV for around the same price, Samsung may regret its decision to make the NX so expensive.

 

 

Final Thought

It’s difficult to know what exactly the Samsung Galaxy NX wants to be. With its premium quality lens, it has the making of a high-end CSC, but the social media connectivity and user-interface give it a mass-market appeal. But then again, on the other hand the high-price tag excludes the majority of the mass market and while it will have its followers, it will take a major price drop or a cheaper iteration to give it the acclaimed status Samsung is hoping for.

Even still, it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction the Samsung NX Galaxy receive from both consumers and other CSC manufacturers. For what it is worth our money is backing manufacturers to follow Samsung into the concept of the Android or iOS based user-interface and start moving away from the traditional body mounted buttons to a screen-based operation system the new-generation of camera owners will be already accustomed to. Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy NX is the prototype to compact system cameras of the future.

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera Review 

Samsung brings Android Jelly Bean and a host of new ideas to compact system cameras, but will the Galaxy NX experiment reinvent the digital camera?

 

Overview

What do you get if you combine a Compact System Camera with 3G/4G capabilities and an Android operating system? Well if you’re expecting the world’s greatest smartphone camera, you’re going to be a smidge disappointed (this thing doesn’t even make phone calls.) But if you’re after a digital camera with some solid specs, a user-friendly interface and a plethora of unique, industry-first features, you should seriously consider taking a look at the Samsung Galaxy NX.

Samsung were among the first manufacturers to produce a compact system camera so the Taiwanese giant is no stranger to the mechanics of a snapper. Having already taken the smartphone world by storm with the range of Galaxy handhelds, the electronics firm has shifted the concept to launch the first interchangeable lens Android camera. But does the idea work?

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera – slick operator and instantly accessible to anyone with a Samsung smartphone

 

The Galaxy NX camera is a CSC with a difference. Whilst Wi-fi enabled cameras aren’t exactly new, the Galaxy NX takes the idea one step further by introducing 3G and 4G connectivity. All you need to do is to buy a data-only sim card and you have the most well connected camera on the market, allowing you to browse the net, share your photos and even store back-up copies whilst on the go.

For fans of social media, the NX runs like a dream, especially if you are already familiar with the Android operating system. The Galaxy NX comes touting Jelly Bean 4.2, making it a slick operator and instantly accessible to anyone with a Samsung smartphone. The camera also gives you direct access to the Google Play store, from which you can download millions of apps to edit, crop and share your pictures.

The physical presence of the Galaxy NX is easy on the eye, but less so in the hand. It´s a pretty weighty beast, with a huge matchbox sized battery stored in the hand grip, presumably needed to power the huge LCD screen and its other wireless capabilities.

Samsung claim the 4,360mAh Li-ion battery can take up to 420 pictures on a single charge (which is significantly better than the Galaxy Compact.) But whilst you can charge the battery whilst it is in the camera (smartphone style,) it does seem a little stingy that a separate battery charger isn’t included, especially considering the gorged price tag.

What is also immediately obvious about the Galaxy NX is that it doesn’t have the array of buttons, dials and knobs that are usually the bane of the amateur SRL user. Pretty much all functions are instead done on the beautiful 4.8 inch LCD screen fixed to the rear plate. Yes, purists may sneer, but in reality the touchscreen is wonderfully responsive, making adjustment of aperture settings and shutter speed a breeze.

 

controls are operated through the touchscreen, which given you have a slick Android OS to navigate through is not so much of a chore as it sounds.

 

The few buttons sported by the Galaxy are located on the top of the camera. On the forward slope is your familiar shutter release button, behind which is a video button to activate the record function. There is also a multipurpose command dial that lets you cycle quickly through your shooting modes, adjust exposure settings and even change the volume.

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

Beautiful 4.8 inch LCD screen fixed to the rear plate

 

All the other controls however are operated through the touchscreen, which given you have a slick Android OS to navigate through is not so much of a chore as it sounds. Having said that, enthusiasts and fans of old skool manual controls fixed to the chassis of the camera may take a little more time to adapt.

You could also same the same thing about Samsung´s ‘i-Function’ capability that it has brought back to the NX series.  This innovative feature allows the user to adjust settings through a button on the lens. All-in-all, i-Function is a surprisingly versatile set-up, although traditionalist may find it takes some getting used to.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

2GB of RAM and 8 / 16 GB of internal storage.

 

In practice the Galaxy NX works like a dream. As it is part of the NX series, the camera uses the same lens mount as its predecessors, giving you 13 lenses to play with from the go. Combine these with the i-Function technology and customizable lens ring, and you have a pretty impressive range of shooting options.

If you’re willing to pay a bit extra you can get a bundled 18-55mm kit lens that can take some very impressive DSLR-style shots. The AF is generally very fast, although busy periods can momentarily confuse it, as can altering the framing of your subject mid shot.  If you fancy doing the job yourself, there is also a manual focus option.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera

APS-C 20.3 Megapixel sensor, 1080p HD recording, Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad-Core processor.

 

Traditionalist will also be glad to know that the camera features an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a rather nifty sensor that can intuitively detect your eye when you raise the camera to line-up your shot. Although the EVF is useful when sunlight blocks the image on the LCD, for the most part it is difficult to resist using the screen and enjoying the vivid images it offers.

As in any camera, it is picture quality that counts the most and thankfully the Galaxy NX does not disappoint. Contrasts are sharp, with bright, accurate colour no matter the weather – especially when viewed on the LCD screen. The camera also borrows the smartphone invention of being able to choose a focal point by simply scrolling through menus by swiping your finger up and down the screen and tapping to select your setting options.

 

Samsung Galaxy NX Camera 3

Lens family – the standard 18-55mm, 55-200 and another 85mm.

 

Images can be saved both as JPEGs and RAW files, although occasionally JPEGs are cropped around the edges. It is also worth noting that the camera can be a little slow when it comes to saving pictures, especially when several have been taken at once.

 

Who is it for?

Given the hefty price tag, high-end specs and smooth functionality of the Galaxy NX, you could argue that it is suitable for professionals – except it is doubtful whether most professionals would be interested in this snapper given its lack of manual controls mounted to the body. But then again you never know.

Some users may prefer the Android operating system’s clutter-free back-plate which makes the NX a non-threatening piece of kit that even an amateur can enjoy. Taking quality photographs couldn’t be easier, and the added function of being able to share instantly to Instagram and Facebook adds even more to its mass-market appeal. Whether amateurs are prepared to meet the cost is another matter!

 

Value for money?

Wait for it! You can pick up a Galaxy NX for £1199, or £1299 with the 18-55mm kit lens. We know – feels like a kick in the gonads doesn´t it! Whilst the camera is a remarkable piece of kit with special features that will surely one day become the industry norm, the inflated price is very hard to justify and goes against the Samsung philosophy of producing quality products for affordable prices.

However, what we should consider before laying into Samsung is that the Galaxy NX is a pioneering snapper that does not have any direct competition in terms of innovative features and Android operating system. But even still, when you consider you can pick up a professional SLV for around the same price, Samsung may regret its decision to make the NX so expensive.

 

 

Final Thought

It’s difficult to know what exactly the Samsung Galaxy NX wants to be. With its premium quality lens, it has the making of a high-end CSC, but the social media connectivity and user-interface give it a mass-market appeal. But then again, on the other hand the high-price tag excludes the majority of the mass market and while it will have its followers, it will take a major price drop or a cheaper iteration to give it the acclaimed status Samsung is hoping for.

Even still, it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction the Samsung NX Galaxy receive from both consumers and other CSC manufacturers. For what it is worth our money is backing manufacturers to follow Samsung into the concept of the Android or iOS based user-interface and start moving away from the traditional body mounted buttons to a screen-based operation system the new-generation of camera owners will be already accustomed to. Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy NX is the prototype to compact system cameras of the future.

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