Samsung NX200: Quick Review

Months after the official announcement in Sep, the Samsung latest mirrorless interchangeable lens camera NX200 is available in Singapore. Here's a list of new features to get you excited.

Hidden Gems
There are some other features that are not highlighted on brochures, but I find them really useful and gives more reason to get this camera:
And finally, some of the existing NX features that make the camera much more usable than some of the competitors:
Gone with the Wind
Samsung has removed the smartshoe, which means NX200 will not support electronic viewfinder. The battery capacity is also smaller, which in theory will reduce the number of shots per charge. There is also no more direct button access to White Balance, but you can easily do it via iFn button on the lens or via Smart Panel. The AEL button is also removed, something that old school photographers would miss but certainly not the new users. (edit: latest NX200 firmware allows you to select AEL as a custom function. Download here.)

A More Complete Camera System

Together with NX200 launch, Samsung has launched some of the much sought-after lenses.
Not forgetting the existing lenses that might interest you:
Comparing the NX Series
While the NX200 is the smallest NX camera by far, the dimensions are well balanced without sacrificing usability. The grip size is about the same as NX11, the body dimensions are similar to NX100 except it's shorter. Although the body appears thinner, the mount actually protrudes a lot out of the body, a trick many mirrorless makers use now.

Image Quality
The most important question beckons: how does the image quality of the 20.3 megapixel APS-C sensor look?

The NX200 has definitely improved noise level. Here's a comparison with Olympus E-PM1.

Uncropped images

Cropped result
Here's a comparison with the NX11.

I find that beyond ISO 3200, the NX200 exhibits higher levels of chroma noise, and at ISO 12800 becomes unusable. While the Micro Four-Thirds competitors appear to have less distinct chroma noise, they lose in image details. Sony NEX appears to retain the upper hand in terms of sensor quality, but the camera design and lens range may be less appealing.

Samsung NX200 continues to offer direct shooting controls and implement thoughtful physical design (like good grip) to attract both traditional photographers and new users. Samsung has revamped its shooting interface to improve usability, although as an advanced user myself I find that it is beautified at the expense of operational efficiency. NX200 requires more time to save images in continuous burst mode and in RAW, but otherwise retains the lightning-fast startup and shot-to-shot speeds.

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