Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

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Introduction

The NX20 is one of the world’s first Wi-Fi enabled compact system cameras (alongside the new Samsung NX210 and NX1000 models), allowing users to connect to wireless networks in a number of different ways without any additional cards or devices. The DSLR-like NX20 features a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, SVGA 1.44k resolution electronic viewfinder, a 3-inch swivelling AMOLED screen, an ISO range of 100-12800, built-in pop-up flash, full 1080p HD movie recording with stereo sound, 8fps continuous shooting, top shutter speed of 1/8000th second, 3D stills and panoramas, and support for Samsung’s unique i-Function 2.0 lenses. The i-Function button on compatible lenses allows users to control the NX20 by scrolling through manual settings (shutter speed, aperture, EV, WB, and ISO) and using the focus ring to change the parameters for each setting. The NX20 also has a special i-Scene lens priority mode, which allows users to select the scene modes, Smart Filters and the intelli-Zoom function. The NX20 has a wide range of manual controls plus a Smart Auto function which automatically selects the best shooting mode, while the Smart Range feature captures detail in both the bright and dark areas of the picture. Available in black, the Samsung NX20 retails for £899.99 / $1099.99 with the new 18-55mm OIS III kit lens.

Ease of Use

The NX20 is similar in design to the older NX11, which is still being sold alongside the newer model. First impressions of the NX20 are positive, although it is significantly more expensive than both the NX10 and 11 were on launch. The NX20 feels like more of a mass-market device than its price-tag might suggest, with an all-plastic body that weighs just under 350g. This isn’t to say that the NX20 isn’t well-built though, and you’ll certainly appreciate the NX20’s lack of bulk during a long day’s shooting. At 122 x 89.6 x 39.5mm, the NX20 isn’t that much bigger than some Micro Four Thirds cameras, impressive given the physically larger APS-C sensor inside. The depth and weight obviously increase when the supplied metal mounted 18-55mm OIS III kit lens is fitted, making the NX20 instantly more DSLR-like, but fitting a slimmer optic like the 30mm pancake lens creates a much more compact combination.

The lenses are still the main area where the NX20 suffers in comparison to the Micro Four Thirds cameras, especially if you’re looking for the smallest overall package. The NX20 is relatively tiny when twinned with the 30mm pancake lens, but the 18-55mm and especially the 50-200mm lens are quite a lot bigger and heavier than their MFT’s equivalents. This is completely understandable given the larger sensor that lies at the heart of the NX20, and is the trade-off for the image quality advantages that an APS-C sensor offers. Only you can decide if size and portability or image quality is more important to you.

The upgraded 18-55mm kit lens features Samsung’s now standard i-Function button, an innocuous looking button on the lens barrel which when pressed activates a sub-menu of key options and allows you to change them simply by turning the focus ring. Consecutive presses of the i-Function button moves through the five available settings – shutter speed and/or aperture, exposure compensation, white balance and ISO. The latter two settings can optionally be turned on or off in the main menu, allowing a degree of user customisation. The i-Function button provides a quick way of accessing certain key settings, and is well suited to the NX20 with its electronic viewfinder where you can hold it up to your eye, press the button and turn the focus ring with your left hand, and grip the camera with your right. Holding the NX20 at arm’s length to view the settings while pressing the i-Function button and rotating the focus ring is more cumbersome, especially when you can also use the rear control wheel to perform the same actions, something that I found myself doing by default.

Optical image stabilisation is supplied via the lenses, rather than being built-in to the NX20’s body. It can be turned on and off via the OIS menu option, rather than via a more handy switch on the lens barrel, with two different modes available. When enabled, the NX20 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds when the camera is hand held. In practice I found that it does make a noticeable difference. You don’t notice that the camera is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos. Thankfully leaving the anti-shake system on all the time didn’t affect the battery-life too badly, achieving around 350 shots before needing to be recharged.

Samsung NX20 Samsung NX20
Front Rear

One area where the NX20 shines is styling and layout. It has a clean and modern DSLR-like design rather than the retro look of Olympus’ PEN series, whilst being more curved and “organic” than the Panasonic G-series or Sony NEX models. Perhaps more importantly it also offer a logical and intuitive interface, striking a great balance between providing easy access to the main features and achieving an uncluttered control system whilst still managing to cater for both beginners and more competent prosumers alike. Samsung have redesigned the camera’s grip, which in comparison to the NX11 is more pronounced and taller. The NX20 is also better constructed than you’d expect given its relatively small size and light weight, certainly on a par with a lot of entry-level DSLRs.

Large metal neck strap eyelets are located on top of the NX20 at the sides, with the rear dominated by the swivelling 3 inch AMOLED screen. The generous, textured black plastic hand-grip is on the left-front of the camera with a thumb-grip on the rear finished in the same rubberised material. When it comes to storing your photographs the NX20 uses SD / SDHC / SDXC cards, with the memory card slot sharing the battery compartment like most cameras do. On the right side of the body, viewed from the rear, is a plastic cover that houses two different ports – a shared USB / AV Out port and a mini HDMI for connecting the NX20 to a HD television or monitor, Sadly the NX11’s remote socket for use with an optional remote shutter release has been removed, perhaps to make way for the hinged screen.

On the front of the Samsung NX20 is a small focus-assist and self-timer indicator lamp, lens release button, a metal lens mount, rubberised hand-grip, and a handy and unexpected Depth of Field Preview button. Located on the bottom of the camera is the battery compartment protected by a plastic lockable cover. The BP1310 battery provides up to 360 shots under the CIPA testing standard, on a par with most of the NX20’s main rivals. Also found on the bottom of the camera is a metal tripod mount which is commendably located in-line with the centre of the lens mount.

The NX20 features a built-in electronic viewfinder. The mere mention of an EVF is usually enough to elicit loud groans from any serious photographer, as they have traditionally been poorly implemented in the past, with low-res, grainy displays that were only really suitable for still subjects. Thankfully the electronic viewfinder on the NX20 is much better than most other systems, although not quite as good as the Panasonic cameras. It has a 0.68x magnification and offers 100% field of view and the resolution is an impressive 1.44K dots, resulting in a detailed and bright display that should persuade most non-believers to use it.

Samsung NX20 Samsung NX20
Front Tilting LCD Screen

There’s also a handy eye sensor underneath the EVF which switches seamlessly between the LCD screen and the EVF when you hold it up to your eye, saving battery power and removing the unwanted distraction of the LCD display. As the EVF is reading the same signal from the image sensor as the rear LCD screen, it can also display similar information – for example, you can view and operate the Function Menu and see all the current settings, giving quick access to all the key camera settings while it’s held up to your eye.

The NX20’s 3-inch, 614,000-dot rear LCD screen is very impressive, incorporating AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology that provides a number of key advantages over traditional LCD screens. These include easier viewing in bright sunshine and a very wide viewing angle, 10,000 times faster refresh rate than conventional LCDs, less power consumption and a high contrast ratio of 10,000:1. Crucially it also now offers the same flexibility of certain key rivals, like the Panasonic G3 / GH2’s swiveling LCD screen, and is a very welcome addition, particularly when shooting video or stills from more unusual angles.

The NX20 has a built-in dust-removal system that vibrates the sensor 60,000 times per second to remove any unwanted specks from appearing in your images. By default this feature is turned off, something of an oversight by Samsung, so make sure to enable it so that it works every time you start-up the camera (it only takes about one second). You can also perform a manual sensor clean at any point. The NX20 has a built-in pop-up flash which is activated by a switch on the top of the camera. This useful pop-up unit offers a range of flash synchronisation modes, guide number of 11 at ISO 100, an X-sync speed of 1/180 to 1/8000 second, and coverage for a 28mm wide lens. The NX20 also offers a flash hotshoe that will accept compatible Samsung flashguns (currently just the SEF-42A and SEF-20A models).

Also found on top of the NX20 are the stereo microphones either side of the flash, metering button, on/off switch, and small but tactile shutter button. The Green button is used in conjunction with other controls to reset them to default values, for example exposure compensation. There’s a traditional round shooting mode dial with a positive click for the different exposure modes, which is a typical feature of DSLR cameras and enables you to quickly change between the various options. The usual selection of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual are available for the more experienced photographers, and the more beginner-friendly Scene modes and Smart Auto mode are also accessed via this dial.

Smart Auto is Samsung’s equivalent of the intelligent auto modes on competitors from Panasonic (its Lumix range), Sony (the latest T-series Cyber-shots) and Canon (Digital IXUS family). You simply point the NX20 at a scene or subject and the camera hopefully recognizes it from 16 commonly used presets and automatically adjusts its settings to deliver optimum results. This means that it’s not necessary for the user to manually delve into scene modes to call up the likes of ‘landscape’ or ‘flower’, making the NX20’s operation merely a case of point and shoot. In practice the Smart Auto system works very well, with the NX20 usually picking the most appropriate combination of settings for the current situation. Obviously not all situations are covered by the 16 scene modes that the system uses, but it does work for the majority of the time. It makes it possible for the less experienced photographer to easily take well-exposed, sharp pictures of people, scenery and close-ups by simply pointing and shooting the camera and is more intuitive than the traditional scene modes (which are still available).

Samsung NX20 Samsung NX20
Top Pop-up Flash

When the i-Scene shooting mode is selected, the NX100 automatically recognises what type of lens has been attached and suggests a list of scene modes to choose from that are tailored to that specific lens. While this helps to narrow down the usual vast number of choices, it would have been more effective if combined with the Smart Auto shooting mode, rather than being a stand-alone mode, as you still have to pick from the scene modes that are presented to you.

The NX20 is one of the first compact system cameras to offer built-in Wi-Fi, with an array of options available. Users can email their images, upload them directly to Facebook, Picasa, Photobucket and YouTube, or instantly copy them to a home PC via Auto Backup. Samsung’s AllShare Play and Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud services provide free storage space that’s accessible by anyone with an account. MobileLink allows you to directly send images to a compatible smartphone or tablet, while Remote Viewfinder uutilises a smartphone as a live image previewer. Finally TV Link takes the place of a physical HDMI connection by playing back photos on any device that’s connected to the same wireless access point as the camera.

Completing the camera’s top-plate is a control dial which is used for, amongst other things, changing the aperture and shutter speed by turning from left to right and back again. As with the shooting mode dial, this is a common feature found on DSLR cameras, so you’ll be right at home if you’ve used a DSLR before – compact camera users will need to become accustomed to using this dial. In Manual mode you use the new control ring that encircles the rear navigation pad to change the aperture, which is more convenient than the system employed by the NX11. If you prefer to use this ring rather than the top dial, it also changes the shutter speed and aperture too in those priority modes.

The NX20 can record full HD 1080p 1920×1080 and 720p 1280×720 movies in the 16:9 aspect ratio and standard VGA 640×480 or 320×260 movies in the 4:3 aspect ratio, all using the H.264 format at 30 frames per second. There’s also a special 1920 x 810 Cine mode that records at 24fps. The Movie mode is accessed either by selecting the Movie option on the shooting mode dial and then pressing the shutter button to begin recording, or via the new and much more convenient one-touch record button on the rear of the camera. Stereo sound is recorded during video capture via the small internal mics on the top of of the camera. The HDMI port allows you to connect the NX20 to a high-def TV set, but unfortunately Samsung have decided to cut costs and not include a HDMI cable as standard in the box, which means that you’ll have to purchase one separately to take advantage of this camera’s HD connectivity.

The NX20 offers full control over ISO speed, metering, white balance, timer settings and exposure during video recording via the Programme, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual shooting modes, and all of the various Smart Filters and Picture Wizard settings can be applied (and the selective color options too). Multi-Motion recording can either slow down (by 05x or 0.25x) or speed up (by 5x, 10x or 20x) the video, the quality can be set to Normal or High. Three auto-focus modes are available – single, continuous and manual – and there are three manual focus assist options to help you achieve accurate focusing. Finally, the optical image stabiliser also works for video recording as well as stills.

Samsung NX20 Samsung NX20
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Turning to the rear of the NX20, to the right of the large LCD screen that we’ve already mentioned is a familiar round navigation pad with four buttons above and two below. Starting at the top are very handily placed buttons for setting the exposure compensation and locking the exposure, then the Menu button. The main menu system on the NX20 is very straight-forward to use, with five main menus presented as a row of horizontal icons, much like Canon’s DSLR camera range. The Fn button provides quick and easy access to 14 of the most important camera settings, which are presented as a HUD-type display in the EVF or LCD screen. Used in combination with the four directions on the navigation pad that set the Display mode, AF Mode, ISO and Timer options, you really can access most of the NX20’s key options with one press of a button, although changing them takes a couple more presses. Completing the rear controls are buttons for playing back and deleting your images, with the latter also accessing the new Custom mode during shooting. By default this opens the Picture Wizard menu, but it can be reconfigured to either the white balance or AF area settings.

There are four AF Area modes on offer, including Selection AF with a selectable focus area, Multi AF, Face Detection, and Self-Portrait Tracking, with Single, Continuous and Manual AF Modes available. The NX20 also has a useful AF Priority function that begins focusing as soon as you point the camera. Manual focusing is assisted by the ‘enlarged display’ function. Once you have selected manual focus mode on the lens barrel, turning the manual focus ring automatically increases the magnification on the LCD display, which is a big help in getting the focus spot on. This is real, non-interpolated magnification, very useful for accurate manual focusing – provided you find a way to steady the camera. The screen cleverly returns to normal magnification when you stop using the manual focus ring for a few seconds. Metering options include Multi, Center-weighted and Spot, while the ISO range runs from 100-12800. There are 6 white balance presets plus Auto and Custom settings and the ability to set a precise Kelvin value, and if you can’t make up your mind the white balance, exposure and even the Picture Wizard settings can all be bracketed.

Unlike a conventional DSLR camera which uses a phase detection auto-focus system, the NX20 employs the same Contrast AF system that is commonly used by compact cameras. As with the EVF, experienced photographers will now be tutting loudly at the thought of having to use a traditionally slower system, but thankfully this decision hasn’t resulted in a slow and unpredictable AF – quite the contrary in fact. The Samsung NX20’s focusing speed is fast enough for you not to notice it – not quite as quick as the new Olympus OM-D E-M5, but snappy nonetheless. There were also very few occasions when the NX20 failed to lock onto the subject, especially when using the centre AF point, which can be usefully set to one of four different sizes.

The start-up time from turning the NX20 on to being ready to take a photo is impressively quick at around 1 second. It takes about 1 second to store a JPEG image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card, with a brief LCD blackout between each image. Storing a single RAW image takes around 4 seconds, but thankfully it doesn’t stop you shooting another image while the first file is being written to memory, although subsequent shots do slow down the camera and any attempt to use the menu system results in the dreaded “Processing” message appearing. The Samsung NX20 has a great Burst mode which enables you to take 8 frames per second for 11 JPEG images at the highest image quality, or 8 RAW images, but again the “Processing” message appears to lock you out. The interesting Burst mode shoots at 10, 15 or 30fps for 30 shots with a single press of the shutter button, but only for small JPEGs.

Once you have captured a photo the Samsung NX20 has a fairly good range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 40 onscreen at the same time), zoom in and out up to 14.2x magnification, view slideshows, delete, share and protect an image and set the print order. There are a number of different ways to alter the look of an already-captured photo, including smart filters, redeye fix, backlight, changing the photo style, resizing, rotating, face retouch, brightness, contrast and vignetting. The Display button toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed, there are small brightness and RGB histograms available, and the Highlight option makes any blown-out highlights areas flash on the LCD screen.

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 20.3 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

The Samsung NX20 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. The 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS megapixel sensor used in the NX20 produces noise-free JPEG images at ISO 100-800, with ISO 1600 also looking very good. ISO 3200 only shows a little noise, while the fastest settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 are quite a lot noisier and suffer from softening of fine detail and a loss of saturation, but the images are still perfectly usable for small prints and resizing for web use. The NX20 does apply quite a lot of noise reduction to the JPEGs, as demonstrated by the RAW files which have more noise at the comparable high ISO settings.

The images were a little soft straight out of the NX20 at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting for JPEG files. The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and bulb mode of 8 minutes allowing you to capture plenty of light.

Colours were vibrant without being over-saturated in the default Standard Picture Wizard mode, and you can always choose Vivid if you want even more punch or one of the other seven presets to change the mood of your JPEG images, with three customisable settings also available. The Panorama shooting mode and range of Smart Filters are welcome additions.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Samsung NX20. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and RAW on the right.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Samsung NX20 has 3 different JPEG image quality settings available, with SuperFine being the highest quality option, and you can also shoot in RAW format. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

20M SuperFine (7.06Mb) (100% Crop) 20M Fine (4.23Mb) (100% Crop)
   
20M Normal (2.74Mb) (100% Crop) 20M RAW (32.7Mb) (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web – Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the Samsung NX20 are Smart Flash, Auto, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in + Red-eye reduction, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain, and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Off – Wide Angle (28mm)

Fill-in – Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Off – Telephoto (82mm)

Fill-in – Telephoto (82mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Fill-in or the Fill-in + Red-eye reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Fill-in

Fill-in (100% Crop)
   

Fill-in + Red-eye reduction

Fill-in + Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Samsung NX20’s maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there’s also a Bulb setting of up to 8 minutes, which is great news if you’re seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 25 seconds at ISO 100. I’ve included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Samsung NX20 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/6 sec / 28mm
     
1/8 sec / 82mm

Picture Wizard

Samsung’s various Picture Wizard options are similar to Olympus’ Picture Modes, Nikon’s Picture Styles and Canon’s Picture Controls, offering preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings, all of which can be changed. The nine available Picture Controls are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There are also three additional Custom styles so that you can create your own looks.

Standard

Vivid

   

Portrait

Landscape

   

Forest

Retro

   

Cool

Calm

   

Classic

 
 

Smart Filters

The Samsung NX20 offers ten creative filter effects that can be applied to both JPEG stills and movies.

Vignetting

Miniature

   

Fish Eye

Sketch

   

Defog

Halftone Dots

   

Soft Focus

Old Film 1

   

Old Film 2

Negative

Smart Range

The Smart Range feature noticeably increases the visible detail in both shadow and highlight areas, as shown in the example below, although it does tend to wash-out the stronger colours in the process.

Off

On

Panorama

The Panorama mode allows you to take vertical or horizontal panorama photos simply by holding down the shutter release button and moving the camera in the direction of the on-screen guides. Multiple shots are then combined into a single panorama photo.

Horizontal Panorama
Full-size Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

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Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Samsung NX20 camera, which were all taken using the 20.3 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Samsung NX20 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We’ve provided some Samsung RAW (SRW) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/20s · f/4 · 36mm · ISO 800
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/80s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 200
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/125s · f/4 · 38mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/100s · f/3.5 · 27mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/80s · f/3.5 · 27mm · ISO 200
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/160s · f/5.6 · 84mm · ISO 400
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/80s · f/11 · 30mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/160s · f/5.6 · 84mm · ISO 400
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/20s · f/3.5 · 27mm · ISO 800
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/30s · f/5.6 · 84mm · ISO 3200
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/200s · f/4 · 38mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/1250s · f/4 · 36mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/5s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 100
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/13s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 200
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/20s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 400
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/50s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 800
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/80s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 1600
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/160s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 3200
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/400s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 6400
Download Original

Sample RAW Image

Download

1/800s · f/8 · 27mm · ISO 12800
Download Original

Sample Movie

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920×1280 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 21 second movie is 40.1Mb in size.

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

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Use coupon code “PHOTOBLOG” to save another $10 on Luminar.

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Product Images

Samsung NX20

Front of the Camera

 
Samsung NX20

Front of the Camera / Lens Fitted

 
Samsung NX20

Front of the Camera / Flash Raised

 
Samsung NX20

Isometric View

 
Samsung NX20

Isometric View

 
Samsung NX20

Isometric View

 
Samsung NX20

Isometric View

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera

 

Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera / Function Menu

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera / Function Menu

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera / Custom Menu

 
Samsung NX20

Rear of the Camera / Tilting LCD Screen

 
Samsung NX20

Front of the Camera / Tilting LCD Screen

 
Samsung NX20

Top of the Camera

 
Samsung NX20

Bottom of the Camera

 
Samsung NX20

Side of the Camera

 
Samsung NX20

Side of the Camera

 
Samsung NX20

Front of the Camera

 
Samsung NX20

Front of the Camera

 
 
Samsung NX20

Memory Card Slot

 
Samsung NX20

Battery Compartment

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

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We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

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Specifications

Image Sensor

Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7mm
Effective Pixel Approx. 20.3 Mega-pixels
Total Pixel Approx. 21.6 Mega-pixels
Color Filter RGB Primary Colour Filter

Lens

Mount Samsung NX
Usable Lens Samsung Lenses for Samsung NX Mount

i-Function

i-Scene (depends on Lens) Smart Filter (Vignetting, Minature, Fish-Eye, Sketch, Defog, Halftone Dot) i-Zoom (x1.2, 1.4, 1.7, 2.0)

Image Stabilization

Type Lens Shift (Depends on Lens)
Mode OIS Mode1 / Mode2 / OFF

Distortion Correct

Mode LDC On / Off (Depends on Lens)

Dust Reduction

Type Super Sonic Drive

Display

Type Swivel Type AMOLED
Size 3″
Resolution VGA (640 x 480) 614k dots (PenTile) OCR
Filed of View Approx. 100%
User Display Grid (4types), Histgram, Icons : On / Off, Distance Scale : ft / m / Off, Electronic Level

ViewFinder

Type EVF w / Eye Contact Sensor
Resolution SVGA Class (800 x 600) 1440000 dots Equiv.
Filed of View Approx. 100%
Magnification Approx. 0.68x (Equivalent to a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera)
Eyepoint Approx. 18mm
Diopter Adjustment Approx. -4 ~ +4m -1

Focusing

Type Contrast AF
Mode Single AF / Continuous AF / MF
Focusing point Selection: 1point (Free selection)
Multi: Normal 15points, Closeup 35points
Face Detection: Max. 10 faces
AF-Assist Lamp Yes

Shutter Speed

Type Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
Speed Auto: 1 / 8000sec. ~ 30sec. (w / E-Shutter)
Manual: 1 / 8000sec. ~ 30sec. (w / E-Shutter, 1/3EV step)
Bulb (Limit time : 4min.)

Exposure

Metering System TTL 221 (17 x 13) Block segment
Metering : Multi, Centre-weighted, Spot
Metering range : EV 0 – 18 (ISO 100 · 30mm, F2)
Compensation ±3 EV (1 / 3EV step)
AE Lock AEL Button
ISO Equivalent Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (1 or 1 / 3EV step)(1)

Drive Mode

Mode Single, Continuous, Burst (5M size only), Self-timer, Bracket (AE / WB / PW)
Continuous JPEG : High (8fps) up to 11 shots, Low (3fps) up to 15 shots selectable
Burst : 10, 15, 30fps selectable, 30 shots by 1 release
RAW : High (8fps), Low (3fps) selectable up to 8 shots
Bracket Auto Exposure Bracket (±3EV), WB, PW
Self-Timer 2 – 30sec (1sec Step)
Remote Controller SR2NX02 (via Micro USB port)

Flash

Type TTL Auto Pop-up flash
Mode Smart Flash, Auto, Auto+Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in+Red-eye reduction, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain, OFF
Guide Number 11 (at ISO 100)
Angle of View Coverage 28mm Wide-Angle (Equivalent to 35mm)
Sync. Speed Less than 1/180sec
Flash Compensation -2 – +2EV (0.5EV step)
Internal Flash Yes
External Flash Samsung External Flash available (SEF-42A, SEF220A : Optional)
Synchro (Flash attachment) Hot Shoe

White Balance

Mode Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent (W, N, D), Tungsten, Flash, Custom, K(Manual)
Micro Adjustment Each 7 Steps in Amber / Blue / Green / Magenta Axis

Dynamic Range Expansion

Smart Range On / Off

Picture Wizard

Mode Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm, Classic, Custom (1~3)
Parameter Contrast / Colour / Saturation / Sharpness

Shooting

Mode SmartAuto (2.0), Programme, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Custom, Lens Priority,Scene, Movie, Wi-Fi
Scene Mode Live Panorama (2d, 3D), Beauty Shot, Night, Landscape, Portrait, Children, Sports, Close Up, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach&Snow, Sound Picture, 3D Photo
Sound Picture JPEG Only, Sound Recording Time (Before and after Shooting each 5 sec or 10 sec)
Image Size JPEG (3:2): 20M (5472 x 3648), 10.1M (3888 x 2592), 5.9M (2976 x 1984), 2M (1728 x 1152), 5M (2736 x 1824): Burst mode only
JPEG (16:9): 16.9M (5472 x 3080), 7.8M (3712 x 2088), 4.9M (2944 x 1656), 2.1M (1920 x 1080)
JPEG (1:1): 13.3M (3648 x 3648), 7M (2640 x 2640), 4M (2000 x 2000), 1.1M (1024 x 1024)
RAW: 20M (5472 x 3648)
Quality Super fine, Fine, Normal
RAW Format SRW (Compressed)
Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Smart Filter Vignetting, Miniature, Fish-Eye, Sketch, De-fog, Halftone Dots, Soft Focus

Image Play

Type Single image, Thumbnails (3 / 15 / 40 images), Slide show, Movie
Smart Filter Miniature, Soft Focus, Old Film1, Old Film2, Halftone Dots, Sketch, Fish-Eye, De-fog Negative
JPEG (3:2): 5.9M (2976 x 1984), 5M (2736 x 1824), 2M (1728 x 1152)
JPEG (16:9): 6.2M (3328 x 1872), 4.9M (2944 x 1656), 2.1M (1920 x 1080)
JPEG (1:1): 6M (2448 x 2448), 4M (2000 x 2000), 1.1M (1024 x 1024)
Editing Smart Filter, Red-eye fix, Backlight., Resize, Rotate, Face Retouch, Brightness, Contrast, Vignetting

Movie Clip

Format MP4 (H.264)
Compression Movie: H.264 / Sound: AAC
Mode Programme, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual
Recording With Audio or without Audio (user selectable, recording time : 25 minutes)
Frame Rate 30fps, 24fps (1920 x 810 Only)
Image Size 1920 x 1080, 1920 x 810, 1280 x 720 , 640 x 480, 320 x 240 for Sharing (Default : 1920 x 1080)
Movie Editing Still Image Capture, Time Trimming
Sound Stereo Sound
Smart Filter Vignetting, Miniature, Fish-Eye, Sketch, De-fog, Halftone Dots, Soft Focus, Old Film1, Old Film2, Negative”
Multi-Motion Recording x0.25 (640, 320 only), x0.5 (1280, 640, 320 only), x5, x10, x20
Quality High Quality , Normal

Storage

Media SD, SDHC, SDXC (guarantee up to 128GB)
File Format RAW (SRW), JPEG (EXIF 2.21), DCF, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0
Capacity (2GB) 20M RAW: Super Fine 37, Fine 47, Normal 51
20M (3:2): Super Fine 186, Fine 365, Normal 537
10.1M (3:2): Super Fine 397, Fine 727, Normal 1047
5.9M (3:2): Super Fine 628, Fine 1172, Normal 1648
2M (3:2): Super Fine 1633, Fine 2752, Normal 3566
Burst (5M): Super Fine 733, Fine 1354, Normal 1885
16.9M (16:9): Super Fine 230, Fine 450, Normal 658
7.8M (16:9): Super Fine 487, Fine 922, Normal 1314
4.9M (16:9): Super Fine 749, Fine 1381, Normal 1920
2.1M (16:9): Super Fine 1579, Fine 2675, Normal 3481
13.3M (1:1): Super Fine 290, Fine 562, Normal 817
7M (1:1): Super Fine 538, Fine 1014, Normal 1437
4M (1:1): Super Fine 897, Fine 1627, Normal 2232
1.1M (1:1): Super Fine 2654, Fine 4072, Normal 4954
Movie: 1920 x 1080 30p: High Quality 17m 35s, Normal 21m 56s
1920 x 810 24p: High Quality 19m 0s, Normal 23m 43s
1280 x 720 60p: High Quality 20m 16s, Normal 25m 17s
1280 x 720 30p: High Quality 29m 10s, Normal 36m 20s
640 x 480 30p: High Quality 73m 26s, Normal 91m 0s
320 x 240 30p: High Quality 236m 16s, Normal 287m 12s(2)

Languages

Korean, English, Danish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Czech, French, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Norsk, Simplified / Traditional Chinese

Direct Print System

PictBridge Yes

GPS

Type Geo-Tagging with Option GPS Module (WGS84)
Function Location Name (OSD) (English and Korean only), Google Map Link (with Intelli-Studio)

Interface

Digital Output Connector USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED) (micro USB Jack)
Video Output NTSC, PAL (user selectable) HDMI 1.4a : (1080i, 720p, 576p / 480p)
External Release Yes

Power

Power Source Type Rechargeable battery : BP1310 (1300mAh)
Charger: BC1310
Battery 180min / 360 shots (CIPA Standard)

Physical Specification

Dimension Dimension (WxHxD) 122 x 89.6 x 39.5mm (excluding the projection part)
Weight 341g (without batteries and Memory card)
Operating Temperature 0 – 40°C
Operating Humidity 5 – 85%

S/W and PC OS

Bundle PC S/W intelli-studio 3.0, Samsung RAW Converter 4, PC Auto Backup, Adobe Reader
Compatible OS Windows XP SP2 / Vista / Windows 7

Wireless

Wireless IEEE 802.11n support . Cloud . Email . Auto Backup . Remote Viewfinder . Mobile Link . Wi-Fi Direct . TV Link . Social Sharing

System Requirement

Windows General PC with processor better than Intel Pentium III 500MHz (Intel Pentium 800MHz or higher recommended) Windows XP / Vista / 7Minimum 256MB RAM (512MB or more recommended)
250MB of available hard disk space (1GB or more recommended)
USB port
CD-ROM drive
1024 x 768 pixels, 16-bit colour display compatible monitor (24-bit colour display recommended)
Microsoft Direct X 9.0c or later
  Intelli-Studio 3.0 Windows XP SP2 / Vista / 7
Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz or higher / AMD AthlonTMFX, 2.6GHz or higher
Minimum 512MB RAM (1GB or more recommended)
250MB of available hard disk space (1GB or more recommended)
1024 x 768 pixels, 16-bit colour display compatible monitor (1280 x 1024 pixels, 32-bit colour display recommended)
USB 2.0,
Microsoft DirectX 9.0c or later
nVIDIA Geforce 7600GT or higher / ATI X1600 series or higher
# 64-bit editions of Windows XP / Vista / and 7 are not supported
  Samsung RAW Converter 4 Windows XP / Vista / 7″
Intel Pentium, AMD Athlon Processor (Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon XP or later recommended)”
1GB or more RAM recommended Minimum 100MB of available hard disk space
1024 x 768 pixels, Full Colour (24-bit or higher) colour display compatible monitor
Macintosh General Power Mac G3 or later
Mac OS 10.4 or later
Minimum 256MB RAM (512MB or more recommended)
Minimum 110MB of available hard-disk space
USB port
CD-ROM drive
  Samsung RAW Converter 4 Mac OS X v10.6 / v10.5 / v10.4″
Power PC / Intel Processor-based or compatible computer (Core 2 Quad or later recommended)”
1GB or more RAM recommended Minimum 100MB of available hard disk space
1024 x 768 pixels, 24-bit colour display compatible monitor

Usage note

  • (1) AUTO ISO upper level is selectable. (Up to ISO3200)
  • (2) These figures are measure under the Samsung standard.

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

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Conclusion

The Samsung NX20 is a great photographic tool that offers a wealth of features, intuitive handling and excellent image quality, with built-in wi-fi connectivity the icing on the cake. The launch price has risen significantly in comparison with the previous NX11 model, so it’s not quite the bargain that it once was, while the slow processing times make it less well-suited to action photography.

The NX20’s stylish DSLR-like design remain intact, with a logical user interface and good build quality despite the all-plastic construction. The new articulated AMOLED display is a very welcome addition, as is the higher-resolution electronic viewfinder that should satisfy even die-hard optical viewfinder fans. The jury’s still out on the i-Function button, though, with opinions divided about whether it’s a genuinely useful innovation or just another way to differentiate the NX system from its competitors.

The NX20 has all the advantages that a large APS-C DSLR sensor camera offers, namely better performance at higher ISOs than the smaller Micro Four Thirds format. We’d be happy to regularly shoot with any setting from 100-800, and even 1600 is handy at a push when you want natural results without having to resort to the built-in flash. Note that the RAW files are massive, weighing in at 37Mb each, which is almost as large as those from the 36 megapixel Nikon D800.

With two cheaper sister models, the NX210 and NX1000, announced at the same time as the NX20, this flagship model is no longer quite as affordable as it once was. Sure, it has more features and a better screen and EVF than the NX11, but the significant price increase makes it one of the more expensive compact system cameras on the market.

If you’re attracted by the thought of a DSLR but don’t like the additional bulk, then the NX20 CSC is certainly a very capable alternative, offering similar image quality in a smaller package. Highly recommended.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

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Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Samsung NX20.

Canon EOS 600D

Canon EOS 600D Review thumbnail

The Canon EOS 600D (called the Canon EOS Rebel T3i in North America) is a new DSLR camera that boasts a class-leading 18-megapixels and full 1080p high-definition videos. Other key features of the 600D / T3i include continuous shooting at 3.7fps, a vari-angle 3-inch LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution, ISO range of 100-12800, 14-bit image processing and Canon’s Digic 4 processor. Is the Canon EOS 600D / T3i the best mid-range digital SLR camera on the market? Read our expert review to find out…

Canon PowerShot G1 X

Canon PowerShot G1 X Review thumbnail

The Canon PowerShot G1 X is a serious compact camera with a large 1.5-inch image sensor. Building on previous G-series models, the G1 X also offers a 4x, 28-112mm zoom lens, 1080p HD video with stereo sound, 3 inch vari-angle screen, optical viewfinder and manual controls. £699 / €799 / $799.99 is a lot of money to pay for a fixed-lens compact camera – read our Canon PowerShot G1 X review to find out if it’s worth it.

Fujifilm FinePix X10

Fujifilm FinePix X10 Review thumbnail

The Fujifilm FinePix X10 is a gorgeous new compact camera that boasts impeccable build-quality, intuitive handling and a long-list of photographer-friendly features. Find out if it can deliver the goods in our in-depth Fujifilm FinePix X10 review, complete with full-size sample JPEG and raw images, videos and more…

Fujifilm FinePix X100

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Review thumbnail

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 camera is already one of the surprise hits of 2011, and it hasn’t even hit the shops in any great numbers yet. That hasn’t stopped us from taking our usual in-depth look at the gorgeously retro X100, with its large APS-C sensor, 35mm fixed focal length lens, and truly innovative hybrid viewfinder. Read our Fujifilm FinePix X100 review to find out if you really should order one now…

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V1 Review thumbnail

The Nikon 1 V1 is the company’s long-awaited entry into the rapidly growing compact system camera market. Based around the brand new “CX” format sensor, the Nikon V1 is all about speed, with fast auto-focusing and up to 60fps continuous shooting. The V1 also offers an electronic viewfinder, 3 inch LCD screen, full HD video, and a range of innovative modes like Smart Photo Selector and Motion Snapshot Mode. Can the Nikon V1 successfully carry on the long tradition of the company’s DSLRs? Read our in-depth Nikon 1 V1 review to find out…

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200 Review thumbnail

The Nikon D3200 is a new entry-level digital SLR camera with an attention-grabbing feature list. The D3200 has a massive 24 megapixels, full 1080p HD movies, 3 inch LCD screen, 4fps burst shooting and an ISO range of 100-12800. Find out if this is the best DSLR camera for beginners by reading our detailed Nikon D3200 review, complete with sample JPEG and raw photos, test shots, videos and more…

Olympus E-P3

Olympus E-P3 Review thumbnail

Olympus have further expanded their Micro Four Thirds family with the launch of the E-P3. Boasting the World’s fastest autofocus system, the E-P3 also adds a 3-inch OLED touchscreen display, new 12.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor, full HD movie mode with stereo sound, and an extensive range of creative filters. Read our expert Olympus E-P3 review to find out if this is the best PEN camera yet…

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review thumbnail

Olympus have expanded their Micro Four Thirds family with the launch of the OM-D E-M5. Boasting the World’s fastest autofocus system, the E-M5 brings the original design ethos of the 1970’s film OM series kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Read our expert Olympus E-M5 review to find out if it’s the best compact system camera on the market.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Review thumbnail

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 is a tiny compact system camera that still manages to offer a built-in viewfinder and a free-angle LCD screen. Other key features of the brand new G3 include a new 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor, intuitive touchscreen control system, almost instant auto-focus system, 1080i AVCHD movies with stereo sound, 4fps burst shooting and a range of creative effects. Read the World’s first Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 review now…

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Review thumbnail

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is a new compact system camera for enthusiast photographers. With a 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch LCD screen, built-in flash, 1080i high-definition video, new power-zoom kit lens and a wealth of shooting modes, is the GX1 the best portable interchangeable lens camera? Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 review to find out….

Pentax K-01

Pentax K-01 Review thumbnail

The Pentax K-01 is a new compact system camera with a uniquely distinctive design. The K-01 has a 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch LCD screen, 1080p movies, ISO range of 100-25600 and full manual controls. Read our in-depth Pentax K-01 review to find out what we thought of this daring entry into the competitive mirrorless camera market…

Samsung NX11

Samsung NX11 Review thumbnail

The NX11 is the third model in Samsung’s compact system camera range, adding compatibility with the innovative iFunction, which allows you to change key camera settings using the focus ring on the lens. The Samsung NX11 also features a DSLR-like design, 3 inch AMOLED screen, electronic viewfinder, 720p video and a large APS-C CMOS sensor with 14.6 megapixels. Read our in-depth Samsung NX11 review, complete with 40 JPEG and 15 RAW samples.

Sony NEX-5

Sony NEX-5 Review thumbnail

Sony have joined the likes of Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung in the mirrorless system camera market with the release of the NEX-5 and NEX-3. With a 14 megapixel APS HD CMOS sensor, full 1080i HD movies, high-res 3 inch tilting screen, optional external flash and two available lenses on launch, the NEX-5 certainly seems well-equipped to take on the already established competition. Find out if it has what it takes in our in-depth Sony NEX-5 review, complete with sample JPEGs, RAW files, movies and even 3D panoramas.

Sony NEX-7

Sony NEX-7 Review thumbnail

The Sony NEX-7 is a new compact system camera with a long list of photographer-friendly features. Offering a 24.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 1080p HD movies, high-res 3 inch tilting screen, 10fps burst shooting, built-in electronic viewfinder and pop-up flash, the NEX-7 seems to be on paper at least a very exciting proposition. Read our full Sony NEX-7 review, complete with sample JPEGs, RAW files, and movies, to find out if this is the ultimate compact system camera…

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

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Review Roundup

Reviews of the Samsung NX20 from around the web.

pocket-lint.com »

Samsung’s NX series has been technological from the get-go, but the latest NX20 model – the follow up to the NX11 – adds Wi-Fi to its features list. In today’s connected world that might prick up a few ears: it’s one of the areas that most big camera brands have failed to integrate well, or that otherwise tends to be sold as an extra add-on in some more recent models. But does the NX20’s Wi-Fi functionality, in conjunction with its large APS-C sized 20.3-megapixel sensor, justify the £900 price tag?
Read the full review »

ephotozine.com »

The Samsung NX20 was introduced in the middle of April 2012, and is the upgrade to the NX11, adding a 20.3 megapixel sensor, Full HD video, and built in Wi-Fi, as well as a swivelling 3 inch AMOLED screen.
Read the full review »

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Samsung NX20 Review Image

Mac users, we’re pleased to announce Macphun’s all-in-one photo editor Luminar is now available for just $69£52

with special Valentine Day bonuses (two eBooks, Vivid Wonderland preset pack, & Creative Sky Overlay pack) included for free until February 19.

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We rated Luminar as “Highly Recommended”. Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.

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