Samsung NX Mini Review

Samsung NX Mini Review

Samsung presents NX mini and three matching lenses: Compact system camera with 1-inch sensor

Samsung surprisingly shook up the NX mini system, a mirrorless camera system as a compact alternative to the large NX system. However, the system does not claim to ever want to cover all photographic facets, but rather to exist as a small camera with at least a few interchangeable lenses. There are just three lenses: a particularly compact wide-angle lens, a powerful normal focal length and a standard zoom lens.


  • For Selfies forward foldable Touch-Display
  • Good connectivity via WLAN
  • Good image quality up to ISO 1,600
  • 17 mm 1.8 with very good image quality


  • Cheap workmanship, housing gives way
  • Fiddly Micro SD Cards
  • 9 mm fixed focal length with lower image quality than 9-27 mm zoom
  • 9-27 mm shades integrated flash (external plug on)

Samsung introduces the NX mini, a slim and compact mirrorless system camera. The core is an image sensor in 1-inch format, similar to what Nikon uses in the 1 system. Despite the extremely compact dimensions of the NX mini, Samsung still has room for an internal flash and a system flash connector. The camera also features WiFi connectivity including NFC. Samsung also introduces three new NX mini lenses and announces an adapter for NX lenses. The NX mini is available in five different colours.

The Samsung NX mini is available in Mint Green, Baby Pink, Black, White and Brown. [Photo: Samsung]

The back of the Samsung NX mini is dominated by the lush 3-inch display. [Photo: Samsung]

Matching the NX mini, Samsung introduces three new lenses, including the NX-M 9-27 mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS. [Photo: Samsung]

Small, light and handy like a compact camera, but with the ability to change lenses – that’s the NX mini that Samsung introduced today. Ready for operation and equipped with the NX-M 9-27mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS lens, it weighs just 270 grams. This miniaturization is achieved by a comparatively small sensor in 1-inch format, similar to the Nikon 1 system. The image converter is designed in light-sensitive BSI technology and has a resolution of around 20 megapixels. If desired, the NX mini can also record in raw format, with a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800.

. What’s certain is that the NX mini has 18 scene modes that do most of the setting work for you. In addition, there are 13 effect programs for creative alienation of the images, as well as an intelligent fully automatic. In addition, the NX mini can handle the burst mode known from the big NX sisters, in which the camera takes series pictures with very high frequency but reduced resolution. The NX mini features an on-board flash as well as a proprietary system flash shoe, for which a clip-on flash has been announced.

The topic of WiFi connectivity is a big deal for the NX mini. The camera features NFC, making it easy to connect to a smartphone. If it is equipped with the free “Samsung Smart Camera” app, the NX mini transmits recordings wirelessly to the mobile device, can be controlled remotely from there or sends the latest recordings directly to the cloud.

The display of the Samsung NX mini can be folded forward 180 degrees to make “Selfies” easier. [Photo: Samsung]

The NX mini does without a viewfinder and features a large 3-inch display for viewfinder image control. The display can be folded upwards by 180 degrees, which is intended to simplify so-called “selfies”. With around 480,000 pixels, it only has a moderately high resolution, but is touch-sensitive and thus simplifies the operation of the camera.

Together with the NX mini, Samsung introduces three new lenses for the NX-M bayonet. These include the NX-M 9-27mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS zoom lens, which covers a focal length range of 24 to 73 millimetres in 35mm. The optical system consists of nine elements in eight groups, seven louvre blades are intended to provide a circular aperture opening. In addition, the zoom lens has an optical image stabilizer. Also stabilized is the fixed focal length NX-M 17mm F1.8 OIS, whose focal length corresponds to 46 millimeters of 35mm. The third lens in the bundle is the NX-M 9mm F3.5 ED. With this wide-angle lens, Samsung dispenses with an optical image stabilizer. From June 2014, an adapter will also be available to use the full range of NX System lenses on the NX mini.

The NX mini is available in Mint Green, Baby Pink, Black, White and Brown since 2014. There are then two sets to choose from: On the one hand the NX mini with zoom lens NX-M 9-27mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS for about 500 Euro, on the other hand the camera together with the fixed focal length NX-M 9mm F3.5 ED for about 400 Euro. The workflow software Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is part of the scope of delivery for both sets.

The Samsung NX mini’s ample battery is enough for 360 shots, it’s the same as the Galaxy S4. The Micro-SD memory card, on the other hand, is very fiddly

Samsung has placed the tripod thread in the optical axis of the NX mini in an exemplary way

In the view from above you can see that the Samsung NX mini is extremely flat with only about two centimeters. Due to the missing recessed grip, however, it offers little grip to the hand.

The BSI CMOS sensor of the Samsung NX mini has a resolution of around 20 megapixels, while the 1″ sensor with a resolution of 13.2 x 8.8 millimetres is one of the smaller system cameras.

The design of the Samsung NX mini has retro charm, but is still very linear and simple.

The design of the Samsung NX mini is a matter of debate, especially as here in Mintgrün.

Ergonomics and workmanship

At around eleven by six centimetres, the Samsung NX mini is compact, but not the smallest, but with a case thickness of around two centimetres it’s pretty flat. With the exception of the silver aluminium cover plate, the housing is made entirely of plastic, most of which imitates leather with its grained structure. However, the plastic looks a bit cheap, and the case gives way in the grip area, which also doesn’t exactly speak for high quality. Despite the structure, the plastic is also quite smooth and the hand doesn’t find a secure hold because of the missing grip bulge. The choice of colours is certainly a matter of divided opinion, to put it bluntly one could call it “courageous”, especially when it comes to pale pink and mint green. The mint green of the test camera that I have received, radiates the charm of the 50s, which has its attraction for some with the retro design of the camera, even if it is very simple.

The three currently available lenses, including bayonet, are made of plastic and are clad in a metal case. The 9-27 mm zoom lens (KB-equivalent 24-73 mm) must be rotated manually to the shooting position, while the plastic tube extends. The then quite long zoom lens shades the integrated flash, but the SEF7A flash is included with the lens and solves the problem. Practically, the 9-27 mm and the 17 mm 1.8 (45 mm KB) have the same 39 mm filter thread. The 9 mm 3.5 Pancake (24 mm KB) on the other hand lacks a filter thread, not even a lens cap can be attached, so the front lens remains unprotected. None of the three lenses has a lens hood.

The slim housing of the NX mini is not only difficult to hold on to, it is also very tippy on a flat surface and tends to tilt forward, especially with the zoom lens attached, so you should put the camera down carefully. After all, Samsung managed to place the metal tripod thread in the optical axis. Since both the battery and the memory card are removed from the side, they can be changed at any time even when using a tripod. Very practical: The relatively large lithium-ion battery was also used in the Samsung Galaxy S4 and is therefore widely used on the market. Even the original is very affordable and provides a relatively good range of 360 shots according to the CIPA standard measurement procedure. The battery in the camera is charged via Micro-USB, so one charger for mobile phone and camera is sufficient on the way. What is noticeable positively with the battery is less nice with the memory card, because the mobile phone standard in the form of Micro SD is also used here. Thus the memory card is not exactly predestined to be removed and read out in a card reader. It is better to take a larger capacity number and read it out via a micro-USB cable or even use the WLAN, which the camera can do excellently.

The NX mini can be switched on either with the button on the top or with the help of the folding display. This can be folded up 180 degrees and the camera automatically switches to self-portrait mode, even if it was switched off before. In addition, you’ll find a proprietary flash shoe, a WLAN button and the shutter release with two clearly noticeable pressure points at the top. The 7.5 centimeter display has a relatively low resolution of 460,800 pixels, the font in the menus, for example, appears somewhat pixelated, the Live View image quality is reasonably good. After all, Samsung, as befits a modern smart camera, uses a touch-sensitive display so that the entire camera can be operated with a fingertip, including focusing on a scene mode detail with a fingertip. Fingertip triggering also works if you activate it. Although the menu is quite sparingly equipped, it offers all the important functions that a modern camera needs. Since the four menus are not too long, you can do without more tabs without having to look for yourself to death. But there is also an Fn menu for important functions as well as some, partly programmable buttons on the camera with which frequently used parameters can be adjusted.


Although the NX mini misses the classic program selector wheel at first glance, the recording programs are displayed after pressing the corresponding button. In fact, this is the only function that cannot be accessed via the touchscreen. However, the NX mini offers fully automatic scene recognition, pre-selectable scene modes and the classic creative modes P, A, S and M. There is something for every user. Also a panorama program is not missing. Auto ISO can be configured via a menu, for example to prevent the automatic from selecting the high ISO levels that reduce image quality. Advanced photographers will find functions such as a configurable timer, a continuous shooting function with autofocus tracking or exposure bracketing. In addition, the NX mini even offers the option of shooting a three-frame focus series or a white balance series. Images can be captured to the memory card in JPEG or raw format – or both at the same time. During storage, the camera can continue to take photographs, provided there is still space available in the internal buffer.

The NX mini records videos in maximum Full HD resolution in MP4 format. But also smaller resolutions like 720p, 480p and 240p are available, the refresh rate is 30 frames per second each, the autofocus is inaudibly tracked. Depending on the resolution, the speed can also be reduced or increased to achieve slow motion or fast motion effects. However, slow motion (4x) is only available for the two small resolutions. However, the NX mini only has a mono microphone, no other sound settings are available, not even a filter for wind noise.

Thanks to the central locking system, the NX mini triggers almost noiselessly, only a soft click can be heard. With shutter speeds shorter than 1/200 second, an electronic shutter operates, which even allows up to 1/16,000 short exposure times. But the integrated flash only works together with the central shutter, so it only synchronizes with 1/200 seconds or longer, with a guide number of 4 at ISO 100 it’s pretty weak on the chest anyway. The SEF7A flash supplied with the 9-27 mm SEF7A is slightly more potent with a guide number of 7, but only synchronizes at 1/50 second or longer. So the NX mini is less suitable for stroboscopists, especially since there is no flash light correction, after all it synchronizes to the end instead of at the beginning of the exposure, which can sometimes be useful.

The NX mini’s autofocus offers 21 focus points, 35 at close range, up to the edge, face detection and a tracking function (C-AF) as well as an AF auxiliary light. With a fingertip on the screen, you can focus on any motif detail. On average, the NX mini only takes about 0.3 seconds to focus and release. If you like, you can also set the focus manually. However, the lenses lack a suitable adjustment ring and so the camera keys have to serve as a compromise. About 50 focus levels are available, but without an exact distance. A five or eightfold magnifying glass automatically enlarges the central image section if desired. Prefocused, the shutter release delay is even just 0.05 seconds.

The 9-27 mm standard zoom for the Samsung NX mini is extended for recording.

The WLAN function is as extensive as usual. If you have a mobile phone with NFC, you don’t even have to enter the connection data. The NX mini then transmits images to the smart device or can be remotely controlled, including live image transmission. The Auto-Backup function, on the other hand, automatically transfers images to the home WLAN, and the NX mini can even be used as a video babyphone. Practical: If the USB charger is connected, the USB power supply is not deactivated even when the camera is switched on, which means that the battery is sucked out more slowly. A cable bushing at the battery bay gives an idea that Samsung might even offer a battery dummy with power supply. Other wireless options include sending pictures by email, uploading to Facebook, Flickr, or Picasa, storing photos in a cloud service, and Samsung Link to transfer pictures to your TV, for example.

Behind the large flap of the Samsung NX mini are the lush battery, the fiddly Micro SD card, the Micro USB port and the Micro HDMI interface.

The Samsung NX-M 9-27 mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS is the only zoom lens for the Samsung NX mini. It covers a small image equivalent focal length range from 24 to 73 millimeters.

The Samsung NX-M 9-27 mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS is extended longer.

The Samsung NX-M 9 mm F3.5 ED is pretty small, but there is no lens cap and the average image quality is even outdone by the 9-27 mm zoom.

The Samsung NX-M 17 mm F1.8 OIS offers not only the highest speed, but also the best image quality of all three lenses.

When using the NX-M 9-27 mm it is essential to use the Samsung SEF7A flash supplied with the lens, as the internal flash will cast a shadow at 9 mm.

The inconspicuous menu item “Image editing” has a lot of functions. Cropping, reducing and rotating are still part of the standard diet, but colours, brightness, exposure, contrasts, color temperature etc. can also be adjusted and a stack of filter functions is also available. In addition, facial skin can be embellished. Before uploading a photo to Facebook, for example, it can be modified or optimized at will.

Picture quality

Although the number of interchangeable lenses is limited, the Samsung NX mini has a lot to offer the photographer. But does this also apply to the image quality? At first glance, you wouldn’t trust the small camera with the somewhat cheap-looking housing, which focuses more on design than on high quality, to do this at all. On the other hand, the Sony 1″ BSI CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20 megapixels, which is used here, is known for its extraordinarily good image quality. With 13.2 x 8.8 millimetres and a crop factor of 2.7, however, it is one of the rather small sensors among interchangeable lens cameras.

In fact, the NX mini has a good signal-to-noise ratio at ISO 100 and a satisfactory signal-to-noise ratio up to ISO 6,400, only above that it slips below the critical 35 dB mark. Up to this very brand, the NX mini also has brightness noise well under control, color noise doesn’t play a role with any sensitivity. The noise, which is low anyway, is quite fine-grained up to ISO 1.600 and only slowly becomes somewhat coarser at higher sensitivities, without the trace, however, penetrating into critical areas. Up to ISO 1.600, the dynamic range is constant at ten f-stops in the good range and remains at a high level up to ISO 6.400 with 9.5 f-stops. A look at the texture sharpness reveals that there are practically no losses up to ISO 400, the camera even shows too many details, including those that arise from subsequent sharpening. Then the measurement curve begins to sink more strongly, but remains uncritical up to ISO 1,600. From ISO 3.200, however, fine details such as the grain of wood disappear visibly, while fine hairs dissolve in the background. This means that the NX mini is beating the expected range that Sony also achieves with its own cameras.

The output tonal range is at a high level up to ISO 3,200, the camera reproduces fine differences in brightness well differentiated. Up to ISO 1.600 very good over four million colour gradations are reproduced, even at ISO 12.800 the NX mini with over two million is still in the green range. The manual white balance works flawlessly and the chromaticity diagram is very neutral, but a little too saturated for warm colours. The tonal value curve is moderately divided. Together with the somewhat stronger sharpening in the barely acceptable range, this results in a crisp image reproduction that does not unduly distort the original scene mode. Up to ISO 400, the NX mini offers a very good image quality, the losses up to ISO 1,600 are kept within narrow limits. Only above this do some values collapse, where the decreasing details are most noticeable.

But good image quality also includes the lenses. On 20 x 30 centimetres, all three lenses show excellent image sharpness from the centre to the edge of the image at all focal lengths and apertures. An excessive edge darkening is also not to be complained about with any lens. Like the 9-27 mm, the 9 mm is distortion-free in wide-angle and medium focal length, while in telescopic position the zoom shows a small barrel shape as well as the 17 mm. Samsung has color fringes in the form of chromatic aberrations well under control when zooming in, the 17 mm shows somewhat stronger but no critical color fringes, especially towards the edge of the picture. The situation is different with the 9 mm, which has clearly visible colour fringes towards the edge of the picture.

At a resolution of 50 percent edge contrast, the 9-27 mm achieves up to 40 line pairs per millimeter, at short and medium focal lengths there is a slight edge drop, but at a maximum of 15 percent it is relatively low at wide-angle. The 9 mm fixed focal length also comes close to 40 lp/mm, but with up to 25 percent it has a much greater edge drop than the zoom. Both lenses of 17 mm 1.8 are placed in the shade. The mark of 50 lp/mm is already easily cracked with an open aperture, the resolution is almost 30 percent higher than with the other two lenses. The resolution already decreases during dimming, which can be traced back to diffraction. At the edge of the image, the lens resolves about 25 percent less with an open aperture than in the center, but at the edge of the image it is at least at the same level as the center of the other two lenses and even higher when stopped down. At F5.6, the 17 mm with around 46 lp/mm in the center and at the edge achieves an absolutely even, high resolution.

Altogether it can be said that the NX-M 9 mm 3.5 can be saved. It offers the worst image quality, is even trumped by the zoom, has no image stabilizer and the front lens is unprotected due to the lack of lens cap exposed. Only in terms of size can it score points; it applies less than half as much as the other two lenses. The 9-27 mm performs surprisingly well, a nice zoom lens without big weaknesses. If you attach importance to image quality, the NX-M 17 mm 1.8 is a must-have: the lens already has an excellent resolution with an open aperture, the edge of the image is equal to the centre at a high level when stopped down by three stops. In addition, the lens shines like the 9-27 mm with an optical image stabilizer and is the only lens that offers a high light intensity for indoor and twilight photography as well as – although limited due to the small sensor – exposure potential.

Bottom line

All in all, the Samsung NX mini leaves an ambivalent impression. One may argue about the design and above all the offered coloring, the small system camera doesn’t look bad. However, it is quite cheap to handle, the plastic is not handy and sometimes even gives way. There’s nothing to criticize about the equipment, all the necessary photo functions are on board, garnished with all kinds of modern additional features that are fun and make the photographer’s life easier. With buttons and touchscreen, the NX mini is easy to use with the exception of manual focus, self-portraits can be made in no time at all thanks to the 180-degree folding screen and can be transmitted wirelessly via WLAN. The camera is fast, the battery lasts a long time, but the fiddly micro SD cards are a little annoying. The image quality is impeccable up to ISO 1,600 and is at its best with the 17 mm 1.8 and up to ISO 400. The 9 mm pancake, on the other hand, can be saved. There is no protective cover and the 9-27 mm zoom offers better picture quality and an image stabilizer.

Fact sheet

Fact sheet
Manufacturer Samsung
Model NX mini
Price approx. 450 EUR* (EUR
Sensor Resolution 20.5 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.472 x 3.648
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens NX-M 9-27 mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS
Filter threads
Field of vision
Diopter compensation
LCD monitor 3″
Disbandment 460.800
swivelling yes
as viewfinder yes
Video output HDMI
Program automation yes
Aperture priority yes
Aperture priority yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long-term exposure yes
Scene modes yes
Portrait yes
Children/Babies yes
Countryside yes
Macro yes
Sports/Action yes
more 12 other scene modes
Exposure metering yes
Flash yes
Flash connection Special flash shoe
Remote release WLAN
Interval shooting
Storage medium Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode
Size MP4
Codec H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 30p
automatic ISO 100-3.200 (upper limit adjustable)
manually ISO 100-25.600
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Light bulb yes
Other Flash, manual color temperature selection, WB fine correction
Manual yes
Number of measuring fields 21-35
AF auxiliary light bright green
Speed approx. 0.3 s
Languages Yes
more 28 languages
approx. 199 g (housing only
)approx. 271 g (with lens*)
Zoom adjustment manual on lens
One-hand operation (zoom and shutter release)
Triggering during
.Save as possible.
Battery life approx. 360 images (according to CIPA)
– = “not applicable” or “not available”
* with lens NX-M 9-27 mm F3.5-5.6 ED OIS


  • For selfies forward foldable Touch-Display
  • Good connectivity via WLAN
  • Good image quality up to ISO 1,600
  • 17 mm 1.8 with very good image quality


  • Cheap workmanship, housing gives way
  • Fiddly Micro SD Cards
  • 9 mm fixed focal length with lower image quality than 9-27 mm zoom
  • 9-27 mm shades integrated flash (external plug on)

Samsung NX mini Datasheet


Sensor CMOS sensor 1″ 13.2 x 8.8 mm (crop factor 2.7
)20.5 megapixels (effective)
Pixel pitch 2.4 µm
Photo resolution
5.472 x 3.648 pixels (3:2)
5.472 x 3.080 Pixel (16:9)
3.888 x 2.592 pixels (3:2)
3.712 x 2.088 Pixel (16:9)
3.648 x 3.648 pixels (1:1)
2.976 x 1.987 pixels (3:2)
2.944 x 1.956 pixels (3:2)
2.736 x 1.824 Pixel (3:2)
2.640 x 2.640 pixels (1:1)
2.000 x 2.000 pixels (1:1)
1.920 x 1.080 Pixel (16:9)
1.728 x 1.152 pixels (3:2)
1.024 x 1.024 Pixel (1:1)
Picture formats JPG, RAW
Color depth 24 bits (8 bits per color channel)
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 25 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 50 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 50 p
Video format
MPG4 (Codec H.264)


Lens mount
Samsung NX-M


Autofocus Functions Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual, AF Assist Light

Viewfinder and Monitor

Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 460,800 pixels, tiltable 90° upwards, with touch screen


Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/6,000 to 30 s (automatic)
Exposure control Program automatic, Aperture automatic, Time automatic, Manual
Exposure compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV
Sensitivity to light ISO 160 to ISO 6,400 (automatic
)ISO 160 to ISO 25,600 (manual)
Remote access Remote triggering, remote control via Smartphone/Tablet
Scene modes various scene modes, fireworks, landscape, macro, night scene, panorama, sunset, sports/action, 1 additional scene mode
Picture effects Fisheye, Miniature effect, Blur, Comic, Classic, Oil painting, Retro, Sketch, Star filter, Tunnel effect, Ink drawing, Vignetting
Continuous shooting JPEG burst mode 2,736 x 1,824 pixels
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 or 30 s interval


Flash built-in flash (hinged
)flash shoe: not available
Flash range Flash sync time 1/200 s
Flash number Guide number 4 at 24 mm focal length (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, Fill Flash, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Flash On Second Shutter Curtain, Red-Eye Reduction, Flash Exposure Compensation from -2.0 EV to +2.0 EV


Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Internal memory yes (16 MByte)
Power supply 1 x Samsung B740AE (lithium ion (Li-Ion), 3.6 V, 2,330 mAh
)360 CIPA-standard images
Playback Functions Image index
Special functions Orientation sensor, Live View
Ports Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: availableNFC
: available
AV connectors AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D)
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod socket 1/4″
Features and Miscellaneous Email, Cloud Sharing, Auto Backup, WiFi Direct, Mobile PlayTag
and Go via NFC

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 110 x 62 x 22 mm
Weight 196 g (ready for operation)


included accessories Li-Ion Battery (B740K) Battery ChargerUSB ChargerUSB Port CableTrack LoopPicture Editing Software

iLauncher for Windows and for MacintoshPicture Editing Software
Lightroom 5 for Windows or later and for Macintosh System or later

and later

optional accessory Flash SEF7A

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