Samsung NX1000 Review

Samsung NX1000 Review

This is the complete review of the Samsung NX1000. At Samsung, the system camera series is called NX. The Koreans are busy developing new models with smart functions such as the “i-function button” on the lens or now increasingly network-compatible cameras.

The smallest of this series, the NX 1000, now made it into our testing. In terms of key data, it is an extremely interesting candidate with full equipment at a now moderate street price of around 460 dollars, at market launch (much cheaper now).

Whether the camera is suitable for everyday use and can convince with the image quality, it had to prove with the testing software and during intensive use for two days.

Samsung NX1000 Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Housing well manufactured
  • Innovative WLAN functions
  • Extensive equipment
  • Good image quality at low ISO

Cons

  • Objectively moderately processed
  • Image quality limited in high ISO ranges
  • Occasional crashes
  • Slow autofocus

samsung nx1000

The possibilities supported via WLAN are really varied. In short, the images can be sent to TVs, PCs, smartphones, tablets and the Internet (e-mail, cloud, Facebook, etc.). Samsung prides itself on presenting the lightest system camera in the Samsung NX1000, which is said to weigh 222 grams.

Whether with or without battery and memory card is not specified. In terms of image quality, it should be in no way inferior to its bigger sisters, as it has the same APS-C-sized CMOS sensor with 20.3 megapixels resolution and a maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800 – this sensor was also already used in the NX200.

The Samsung NX1000 records videos in FullHD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) with stereo sound and even the eight continuous frames per second are not to be sneezed at. The setting is optionally fully automatic, whereby the Samsung NX1000 has scene recognition.

However, it can be controlled semi-automatically or manually. Functions such as beauty-shot for facial skin retouching, a 3D photo function, and a panorama mode are also on board.

The Samsung NX1000 was launched in June 2012 in black and white and together with the 20-50mm II OS i-Function lens and a flash attachment is still available to be purchased, in the used market.

samsung nx1000

Ergonomics and Workmanship

Except for the top model NX20, which reminds one of an SLR camera, all smaller models of the NX series look very similar, including the “smallest” one.

Despite the moderate focal length range and moderate speed, the slim case with rounded corners is equipped with a lens that looks quite massive.

This is certainly also due to the generous flange focal length, which extends the lens mount by about one centimeter. At least this also has advantages for handling, as the generously dimensioned handle leaves enough space between the lens and housing even for strong fingers. The camera is therefore safe in the hand but has lost its suitability for the pocket.

The park position, to which the zoom ring can be turned after pressing an unlock button, does not change this. This shortens the lens by only about one and a half centimeters.

Despite the generous use of plastic, the workmanship is in order and makes a solid impression. All switches, levers, and wheels show a clear pressure point and react reliably. HDMI and USB ports on the right side of the case are covered by a real flap, which looks much more elegant than the usual rubber plugs.

On the underside, the steel tripod thread is positioned exactly in the optical axis. The distance to the combined battery/memory card compartment is sufficient to remain accessible even when mounted on the tripod.

samsung nx1000

The only criticism of the quality of workmanship is the lens. Except for the lenses, it is made entirely of plastic, which casts doubt on its longevity, especially with the bayonet.

The zoom ring is easy to turn but makes a rickety impression. However, this lens appears a bit more mechanically mature than the 18-55 that we were allowed to test with the NX200 (see the link below), Samsung has obviously made progress here.

All switches on the Samsung NX1000 are either located above the handle or on the right rear of the camera. They can be easily reached with thumb or forefinger and are easy to operate without contortions. Only the trigger for video recording is a little bit unluckily close to the thumb cavity so that occasionally filming is started unintentionally.

Unfortunately, the display is rigidly attached and also not necessarily of the quality you would expect from Samsung. It has a resolution of 921,000 pixels and is pleasantly detailed, but when viewed at an angle, the contrasts fade and fine tonal differences disappear.

There is neither a viewfinder nor the possibility of connecting a viewfinder as an accessory. So the photographer has to make do with what the display can do. But that’s grumbling on a high level – one must not forget that the Samsung NX1000 is the entry-level model in the NX system.

samsung nx1000

With the information, the display keeps up again: Not only can all the important recording parameters, various grids and a histogram be displayed but also a spirit level that even supports the alignment of the camera in two axes. This is also not a matter of course for an entry-level camera.

As already mentioned, the keys convince with precise pressure points and good detents. The program selector can be turned both left and right so that each of the ten positions can be reached within a short distance.

Of particular interest is the “iFn” button on the lens, which allows various parameters such as shutter speed and aperture in manual mode and much more to be set on the front adjustment ring directly on the lens.

The ring is quite smooth running and could be used as an aperture ring. Of course, this is unfavorable for manual focus, which is why this compromise has been made. If important recording parameters such as sensitivity, white balance, measuring fields and shutter control need to be adjusted, simply press the function button on the back of the camera to call up the quick menu.

Excursions into the extensive menu are thus usually avoidable. If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, the Samsung offers quite extensive but still clearly arranged menu groups. The Samsung NX1000 offers hardly any puzzles for beginners and upcomers.

Equipment And Features

Meanwhile, all slightly better cameras have all common automatic and semi-automatic functions, scene programs and picture modes on board. So does the Samsung NX1000. In Smart Mode, the owner can leave all settings to the camera, including scene selection, or remain in control of all parameters.

In scene mode, it selects from 15 program variants. In addition to the usual sports, night and portrait programs, the Samsung NX1000 offers a smart panorama mode that reliably and automatically detects the direction of pan.

Unfortunately, the results are not always convincing, because occasionally double contours appear on edges and lines. The resolution is limited to 8,000 x 1,152 pixels, whereby the scarce image height loses a few more pixels when panning unevenly.

Nevertheless, taking panoramas with the Samsung NX1000 is a lot of fun, and for pictures in photobook format, it’s always enough.

 

samsung nx1000

The advanced photographer wants more manual control, which is particularly easy with the Samsung thanks to the function button on the lens.

Depending on the recording mode, the button allows exposure compensation, aperture or time selection, or a change of scene or picture mode. Push and turn, that’s it.

Unfortunately, the function button is integrated so flat into the lens that it is difficult to feel it.

A pleasant surprise for a beginner’s model is the very sensitively appealing spirit level. With its help, the Samsung NX1000 can be precisely aligned both horizontally and at an angle. Some more sophisticated equipment could take an example here.

It’s a pity that the Samsung NX1000 doesn’t just do without the viewfinder, but also an integrated flash. Samsung does supply a quite powerful plug-on device, but flashing without any fiddling would be better.

Once the light dispenser has been mounted, it shines quite far and the 20-50 millimeter zoom included in the scope of delivery also illuminates the corners neatly. All the usual flash functions are available and the images show neutral colors.

samsung nx1000

Several options are available in video mode. From FullHD to 320 x 240 pixels at 25 frames per second, there are five resolution levels. The recorded MP4 files are compressed with the H.264 codec.

Surprisingly, the files of the Samsung NX1000 are very modest in terms of computer hardware. The films ran almost smoothly on a five-year-old PC. Zooming with the set lens during shooting is not recommended, as the unstabilized image wobbles enough anyway. Also the autofocus has its difficulties and needs a lot of time to find the sharpness.

The sound is usually strongly overlaid by wind noise, an external microphone cannot be connected. All in all, the Samsung NX1000 is suitable as a video diary if the demands are not too high.

The NX is a fast paced series photographer. It records up to eight images per second at full resolution. After eleven photos, however, it’s over and the little Samsung stops all work for over ten seconds. In burst mode it is much faster again, 30 images are then recorded for one second at around five megapixels.

Probably the most innovative functions are provided by the WLAN capability of the Samsung NX1000. With a special app for the smartphone, it can be used as a viewfinder and even for the remote release of the camera.

You can send pictures or videos by e-mail or upload them to media portals without the need for additional software. The input of texts such as passwords or addresses is somewhat cumbersome.

Although the Samsung NX1000 provides an on-screen keyboard, every character must be controlled with the four-way rocker, because the display is unfortunately not touch-sensitive.

If, however, it is possible to type in an e-mail address and a small greeting, for example, the selected photos are sent with two-megapixel resolution. For automatic backups, the target computer requires the software provided.

If pictures and videos are to be viewed wirelessly on a WLAN-capable TV, the TV must be DLNA-capable. Before pictures are sent, they can be embellished or alienated directly in the camera. Brightness, contrast, red eyes, smooth skin, and some filters are also available later.

 

samsung nx1000

Considering the wealth of equipment, the Samsung NX1000 is a bargain at the current market price. If it weren’t for the sluggish autofocus. Even the 35 AF fields are of no use here. Especially at close range, the little Samsung focuses well beyond the close-up range and could find the sharpness.

Unfortunately, it does not stop at the right place. With manual focus, the focus ring transmits the control signals to the AF motor with great sensitivity and the photographer is assisted by an automatically activated focus magnifier or focus indicator if desired.

Nevertheless, the Samsung NX1000 refuses the close-up limit of about 15 centimeters, which is purely mechanically achievable by turning the filter tube on the tested 20-50 millimeter lens.

Apart from that, we had a few software crashes during the test period. The camera could no longer be turned off or did not accept menu commands. The only remedy was to remove the battery.

samsung nx1000

Image Quality Of The Samsung NX1000

To get right up front: Samsung has made significant progress in terms of picture quality. The Samsung NX1000 seems to have left behind the weaknesses that we had to attest on the practical test of the NX200. This may be due to the lens that is now included. Maybe a bit too small in the focal length spectrum, it is clearly superior to the 18-55 optical one.

At the short end, it reaches 45 line pairs per millimeter (lp/mm) even with the aperture open. Although this value drops to 32 lp/mm towards the edge, this is not yet visible in our reference print in the format 20 x 30 cm. By fading down to values around F5.6 to F8, this good value can be increased to around 50 lp/mm, and that at all focal lengths! Due to diffraction, the imaging performance drops gently up to f-stop 16, above f-stop 16 it drops significantly.

Chromatic aberrations are subtle and do not pose a problem, as do vignetting and distortion. The Samsung NX1000 also confirmed the laboratory measurement values in practical use. Fine landscape details in autumn colors or the hairy ear of a cow in backlight were reproduced in detail and as fine as hair down to pixel level.

 

samsung nx1000

 

For night photographers, image noise and the somewhat low input dynamics could become problematic. While up to ISO 800 everything is still fine, the signal-to-noise ratio falls below the critical 35 dB line at higher ISO values.

In general, ISO 800 seems to be the sound barrier for excellent image quality. Although the texture sharpness, i.e. the reproduction of fine, irregular details, is still acceptable at higher sensitivities, the grain size increases abruptly from this value and the input dynamic decreases by more than one step from a good 10 f-stops.

With further increased sensitivity, only just under seven f-stops remain at the end. As a night owl, you should therefore not use the Samsung NX1000, but occasional use in the dark is quite possible.

When it comes to color fidelity, the Samsung leaves an ambivalent impression. The manual white balance is very close to the target, while the camera records especially desaturated red tones and shifted towards yellow. The maximum color deviation is clearly visible above ISO 800, which also speaks for the use of moderate sensitivities.

samsung nx1000

The most inglorious chapter is the focusing speed. The Samsung NX1000 allows itself almost 0.9 seconds in the wide-angle until the shot is released when it has to switch from infinity to about two meters. Surprisingly, it’s a little brisker at the long end of the set lens, pre-focused it’s even snapshot-suitable. Last but not least, the flash, which looks more dramatic in laboratory measurements than in practical use. An aperture loss in the corners is hardly disturbing in everyday life even with critical scenes.

Conclusion: Is The Samsung NX1000 Worth It?

Samsung is learning in giant steps. The Samsung NX1000 surprises as an entry-level model with an abundance of functions, which are otherwise only found in the upscale models. The image quality has now reached the level of a good system camera. The fact that savings had to be made somewhere is actually to be expected. So the display is not quite up to date and the autofocus does not give snapshot photographers any pleasure.

You should also allow the Samsung some light so that it can develop its full potential. The Samsung NX1000 is not necessarily the first choice for video. But if you are looking for a small, well-equipped system camera and can live with the mentioned limitations, this is the right place.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Samsung
Model NX 1000
Price approx. 460 dollars * at market launch
Sensor Resolution 20.3 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.472 x 3.648
(aspect ratio) (3:2)
Lens NX Lens 3.5-5.6 20-50 mm i-Function
Filter thread 40.5 mm
Viewfinder
Dioptre compensation
LCD monitor 3″
Resolution 921.000
rotatable
swiveling
as Viewfinder yes
Video output AV and HDMI (each PAL/NTSC)
Automatic programming yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long time exposure yes
Scene modes
Portrait yes
Children/baby yes
Landscape yes
Macro yes
Sports/action yes
More 10 additional scene modes available
Exposure metering Multi-field, centre-weighted Integral, Spot
Flash yes, as a clip-on flash
Flash connection System hot shoe
Remote release
Interval recording
Storage medium SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video mode
Format MP4
Codec H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
Frame rate (max.) 25 frames/s
Sensitivity
automatically ISO 100-12.800 (upper limit adjustable)
extended
manually ISO 100-12,800
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Incandescent lamp yes
Miscellaneous
Manually yes
Autofocus
Number of measurement fields 35
AF auxiliary light green
Speed approx. 0.7-0.9 s
Languages English
More 16 additional languages available
Weight
(Ready for operation)
275 g (housing only)
394 g (with lens*)
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manually on the lens
Single-handed operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Triggering during storage possible.
Battery life approx. 320 pictures according to CIPA
– = “not applicable” or “not available
* with Samsung NX Lens 3.5-5.6 20-50 mm i-Function

This test of the Samsung NX1000 with Samsung NX Lens 20-50 mm 3.5-5.6 i-Function was created with DXOMARK Analyzer.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Housing well manufactured
  • Innovative WLAN functions
  • Extensive equipment
  • Good image quality at low ISO

Cons

  • Objectively moderately processed
  • Image quality limited in high ISO ranges
  • Occasional crashes
  • Slow autofocus

Samsung NX1000 Datasheet

Electronics

Sensor CMOS sensor APS-C 23.6 x 15.8 mm (crop factor 1.5) 21.6 megapixels (physical) and 20.3 megapixels (effective)
Pixelpitch 4.3 µm
Photo resolution
5.472 x 3.648 pixels (3:2)
3.888 x 2.592 pixels (3:2)
2.976 x 1.984 pixels (3:2)
1.728 x 1.152 pixels (3:2)
Image formats JPG, RAW
Color depth
Metadata Exif (version 2.21), DCF standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 24 p
1.280 x 720 (16:9) 30 p
640 x 480 (4:3) 30 p
Maximum recording time 25 min
Video format
MPG4 (Codec H.264)

Lens

Lens mount
Samsung NX

Focus

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

Viewfinder and monitor

Monitor 3.0″ TFT LCD monitor with 921,000 pixels
Video finder Dioptre compensation (-4.0 to 2.0 dpt)

Exposure

Exposure metering Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 221 fields, spot measurement
Exposure times 1/4,000 to 30 s (automatic)  bulb with maximum 240 s exposure time
Exposure control Programmed automatic, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Exposure bracketing function Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 3 shots
Exposure Compensation -3.0 to +3.0 EV
Photosensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 12.800 (manual)
Remote access Remote release, remote control via smartphone/tablet
Scene modes Twilight, various motif programs, documents, fireworks, backlight, children, landscape, macro, night scene, portrait, sunset, beach/snow, 0 additional scene modes
Picture effects Calm, Classic, Cool, Custom function (3), Retro, Vivid
White balance Clouds, Sun, Flash light, Fluorescent lamp, Incandescent lamp, Kelvin Input, Manual
Color space Adobe RGB, sRGB
Continuous shooting Continuous shooting function max. 3.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 10 stored images, 3 shots at RAW; burst mode with 30 images at 30 fps (resolution 1,472 x 976)
Self-timer Self-timer with 2 or 30 s interval, special features: (manually adjustable in steps of 1 s)
Recording functions Live histogram

Flashgun Of The Samsung NX1000

Flash no built-in flash available.  Shoe: Samsung, standard center contact
Flash code Guide number 8 (ISO 100)
Flash functions Auto, fill-in flash, flash on, flash off, slow sync, red-eye reduction

Equipment And Features

Image stabilizer no optical image stabilizer
Memory
SD
Power supply unit Power supply connection
Power supply 1 x Samsung BP1030 (lithium-ion (Li-ion), 7.4 V, 1,300 mAh) 320 images according to CIPA standard
Playback functions Red-eye retouching, highlight/shadow warning, image index
Face recognition Face recognition
Image parameters Contrast
Connections Data interfaces: USB USB type:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (Type: N)
AV Connections AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D)
Supported direct printing methods PictBridge
Tripod thread 1/4″
Special features and miscellaneous Ultrasonic sensor cleaning35
AF points in macro mode. Continuous
autofocus possible. Contrast
, color and brightness adjustableVignette
, miniature effect, fish eye effect, sketch, demist, halftone dotsSmart
Auto for automatic selection of subject modeMagic Frame modeBacklight correction. Facial skin retouchingDynamic range expansion

Size and weight Of The Samsung NX1000

Dimensions W x H x D 121 x 71 x 35 mm
Weight 350 g (ready for operation)

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Samsung BC1030 Special Battery ChargerSamsung
BP1030 Special Battery ChargerUSB Connection CableAV CableBayonet CoverRestrapBeltImage Editing SoftwareSamsung Master for Windows (2000/XP/or higher) (System X/or higher)
additional accessories Nikon HDMI Cable Audio / Video CableSamsung
BP1030 Special Battery Removable Memory CardSamsungFlashesSamsung
NX Lenses Electronic
Viewfinder

 

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Peter Dench
I am Peter Dench. Digital Photographer, born in London 1972, currently living in Deerfield, near Chicago. I have numerous photography expositions and also working in model photography. In this website, PhotoPoint, I usually review cameras provided by local dealers in Illinois and by the manufacturers. Sometimes I, Peter Dench, review lenses too, but only when I have a suitable camera for them. Please let me know in the comments if I can improve any of these articles.