Samsung NX2000 Review

Samsung NX2000 Review: Samsung introduces mirrorless NX2000 – Hardly any buttons, but with touchscreen and WLAN

With the new NX2000, Samsung is focusing entirely on modern features: The back is largely freed of keys and instead is almost completely taken up by the 3.7 inch (9.4 centimeters) touchscreen with WVGA resolution (800×480 pixels, 1.152 million pixels). Via WLAN and NFC, images can be sent directly to smartphones, tablets, computers or directly to the Internet. Confusion is caused by the name, at least in the United States, where the NX2000 is to be sold as NX2020 (with 20-50mm set lens) and NX2030 (with 18-55mm set lens).

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Excellent image results up to ISO 1,600
  • Very easy to use panorama mode
  • The kit lens provides good values for laboratory measurements
  • Connections to smartphones, PC, etc. are very easy to set up using the WiFi functionality
  • Very extensive equipment including automatic function and manual mode

Cons

  • Fleet continuous shooting only possible for a short time
  • The camera loses focus from time to time while filming
  • The upper ISO regions up to 25,600 no longer provide useful image results

As befits a mirrorless system camera, the Samsung NX2000 is light, compact and handy. All the more impressive are its features: the 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor is at the top of its class in terms of resolution and an imaging area of 23.5 by 15.6 millimetres. The 3.7-inch full-touch display also sets new standards for mirrorless system cameras. So the prerequisites for good pictures are there, but what is the benefit in practice? We have tested the NX2000 with the kit lens NX Lens 20-50 mm 3.5-5.6 II i-Function in the laboratory and in everyday use.

For operation, Samsung relies entirely on the touch screen in the NX2000. On the back there is only a home button, a play button and the video recording button, which are known from smartphones, on the top there is the power lever, the shutter release, a WiFi button and a rotary wheel. In addition, most Samsung lenses have an iFn button and an adjustment ring, which can be used to select additional parameters directly. The large touchscreen is probably invaluable, especially for the WLAN functions, as an on-screen keyboard can be operated directly, instead of using a cursor to select the letters for the WLAN password or the e-mail texts with key commands. Besides WLAN, the NX2000 is also equipped with NFC. NFC stands for Near Field Communication, a wireless connection that extends only a few centimetres. This allows images to be transferred to a smartphone held up to the camera without the need to set up a complicated WLAN connection with a password. However, since only a few smartphones have NFC and WLAN offers more extensive possibilities, the latter will certainly remain the preferred networking method. The WLAN connection allows photos to be backed up to the computer, transferred directly to the Internet to social networks such as Facebook, to picture communities such as Flickr, to YouTube or to a cloud. In addition, images can be sent to TV sets via DLNA protocol, for example, or transferred to a smart device via app. Another app allows wireless control of the camera including live image transmission and photo recording.

Samsung launches the NX2000 in this country as the NX2020 (with 20-50mm lens) and NX2030 (with 18-55mm lens). [Photo: Samsung]

Despite these modern features, the Samsung NX2000 is above all a powerful mirrorless system camera. Samsung currently offers twelve different interchangeable lenses, and a system flash unit or a special GPS module can be attached to the hot shoe. The APS-C size CMOS sensor has a resolution of 20.30 megapixels, and the 1/4,000-second fast shutter can release light eight times per second to take a photo. The sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600 is designed to provide high-quality images even in dark environments. The NX2000 naturally records videos in Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at either 24 or 30 frames per second and stores them in MP4 format including stereo sound. For beginners and those who just want to press the shutter button without having to make great settings, the NX2000 offers Smart Mode, which detects subjects and faces and automatically adjusts the camera to the shooting situation. The user can also specify the shooting program, such as Action Freeze mode, which captures sports subjects with a fast shutter speed in crisp, sharp detail. The Best-Face mode, on the other hand, is ideal for group recording. Five pictures are taken automatically, after which the user can select the best facial expressions and combine them in one photo. If you don’t like these features, you can also operate the NX2000 in the classic way with program automatic, aperture automatic, timer automatic or completely manually. The bulb long time exposure allows shots up to a maximum of four minutes in length, a cable remote release can be connected as an accessory.

A 3.7 inch touchscreen with WVGA resolution takes up almost the entire back of the Samsung NX2000. Also fully up to date: WLAN with social sharing and NFC. [Photo: Samsung]

Samsung attaches great importance to useful accessories, so a spare battery is included as well as a full version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, which not only allows you to edit images but also to manage them. The Samsung NX2000 is available in two different since June 2013. The bundle with the especially compact Zoom NX Lens 20-50 mm 3.5-5.6 i-Function comes to the shops under the name NX2020 at a price of just under 650 EUR, the set with the optically image-stabilized NX Lens 18-55 mm 3.5-5.6 III OIS i-Function is called NX2030 and is said to cost just under 700 EUR.

In addition to the white version, the NX2020 (650 EUR) and NX2030 (700 EUR) will also be offered in black. Samsung is aiming for availability from the end of May 2013. [Photo: Samsung]

Ergonomics and Workmanship

The well manufactured plastic housing of the NX2000 looks very simple. The slim camera body has a ribbed grip bead that provides support when taking pictures and carrying the camera. The back is dominated by the 3.7-inch touch display, which has a resolution of 1,152,000 pixels and is therefore right up front in terms of detail. The NX2000 is almost exclusively operated via this touch screen. Otherwise, the back only has a home button, the play button and a video button. The shutter release is enclosed by the on/off switch, there is an individually assignable direct-link button and a non-labeled rotary wheel with which the respective program mode can be set via the touch display. For example, if you set the aperture priority mode, you can also set the desired aperture value by pressing the above-mentioned dial once. This change of function of the wheel is not self-explanatory, but it is a clever solution to make as much space as possible available for the display and at the same time to be able to set aperture and time easily.

In pink, however, the Samsung NX2000 isn’t supposed to be launched in the US, at least according to current plans. [Photo: Samsung]

The touch display reacts very directly, which makes the operation altogether quicker. With features such as touch autofocus, the hit rate on images with a properly seated focus point is quite high. The menu navigation of the NX2000 is clear and well structured. You can find your way around easily and the manual only needs to be consulted very rarely. In addition, each menu item has an “i” for information. If you touch it, the camera explains what the menu item does. The FN menu and the iFn button of the kit lens, in our case the NX Lens 20-50 mm 3.5-5.6 II i-Function, also help with direct quick operation. By pressing the button, you can change the iZoom, aperture, shutter speed, ISO number, exposure compensation in 1/3 EV increments and white balance using the touch panel or adjustment ring. However, this does not work with SmartAuto or the preset scene programs.

The NX2000 is supplied with a replacement battery. Also a mini attachment flash comes with the camera. It can be replaced with a larger system flash unit at any time. Samsung also offers an optional GPS module that can also be plugged into the system shoe. The flap for USB and HDMI connection is easy to open and snaps shut securely. The metal tripod thread is located on the optical axis and far enough away from the battery and memory card compartment to be able to change the battery even when using the tripod. The NX2000 stores on microSD cards.

Equipment

Anyone familiar with Samsung’s NX cameras will expect nothing less from the NX2000 than an extensive range of different functions. And the NX2000 can certainly meet high demands. In automatic mode, all you have to do is simply press the button and the camera does the rest. That’s what makes them so good that even an experienced photographer likes to take the easy way out. Expert mode includes program auto, time and aperture preset, manual mode, and a custom setting that allows you to save three individually defined presets. When focusing manually, an optional five- or eightfold magnification of the focus area assists in checking. If you are irritated by the magnification, because the rest of the image simply disappears, you can deactivate it. Because even on the display you can already judge very well what the result will look like after the release. Depending on the lens, Samsung offers manual tracking of the autofocus, called direct manual focus (DMF). The Touch AF is especially helpful for quick image creation, with which you can determine where the focus point should be in a flash. And even if the kit lens is not one of the fastest with F3.5 to F5.6, creative image composition with a blurred background is very well possible.

In addition to the classic features, the NX2000 offers many other functions. The panorama mode is very easy, all you really have to do is point and move the camera. HDR (High Dynamic Range) or continuous shooting also ensures good image results under difficult conditions. Continuous shooting is possible with three shots each with selectable parameters for exposure, white balance and the so-called PictureWizard. With the latter setting, the camera uses three different effects that the photographer can determine. Just like the Smart Filters or the color games with the picture assistant, these are possibilities that are fun to use. Ambitious photographers might have preferred AF bracketing or a selection of five images. In addition to the classics of portrait, macro and landscape, Samsung’s scene programmes include various types of twilight and night-time shots, a sports mode with ultra-short exposure times and group shots in which a group of different shots is put together after selecting the “best faces”. With the shortest exposure time of 1/4,000 seconds, action shots are very successful – provided that the lighting conditions allow it. The eight- or five-frame-per-second series are also very fast, but the speed decreases quickly after an initial sprint and the NX2000 can’t keep up with the re-storage even with a Class 10 memory card.

For video recording, Samsung is relying on full HD resolution with 1,920 by 1,080 pixels at 25 frames per second. The resolution can be gradually reduced to a format suitable for e-mail. With 1,280 by 720 pixels, the NX2000 offers 50 images per second. A wind noise filter ensures an acceptable sound recording outdoors. Other features include a fader and the ability to play back videos without sound, either faster or slower. An unusually large number of speeds are available for this. The autofocus tracking works quite well with the kit lens, depending on the light conditions, and without annoying pumping. However, the NX2000 may lose focus even if the subject hardly moves at all.

The WiFi functionality is almost a matter of course. The direct-link button on the top of the camera can be used to program the operation you want to use the most. For example, Remote Viewfinder, where the camera can be controlled via the smartphone and the appropriate app. The camera can also communicate with a suitable smartphone via NFC (Near Field Communication) or provide direct access via Mobile Link using the Samsung app. The latter works somewhat more conveniently than NFC, where the connection is often interrupted due to the short distance. The camera can also upload emails, pictures to certain social networks or a cloud, or move the pictures to the PC via auto backup. Setting up the respective connections is quite simple and straightforward.

Picture quality

The Samsung NX2000 sets strong standards: a 23.5 by 15.6 millimetre (APS-C) CMOS sensor and a high resolution of 20.3 megapixels. The sensitivity goes up to ISO 25,600, but whether this will produce good images in combination with the NX Lens 20-50 mm 3.5-5.6 II i-Function is something we had to clarify in this test. In any case, the lens does a good job and doesn’t show any signs of loss of sharpness, edge dimming or distortion. Even color fringes are kept within limits and are barely perceptible to the naked eye, even in areas such as the edge of the image and at aperture F3.5. The fact that Samsung attaches importance to a good image result is also noticeable in the resolution. From aperture F4 on, the NX2000 makes it into the upper forties, sometimes even over 50 line pairs per millimeter – at least in the center of the image. In the wide-angle range and with the large apertures, the difference to the edge of the image can be as much as 15 to 20 line pairs per millimeter. From f-stop eight on, the result becomes more similar and is much more linear with the apertures closed. The fact that camera-internal image processing also plays a major role here, however, can be seen from the sharpness artifacts. Problems here only occur in very specific constellations, but almost 25 percent at a focal length of 30 millimeters and an aperture of F5.6 is not entirely without problems.

The NX2000 also performs quite well in terms of signal to noise ratio. Up to ISO 1.600 it stays above the sound barrier of 35 dB. But afterwards, the measuring curve drops so clearly that images in the very high ISO ranges of 12.800 and 25.600 are useless and ISO 3.200 and 6.400 are only recommended in case of emergency. Weak image signals such as fine image details with low contrast are overlaid by the noise signal and the details are lost. According to this result, the texture sharpness is still quite decent up to ISO 1.600, moves up to ISO 6.400 in a slightly blurred area and then subsides. The grain size remains within the absolutely green range. The brightness noise shows a similar behavior to the color noise. Up to ISO 1,600 invisible to acceptable, the trace shoots steeply upwards until the end of the sensitivity range. The NX2000 does very well with the input dynamics. Up to ISO 800, it achieves a constant ten aperture stops, at ISO 1,600 still 9.6, and then it goes down considerably. The NX2000 up to ISO 800 shows a good performance at the initial tonal range, but at ISO 1.600 it can already represent more than half of the 256 possible gray scales. The tonal value transfer shows a crisp image result that is rich in contrast. Averaged color deviations are okay, cyan and orange tones are sometimes shifted towards yellow. The white balance is usually correct. At autofocus speed, the NX2000 lands in the mid-range with 0.47 and 0.57 seconds for wide-angle and telephoto. Nevertheless, it proves to be a fast companion with a very reliable autofocus, especially in practice.

Conclusion

With the NX2000, Samsung has done a lot of things right. The large sensor and the high resolution help the mirrorless system camera to achieve good image results up to ISO 1.600. Especially the lens is very well adapted to the camera. The camera’s automatic function makes it ideal for newcomers to the mirrorless system camera segment, but it also offers full manual control and numerous setting options for experienced photographers. Beautifully light and compact, it is an ideal companion for on the go, offering creative photographers with beautiful bokeh enough room for image composition.

Profile

Profile
Manufacturer Samsung
Model NX2000
Price approx. EUR 465* EUR
Sensor Resolution 20.5 megapixels
Max. Image resolution 5.472 x 3.648
(aspect ratio) (3:2) (16:9) (1:1)
Lens Samsung NX Lens 20-50mm 3.5-5.6 II i-Function
Filter thread 40.5 mm
Viewfinder
Dioptre compensation
LCD monitor 3.7″ touch screen
Resolution 1.152.000
rotatable
swiveling
as Viewfinder yes
Video output HDMI (PAL/NTSC)
Automatic programming yes
Automatic aperture control yes
Automatic timer yes
manual exposure yes
BULB long time exposure yes
Scene mode programs
Portrait yes
Children/baby
Landscape yes
Macro yes
Sports/action yes
More 10 additional scene modes
Exposure metering Multi-field, centre-weighted Integral, Spot
Flash yes, as a clip-on flash
Flash connection System hot shoe
Remote release as accessory
Interval recording
Storage medium microSD/microSDHC/microSDXC
Video mode
Format MP4
Codec H.264
Resolution (max.) 1.920 x 1.080
at frame rate 30 frames/s
Sensitivity
automatically ISO 100-25.600 (upper limit adjustable)
extended
manually ISO 100-25,600
White balance
Automatic yes
Sun yes
Clouds yes
Fluorescent lamp yes
Incandescent lamp yes
Miscellaneous Flash, Kelvin manually adjustable
Manually yes
Autofocus
Number of measurement fields 35 for close-ups, 21 normal
AF auxiliary light green
Speed approx. 0.5-0.6 s
Languages English
More 28 additional languages are available
Weight
(Ready for operation)
280 g (housing only)
395 g (with lens*)
Zoom
Zoom adjustment manually on the lens
Single-handed operation
(zoom and shutter release)
Triggering during storage possible. yes
Battery life approx. 340 pictures according to CIPA
– = “not applicable” or “not available
* with lens NX Lens 20-50mm 5.6 II i-Function

This test of the Samsung NX2000 with Samsung NX Lens 20-50 mm 3.5-5.6 II i-Function was created with DXOMARK Analyzer.

Brief assessment

Pros

  • Excellent image results up to ISO 1,600
  • Very easy to use panorama mode
  • The kit lens provides good values for laboratory measurements
  • Connections to smartphones, PC, etc. are very easy to set up using the WiFi functionality
  • Very extensive equipment including automatic function and manual mode

Cons

  • Fleet continuous shooting only possible for a short time
  • The camera loses focus from time to time while filming
  • The upper ISO regions up to 25,600 no longer provide useful image results

Samsung NX2000 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 DCF Standard
Video resolution
1.920 x 1.080 (16:9) 30 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 3.7″ TFT LCD monitor with 1,152,000 pixels

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 3,200 (automatic
)ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 (manual)
Scene modes Twilight, various motif programs, documents, fireworks, backlight, children, landscape, macro, night scene, portrait, sunset, and beach/snow
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 8.0 fps at highest resolution, burst mode with 30 frames 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

Flash no built-in flash availableShoe
: 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 connectionUSB charging function
Power supply 1 x Samsung BP1130 (lithium-ion (Li-ion), 7.4 V, 1,130 mAh
)340 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: USBUSB type
:USB 2.0 High SpeedWLAN
: available (Type: B, G, 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 modeContinuous
autofocus possibleContrast
, color and brightness adjustableVignette
, miniature effect, fish eye effect, sketch, demist, halftone dotsSmart
Auto for automatic selection of subject modeMagic Frame modeBacklight correctionFacial skin retouchingDynamic range expansionAutoShare function

Size and weight

Dimensions W x H x D 119 x 65 x 36 mm
Weight 280 g (ready for operation)

Miscellaneous

standard accessory Rheinwerk Verlag (Galileo Press) Lightroom 4 (DVD
)Samsung BP1130 Special battery packMains/chargersUSB connection cableAV cableBayonetcoverRiserBeltSamsung Master for Windows (2000/XP/or higher) (System X/or higher)
additional accessories Nikon HDMI Cable Audio / Video CableSamsung
BC3NX01 Special Battery ChargerSamsung
BP1130 Special Battery ChargerRemovable Memory CardSamsungFlashesSamsung
NX Lenses

 

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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.