Fri, 30 Nov 2012 Samsung NX210 review
The NX210 is styled and built like a premium end pocket compact, but squeezes in a DSLR sized sensor for a very competitive street price
- Manufacturer: Samsung
- Pros: Larger than average format sensor offering near DSLR quality but maintaining compact camera dimensions, easy to achieve good quality results, fair value, Wi-Fi adds a degree of future proofing, iFunction lens does more than just zoom or focus
- Cons: No built-in image stabilisation measures (via stabilised lens only)
- Min specs: 16 effective megapixel resolution, ISO6400, 3.0-inch tilting LCD, Full HD movie capability, Creative Control mode, dimensions of 115.2x83.6x46.7mm, weighs 336g body only
- Price: £665 including 18-55 image stabilised zoom
- Star rating:
The Korean electronics giant’s most current CSCs are the trio of the NX1000, NX210 and NX20, which are respectively the entry level, mid range, and flagship model. We’ve previously been very impressed with the value for money and image quality of the NX1000, which shares the same APS-C sensor size as this, the NX210, and very similar body proportions, while both cameras feature Wi-Fi connectivity too.
The difference with the NX210 is a more ‘serious’ metal construction with matt black finish – as opposed to the black, white and pink plastic NX1000’s – plus a rear panel AMOLED screen, instead of an LCD, giving deeper blacks and better contrast pictures that to our eyes appear more lifelike. At the time of writing Samsung was advertising the NX210 online for £665 with the non-retracting 18-55mm ‘iFunction’ zoom we were provided with, although street prices are more realistically lower at £499. As with the rest of the range, users can do more than ‘just’ zoom or focus with a twist of the lens barrel, such as adjust selected camera functions into the bargain. While this doesn’t feel an essential feature it does set the NX system apart from the Sony NEX.
With a curving grip the NX210 sits well in the palm, even with longer lens attached. If you’re not fussed about its lack of eye-level viewfinder and can cope with a fixed 3-inch back plate LCD for stills and video composition and review, with stereo sound and the full complement of manual controls this Samsung will tick the boxes but we do worry that it has fiercer competition in its category – such as the Sony NEX5R for one – than the cheaper NX1000 had.
Like that model the NX210 offers 1920x1080 pixels recording, commenced with the press of a small red button at the rear. We get stereo sound too, and quality is such that any amateur videographer will not be disappointed, while just as importantly the stills image quality is both sharp and colourful, meaning that minimal if any post processing is required straight out of the camera. Whilst this makes it suitable for both beginners and more advanced users alike, arguably the existing Samsung NX1000 is better for the former category and the NX20 more of an ideal fit for the latter.