I’m not what you might call a ‘technical’ photographer, I don’t like to get bogged down in the ‘number’ aspect of photography, my favourite thing about digital cameras is their ability to keep experimenting ‘on the fly’, until something you are really happy with. This is the person who once left a whole roll of film at boots, only to find on my return it was completely blank.
That is why the Samsung NX200 is just the sort of camera I like.
Since nearly all cameras are over 6 megapixels these days, size of image has become less important. Unless you’re blowing up your photo to the size of a billboard, what matters most is the sensor and the quality of all those little dots. There is no point having a huge image, if all you’ve got is a huge blurry image.
The new (20.3 megapixel in this case), APS-C CMOS sensor in the NX200 is much improved on the 14.6 found in the older NX100 and NX10 models, and you can immediately see the difference. Images are sharper, and the colour balance is excellent, it’s also easy enough to fine tune your shots if you need more or less light / shadows etc.
It’s a shame (as is usually the case these days), there is no viewfinder, but the 3.0″ Amoled inch screen is easy to view in all but the brightest sunshine. Unlike the comparable Sony NEX-5N, it doesn’t have touchscreen capabilities, fortunately this is not so much of an issue as they can fiddly if you have big fingers like me.
The NX200 is well built, it is heavier and less plastick-y than a compact, and looks capable of surviving the odd knock and bump along the highway. Included with the camera is a external flash, strap, battery charger, and a decent 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom, a good all-round lens for general use to get you going.
Finding your way around the NX200 is slightly daunting at first, there are a lot of settings and sub-menus, but if you’ve used any sort of digital camera before, nothing will come as a big surprise. The design has been well thought through, and you are never more than two or three clicks away from anything.
Despite the large number of presets choices and settings, I actually ended up using the Smart Auto function most of the time. Similar to other ‘intelligent auto’ modes, all you need to do is aim the camera at your subject or particular thing and the NX200 works out the best preset (from a choice of 16) to use. It automatically adjusts the settings to get the best picture Eg, if you are taking a photo of a flower and a bee buzzes past, the camera will adjust the settings to a ‘sports’ mode and use a faster exposure time to capture the shot.
This works really well in most cases, and unless you are going for something different or unusual with a shot in terms of exposure or lighting, 9 times out of 10 will give you good results.
Panorama shots are easy to do, and I really like the tilt-shift effect (or model railway setting), as seen on the intro credits to Sherlock Holmes. There are also a few fun, but gimmicky framing type effects (see next page) that you will probably use once or twice and then forget about.
The only time it struggled was in really very poor light, you can overcome this with a slower exposure, which is ok if your subject is not moving, but results with the flash were mixed. Whether the camera was capable of pulling this successfully would take lots more experimentation.
As well as images, you can also shoot full HD video on the NX200, and the results are good. Pictures are sharp and clear, with little blurring of fast images. You can also create a still image from a HD movie, which is a useful thing too.
For the serious pro user, there is better (and more expensive) cameras out there, but similar to their improvements with TV’s and Mobiles, Samsung’s cameras are starting to get people talking too. Last week the MV800 camera won the Technical Image Press Association’s ‘2012 Best General Compact Camera Award’.
The NX200 on the other hand is a good all rounder for any beginner wanting to take their photography up a level. From around £450.00
For more info visit
Sensor Size: 23.5 x 15.7mm
Effective Pixel size approx 20.3MP
Modes: SmartAuto 2.0, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Lens Priority, Magic, Panorama, Scene, Movie
Scene Mode: Beauty shot, Night, Landscape, Portrait, Children, Sports, Close-Up, Text, Sunset, Dawn, Backlight, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Sound Picture, 3D Photo
Magic Frame Mode: Old Album, Old Film, Wave, Full Moon, Old Record, Magazine, Sunny Day, Classic TV, Wall Art, Holiday, Billboard 1, Billboard 2, Newspaper
Smart Filter: Vignetting, Miniature, Fish-Eye, Sketch, De-fog, Halftone Dots, Soft Focus, Old Film1, Old Film2, Negative
Pic quality Super fine, Fine, Normal
Raw Format: SRW
Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC (guarantee up to 128GB)
File Format: RAW (SRW), JPEG (EXIF 2.21), DCF, DPOF 1.1, PictBridge 1.0
External Flash only (included)
Movie Mode: Image Size 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720 , 640 x 480, 320 x 240 (Default: 1920 x 1080)
Stereo Sound, Image Capture from movie. Frame rate 60fps (1280 x 720 Only), 30fps
Shutter Speed: Auto: 1/4000sec. ~ 30sec. Manual: 1/4000sec. ~ 30sec. (1/3EV step) Bulb (Limit time: 4min.)
Digital Output Connector: USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED)
Video Output: NTSC, PAL (user selectable) HDMI 1.4a (1080i, 720P, 576P / 480P)
Lens Mount: Samsung NX
Usable Lens: Samsung Lenses
Exposure Metering System
ISO Equivalent Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 (1 or 1/3EV step)* AUTO ISO upper level is selectable. (Less than ISO3200)
Drive Mode Mode Single, Continuous, Burst (5M size only), Self-timer, Bracket (AE / WB / PW)
Continuous: JPEG: High (7fps) up to 11 shots, Low (3fps) up to 15 shots selectable
Burst: 10, 15, 30fps selectable, 30 shots by 1 release RAW : High (7fps), Low (3fps) selectable up to 8 shots
Self-Timer: 2 – 30sec. (1sec. step)
Bracket: Auto Exposure Bracket (max ±3EV), WB, PW
160min / 320shots (CIPA Standard) / Rechargeable battery : BP1030B (1030mAh) Charger: BC1030