Of course, iFunction lenses and fancy rear LCDs won't be able to salvage the Samsung NX100's reputation if photo quality isn't up to scratch. Fortunately it delivers.
Straight from the box, the NX100 camera takes really punchy vibrant images, with bags of resolution and detail – a real testament to the quality of the APS-C size sensor. Colours are rich but natural looking, and noise is well controlled under ISO 1000.
We did notice a slight tendency to overexposure in Auto everything mode, but this can be adjusted easily enough with the handily placed exposure compensation button or via the iFunction control.
When it comes to AF, you need to remember that the NX100 camera uses contrast detection AF, so it's not as fast as a conventional DSLR in normal stills mode, rather than Live View mode. Lower light in particular challenges the AF, but it stills feels quicker off the mark than the AF on the Olympus PEN series.
It's a shame that Samsung NX100 iFunction lenses aren't stabilised (neither is the NX100 camera body) so a firm grip, and tripod, are essential. And unlike a typical DSLR kit lens, the 20-50mm Samsung NX100 lens is hamstrung at the wide-angle end (we're talking 30-75mm equivalent range).
The f/3.5-5.6 aperture mode is a bit restrictive, too; if you want a faster lens, go for the f/2.8 20mm pancake instead. Despite its drawbacks, the 20-50mm lens is a reasonable performer: nice and sharp, with acceptable distortion and chromatic aberration levels.
HD video recording is right up there, too. Full 1080p performance is a real bonus, and you can shoot in either Program or Aperture Priority mode.
As with stills performance, HD video shooting is rather limited by the limitations of the 20-50mm lens, but the Samsung NX100 still delivers a solid performance when it comes to movies. HD implementation isn't quite as slick or detailed as the similarly priced Panasonic Lumix GF-1, however.
ISO1600 (click here to see a full-sized version)
ISO3200 (click here to see a full-sized version)