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Samsung NX30 review

Fantastic all-rounder with lots of added extras

Our Verdict

It's hard to fault this camera from Samsung, it's great to handle and images are superb. If only the NX system was a little broader.

For

  • Articulating touchscreen
  • Great handling
  • Tilting EVF

Against

  • Easy to accidentally set focus point
  • Limited number of lenses
  • Buttons not customisable
Ratings in depth
Design 5

Features 4 5
Performance 4 5
Usability

Value 4

Although Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to launch a compact system camera to the market, back in 2010 with the NX10, it's fair to say that the NX range has failed to capture the same amount of attention as CSCs from Panasonic, Olympus and Sony.

Samsung's compact system cameras, like Sony's, feature an APS-C sensor, and unlike some of the other manufacturers mentioned. All of the cameras in the current Samsung line-up share the same sensor, a 20.3 million-pixel device.

Alongside that sensor, which we have found to be a good performer before, are a number of features which are likely to grab the attentions of serious enthusiasts. For starters, there's a fast, 1/8000 second shutter speed and a nine frames per second (fps) continuous shooting function.

For the first time in a Samsung CSC, there's also a tiltable electronic viewfinder, which boasts an impressive 2,359k dot resolution. It is joined by a three inch, 1037k dot, fully articulated touch-sensitive screen.

Samsung NX30
The EVF is tiltable

The camera features a hybrid AF (autofocus) system, with the sensor featuring 247 contrast detect AF points and 105 phase detection points.

Both raw format shooting and full manual control is available, along with semi-automatic modes such as aperture priority and shutter priority. There's also a host of creative extras, such as digital filters, which can only be shot in JPEG, or Picture Wizard, which can be shot in both raw format and JPEG.

Samsung is a key advocate of Wi-Fi technology, so it's no surprise to see it featured here on the NX30. As with other SMART (Samsung's term for Wi-Fi connected) cameras, there is a variety of useful functions that make use of this. For instance, you can upload images directly to Facebook as well as using your phone or tablet to control the camera. There's also a baby monitor setting which means you can set up the camera in the room of a child and use your phone to keep tabs on your infant.

Samsung NX30
The new 16-50 lens is a bit of a monster

Samsung announced a new 'premium' lens, the first of its kind in the Samsung range, at the same time as the NX30 was. The 16-50mm f/2.0-f/2.8 offers the brightest maximum aperture for a 3x zoom lens, and indicates that Samsung is trying to attract a more serious kind of photographer than ever before. The company has indicated that more premium lenses will be coming soon too.

The NX30 comes packed with an 18-55mm iFunction lens as standard. iFunction lenses, unique to Samsung, allow you to control some aspects of the camera's functionality via a button on the lens itself. At present, there are 13 lenses available for the NX range, all of which are iFunction optics. Although the range isn't as large as those available for Micro Four Thirds, there are some interesting primes and zooms available.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy NX, the user interface of the NX30 is not an Android operating system, but the same menu system as used on other NX cameras. Whereas some Sony cameras allow you to download additional apps from the company's PlayMemories store, there's no such additional functionality than can be added with the NX30.

Other interesting features of the NX30 include a DRIMeIV image processing engine and full HD video recording.

As it sits at the top of Samsung's line up, the NX30 goes head to head with the likes of the just recently announced Sony a6000, Sony's most advanced APS-C compact system camera, the Panasonic GH4, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 and arguably even the Fuji X-T1, with which it shares a relatively similar shape, if not the retro styling.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution20.3 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
HDMIYes
Product FamilySmart NX
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom3.1x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameSamsung
FeaturesNear Field Communication (NFC), Face Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMP4
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)975 g
Image Sensor Size23.50 mm x 15.70 mm
Maximum Image Resolution5472 x 3648
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height95.5 mm
Width127 mm
Depth41.7 mm
Product SeriesNX
Focal Length18 mm to 55 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, MPO
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelNX30
Product NameSmart Camera NX30
Product LineSmart
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberEV-NX30ZZBGBGB
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing InformationDiscover life's hidden moments
  • Discover amazing detail with a powerful 20.3MP APS-C sensor
  • Shoot fast with Advanced Hybrid AF and 1/800sec shutter speed
  • Share and save anywhere and anytime using NFC and Wi-Fi
  • Swivel and tilt the vivid touchscreen display for the best angle
Package Contents
  • Smart Camera NX30
  • 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS III