Despite being closely related to the NX10, the Samsung NX100 camera looks quite different. Rather than trying to look like a mini SLR, the Samsung NX100 camera's styling recalls the rangefinder looks of the Olympus Pen EP2 (although the dial and button layout is simpler).
The top of the NX100 camera is refreshingly uncluttered, with just a PASM dial, discreet thumbwheel, shutter button and hot shoe for a range of accessories (as with the Olympus PEN EP-2, you don't get flash as standard). The NX100 camera feels comparatively heavy with the 20-50mm kit lens attached, and while it can be retracted, it only retracts to 40mm.
So the NX100 is hardly a pocket or handbag camera. Still, the Samsung NX100 handles well and its relative bulk makes it easier to hold firmly and avoid camera shake.
Controls and features
Now, let's look in more detail at the iFunction feature. Does it make the NX100 camera easier to use?
Yes and no. It's certainly true that using the focus ring to adjust exposure settings does become second nature after a while, and you do wonder why, apart from on a couple of compact cameras, nobody's introduced a similar feature before. So somebody coming straight to the NX100 from a point and click compact will probably get used to iFunction as quickly as they would to a more conventional camera system.
iFunction lenses arguably come in more handy when you've figured out the basics; once your fingers learn where the button and focusing ring are, you can quickly adjust the aperture, for example, without moving your hands from the 'shoot' position.
What is really impressive, however, is how great the iFunction menus look on the high-quality rear-LCD. This is a three-inch AMOLED screen that borrows technology from Samsung's lusted-after LCD TVs, and it just looks fantastic. The screen is bright and pin-sharp without constantly draining the battery, and it puts most current Micro Four Thirds camera screens to shame.
The function menu is very well designed too. Hit the Fn button on the back of the Samsung NX100 camera and you can quickly tweak AF, metering and picture size. You can also access a handy Picture Wizard for adjusting colour, saturation, sharpness and contrast.