Samsung NX200 review

Fully-loaded compact system camera with fabulous features

Samsung NX200
Samsung's compact system camerahas a 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, sensitivity range of ISO 100-12800 and Full HD video recording at 30fps

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Samsung nx200 review

Shooting still images is a slick process, with the Samsung NX200 starting up and being ready to shoot in under a second and fast shot-to-shot times in single shot mode.

The camera can capture up to ten full resolution JPEGs at a rate of 7fps; a feature that's complemented by the CSC's similarly impressive new, speedier AF system. Once the buffer's full this rate slows, but you're not locked out of the camera's controls, enabling you to continue shooting. Once you hit the playback button, you'll have to wait a few seconds for the camera to finish writing to the memory card, but on the whole everything's pretty quick.

Samsung nx200 review

Switch to shooting raw + JPEGs, however, and things start to slow down, with processing time after firing off three shots taken in succession - during which you're locked out of the camera's controls - taking roughly five seconds on average, and sometimes longer.

The Samsung NX200's newly-added Full HD movie mode will please budding movie directors in terms of the level of detail and the smoothness of the footage captured. However, the built-in stereo microphones pick up the sound of the AF system, which also slows down a little when recording moving images.

Samsung nx200 review

Low-light shooting is another area where the Samsung NX200 doesn't quite match up to some of its rivals. Its contrast-detect AF system can struggle to find a lock once the light levels drop; a common problem shared by other CSCs employing this type of AF system. Its built-in AF assist lamp helps to some degree, but fails to stabilise the situation with any amount of real consistency.

At its default settings, the Samsung NX200 produces JPEGs that are generally a little on the cool side, and has a tendency to overexpose. Both of these aspects are easily tweaked using the on-body controls, however, and there's a Smart Range feature to help improve the dynamic range captured too.

Sharpness and the level of detail, on the other hand, are superb. The 20.3MP sensor does a marvellous job of picking up fine textures and details in scenes, and the colours recorded are commonly accurate and pleasingly saturated - so long as you stick to the lower end of the ISO sensitivity range.