Samsung NX300 review

High performance CSC with fold out touchscreen

Samsung NX300 review
The Samsung NX300 is a great CSC

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We've got no complaints where build is concerned. The Samsung NX300 may be slightly heavier than its predecessors, but the body has a reassuring rigidity to it, and it's capped by a brushed aluminium top plate.

Access to the battery and card slot is through a flap beneath the grip, which is sufficiently offset from the mount point not to foul a tripod head, so you can change your battery or card without detaching it.

Around the back, the bright AMOLED screen is easy to use in direct sunlight, and it's larger than most rivals, stretching to 3.31 inches/84mm corner to corner. It's articulated, so you can tilt it up and down to reach more creative angles, and it's the first touch-sensitive screen on Samsung's semi-pro lineup.

Samsung NX300 review

The screen mechanics have been strengthened to endure years of folding in and out, and Samsung has successfully found a balance between making it smooth enough to easily position and firm enough to stay in place.

If you choose one of Samsung's iFunction lenses, such as the 18-55mm kit lens, it will feature an iFn button on the side of the barrel. Pressing it calls up a context-sensitive menu, which in turn is controlled by a twist of the focus ring at the end of the lens, through which you can quickly dial in changes to shutter speed, aperture, white balance and so on.

Although not new, this is a great feature that puts all of the control functions in your left hand while leaving your right free to fire the shutter. Furthermore, you don't need to change how you're holding the camera body to navigate the shooting options. It's also key to the aforementioned lens priority mode.

Samsung NX300 review

The regular full menus are clearly structured and organised across tabs. Each of the entries is large enough to accurately target with a fairly chunky finger, and any controls that need to be dragged are responsive.

There's no external charger, sadly, so you'll have to refresh the battery using the bundled adaptor, plugged in to the micro USB port on the side of the body just below the accompanying HDMI output.

There's no reason why you also need to use USB port to retrieve your images from the camera, though, because like the Samsung NX210 this camera features Wi-Fi connectivity. Perhaps not surprisingly for a company with so much experience in building smartphones, it's been extremely well implemented here.

Samsung NX300 review

There's a dedicated Wi-Fi position on the mode dial that enables you to access a range of functions, including backing up shots to Microsoft SkyDrive or shooting direct to your PC or Mac. A direct link button on the top plate enables you to shortcut this mode, since you can program it to activate Wi-Fi and launch your preferred wireless function with a single press.

For those with a suitably equipped tablet or smartphone there's built-in NFC for image sharing, too.

Overall the Samsung NX300's button and control layout can't be faulted, with the most commonly used options falling pretty much right beneath your fingers.

However, although you can directly drag left and right on the screen to move through your images when playing them back, we do miss the thumbwheel on the rear of the Samsung NX210, which required less lateral movement, and overall was a faster solution to navigating a large card full of shots.

Nik is an Esperanto-speaking, pencil-bothering, manual typewriter fan who also happens to have a soft spot for tech after sufficient years in the business to know what that disk icon on the save button actually means. Never happier than when out in his campervan, coffee in one hand, ebook in the other, listening to the rain on the roof.