Samsung NX2000 Review
Samsung PH has been kind enough to let us take their latest mid-range MILC, the NX2000, for a spin for a couple of weeks. Check out what this 20MP camera has to offer in our full review right after the break.
As mentioned earlier, the Samsung NX2000 is the newest addition to the South Korean firm’s NX portfolio. It replaces the NX1000 in the mid-range tier just below Samsung’s current flagship snapper, the NX300. Let’s take a quick tour of the NX2000’s body to get acquainted with some of its basic features.
Design and Construction
Like most compact ILCs, the NX2000’s lens mount is slightly pushed towards the left side to make room for the hand grip. As a result, the camera looks a bit awkward particularly if you mount a fairly large lens to it. However, that’s not that big of a deal considering that it makes the camera easier to hold.
The top panel houses a full-sized hot shoe which sits in between two holes for the mic. Towards the far right end is a pair of buttons for Direct Link and for the shutter. The latter is situated just above the handgrip and is neighbored by the camera’s On/Off switch.
Rounding up the list of notable components at the top is a multi-purpose command dial which controls some of the basic features of the NX2000. It’s ridged and provides a slight click feedback when turned. The wheel can also be pressed which may come in handy as an alternative for the touchscreen when adjusting the settings.
Majority of the real estate at the back is occupied by the camera’s fairly large touchscreen panel which measures 3.7-inch and display contents in WVGA resolution. Fortunately, Samsung was still able to make room for a trio of physical buttons (Record, Home and Playback) and a rubberized thumb rest which sits just above it.
There’s a door on the right side which hides a pair of ports (Micro-USB and Micro-HDMI out) from plain sight. Meanwhile, a standard screw mount for tripods is found underneath the camera. It’s slightly off-center which makes it possible to change batteries and/or storage card while the camera is mounted on the tripod.
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The NX2000’s handling has been a bit of a toss-up for us. On one end we have a sleek camera that fits perfectly in to our hands and, thanks to its lightweight frame, carrying it for hours on end and one-hand shooting feels very comfortable.
On the other hand, we struggled to get in to any sort of rhythm when we’re shooting with the NX2000 which is primarily due of the lack of physical buttons. As a result, it renders users to make use of its touchscreen 90% of the time.
To make things worse, the NX2000’s display isn’t also quite up to challenge of outdoor photography. Although images appear detailed and crisp on its 3.7-inch screen, we found ourselves either squinting or covering the top part of the camera because of the display’s poor outdoor legibility. Even cranking the brightness up to its max didn’t do us any good.
The review unit that was lent to us came with a retractable 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 (S2050NB) lens which is kinda similar to the Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm kit lens from the design and function standpoint. In fact, the only difference between these two optics, apart from the focal range, is that Sammy’s lens is equipped with an Fn button which can be assigned to various camera functions.
And while we admire the compact nature of the kit lens, as well as its overall performance, we think that its focal range is somewhat limiting as it’s neither wide nor long enough for most shooting situations. Unfortunately, there aren’t many NX zoom lenses to choose from so it’s either this or the 18-55mm or if your budget allows it, you can go for the pricier 18-200mm.
All throughout our time with the NX2000, we’re happy to say that we got a quite desirable performance out of it. The overall responsiveness of the camera (start-up, shutter lag, toggling through various menus) are well-above average, although there were a few instances (particularly when processing large files) when it chokes which is typical for most cameras.
Focusing was also pretty decent. However, we can’t help but notice that the lack of on-chip Phase Detection AF on this camera has significantly reduces its ability to swiftly and accurately lock in on a subject. This is particularly noticeable on poorly-lit shooting conditions.
Image and Video Quality
Despite of our gripes about the shortage of physical buttons on the NX2000, we’re glad to report that it was able to provide us with a set of respectable snaps. Although the images were not as tack sharp as we would want it to be (probably because of the kit lens), the color reproduction was superb even at Standard picture control.
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Note: Pictures in the slide are downsized to fit our current image upload tool. You can see these images, and other images shot using the camera, in full resolution in this link
It also did a solid job of keeping the noise at a minimum, resulting to a very usable image even at ISO 1600. At ISO 3200, the images are still decent enough for small prints, but you might not want to go beyond this level as ISO 6400 and above will just result to crappy shots.
The camera’s ability to take good stills was carried out on its video recording capabilities. It records Full HD quality videos at 30fps, pretty much the standard for this kind of cameras. Here’s the sample video taken using the Samsung NX2000:
Much like its siblings in the Samsung NX lineup, the NX2000 also ships with Wi-Fi and NFC functionalities which make it easier for users to transfer/share their pictures to other devices and/or to the web. Not only that, you can also use the camera’s Wi-Fi, pair to an Android or iDevice through a downloadable app (Remote Viewfinder) and use their smartphone or tablet to control the camera wirelessly.
Tucked underneath its compartment is a 1130mAh battery pack (BP1130) which is rated by CIPA to take 340 shots in a single full charge. We’re not sure they are rating batteries and what the testing condition is when they’re doing it, but on our end we can’t even get anything close to that figure.
On a regular shooting day, with the screen’s brightness set to 50% and without the flash unit attached, we only manage to get an average of 200-230 shots on a full battery. That number drops to around 180-200 if we decided to record a handful of 1080p videos along with taking pictures.
Interchangeable Lens Cameras have certainly come a long way from being a clunky piece of contraption to now a sleek and sometimes pocketable device. Sadly though, there are some crucial aspects of the camera that got lost in the transition, such as the case with the Samsung NX2000.
Maybe it’s just a case of an old dog, new trick on my part, but I’m really disappointed with the scarcity of physical button on this camera to give way for the fairly large display. Sure, the NX2000’s screen still offers the same controls that I typical get on a camera that’s peppered with buttons, but I cannot fathom having to primarily use an auxiliary component as a main tool for getting my composition right.
Don’t’ get me wrong here, the NX2000 provides all the bells and whistles that one would typically look for in this kind of camera. It takes great stills, it can capture 1080p clips plus you can upload/share your contents to other devices and on social media on the fly.
We guess it all boils down your personal preference as a user. If you’re the kind of user you rarely tinker with shooting modes and settings, then you’ll feel right at home with the NX2000. However, if you’re an advance user looking for a back-up camera for your bulky dSLR, then this one’s not for you.
The NX2000 has a MSRP of USD650 (almost Php27,000) and comes bundled with a 20-50mm lens and Adobe Lightroom 4.
• Image quality
• Ergonomic design
• Decent build
• Wi-Fi functionalities
• Snappy overall performance
• Subpar battery life
• Insufficient physical buttons
• Poor outdoor legibility
• Limited lens selection