Thursday, May 20, 2010

Samsung NX10 Second Impressions and ISO Check

Further to my last first impressions on the NX10, I've tried it further and more in-depth, again, for almost an hour this time.

Below are my further findings:-

1. The Samsung 18-55 kit lens is very sharp, from corner to corner, even near wide opened. Without any doubt, it is sharper than any of the Pentax 18-55 lens ever made, version and generation regardless! (But then WHY Pentax has been unable to make a sharper lens?!)

2. I am not satisfied with the colour accuracy of the standard "picture wizard" (i.e, the colour mode). But however, I couldn't find any other picture wizard that I am satisfied with for the colour accuracy! :-( Just like the K-7, it looks somehow strange and unnatural for something after all and the taste is similar! Outdoor skin tones are strange and reds are not "concretely" and accurately reproduced. As long as colour accuracy and naturalness is concerned, I am sure that my K-x is better here. I do have the feeling that the colour rendition is like what I see on a calibrated monitor which is inaccurate by itself, that is, by no means the colours could be very favourable, but just with less errors.

3. However, interestingly, under each colour mode, the user can change in the first setting for the colour tendency of the image tone. You can choose as many colours for the tendency as you like! It is not just limited to blue or yellow, or green or magneta for most DSLRs. Instead, you can choose almost any colour you like, say, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, cyan, magneta and so on! :-o (Amazing?)

4. The shutter lag of the NX10 is a big joke, if the Panasonic GF-1 is already a joke (as I think it is)!

5. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the NX10 is large and easy to view - much larger than that of my GF-1, but not brighter. But it is also dull and displayed image looks flat and it lacks contrast. The most mysteric thing is that the LiveView finder image is obviously coarser. When compared to playback image in the *same* EVF, the image looks much finer, despite the contrast is the same which is just low.

6. The 30mm pancake lens is astonishingly sharp, even near wide opened, say at f/2.8. In fact, I consider that it is just sharper than a FA 31 limited and it weighs only a fraction of the 31 Limited and do does its size and most importantly its cost! So, if you just use the FA 31 Limited on a Pentax APS-C DSLR with a Samsung sensor, WHY NOT just choose the NX?? (Not even to mention the inferior production quality and QC of the FA 31 Limited for those units made in Vietnam currently.)

7. The 30mm pancake looks good on its own for its outlook. But when it is put onto the NX10, it forms an ugly combo, which just like a black piece of small charcoal in hands! :-( With the 18-55 kit, it looks better. So, I think if I am getting the NX, I shall get its White Limited Edition.

8. The video is in the less popular MP4 (MPEG 4) container format in H.264 encoding. Similar to the AVCHD, it requires huge processing power and fast machine if you are going to playback the video clips on a PC. As with other cameras, the video playback at the camera is smooth. But for universal smooth playback on any newer PCs, I still would prefer the Motion JPEG format, like what the K-x offers (the only format) and like what the GF-1 could be selected, as an option. Do note that the MPEG 4 is the only format availabe for the NX for video recording. So, there is no choice! :-(

9. Unlike my Girl Friend, there is no Continuous AF available during video recording even I selected the C-AF option, which I think only applies to still shooting anyway. To re-focus, one has to press the DoF preview button at the right hand side near the lower side of the mount, using the finger of the right hand. The re-focusing is fast, silent and responsive - fast better than what the K-x can do and similar to the CDAF performance of the GF-1, once again.

10. Last but not least, below is a quick ISO comparison, from ISO 100 to 3200, 100% cropped, pictures taken with everything auto (except ISO of course!), in "Standard" colour mode with default parameters, 18-55 kit @ 35mm, EXIF preserved:-

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200
(Click to Enlarge, in a Separate New Tab/Window)

So, you can judge from the above for the noise level and the image details of the images produced by the NX. I won't comment further as such.

For further review articles and full size samples, I recommend to check the 1001 Noisy Cameras' NX10 review summary page (which is updated from time to time).

Last but not least, it seems that a new global firmware update for the NX10 would be available soon. Let's wait and see if it could do some miracles, or not!

Update (5-25): Samsung has released the new firmware version 1.15 for the NX10, see the following link for the detailed information and instructions for updating:-

The added features and told improvements are as below:-

- Added EVF selection function on the AMOLED displayed menu.
- Added MF Asist On/Off selection function.
- Added MF usage function while using K-Mount Adapter.
- Improved Auto White Balance function of Low color temperature condition.
- Improved SD Card Read/Write speed.
- System stablization

Other Articles:-

Pentax Standard Zooms Shootout (Single Infinity Scene)

Samsung NX is Around the Corner?

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