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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NX10 Brief Hands-on Impressions

(Image Source: Samsung Imaging)

Played and shot with the NX10 twice at shops and below are my brief impressions:-

1. Body is comfortable to hold (obviously better than my Girl Friend), feel solid and it is yet compact (for the body only). With the 30mm Pancake lens, the overall small size is maintained;

2. The back LCD display is glorious, high resolution, bright and contrasty, but it is not so for the EVF, which is still good to acceptable, but not a Wow;

3. I like the seamless automatic operation of the EVF which is turned on and off automatically with sensor detection;

4. AF is really fast, it is quite fast and is on a par with my GF1, if not faster;

5. Image quality is good, colours are exaggerated but looks solid. In-camera JPEGs just look sharper than what I could see with the K-7. Noise control seems to be a bit better than the K-7, but yet still a bit noisy at ISO 400/800 and up;

6. The (US)$200 something K-mount adaptor is just a JOKE! It does no more than my $30 adaptor which I purchased from my local radio shacks. It loses both AF and automatic Aperture Control for any K lenses with such an adaptor! The aperture level has a loose control without any f-number marking (but only a wide opened position) for the user to change the aperture of a Pentax digital/DA lens which has no aperture ring. That means that the user will have no idea on what actual aperture he is choosing practically. How dare Samsung could make such an useless adaptor and dare to ask for that price for such a purely mechanical tube? I guess they just have forgot all those Chinese made "cheap" m43 adaptors that are widely available over the net! And they do also forget that Olympus made an 4/3 to m4/3 adaptor that retain both AF and AE for the old 4/3 lenses!

7. In MF mode, or when an adapted lens is used, I have not been able to figure out how to use a similar function as the Focus Assist of my GF1 with the NX10. As such, MF is not as accurate as what I can achieve with my GF1;

8. With the kit zoom 18-55, the camera looks more bulky. The Samsung NX 18-55 is not smaller than the Pentax DAL 18-55, I compared them side by side. And, it uses a larger 58mm thread filter (against the 52mm of the Pentax kit);

9. The Samsung lenses, for both the 30mm Pancake and the NX 18-55 are very sharp, though. I have no problem with its corner sharpness even at wide opened on the NX10, which is quite good comparatively and more than acceptable indeed. (better than both the Pentax 18-55 WR on K-7 and DAL 18-55 on K-x! :-()

10. The prices of the NX10 kits (with 30mm or the 18-55) are not expensive. They are sold at around (US)$750 for what I can get. But if I want a smaller camera, especially when I want a standard zoom, the GF and EP m4/3 cameras are smaller and lighter.

Overall, I think the NX10 is a good EVIL camera. You may like or may not like the colour response of it for that Samsung taste, i.e., cooler and more exaggerated colours, especially for the green and blue colours. But, it does have a larger APS-C sensor which has slightly higher resolution and with slightly better noise performance, too. With the 30mm Pancake, it is just a light and compact setup with everything in it (flash and EVF). The operation of the EVF is seamless (in contrast to the stupid manual operation of my GF1 with the optional EVF on it - the worst is that the on/off button is also placed at a rather inconvenient position! Damn! >:-().

I have not tried the video recording for the NX10, but I don't believe that it would have any special problem. I expect it should be at the same level as my GF1. But anyway, I may try it next time and verify if my guess is right or wrong..

If you want an alternative EVIL and system, the NX10 would be your choice. But if you just want to use your K lenses on an EVIL, the NX is clearly having no advantage, nor the original Samsung adaptor is worth to buy. Just forget about it, those Chinese made K to NX adaptors would be available later anyway, at only a fraction of the cost - if you are still getting a NX later, or already have it now.