SamsungNX30 Announced at CES in Las Vegas, Samsung’s latest is an attractive blend of modern tech and old- school design thinking. Photography News tests a pre-production version in the heart of Sin City FIRST LOOK
ABOVE The design of the NX30 is sure to appeal to existing digital SLR owners. The handgrip is substantial, the viewfinder bright, and the rear LCD twists to every conceivable angle. BELOW Shooting with sunny skies, the NX30 delivers punchy, vibrant colours, but it’s in low light where the improved sensor shows – the Neon image was taken handheld at ISO 3200.
bright and sharp image – it’s still not as good as an optical viewfinder, but it’s not far off. Said viewfinder is also tiltable by up to 80° – think right-angle finder for those old enough to remember. I must admit to being slightly perplexed by the inclusion of this functionality when you consider the three-inch AMOLED screen also swivels for framing at high and low angles. Still, it could be a real boon for those who like to shoot macro. Stay connected Along with all the other models announced by Samsung at CES, the NX30 offers new levels of connectivity with both Near Field Communication (NFC) and Wi-Fi. Images can now be transmitted simply by touching the camera on to an NFC- enabled tablet or smartphone or by using the free Samsung Smart Camera app and the Direct Wi-Fi button on the camera. Clever stuff. But the level of connectivity also goes a few steps further with the ability to upload your images straight to Dropbox or Flickr, or the chance to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote viewfinder. You can even use the camera as a baby monitor with the built-in microphone picking up when your offspring is restless and alerting you through your mobile or tablet! Quality counts Although I got to try a pre-production version of the camera in Las Vegas, the results proved to be excellent. That was certainly aided by the fact that I was using the new Premium S 16-50mm f/2-2.8 lens, which is clearly a high-quality offering. The sensor itself is exactly the same as the one that appears in the NX300, but the performance has been improved thanks to gapless micro lenses in front of the photo diodes that offer more efficient light collecting. Whatever the technology involved, it certainly seems to work – I got some really impressive results, even when the ISO was pushed to the new maximum of 25,600. I certainly look forward to getting my hands on one for a full test.
Words by Roger Payne
It’s interesting to see how different companies deal with the same technology. Mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses have been around for a while now and as model ranges expand and mature, it’s becoming increasingly apparent how the key players have decided to cut their design cloth – or polycarbonate – accordingly. Sony likes making everything as small as possible (one of the key benefits of the technology), Fujifilm and Olympus favour a retro style with chrome top-plates and leather-based accessories, while Samsung seems to prefer making cameras that look and feel like digital SLRs, only slightly smaller. Personally, I’d say Samsung has made a solid choice. As a dyed-in-the-wool DSLR user, I still find it unnatural to take a picture with a camera that has neither a viewfinder nor a substantial handgrip. If you think the same way as I do, the Samsung NX30 is going to appeal. As well as featuring a DSLR- challenging APS-C sized 20.3-megapixel sensor, this new model also offers both a viewfinder and a handgrip that wouldn’t look out of place on a reflex- mirrored model. This is a good thing; pick the NX30 up and it feels comfortable in the hand. It may not be as big as a DSLR, but it sure feels like one. Covering all the angles In addition to the chunky handgrip, there’s also an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which allows for conventional up-to-the-eye framing. EVFs have come a long way in the last few years and the NX30’s offers 2359k dots, which delivers an exceptionally
PRICE £599.99 CONTACT www.samsung.com/uk SENSOR 20.3-megapixel CMOS with DRIMeIV processor IMAGE DIMENSIONS 5472x3648 pixels ISORANGE 100-25,600 SHUTTER 30secs-1/8000sec METERING PATTERNS Multi-pattern, centre- weighted, spot SHOOTING SPEEDS Single, continuous up to nine frames-per-second LCD SCREEN 3in Super AMOLED swivel and touch featuring 1037k dots STORAGEMEDIA SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible DIMENSIONS (WXHXD) 127x95.5x41.7mm WEIGHT 375g (without battery)
The level of connectivity goes a fewsteps furtherwith the ability to upload shots straight to Flickr
Photography News | Issue 4
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