The Samsung NX20 is Samsung’s most recent entry into the compact system camera market, replacing the NX11. We went hands-on to see what is offers.
What is the Samsung NX20?
The Samsung NX20 is Samsung’s most recent entry into the compact system camera market – replacing the Samsung NX11 – and along with the NX1000 and NX210 it’s one of Samsung’s first compact system cameras with built-in wi-fi.
There are a few minor improvements in the spec of the NX20 compared with the NX11, including a 20.6Mp APS-C CMOS sensor – the same sized sensor you’d find on a digital SLR.
When sold with the 18-55mm iFunction kit lens, it’s expected to retail for around £799 at launch – making it a competitor for many ‘advanced’ digital SLRs. Get a closer look at the new features of the Samsung NX20 and its wi-fi capabilities in our first look video review.
Not sure a compact system camera is right for you? Read our compact system cameras explained guide to find out more.
Who should buy the NX20?
With more people carrying a compact camera around with them on a daily basis in the form of a camera on a smartphone, the NX20 looks to bridge the gap between compact cameras and DSLRs.
It’s got lots of magic filters and effects that we’ve been accustomed to seeing on point-and-shoot compact cameras, like effects that drop the photo you’re taking into a street scene, or sepia effects. This means it’s easy to use if you’re not experienced user, though there’s a full set of manual controls as well for those that want them.
Vitally, the NX20 – unlike the more compact Samsung NX200 – has an electronic viewfinder. This means shooting in bright light shouldn’t be a problem. Moreover, the NX20 has an adjustable ‘clear AMOLED’ screen that has been developed to reduce on-screen reflections and make shots easier to compose in bright sunlight. An adjustable screen is very useful for shooting at awkward angles.
What unique features does it have?
If you’re interested in shooting video, the optional ‘zoom mic’ the NX20 supports will be of interest. A switch on the side of the zoom mic can toggle between recording sound directly in front of the camera and a wider range to pick up sound over a wider angle. It also includes a built-in ear phone jack so more professional video photographers can more easily monitor sound levels.
Like the Nikon D3200 that was announced at almost the same time, the NX20 can connect to a smartphone via wi-fi. This allows you to transfer photos and videos, but more interestingly downloading a phone app will let you control the camera remotely. It’s a neat idea, and unlike the D3200 the NX20 has wi-fi built-in instead of it being an optional extra. You can also backup photos to your PC over the wi-fi connection.
What’s it like to use? Katie’s first impressions of the NX20
The versatility of this camera works in its favour – a viewfinder and an adjustable screen are very useful, as is the ability to use wi-fi to transfer files and control the camera. As a more compact alternative to a DSLR, it’s hard to fault.
It’s also great to use, too. The Smart Panel view, which lets you easily adjust and toggle between variables including aperture, white balance, EV and more using the D-pad and zoom dial, works very well. And, as with previous NX-range cameras, the NX20 uses ‘iFunction’ lenses that allow you to adjust settings on the fly using a dial on the lens.
That said, all this functionality comes at a pretty steep price – at £799 it’ll be competing against the cream of the DSLR crop. We’ll have to wait for the full lab test results to find out if its image quality makes it worth the cost.
What makes a Best Buy digital SLR?
This is just our first impression of the Samsung NX20. Once it goes on sale we’ll be sending it our lab to see if it can reach Best Buy status, but what makes a camera a Which? Best Buy? Find out in our video:
And to find out more about what makes a best buy camera, visit our how we test digital SLRs page for all details of what we test and how we do it.