Samsung’s NX300 was announced at CES at the beginning of January but wasn’t officially launched in Australia until 15 May and it took a while after that to reach retail stores. While physically this model resembles the NX200 of 2011 (which we didn’t review), it comes with a new Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system and the ability to shoot 3D photos and movies with Samsung’s new 45mm f/1.8 2D/3D lens.

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In summary

As we were completing our review the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) announced the winners of its annual ‘best products’ competition for 2013-14. Among them, the Samsung NX300 was listed as the Best European Compact System Camera for 2013-14.

The judges’ citation praised the camera for being ‘compact, fast, innovative’ and meeting the expectations of CSC users in many ways while opening the door for a new generation of connected cameras.

With its competitive price tag, abundance of features and competent performance, the NX300 should be an attractive choice for the connected generation of snapshooters for whom it has been designed. The lack of a built-in viewfinder will be off-putting for most photo enthusiasts, as it is with any camera that forces users to rely on the monitor screen for shot composition.

Currently, Samsung’s CSC cameras are also a bit short on lenses, with only 12 listed on the company’s US website (and eight in Australia).   This is comparable to Sony’s E-mount offerings for NEX cameras and the eight lenses in Fujifilm’s current X-mount line-up but meagre when compared with more than 40 lenses currently available for the Olympus and Panasonic M4/3 cameras.

Rating

Build

8.8

Ease of use

8.5

Autofocusing

8.5

Still image quality JPEG

8.5

Still image quality RAW

8.5

Video quality

8.8

OVERALL

8.8

RRP:  AU$899; US$800 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III OIS i-Function lens

Specs

  • Image sensor: 23.5 x 15.7 mm CMOS sensor with 21.6 million photosites (approx. 20.3 megapixels effective)  
  •  Image processor: DRIMe IV
  • A/D processing:  12-bit
  • Lens mount: Samsung NX
  • Focal length crop factor: 1.5x
  • Image formats: Stills ““ JPEG (Exif 2.3), SRW.RAW, RAW+JPEG; Movies ““ MP4 (H.264)/AAC stereo audio
  • Image Sizes: Stills ““ RAW:   5472 x 3648 only; JPEG 3:2 aspect: 5472 x 3648, 3888 x 2592, 2976 x 1984, 2736 x 1824 (Burst mode only), 1728 x 1152; 16:9 aspect: 5472 x 3080, 3712 x 2088, 2944 x 1656, 1920 x 1080; 1:1 aspect: 3648 x 3648, 2640 x 2640, 2000 x 2000, 1024 x 1024;   Movies: 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 640 x 480, 320 x 240 (or sharing): 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps (available only with 1920 x 810), 15 fps (available only with some Smart Filter options)
  • Image Stabilisation: Lens shift (depends on lens)
  • Dust removal: Super-sonic drive
  • Shutter speed range: 1/ 6000 to 30 seconds plus bulb (time limit: 4 min), X-sync at up to 1/180 sec.
  • Exposure Compensation: +/- 3EV in 1/3EV increments  
  • Bracketing: +/-3 EV AEB in 1/3- or 1/2-EV increments, White Balance and Picture Wizard bracketing also available  
  • Self-timer: Delay adjustable between 2 and 30 seconds  
  • Focus system: Phase Detection ( 105 points) & Contrast Detection (247 points) AF with 1 point (Free selection);   Multi   (Normal 21 [3 x 7] points [Cross point 1], Close up 35 points), Face detection   (max. 10 faces)
  • Focus  modes: Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual Focus, Touch AF & Shutter
  • Exposure metering: Multi (linked to all AF points), Centre-weighted average and Spot  
  • Shooting modes: Smart Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Lens Priority, Smart (Beauty Face, Best Face, Landscape, Macro, Action Freeze, Rich Tones, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks, Light Trace, Creative Shot), Wi-Fi (connection)
  • Picture Style/Control settings: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Forest, Retro, Cool, Calm, Classic, Custom (x3)  
  • Smart Filters: Vignetting, Miniature, Coloured Pencil, Watercolour, Wash drawing, Oil Sketch, Ink Sketch, Acryl, Negative, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow
  • Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • ISO range: Auto: ISO 100 to ISO 25600 in 1/3 step increments
  • White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent White, Fluorescent NW, Fluorescent Daylight, Tungsten, Flash, Custom Set, Colour Temperature (Manual); Micro adjustment –     Amber/Blue/Green/Magenta: 7 steps in all modes
  • Flash: External Flash GN 8 (ISO 100/m) supplied; +/- 2EV compensation
  • Flash modes: Smart Flash, Auto, Auto Red-eye, Fill in, Fill-in Red, 1st Curtain, 2nd Curtain, Off
  • Sequence shooting: Max. 8.6 shots/sec. for full-resolution JPEG or raw files; burst shooting at  10, 15, or 30 frames per second for up to 30   frames
  • Storage Media: Single slot for SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards; UHS-1compatible
  • Viewfinder: None
  • LCD monitor: 3.31-inch AMOLED with Touch Panel (C-type Touch Control Enabled) with approx. 768,000 dots; tiltable (up 90 degrees, down 45 degrees); Approx. 100 % FOV coverage; adjustable brightness
  • Playback functions: Single image, Thumbnails (15/28), Slide show, Movie, Smart Filter, Red-eye Fix, Backlight, Resize, Rotate, Face Retouch, Brightness, Contrast, Smart Filters can be applied in playback mode
  • Interface terminals: Micro USB 2.0, HDMI (Type C Mini), external microphone IN (3.5 mm stereo jack), IEEE 802.11b/g/n support Dual Band Wi-Fi
  • Power supply: BP1130 (1,130 mAh) rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 320 shots/charge  
  • Dimensions (wxhxd): 122 x 63.7 x 40.7 mm (without protrusions)
  • Weight: 284 grams (body only)4 degrees 20 minutes to 27 degrees 50 minutes
  • Minimum aperture: f/36
  • Lens construction: 13 elements in 11 groups (including   aspherical lens element)
  • Lens mounts: Canon EF-S
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7 (circular aperture)
  • Focus drive: Stepping motor
  • Stabilisation: Yes, four f-stops claimed
  • Minimum focus: 25 cm
  • Maximum magnification: 0.36x
  • Filter size:   58 mm
  • Dimensions (Diameter x L): 69.0 x 75.2 mm
  • Weight:  Approx. 205 grams

 

See full review including the charts and sample images