Samsung NX11 interchangeable lens camera
Samsung NX11 review: A small camera with a digital SLR-sized sensor and functions
The Samsung NX11 is an interchangeable lens camera with a 14.6-megapixel APS-C sized sensor and a relatively compact body size. It's the type of camera to go for if you want something slightly smaller than a traditional digital SLR, yet still want to have the flexibility of choosing between different lenses and settings. However, the NX11 doesn't usher in any improvements over the NX10, which was released over one year ago, and this is a little to its detriment.
- Compact size
- Very good image quality
- Relatively good value
- High ISO performance not great
- Focus a little hit and miss
- EVF could be better
The NX11 is small and capable of producing very good images thanks to its relatively big sensor. With a built-in EVF and flash, it's one of the better value interchangeable lens camera on the Australian market.
The NX10 came at a time when existing interchangeable lens cameras didn't offer excellent value for money. The NX10 was one of the only models priced under $900 to offer a built-in flash and electronic viewfinder. Those features, along with its bigger, APS-C sized sensor and an easy-to-use menu system made it a far more interesting value proposition than say the Olympus PEN E-P2. The NX11 doesn't bring with it the same sort of 'wow' factor that the NX10 brought last year; the NX11 is essentially the same camera as the NX10, with the only notable differences being that it now ships with one of Samsung's i-Function lenses and supports GPS features; it's also cheaper, retailing for a respectable $749.
Despite the lack of changes from the previous model, the NX11 is still a good camera and we think it's worth considering if you want to get yourself a relatively small camera that will accept different lenses and feel a little like a digital SLR. It brings a digital SLR-sized sensor to a body that is very compact, yet well featured: you get a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), a built-in flash, there is also a hot shoe, and a control dial for changing the shutter and aperture values.
The NX11 uses Samsung's NX lens mount and it ships with one of the company's i-Function lenses (our kit came with the 18-55mm lens). An i-Function lens contains circuitry that allows you to change the shooting settings by pressing a button on the lens and then moving the focus ring. It's a very awkward way of doing things if you ask us, and we're not sure how it's meant to be easier to change settings by moving the focus ring rather using traditional methods. We much prefer the buttons on the back of the camera and the control dial that sits near the shutter button. In fact, we wish it had two separate control dials for the shutter and aperture values when using it in manual mode.
The camera's picture quality is impressive and we think that anyone from a casual user to an avid photographer will like the results. It does a good job in bright light conditions and also in overcast conditions. It's not great for night photography, mainly because there is a lot of noise when you use a value above ISO 800. Images shot at ISO 800 will also look a little grainy and this will be noticeable when viewing the photos at their native size on a screen. It's a shame that Samsung hasn't improved in this area. Cheap digital SLRs from Canon and Nikon are well ahead in this regard. Colour tones and saturation were good in our tests and most photos came out looking rich and vibrant (although this will depend on the settings you use).
The above photos were shot just before midday on a very bright Sydney day using aperture priority mode and the 50-200mm lens.
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