Live View needs some Live Aid
- Huge picture size, no noticeable noise up to ISO 800, solidly constructed, optical image stabilisation
- Live View is implemented poorly, no dedicated buttons for ISO or shooting mode, shutter button could be better, loud shutter, slightly soft image quality
This camera feels and sounds like a beast. And it is a beast. It'll produce very good images at a 14.6Mp size, with practically no noise up to ISO 800. However, its Live View feature is worthless.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
If a 10-megapixel (Mp) camera isn't big enough for you, try on Samsung's GX-20 for size. It's essentially the same camera as the Pentax K20D, and also features a 14.6Mp CMOS sensor. This enables it to capture a huge amount of detail and with relatively good clarity. It also implements Live View, which lets you take photos by using its 2.7in LCD as a viewfinder.
However, Live View is implemented awkwardly; to use it, you must set the preview mode to Live View in the menu, then you must turn the dial on the key grip past the 'on' position. Only then will it switch from the optical viewfinder to the LCD screen. To focus in this mode, you have to hold down the 'AF' button, which blanks the LCD screen and then returns it to your subject after the camera has focused. Furthermore, you can't change any settings while in this mode. Unless you're shooting at a really awkward angle and need the LCD to frame your shots, this is a very cumbersome way of shooting.
As for the camera's build quality, it's bloody solid. The body is a little bigger than Nikon's D80, for example, and it also feels a little heavier. One thing that is noticeable with the GX-20 is its shutter, which, apart from making an almighty noise when it shuts and releases, can also be felt through the body. Its automatic focusing is also fairly aggressive and a little too noisy. All up, it's a very lively camera! According to Samsung you can use it in dusty, sandy or even wet conditions, as it has 72 seal points, which make it semi water and dust proof. We couldn't wait for a sandstorm to hit Sydney, but we did manage to test the unit in drizzle. That wasn't fun.
The camera's button layout is relatively standard, although we wish it had dedicated buttons for the ISO, flash and shooting mode settings. As it stands, you have to access the menu system before being able to change the options for these settings. However, there are dedicated controls for the exposure compensation setting, exposure bracketing, focus mode, and RAW shooting format.
The one thing that's annoying about the build quality is the shutter button. It doesn't have a distinct two-step operation for focusing, so it takes a little getting used to. Only slight pressure on the shutter button is required before it will focus.
To test the camera's image quality, we used a Samsung 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 lens, which is one of the new lenses Samsung has announced for this camera. Our test shots came out a little soft for our liking, and green colours, in particular, were a little over-saturated. But the overall image quality was clear and free of noise. In sunlight, the captured images looked vibrant yet natural, while cloudy conditions were also handled reasonably well. There was barely any noticeable noise up to ISO 800, but higher levels did produce noise.
The GX-20 has built-in optical image stabilisation, which aims to reduce blurriness caused by camera shake. While the example results of this feature in the manual are exaggerated, our tests showed a noticeable difference in clarity. However, it's not a saving grace in low light situations and isn't an alternative to a faster shutter and bigger aperture, or indeed a tripod.
Focusing was a little hit and miss while using the GX-20 indoors with room lighting. It has 11 focus points, and you can either let the camera decide on the points itself, or you can choose the focus point manually. It was sometimes difficult to get clarity in the exact area we required, despite selecting the appropriate focus point. Overall, however, focusing was very swift and accurate in well-lit conditions. The camera was also reasonably quick at writing files to the memory card, considering the 14.6Mp size of the photos; it took a little over 2sec.
The rotary dial allows you to select aperture priority or shutter priority modes, and it also has a bulb setting. This caught us out initially, as the shutter dial only went down to 30sec and we thought Samsung had left out this crucial setting. Meanwhile, in burst mode, the camera will shoot at about 3 frames per second up until about the 20th shot, at which point it slows down considerably.
Overall, the GX-20 is a worthy DSLR. It is well built and takes good photos, but its Live View mode is a waste of time.
Note: the price of $1799 is for the body only
Join the newsletter!
Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 2 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 3 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Canon introduces PowerShot SX740
- Fujifilm expands production capacity
- Fujifilm introduces new range of interchangeable lenses
- Fujifilm launch the XF10 and new X-Series Lenses
- Canon launches first retail store in Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies