NX300 is the latest mirrorless offering from Samsung. Behind the very nice retro design, NX300 has a full range of features which should appeal to prospective buyers: 20 MP APS-C sensor, full HD video, 3.3″ LCD with tilt and touch capability and Wi-Fi connection just to name a few. This is theory, but in practice NX300 is a classic example how a good product can be ruined by rushing it out on market without thoroughly testing it before release.
SAMSUNG NX300 GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS
- Announced: 2013.
- Type: mirrorless
- Dimensions: 122 x 64 x 41 mm
- Weight: 280g (with battery)
- Sensor: APS-C CMOS, 20 MP (5472 x 3648 pixels)
- ISO range: 100 – 25,600
- Image stabilization: No
- Dust and moisture protection: No
- Flash: hot-shoe (small camera-powered flash included)
- LCD screen: 3.3″, 768,000 dots
- Memory card: SD
- Battery: Li-Ion
- Video: 1920 x 1080 @ 60, 50, 25, 24 fps, 1280 x 720 @ 60, 50, 30, 25 fps, 640 x480, 320×240
- Connectors: USB 2.0, micro HDMI
SAMSUNG NX300 CONSTRUCTION AND HANDLING
NX300 is really nice to look upon. Aluminum top plate combined with brown leather exterior just screams “quality” to the beholder.
Sadly, I cannot say the same about handling. The neck strap hinge is positioned almost in the middle of the grip, so the strap is between my palm and the camera and it feels really awkward. Each time I took this camera in hand it gave me feeling similar to the one you have when there’s a stone in your shoe.
Rear buttons are really small and positioned at the very corner of camera where they are hard to reach – courtesy of 3.3 inch widescreen LCD. And not only that, but they all feel very cheap and have very short travel which I didn’t like. Top of the camera is a bit better; mode dial feels nice, as is the case with shutter button. Besides them, you can see the multi-function control wheel, used mostly to change setting, exposure or zoom into images.
If you like touch screen interface (I’m a button type of guy), NX300 might be the camera for you. LCD is very sensitive and allows quick selection of menu items.
KIT LENS (SAMSUNG 18-55 OIS)
Kit lens is a story all by itself, and I mean that in a bad way. Optically, it is fine; as good as any other 18-55 kit lens from Sony, Canon or Nikon. But mechanically, this Samsung 18-55 is probably the worst lens I ever used. Zoom ring doesn’t rotate smoothly but gets stuck every few milimeters, manual focus ring has a feel like there’s sand stuck inside and a lens mount is made of cheap plastic covered with shiny layer of more plastic in order to look like fake metal.
Zoom ring makes this lens completely unusable for video recording; huge “jumps” in zoom action can be seen on video and look dreadful.
LCD unit has a 3.3″ diagonal and sports 768,000 dots. Some competitors have more dots, but in real life use I found this LCD to be quite good, especially since it uses AMOLED technology. It is tilt-able up to 90°upward and 45°down. Touch functions works splendid but it doesn’t support multi-touch (actually it does with new firmware).
Sadly, as much as it is good indoors or in any lower to normal light level situation, LCD becomes almost unusable in bright sunlight. Even on maximal brightness level, I could hardly see it.
There is no viewfinder on this camera or option to attach electronic one. You could buy third party optical finders that use hot-shoe terminal, but somehow I doubt typical buyer of this camera will even know they exist.