Mirrorless cameras are the next big thing. They are not completely there yet, but give the technology a chance. The Samsung NX1000 shows a “I’m-a-big-boy” attitude by combining DSLR like picture quality in a smaller less expensive package. And a prettier one as well. You will be hearing that word a lot: pretty. But it’s not just all pretty roses for this pretty camera. Okay, enough now.
The NX1000 is an entry-level camera for the budding pro, with the same if not more specs and goodies offered by larger more expensive pro cameras. With a large CMOS image sensor taken directly from its older brethren with 20.3-megapixels, picture quality is exceptional and will put to shame many pro DSLRs that cost three times as much. With a continuous speed of 8 fps and featuring full 1080/30p video shooting and a maximum ISO sensitivity of 12800, it is firmly out of the point-and-shoot collection. See why I think it’s the next best thing? Give it time…
Operation is just like a pro DSLR, with adjustable settings for all the manual shooting modes. But without a viewfinder. We will get to that later. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO settings and over/under exposure is easily accessible via the small scroll wheel. Even though I have big hands, the really small buttons were easy to press.
The oh-so-easy-to-use menu and settings make this one of the most user-friendly cameras I’ve worked with. The scroll wheel similar to Canon’s pro cameras makes life a lot easier as you flip through more image settings and options than you can throw a stick at. Those settings alone could fill 90% of this review. The selective colour mode is a real gem, allowing you to select one colour (blue, red, yellow or green) to feature in the photo alone while all other colours are saturated (black and white for the uninformed). And of course, as is the newest trend today, it includes a one-touch Smart Link button for Wi-Fi connectivity to share between devices. Nifty. Cool.
But like I said, it’s not all just pretty roses. There are some flaws.
The camera does take a bit of time to actually take a photo. You will need to anticipate an action shot a little ahead of time with this supermodel lookalike. Picture quality diminishes when shooting in difficult light conditions, especially into sunlight, adding a slight purple tint. The detachable flash is… well detachable, and is the best compact dinky toy flash I’ve seen. But being detachable is the problem. Why? You are never going to take it off, and if you do, chances are you will lose it as it’s small. Flat and lengthy, it also obstructs the zoom ring on the lens and is a bit irritating. It’s also not programmed with the camera to pop up when needed, so for the complete amateur it will seem to never be needed.
Video capture is exemplary, but with the lack of image stabilisation (IS) in the standard lens, it’s very rocky, so a tripod/monopod or IS lens will be one of your extra purchases. IS is available in more expensive lenses, but really it would not have been a crime to include it in the standard lens for a couple of bucks more. The lens is a 20-50mm zoom, and somewhat lacking in zoom capabilities, so sorry no sneaky shots of pretty babes on the beach. I was so wishing for a lengthier lens. The battery is to say the least (and I’m being friendly here) poor. You will not go through a day without it running flat. That’s a really silly thing for Samsung to overlook.
Then there’s the viewfinder: it has none, an omission that is not so serious, but having a viewfinder would have been the cherry on top. Certain functions would be better experienced if a viewfinder was present.
There are so many digital cameras out there that your choices are quite difficult (that’s why we do reviews for you, see?). For the price of around US$500, the NX1000 is great value for money and even though it’s not on my Christmas list (unless the standard lens had IS and better zoom), it will more than satisfy the budding pro and amateur who wants to make a major step up from the usual point-and-shoot. I liked the build, features, ease of use and the picture quality was a helluva lot better than expected. Fantastic to be honest.
Yet there are similar rivals out there in roughly the same price range that deliver just as much, if not more. Cameras are expensive items, and the one you purchase should be usable for at least a couple of years. The NX1000 is in a very tough race against the likes of what Canon, Nikon and Panasonic have to offer, but it has all the capabilities to satisfy.