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Box Photo

The Samsung NX200 comes with the camera body, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, as well as:

*BP1030 rechargeable lithium-ion battery

*battery charger

*proprietary USB cable

*CD-ROM

*user manual

*external flash

*neck strap

The 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the NX200 features the company's innovative i-function button, but is otherwise a fairly standard kit lens compared to other APS-C cameras. It's sharp in the center, but it falls off a bit when you get to the extreme edges. We noticed the upper corners seemed to be worse than the lower corners in our test shots. The i-function button interface works, but its utility is lessened greatly by the fact that the dual control dial control scheme and function menu in live view work so well on their own.

The Samsung NX200 is the first camera to feature a new Samsung-designed 20.3-megapixel CMOS image sensor that is designed to improve upon the hit-or-miss performance of previous NX-series cameras. The improvements are noteworthy across the board, as we found the sensor had greater resolving power, dynamic range, and more intelligent noise suppression than previous Samsung efforts. It produced somewhat soft images in RAW format (and that barely compressed .SRW format is a pain in the neck to deal with), but these can be shored up convincingly in post.

The APS-C sensor in the NX200 gives it a few advantages over other compact system cameras, as it has far more surface area to capture light while accommodating the increased resolution. The drawback to that is the lenses of the NX system (and Sony's NEX system, which also uses an APS-C sensor) are necessarily larger than those found in competing models from Olympus, Panasonic, Nikon, and Pentax. While the NX200 certainly won't fit in your pocket anytime soon, we didn't find the camera to be cumbersome despite the larger lenses.

The NX200 does not feature a built-in viewfinder and there are no options for an external electronic one, unlike many other compact system cameras. The general consensus is the optional viewfinder on previous Samsung NX cameras wasn't a popular enough item to build in support for it. While with this much control we did miss the viewfinder option, on most compact system cameras the extra couple hundred dollars is better spent on lenses anyway.

Being a Samsung product, it's no surprise that display quality is one of the first things you'll notice when utilizing the NX200. The camera benefits from a 3-inch, 641k-dot resolution AMOLED screen. The screen quality is most noticeable when navigating the menus, as text is crisp and bright, and the screen functions fairly well even in direct sunlight. One issue we did find (which is addressed more fully in our video sharpness section) is the noticeable moire effect on the rear screen when recording video. This is not a problem when framing for still shots, however.

The NX200 does not feature a built-in flash, but it does come with a small external flash that slots into the camera's hot shoe. The flash has a guide number of about eight meters at ISO 100. We found it recycled quickly compared to similar flashes, but it's a bit of a hassle to carry around an extra piece if you're one who frequently uses the flash. If you prefer more natural lighting, the NX200's low light abilities generally preclude the need for a flash in many situations.

Flash Photo

The flash emitter pops up from the top of the body via a mechanical release.

The Samsung NX200 comes with a proprietary AV/USB output as well as a standard mini-HDMI output. The camera does not support live HDMI output, but it does allow you to review photos and videos via HDMI on a larger screen. The playback features aren't terribly robust, and the control is limited, but it's functional at least.

The NX200 also comes with a standard hot shoe, which allows you to use the included flash unit as well as standard Samsung strobes. The one thing to note is the lack of an electronic viewfinder option, which is something that will likely put off more enthusiast users who can't see operating a camera without one.

The NX200 utilizes a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It slots into a compartment on the bottom of the camera's grip, offering a capacity of 1030mAh and 7.4 volts. Its model number is BP1030, with replacements retailing for $49.99 direct from Samsung. It charges in an included, external charging cradle.

Samsung rates the battery life at around 160 minutes, or 320 photos. We found the battery was more than able to handle several hundred shots, as well as considerable shooting video, spending time framing in live view, and tinkering with the menu. We'd say you can pretty easily get closer to 400 shots out of it if you're turning the camera off in between shots.

Battery Photo

The NX200 makes use of SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. We found that a typical 16GB SDHC memory card was able to hold around 1500 JPEG images at the maximum resolution and lowest (super fine) compression. Normal compression upped that total to around 4300 shots, still at 20 megapixels. If you shoot in RAW, however, be prepared to carry extra memory, as the NX200 has some of the largest RAW files you'll see. A 16GB SDHC card holds just 278 RAW shots with the NX200, 218 if you shoot in RAW+JPEG with super fine compression.

Memory Photo

The K2000 accepts inexpensive, easy to find SD cards.

Media Photo

We found the 18-55mm kit lens had a fairly odd sharpness profile, with a sharp center (enhanced by the camera's automatic sharpening) but very soft corners. That enhanced center resulted in a common "haloing" effect as the camera upped contrast significantly around the edges of our test chart. The upper corners appeared to fare the worst here, with the lower corners soft but not dramatically so. Shooting in RAW does little to alleviate this, as the result is fairly soft images across the frame. This can be attributed somewhat to the kit lens, and some of Samsung's faster primes will do a better job here. More on how we test sharpness.

When shooting in the standard color mode, the NX200 shot photos with a color error of just 2.7, according to our tests. The other color modes were much less accurate, but the camera shoots in standard by default. The next closest was the landscape color mode, which across our test chart displayed nearly identical results. More on how we test color.

The NX200 comes with a total of eight color modes, excluding the custom color and monochromatic "classic" modes. The other modes make up a fairly predictable group, with the aforementioned standard and landscape modes along with portrait, landscape, vivid, forest, retro, calm, and cool modes. Calm and retro tune saturation down to around 50% of the ideal, adding a slight color cast. Vivid is the only color mode that aggressively pushes saturation, with magentas and blues enhanced to nearly 120% of the ideal.

NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.

The Samsung NX200's accurate standard and lanscape modes gave it the third best color score in our comparison group, just a hair behind the Canon T3i, with the Olympus E-P3 offering the best color accuracy by far. The NX200 was slightly ahead of the Nikon J1, while outpointing the older NX100 by a significant margin.

The NX200 allows users to adjust between color modes through the live guide function menu. With the color mode option highlighted the smaller top dial can quickly switch between modes. By pressing the rear OK button, the full color mode menu is available. Users can then then scroll through each option and, by pressing up on the rear D-pad, can make adjustments to each mode, adding a color cast or adjusting sharpness, saturation, or contrast on a +/- 4 scale.

The Samsung NX200 beat out the entire comparison group in both automatic and custom white balance, largely owed to the camera's handling of tungsten, incandescent lighting, which normally gives cameras complete fits. The camera's automatic white balance .

Automatic White Balance ()

In warm tungsten lighting the NX200's automatic white balance returned a result of around 500 kelvin, with most cameras returning an error of 1000 kelvin or greater. The camera's white balance error was only around 200 kelvin in compact white fluorescent lighting, and a practically nonexistent 63 kelvin in daylight. In shooting with the NX200 in real world conditions, we found the camera rapidly adjusted for changing lighting conditions, accurately reproducing life-like color when shooting in the standard color mode.

Custom White Balance ()

The NX200's custom white balance was especially superb, as it was able to keep color temperature error under 75 degrees in tungsten lighting condition. Most cameras, even when setting a custom white balance, return errors of greater than 200 in the same condition. It performed even better in compact white fluorescent and daylight conditions, with an average error of 41 and 56 kelvin respectively in our tests.

The NX200 greatly outperformed the competition in this group with its excellent white balance performance putting it far above the competition. The closest competitor is, unsurprisingly, the NX100, which also put up superb results that would've earned it top honors in this group if not for the improvements Samsung has made with their latest NX camera. The Canon T3i came in just behind the Samsung cameras, with the Olympus E-P3 and Nikon J1 rounding out the bottom of the group.

Setting white balance on the NX200 is a breeze, with nearly instant access available through the live view function menu. The camera features 10 white balance setting including automatic, custom, kelvin entry, flash, tungsten, fluorescent/daylight, fluorescent NW, fluorescent white, cloudy, and daylight. Users can scroll between these settings in the live function menu quickly using the small dial on the top of the camera, or press the OK button to access options to adjust these with greater control. Each can be adjusted on a +/- 7-step color error map to favor a certain color if the user desires.

We found the NX200's long exposure noise reduction feature did manage to reduce noise somewhat, reducing it from around 0.8% to around 0.6%. The NX200 utilizes a typical "dark exposure" noise reduction system, requiring a second equally long exposure to map out noise for each individual shot. It only seemed to kick in during exposures longer than one second, as our tests revealed no difference in one-second exposures with long exposure noise reduction activated or not. More on how we test long exposure.

Long exposure noise reduction had no discernible effect on color accuracy, with no change in exposures ranging from one second up to thirty. Saturation also remained constant throughout our testing, regardless of whether long exposure noise reduction was activated or not. There was a drop in color accuracy from bright light testing, but that's common in our testing and can be likely attributed to the change in lighting conditions.

The NX200 had the best long exposure results of any of our test cameras, save only for its predecessor, the NX100. Looking at the test images, this appears to be the result of a more standard noise reduction filter being applied along with the "dark frame" noise reduction applied by the rest of our comparison group.

The Samsung features long exposure noise reduction, but its main noise reduction setting has merely an "on" and "off" setting. As with most cameras, shooting in JPEG (even with the setting turned to "off") does result in some minor noise reduction that can only be pre-empted by shooting and processing in RAW.

We found that with noise reduction turned off the NX200 returned percentages that grew steadily from 0.7% at ISO 100 to 1.19% at ISO 1600. This then spiked up to 1.9% at ISO 6400 and 3.61% at ISO 12800, the camera's highest ISO speed. With noise reduction turned on these numbers dropped to 0.65% at ISO 100, to 0.74% at 1600, 0.99% at 6400, and just 1.16% at ISO 12800. The major price of noise reduction is in the fine detail captured by the NX200, though this is mitigated somewhat by the camera's 20-megapixel image sensor. More on how we test noise.

The NX200 features an ISO range of 100-12800, with an automatic mode also available. Users can choose any of these speeds in the function menu, main menu, or i-function menu (full stops only available for manual selection). In the main menu there is also an option for "ISO customization," which will allow users to set an auto ISO ceiling ranging from 200-3200.

The Samsung NX200 produced very good dynamic range results in our test, as it is able to keep noise to a minimum through most of its ISO range. We were a bit dismayed by the amount of highlight clipping done by the camera, as it has a very harsh shoulder at the high end. This means that to retain full detail in areas with highlights, you'll have to stop down significantly, though shadow detail is well-preserved. More on how we test dynamic range.

The NX200 posted dynamic range results that beat out the rest of our comparison group by a significant margin, behind only the Canon T3i, which controlled noise in the shadow regions exceptionally well. This isn't a huge surprise, given the NX200 and the T3i both sport the larger APS-C image sensors, but it does pull into sharper relief the poor dynamic range of the NX100, with the NX200 and its new sensor showing significant improvement over its predecessor.

The Samsung features long exposure noise reduction, but its main noise reduction setting has merely an "on" and "off" setting. As with most cameras, shooting in JPEG (even with the setting turned to "off") does result in some minor noise reduction that can only be pre-empted by shooting and processing in RAW.

We found that with noise reduction turned off the NX200 returned percentages that grew steadily from 0.7% at ISO 100 to 1.19% at ISO 1600. This then spiked up to 1.9% at ISO 6400 and 3.61% at ISO 12800, the camera's highest ISO speed. With noise reduction turned on these numbers dropped to 0.65% at ISO 100, to 0.74% at 1600, 0.99% at 6400, and just 1.16% at ISO 12800. The major price of noise reduction is in the fine detail captured by the NX200, though this is mitigated somewhat by the camera's 20-megapixel image sensor. More on how we test noise.

The NX200 features an ISO range of 100-12800, with an automatic mode also available. Users can choose any of these speeds in the function menu, main menu, or i-function menu (full stops only available for manual selection). In the main menu there is also an option for "ISO customization," which will allow users to set an auto ISO ceiling ranging from 200-3200.

The NX200 makes use of a contrast-detection autofocus system, with a built-in AF lamp. The AF is pretty fast in bright light conditions, but it does seem to have some issues with latching onto background elements when there's a moving subject and not adjusting fast enough. The camera can continuously autofocus in live view and during video recording (fairly quietly, too), but it doesn't re-adjust fast enough between subjects.

We found it was able to accurately achieve focus in low light with the built-in lamp, but it would not be considered fast by any means in these conditions. Focus speed has been a major area of improvement in the compact system camera market this year, with the Nikon J1 and Olympus E-P3 both achieving very fast focus speeds. The NX200 doesn't quite reach those heights, but in bright light it gets the job done.

We found the NX200's long exposure noise reduction feature did manage to reduce noise somewhat, reducing it from around 0.8% to around 0.6%. The NX200 utilizes a typical "dark exposure" noise reduction system, requiring a second equally long exposure to map out noise for each individual shot. It only seemed to kick in during exposures longer than one second, as our tests revealed no difference in one-second exposures with long exposure noise reduction activated or not. More on how we test long exposure.

Long exposure noise reduction had no discernible effect on color accuracy, with no change in exposures ranging from one second up to thirty. Saturation also remained constant throughout our testing, regardless of whether long exposure noise reduction was activated or not. There was a drop in color accuracy from bright light testing, but that's common in our testing and can be likely attributed to the change in lighting conditions.

The NX200 had the best long exposure results of any of our test cameras, save only for its predecessor, the NX100. Looking at the test images, this appears to be the result of a more standard noise reduction filter being applied along with the "dark frame" noise reduction applied by the rest of our comparison group.

The NX200 required 19 lux of light to render an image that reached 50 IRE on a waveform monitor. This puts it slightly below the best video-capable DSLRs and prosumer camcorders in this price range, but still within an acceptable range. Low light sensitivity can be ramped up significantly by increasing ISO in video, an option many camcorders and cameras do not even offer.

The Samsung NX200 suffered from mild chromatic aberration in most of our test images, exacerbated by the camera's inability to control highlights in many scenes. The blown out highlights, especially those in skies or with clouds as backdrops, produced more high-contrast edges than we typically see, which had blue fringes in many of these scenes.

We found the 18-55mm i-function kit lens produced a fair amount of distortion on the NX200, ranging from a 3% barrel distortion on the wide side up to a noticeable 2% pincushion distortion at the telephoto end. This is fairly typical, though most kit lenses don't suffer from pincushion distortion that is quite as bid (most have a hardly perceptible amount of distortion at the midpoint and telephoto end).

The motion rendition on the Samsung NX200 was quite good, with very little color bleeding visible in our tests. Motion on the edges got a little spotty in some areas, but overall the camera handled it quite well, as long as it didn't have to render any fine patterns. More on how CamcorderInfo tests motion.

The NX200 did not have much issue rending motion, with its aliasing problem being the biggest obstacle to overcome. There was some color bleeding in our motion test in the RGB pinwheel, but not as much as with our comparison models.


In testing we found that the NX200 was consistently able to render sharpness up to 550 lw/ph horizontally and 525 lw/ph vertically. The camera was capable of sharpness to a much higher level (at times matching the sharpness you'd see in a mid-range prosumer camcorder), but the camera simply couldn't suppress aliasing enough so that such sharpness only turned up in select moments when pausing the video. The result is a very distracting moire effect that haunted the video on the NX200 anytime it was pointed at a fine pattern on clothes, walls, carpets, or test charts. More on how CamcorderInfo tests video sharpness.

The NX200 required 19 lux of light to render an image that reached 50 IRE on a waveform monitor. This puts it slightly below the best video-capable DSLRs and prosumer camcorders in this price range, but still within an acceptable range. Low light sensitivity can be ramped up significantly by increasing ISO in video, an option many camcorders and cameras do not even offer.

The buttons on the NX200 all feel purposefully designed and we laid out in an intelligent manner. There are no accidental button pressed to be had on the NX200, and Samsung has managed to squeeze a fair amount of control without crowding the rear of the camera. The keys all have good travel and offer a nice audible click when depressed, with decent haptic response. The addition of a weighted power switch around the shutter release is welcome, and the release itself provides just the right amount of resistance that you can confidently find a "half-press" to lock in focus and exposure without accidentally taking a blurry, out of focus photo.

There are a wide variety of picture settings and filters that can be applied to images both during and after capture, with Samsung's magic frame, smart frame, picture wizard, and general filters all offered. We'll go through each individual setting below.

The combination of rear and top control dials work well, especially with the camera's "Smart Panel" menu, brought about by pressing the camera's "Fn" function key. It's one of the easiest control schemes we have seen and an extension of what Olympus tries to do in their "Super Control Panel" feature that, tragically, is buried deep within the menu on their newest PEN cameras. The key to the NX200's success is the interaction the various control wheels and directional keys have with this menu, as nearly every time you engage a function, the NX200 responds how you would expect.

The NX200 includes a software manual on the included CD-ROM, which can also be downloaded from their support page. The manual is clear and legible, though it doesn't go as in-depth on many features as we would've liked from such an expensive camera. The best thing it does it include around 20 pages of basic diagrams and tips on shooting technique, lighting, and general composition.

The NX200 abandons the smooth, curvy body of the NX100 in favor of a more industrialized, modern look. The change puts it more in line with the Sony NEX series than previous design cues would suggest. This isn't all bad, but it puts the NX200's mostly plastic body at a disadvantage, especially when compared against the similar-looking, cheaper Sony NEX-5N.

Handling Photo 1

In the hand, we like the Sony NEX-5N slightly more than the NX200, but the Samsung does have a more natural body design. The NX200 has a more rotund, rounded off grip, but it lacks the plush feeling that we'd like from an $900 camera (with kit lens). We like the more industrial design of the NX200, but a little bit more comfort would go a long way. Despite the relatively small body size we never felt the NX200 was unwieldy, even if it looks a bit wonky in photos.

Handling Photo 2

The NX200 is purely a two-handed affair control-wise—a fact announced loudly by the i-function control present on the off-side of the 18-55mm kit lens. This was more of an accidental truth on the NX100, due to some odd dial placement, but the NX200 feels like the product of a much more focused design philosophy. The NX200 features a far better power switch, a mode dial in a more intelligent place (even if it's a bit stiff, that'll prevent accidental changes), and a dual control dial setup similar to the NX100. Again, the lack of a rubberized section feels cheap compared to competing cameras, with Samsung offering just a small patch of textured plastic for the thumb to apply pressure to the camera.

Handling Photo 3

The buttons on the NX200 all feel purposefully designed and we laid out in an intelligent manner. There are no accidental button pressed to be had on the NX200, and Samsung has managed to squeeze a fair amount of control without crowding the rear of the camera. The keys all have good travel and offer a nice audible click when depressed, with decent haptic response. The addition of a weighted power switch around the shutter release is welcome, and the release itself provides just the right amount of resistance that you can confidently find a "half-press" to lock in focus and exposure without accidentally taking a blurry, out of focus photo.

Buttons Photo 1

The NX200 does not feature as much customization as you might think when looking at its menu layout. The i-Function key on the kit lens itself always brings up the same menu options, with the user deciding which options are present within. Pressing the i-Function key multiple times will scroll between options while twisting the manual focus ring changes the parameters. The Fn key on the back of the camera would do better if labeled "smart panel" since that's all it can really access.

The only key that can really be mapped to a number of settings is the delete/custom key on the bottom of the rear control panel. This key can assume the function of one touch white balance, one touch raw+ shooting, depth of field (optical) preview, or reset, which will restore some key functions to default. When you go into the main menu the option to change the "custom" key a layout of the camera's control scheme is available, but the only option offered is to remap the single key. It seems as though Samsung designed the menu to allow users to remap several keys, but then stripped out the ability to alter any but the single dedicated button without changing the interface.

Buttons Photo 2

Being a Samsung product, it's no surprise that display quality is one of the first things you'll notice when utilizing the NX200. The camera benefits from a 3-inch, 641k-dot resolution AMOLED screen. The screen quality is most noticeable when navigating the menus, as text is crisp and bright, and the screen functions fairly well even in direct sunlight. One issue we did find (which is addressed more fully in our video sharpness section) is the noticeable moire effect on the rear screen when recording video. This is not a problem when framing for still shots, however.

The NX200 does not feature a built-in viewfinder and there are no options for an external electronic one, unlike many other compact system cameras. The general consensus is the optional viewfinder on previous Samsung NX cameras wasn't a popular enough item to build in support for it. While with this much control we did miss the viewfinder option, on most compact system cameras the extra couple hundred dollars is better spent on lenses anyway.

Samsung has made the sensible decision to move the shooting mode dial to just above the rear thumbrest, allowing for easy switching between the various shooting modes. The camera features 10 modes on the physical dial, including program, shutter/aperture priority, manual, smart auto, magic frame, scene, panorama, movie, and lens priority modes. Turning the dial brings up a shooting mode menu on the rear LCD that offers a brief explanation of the mode's purpose. The modes strike a fair balance between enthusiast-level control and more amateur-driven options like panorama, smart auto, and scene modes.

The NX200 makes use of a contrast-detection autofocus system, with a built-in AF lamp. The AF is pretty fast in bright light conditions, but it does seem to have some issues with latching onto background elements when there's a moving subject and not adjusting fast enough. The camera can continuously autofocus in live view and during video recording (fairly quietly, too), but it doesn't re-adjust fast enough between subjects.

We found it was able to accurately achieve focus in low light with the built-in lamp, but it would not be considered fast by any means in these conditions. Focus speed has been a major area of improvement in the compact system camera market this year, with the Nikon J1 and Olympus E-P3 both achieving very fast focus speeds. The NX200 doesn't quite reach those heights, but in bright light it gets the job done.

The camera's 18-55mm kit lens comes with a dedicated AF/MF switch and a comfortable focus ring. In the main menu users can activated a focus assist digital zoom of up to 5x, bringing subjects in closer to let the user judge focus accuracy. It's not quite as good as focus peaking found on Sony's NEX cameras, but it matches other compact system cameras for utility.

The NX200 shoots JPEGs at a maximum resolution of 20 megapixels in its native 3:2 aspect ratio, with options for 10.1, 5.9, and 2.0-megapixel images. The camera also offers the ability to shoot in a 16:9 aspect ratio (at sizes of 16.9, 7.8, 4.9, and 2.1 megapixels) and at a cropped 1:1 ratio (in sizes of 13.3, 7.0, 4.0, and 1.1 megapixels). These options can all be selected in the camera's live guide function menu or in the main menu.

i-Function

For those unfamiliar with previous Samsung NX-series efforts, the NX200 features their innovative i-function control button, which allows the user to control shooting functions with the left hand by pressing the dedicated button and rotating the focus ring. In the menu users can assign a variety of options to this function, including ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, exposure compensation, and "i zoom." The NX200 also comes with a lens priority mode, which turns the i-function button into a scene mode selector. Altogether it's another way to control specific functions, and if you're a manual shooter it came be of particular use, allowing for easy control of exposure settings.

The NX200 features a very fast burst mode that, under normal conditions, allows users to shoot at close to seven frames per second, for a total of around 12 frames. The various burst shooting speeds are controlled by the drive menu, which can be accessed by the main menu, smart panel, or directly by pressing the left key on the rear control dial/directional pad.

The drive mode on the NX200 allows for continuous shooting at a high (around 7fps) and low (around 3fps) speed, single shooting, burst shooting, as well as exposure bracketing, white balance bracketing, and self-timer options. The actual burst mode fires off up to 20 shots in a sequence, utilizing an electronic shutter. It can only record JPEGs in this mode, however.

The Samsung NX200 offers a burst shooting mode that Samsung claims can fire off up to 7fps. We found that over a five-shot burst the speed was closer to 6.5fps, with 6.7fps being the high water mark. The camera can fire shots at an impressive rate of up to 7.5fps, but only for around three shots at a time, slowing down to around 5.5fps after that. One thing to note is that the camera, even when only firing off two or three shots, requires an unusual amount of time processing shots and saving them to the memory card before more shots can be fired. This actually gets quite annoying, especially when photographing a moving subject, as you aren't able to track the subject through the frame because of the giant "Processing..." window that pops up in the center of the screen.

The self-timer on the NX200 allows uses to select a delay anywhere between two and 30 seconds, with any integer selectable. There are no multiple shot self-timer modes available, however. There's also no interval shooting option in the menu, and the remote socket from the NX100 has been removed, so an external intervalometer is also not an option. Unfortunately it appears that long exposure enthusiasts will have to look for a different camera.

The NX200 makes use of a contrast-detection autofocus system, with a built-in AF lamp. The AF is pretty fast in bright light conditions, but it does seem to have some issues with latching onto background elements when there's a moving subject and not adjusting fast enough. The camera can continuously autofocus in live view and during video recording (fairly quietly, too), but it doesn't re-adjust fast enough between subjects.

We found it was able to accurately achieve focus in low light with the built-in lamp, but it would not be considered fast by any means in these conditions. Focus speed has been a major area of improvement in the compact system camera market this year, with the Nikon J1 and Olympus E-P3 both achieving very fast focus speeds. The NX200 doesn't quite reach those heights, but in bright light it gets the job done.

The camera's 18-55mm kit lens comes with a dedicated AF/MF switch and a comfortable focus ring. In the main menu users can activated a focus assist digital zoom of up to 5x, bringing subjects in closer to let the user judge focus accuracy. It's not quite as good as focus peaking found on Sony's NEX cameras, but it matches other compact system cameras for utility.

The Samsung NX200 records at a maximum resolution of 1080/30p, utilizing the H.264 (part10/AVC) compression in a .MP4 container. The camera also offers a 720/60p option as well as non-HD recording options to save space. Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content

The NX200 includes the full boat of manual controls, giving users the option to set specific exposure settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed in video recording (with some limitations, but not many). Users can opt for a more generalized exposure compensation control if they don't want direct manual control, with the full suite of metering options also available. Manual focus (with assist) is also available, and the camera can continuously autofocus while recording, albeit quite slowly.

Auto Controls

The NX200 allows users to apply the same "picture wizard" color modes when shooting video that you can when taking stills, with the same adjustments to saturation, contrast, color tone, and sharpness saved. We did notice that at larger apertures the camera does apply a heavier in-camera software sharpening effect to videos than at smaller ones, so you'll want to keep notice of how a sharpness setting of "zero" will change your image depending on exposure.

Zoom

As zoom on the Samsung NX with the 18-55mm kit lens is controlled manually through the lens, the same control afforded you in still shooting is available in movie recording mode. With its APS-C image sensor the 18-55mm kit lens does not provide a great deal of telephoto strength, but it will provide a wider angle of view than you will find on many cameras that feature smaller image sensors.

Focus

Both manual and autofocus modes are available when recording video with the Samsung NX200. The camera defaults to multi-zone autofocus when recording video, so certain options like face-detection autofocus are not available for video capture. When recording focus manually during video capture, focus assist options are still available. The continuous autofocus on the NX200 can be triggered manually, but there's no reliable way to force the camera's autofocus to reassess its focus point. When you consider that the camera often fails to achieve focus in low light, this can be a real concern and will force you to focus manually.

Exposure Controls

The full range of aperture settings are available when recording video, and can be set manually prior to recording. Similarly, ISO and shutter speed can also be set for video recording, though your options are limited somewhat. ISO can only be set to a maximum of 3200 (all other options including automatic are available), and shutter speed is limited to a minimum of 1/30th of a second (when recording 1080/30p) and a maximum of 1/4000th of a second per frame.

Other Controls

The full measure of automatic and manual white balance options are also available when recording video, with options for utilizing a self-timer, fader, and image stabilization. The smart range enhancement and smart filters are not available in video recording.

The NX200 features only a built-in stereo microphone, with mics located on the top of the camera, one on each side of the camera's hot shoe. There is no external microphone port, which is a shame given the level of control otherwise on offer with the NX200.

Mic Photo

When you think about the big names in the interchangeable lens camera market, Samsung is surely not among the first to come to mind. With the sub-$1000 NX200, that deserves to change, as Samsung has produced a camera with image quality, performance, and control to rival nearly any camera in its segment of the market.

The NX200 offers speedy shooting at nearly seven frames per second, full 1080/30p HD video shooting, a gorgeous 3-inch AMOLED screen, and an intuitive menu system with a simplicity that belies its depth. The real star of the show with the NX200, however, is its Samsung-designed 20.3-megapixel CMOS image sensor. It's the first major improvement by Samsung to their NX line and it offers great dynamic range, solid noise performance in almost any lighting condition, and great color accuracy.

The NX200 does have its flaws—namely a sluggish autofocus system and a processor that requires as long as five seconds of delay between bursts of shots—but they're outweighed by the considerable image quality and control offered here. Even Samsung's fledgling line of NX lenses is coming around, with enough quality options that it can't be dismissed as a negative out of hand any longer.

We don't think the NX200 quite reaches the heights of the Olympus E-P3, but it gives the Olympus (our compact system camera of the year for 2011) a great run for its money at a palatable price point. We'd like to see Samsung add in the metal construction and rubberized touches common on cameras at this level, but the NX200 is a considerable step up from previous Samsung NX efforts.

If you're in the market for an interchangeable lens camera that won't break the bank (or your back), then the compact, lightweight Samsung NX200 is worth a look. From experienced enthusiast photographers to amateurs looking for a camera they can grow with, the NX200 will look at home in nearly anyone's bag.
The Samsung NX200 simply performs well across the board. It doesn't lap the field in any single category, but it offers solid all-around performance in most of our tests. The Samsung offered great white balance accuracy, shot-to-shot speed, dynamic range, color accuracy, and high ISO performance. Its main issue came with its thin internal memory buffer, often resulting in a delay of up to five seconds between bursts of shots. This is not only frustrating for the user, it often means missing crucial shots. It's not a dealbreaker, but it's the one area of concern we had with the NX200's performance.
The video quality on the NX200 was adequate, with great noise and color accuracy results. It struggled in low light sensitivity testing, but the availability of manual control (especially over aperture and gain) means this can be mitigated. The main issue we had with the video on the NX200 is with its aliasing issues, as its high-resolution image sensor gathered significantly more information than can be squeezed into a single video frame. Errors in deciding what to capture and what to throw out result in a moire effect that is distracting and only partially controlled by the camera. This isn't a problem unique to the NX200 (pretty much every video-capable DSLR suffers from this issue), but it stops us from recommending the NX200 as a serious videographer's tool over other video-capable cameras like the Panasonic GH2, Canon 5D Mark II, and Canon T3i.
The Samsung NX lens system has advanced significantly since its debut, and it complements the NX200 well. The 18-55mm kit lens is sharp around the middle, though generally soft towards the edges. As we mentioned above, the biggest upgrade for the NX200 is its 20.3-megapixel image sensor, providing an amazing level of detail to go with superior high ISO performance and solid dynamic range results. The inclusion of a full hot shoe (and external flash) is nice, but it should be noted that the NX200 does not feature any viewfinder options of any kind, so you'll be required to use the 3-inch rear AMOLED screen for framing. That's not a huge issue (the screen is at least usable in direct sunlight) but it might be a dealbreaker for some users.
The NX200 traded in the curved edges of the NX100 for a more industrialized design, but it actually handles better than the junior member of Samsung's NX line. We like the relocation of the mode dial to a more traditional corner position, and the dual control dials are both well placed and play very well with the camera's menu and live view smart control panel. The loss of an exposure lock button is worrisome, but the improvement in the shutter button is enough to assuage our fears here, as there's a noticeable uptick in resistance when pressing the button halfway down, locking in focus and exposure.
The NX200 provides full manual control of exposure in still and video recording, to go along with fine adjustments for white balance, color modes (titled "picture wizard"), as well as a number of in-camera smart filters and Samsung's unique "magic frame" modes. The dual control dial setup works very well to navigate all the options in the camera, and we are big fans of the smart control panel, which allows near-instant access to all major shooting setting, visible right in live view while framing. This is all done in a menu system that is actually very easy to navigate and get around, with options arranged in an intuitive, intelligent manner so even novice shooters won't get lost.

Meet the testers

TJ Donegan

TJ Donegan

Executive Editor

@TJDonegan

TJ is the Executive Editor of Reviewed.com. He is a Massachusetts native and has covered electronics, cameras, TVs, smartphones, parenting, and more for Reviewed. He is from the self-styled "Cranberry Capitol of the World," which is, in fact, a real thing.

See all of TJ Donegan's reviews

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