Most helpful positive review
317 of 338 people found the following review helpful
Better than a Nex,? Maybe..
on April 24, 2013
This Samsung NX300 is a great little camera. Seems many of the pros or semi pro photographers haven't talked much about this camera YET. Might be because admittedly, Samsung up till this point was not exactly held in the same company as a Sony Nex or Canon, Nikon, Fuji..etc. Well..seems to me, Samsung is becoming a player here or soon will be, in my OPINION. I formed this opinion as I presently own TOO many cameras :)..among them being the Fuji X100S, Sony RX1, had a Nex7..had an EM5. Anyway my crazy camera buying habits aside I am able to compare all these cameras. More specifically, what I love about the Samsung is it's incredible accurate color. Skin tones look GREAT as does grass, foliage, anything etc..Looks on my screen EXACTLY as colors look in real life..of course making sure White Balance is correct. It's auto WB by the is among the best I have seen so far in all the cameras I mentioned prior btw, in many different lighting conditions. Of course you can choose custom WB if you are in difficult lighting. One thing that is not great, but not too bad are it's write times to the sd card vs ready for next shot or to preview the picture. It's NOT slow at all..but probably a little slower than the Nex cameras and my x100s..but again NOT bad, just not a rocket.
One plus here vs any Nex I have used..this NX300 lets you choose incremental iso. If you may not know what that means..all Nex cameras can only MANUALLY do iso 200/400/800/1600/3200 and so on..This Samsung like most BETTER cameras, DSLRS, etc. you can choose in-between isos be it 640...or 2000. That may sound like not much, but consider the fact MAYBE all you need is iso 2000...on a Nex your only choice will be to jump to iso 3200 if 1600 is not enough...so you simply have MORE control here..and potentially lower iso noise than a Nex because of this silly little SHOULD have feature. :)
Apparently this really does have a brand new sensor despite it being the same exact pixel count as the older NX cameras. I find it's iso to be rather useable up to about 2500 even 3200. That said there is one huge flaw with this camera, Noise reduction kicks in way too much on isos above 400 or low light, and it's a shame because shooting raw you will see the higher isos on this camera are really really great, low noise..with very tight grain..once it starts to creep in. Book short I'd put the high iso capability to be just a notch or TWO better than the EM5 and a notch below the X100S as far as noise goes..again I'm talking about raw. Jpegs look AWESOME in good light but yes..NR is too aggressive once iso gets kicked up..I hope they will fix that in a firmware update. Oddly the Samsung DOES let you control the NR levels but not till you reach 6400 iso..so 3200, 1600 iso etc..you are stuck with aggressive NR..The jpeg noise reduction is just about my only complaint.
The lcd looks great MOST of the time...BUT in very strong sunshine I have to say it can get a little difficult to see detail on the display and a bit difficult to see your menu settings. :( I have deducted one star because as I say SOMETIMES you can't see what's going on too well on the display, in most light though like 90% of the time the display is rather good and useable. Of course a built in evf would be nice but this is not bad at all OVERALL. The touch screen is more than a gimmick, you can really get around the menus very fast. I should say I did end up buying the 30mm pancake lens..2.0 aperture. It does make a world of difference vs the kit lens..mine came with the 12-50mm lens..not bad, but just so so. With the pancake lens this Samsung really shines in low light..great bokeh, almost no purple fringing..really great lens.well that's another review. :)
The focus accuracy and overall speed are above average. I like you can reduce or enlarge the focus box...same like on the Fuji. The camera is not quite OMD fast but maybe about as fast or faster than the x100s, faster and more accurate than my Nex 7 was. For those of you that don't have Light Room it comes with it, so the software is great obviously. That said LR 4.4 actually is not working correctly with the NX300 raws. I upgraded to LR 5.0 and it's just PERFECT...I believe this is a known issue..raws have some weird magenta thing going on with LR4 but it's fixed now with LR5...not to worry.
With the pancake lens this camera really is pocket-able....yes a large pocket but it fits, REALLY. I can't say that about any Nex's...unless you buy the badly reviewed 16mm Sony pancake lens. The dynamic range seems to be above average for this type of camera..it's almost difficult to blow highlights..the EM5 will blow highlights much faster than this Samsung will.
On the overall considering it's low price..this Samsung is a FANTASTIC little camera. I have NOT used any of the wifi or 3d gadgetry OR video..I don't do video on my cameras. I suppose if the wifi and 3D options are important to you that just puts this camera even in a better position to meet or beat any Nex out there. Again I haven't shot any video so I can't comment on it. "I do miss having a built in evf or even the fact you can't GET an evf for this camera"..that's a real shame. But on the overall...even if you take away it's great price, this Samsung is ready to do battle with pretty much any mirrorless camera out there..again EXCEPT you might want to shoot raw, if you are using higher ISO due to it's too aggressive high iso JPEG Noise Reduction. Overall..this is a great camera and I'm surprised how much I am enjoying it. DEFINITELY worth a good hard look vs the competition..again in my opinion.. and NO it's no RX1 but it's about $2,000 less and it's not THAT far away vs the RX1 in picture quality once you pop a better lens on this thing! This is a fantastic little camera..it will surprise you!