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on March 18, 2015
DO YOU… -have a DSLR but hate to carry it around on vacation?
-like to share photos immediately and therefore take them on your camera phone?
-want high image quality, along with portability and a way to easily share the photos?
If so, then a compact interchangeable lens camera might be for you. I found the Samsung NX3000 to be a great option.

With an upcoming vacation to Italy planned, I began looking for a new camera (under $500) with wifi. I ran across these interchangeable lens cameras, and thought this would be the perfect solution for a compact camera, with a DSLR quality lens. I did a lot of research and was down to the Sony a5000 or the Samsung NX3000. If I had a larger budget, then I would have purchased the Sony a6000. I went with the Samsung. It had all the features I wanted, great reviews, and the day I was buying it, Amazon lowered the price and it was such a steal to pass up. I believe for the $400-500 price range, you can’t go wrong with the Samsung NX3000 (or the Sony a5000), but do spend the extra money on the 16-50mm lens.

After using the camera for over 7 days and 1000 pictures, I am satisfied with my purchase. Here are a few of the pros and cons.
• SIZE – though it’s bigger than a point & shoot (mainly due to the lens) and won’t fit in your pocket easily, I was able to carry this everywhere with me either in my jacket pocket or around my neck. It fit nicely under my coat.
• FLASH - I was initially concerned with the lack of an integrated flash. As it turns out, the low light photos were so good, that I never once used the flash or carried it with me.
• AUTO MODE - The auto mode worked well for the majority of pictures, and the ability to select specific modes like macro and low light were useful. There were a few family photos where it whitened out the background when I wanted it sharp. I should have changed the auto mode, but didn't realize until after someone else had taken the photos.
• MANUAL MODE - Though I'm not an expert at shooting in manual mode, I do know the basics. Once I spent some time figuring out the settings, I was able to set the camera and switch the settings easily. Everything I could set on my entry level DSLR was available on the NX3000.
• WIFI - The wifi connectivity worked great. You click the wifi button on the camera and open the wifi settings on your phone and then they will pair. Next, open the Samsung app on the phone. On the camera you can chose whether you want to select the photos to transfer using the camera or the phone. I liked looking at them on the camera. I would go through each photo, marking the ones I wanted to transfer, then press a button and they would download to my phone. During the trip, my iPhone stayed put away and I took all photos on the camera, then transferred those I wanted to immediately share each evening.
• VIDEOS - One of the biggest negatives of this camera is the movie mode. If you are panning around an area, the camera will try to refocus during the filming. This results in a blur and then a focus in the video. This was disappointing. My point and shoot and iPhone don’t do that. I don’t know if there is a way to stop it from refocusing. If video is a priority for you, then I would not select this camera.

Overall, I liked the size of the camera, the image quality, and the ease of use. I spent way too much time researching camera options. The bottom line is that if you are in the market for something under $500 that is an upgrade from a point and shoot but don’t want the bulk of a DSLR, this is a great option!
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on March 10, 2015
EDIT: I came back a few months later to update my review from 4 to 5 stars. Every electronic has room for improvement, but this is my 8th digital camera in a long line of point-and-shoots, super-zooms and dSLR's, and it is the best I've ever had or used by leaps and bounds. It takes photos just as well as my dSLR with basic lenses but without all the bulk and hassle. I get people constantly asking me about this camera or commenting on my photos asking what I used. I've convinced 3 other people to purchase it and they all fell in immediate love with it. It is just so intuitive, quick to use, and the wifi uploading means I never have photos stay on my camera forever, never to see the light of day. It is probably one of my favorite electronics I've ever owned.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: Firstly I wanted to state that if you're considering buying this camera, add it to your cart and get the Amazon updates about price changes to items you've placed in your cart. Reason being, I just bought this brand new on Thursday or Friday (it is now Monday) and the price went up $100. While I was making my purchase decision I noticed this happened frequently.

In terms of the 16-50mm OIS or the 20-50mm, get the 16-50. I will add a photo of each lens on the camera side-by-side. I initially received the wrong lens on the camera via a Warehouse Deal and had to purchase another and return it, so I had two cameras, one with a 16-50mm and one with a 20-50mm at the same time for a day. Anyway, the 16-50mm is silent when zooming and the 20-50 is far from silent. the 16-50mm is also almost an inch shorter.

Why I chose NX3000 over NXMini:
- touch screen wasn't necessary for me
- I'd like to use my Canon lenses and the adapter to do so with the Mini is over $100, with the 3000 it is around $20. This was the main reasoning for me.
- Some reviews said the Mini had better battery life but come to find out, same battery
- It isn't THAT much smaller.

Why I chose NX3000 vs NX300:
- 300's screen doesn't flip all the way up for "selfies" or vlogging if you do that. The NX500 has both a touch screen like the Mini and a full flip out like the 3000, but is crazy expensive.

Why I chose NX3000 over Sony a5000:
- Better battery life
- more intuitive
- cheaper
- felt bulkier
- preferred NX3000 quality in comparison photos and sample photos

- Small, though slightly larger than point and shoots
- I honestly use my dSLR less and less
- flipping up the screen automatically turns on camera and a mode that smooths skin. Pretty amazing.
- You press the Mobile button, select "select photos from camera" it creates a wifi that I select on my phone, once connected (takes seconds) I open the Samsung app on my phone and send the photos I want on over. I can very quickly post photos from the camera to Instagram which is awesome.
- Very intuitve. Easiest to use camera I've ever had.
- Editing modes built right into the camera are as good as any photo editing app I have.
- Auto mode actually selects from various built in modes for you, and the built in modes are pretty awesome and specific.
- photo quality is so awesome, I was so surprised.
- Focuses quickly

- I wish there were more WIFI options like uploading straight to iCloud or Picasa. With the touchscreen versions there is an option or direct to Facebook, I haven't found that's true on the NX3000 so far but I don't think so.
- I wish there was a little dongle for the lens cap, it is so tiny! I bought one from eBay by searching "lens cap holder"
- MicroSD. Yikes, I'm going to lose so many of these lol. Make sure to get a high speed one (10x I think is the fastest?)
- I wish the screen also turned all the way around like my Canon T3i, so that it remains protected. I bought screen covers and a case but still.
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Model: Samsung NX3000 Wireless Smart 20.3MP Compact System Camera with 20-50mm Compact Zoom and Flash (White)

- Superb APS-C sensor delivers excellent image quality
- Good price for a mirrorless ILC with an APS-C sensor and WiFi features
- WiFi features and mobile app are best in class (currently)
- Excellent NX lens line is very reasonably priced, covers all the bases
- Includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software ($100+ value)
- Samsung menu system and iFn functions controlled by lens ring are great
- Manual zoom and focus on 20-55mm compact lens is "old school" nice
- Manual focus works better than most cameras in this price range
- Handles well, good auto focus, responsive

- No external battery charger included, must charge in camera -- boo!
(External charger and battery is available, but expensive: Samsung ED-AK4NXM01/US Extra Battery and Charging Cradle for NX Mini and NX3000 (Black))
- Display screen flips but is not articulated (can't rotate)
- TFT LCD display has a low resolution (320x480)

- Uses a micro-SD card rather than the more standard SD size. Not an issue, just something to be aware of. Buy a fast card for best results.

I am not wed to any one brand of gear. I look for innovation, quality, value, and performance. And especially, handling. If you are going to carry a camera around and shoot with it all day, it better be comfortable and easy to use or you will quickly grow frustrated. Ideally, the camera disappears and your focus is on the image. The camera is the tool that lets you capture that image.

Samsung is a bit of an upstart, not widely recognized (yet) for their cameras, though that is changing. But they are one of the most innovative manufacturers around, currently, in my opinion. And, they seem to listen and learn from customer feedback. You see continual tweaks and improvements in their line that truly matter and are not just gimmicks. So, if you are wondering if Samsung is a good, reliable, brand, rest easy.

So how did they do with the NX3000? This camera is positioned right in the middle of their enthusiast line. Below the excellent NX300, above the NX-mini. It replaces the NX2000 which featured a touch screen that the NX3000 drops in favor of the more traditional controls (plus the cool, innovative iFn button and lens ring). It is designed to appeal to the casual photographer (the selfie flip screen) as well as the enthusiast (the excellent APS-C sensor and NX lenses!). The price is fair and a good value, though Samsung tends to debut at a bit of a premium (update: price has dropped now). However, you are also getting Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 (worth about $100+), so that needs to be kept in mind when comparing prices.

Another bonus you are getting, is the excellent Samsung NX line of lenses. They are, in my opinion, simply the best value for the money available today. All are very reasonably priced and many are outstanding lenses, delivering superb images (I especially love the 16mm f2.4 for landscapes, you can read my review of that lens here on Amazon as well: Samsung NX 16mm f/2.4 Camera Lens (Black)). You can currently get the white version of this lens for $199 which is a very good deal.)

Another great thing about the Samsung line is choice, you have many models to choose from, and many of them share the excellent APS-C sensor I fell in love with when I purchased my NX1000. As many photographers will tell you, when you purchase an ILC (interchangeable lens camera), you are purchasing a system, not just the camera. You will likely eventually spend more on lenses than for the camera itself. So keep that in mind.

The NX3000 is available with a 16-50mm powered OIS Zoom as well as the 20-50mm compact zoom featured on this model. The 16-50mm is the best choice for video, the 20-50mm for light weight and compactness. Both are fine lenses. The 20-50mm on this NX3000 is capable of excellent image quality, especially for a "kit" lens. Although it is not stabilized, I have never had any problems with it and rarely use a tripod, hand-holding nearly all my shots. I have this same lens on my NX1000 and it's a fine lens. It gets excellent marks in all the labs and pro reviews.

Ths NX3000 also features the popular "retro" styling so in vogue these days. It looks nice, has a mostly a plastic body on a metal frame with a faux leather texture that gives a good grip. The Samsung Menus and controls are among the best. All the menus are easy to understand, access and use. And there is the proprietary iFn function button on the 20-50mm lens that lets you use a ring on the lens to very easily select and change important exposure settings. (The iFn control quickly lets you adjust the WB, aperture, shutter speed, EV and ISO range using the lens ring.) It's simply the best system available on any camera today, bar none. Also, the manual focus (again using the lens ring) works better than any other camera in this price range I have used. It's a treat and it's quite easy to get sharp focus using the LCD screen and the MF assist feature, which automatically enlarges the image while focusing. You can also turn on direct manual focus (DMF) so that turning the lens ring engages MF automatically. Great for quick macro work. These features are proof of thoughtful design by Samsung and are things photographers will actually use and love, rather than just bullets padding a feature list.

The camera comes nicely packaged, the lens ships with extra foam padding, a nice touch, and you get a Samsung logo strap, battery, and USB cable in addition to a Quick Reference Guide, a Quick Start guide and the DVD with the Adobe and Samsung software and the full PDF manual.

There is no viewfinder, alas, on these mirrorless wonders, but the TFT LCD screen on offer here is nice, bright, and detailed, though a bit smaller and of much lower resolution (only 320x480) than on the NX300 or NX30. The physical controls are all well positioned and work well. The recessed main dial is nicely designed and very easy to use. There's also a WiFi feature button and the shutter release on top. All smooth, metal, and easily accessible. The usual ring-dial on the back also works well and has a nice feel. With the 20-50mm it all feels well balanced and easy to hold and shoot. The WiFi features are "best in class" throughout the Samsung line and the NX3000 is no exception. (Samsung has been the clear leader in WiFi features.)

The NX3000 uses the same attachable flash as many of the other models. An advantage is no bulky flash in your way unless you need it. Disadvantage is one more thing to keep up with and have handy if needed. I'm fine with it, since most of my shooting does not require flash, and when I need it, it works fine. The display screen is OK, though not nearly as nice as that on the more expensive NX300, or even the older NX1000/1100 (low resolution means text not quite as sharp). It gets the job done, however, and is fine for composing and quick review.

The gem here is the APS-C sensor which is simply superb. It is what made me sit up and take notice when it first came out (and was available cheap on the NX1000). Samsung has continued to tweak it to near perfection. (I very much like that they stayed with this excellent sensor and continued to improve it, rather than switching chips every model.) It gives excellent detail in images and a wonderful nice, overall tone and very natural color. Noise characteristics are very good and you can use ISO's up to 3200 and get very good results. I cannot say enough good things about this sensor. It is the key to the great value on offer here. (When I first shot with my NX1000 and 16mm, and later reviewed the shots after an afternoon shooting at a beautiful local park, I got very excited when I saw how good the images were. It's a wonderful thing to still experience such joy after so many years of shooting. That's when I knew Samsung really had something going with this APS-C sensor.)

I am giving the NX3000 5 stars based on features, performance, and value. I will continue to test and shoot with it and will come back and update this review, as needed.

2014-07-25 Update: Enjoying the smooth tones, great shadow detail, and rich, but natural color with the excellent APS-C sensor. Using the WiFi pcauto-backup feature to transfer pics via WiFi works well as with past Samsung cameras in this line. Shot a little video and it looks very good to me. NX3000 has stereo mics which is nice for that use. Updated the body firmware. Hoping to get out this weekend and shoot a bit more.

2014-07-26 Updated review with some minor edits and additional comments.

2014-08-10 I continue to enjoy and be impressed by this camera. The image quality is the big win here. The APS-C sensor is much larger than most of the other cameras this one would be competing with. Better IQ than the Samsung Mini, better IQ than most high end compacts in its price range. The easy WiFi transfer of images to my laptop is also a nice feature and continues to work well. It's only going to get better as I eventually find time to try out some new NX lenses on it!

2014-12-13 Update: I continue to enjoy this excellent camera. Noise levels are good to ISO 3200, if printing small (4x6) maybe even to 6400. (Some images will print bigger depending on subjects, exposure, etc.). JPEGS are simply excellent, so I find little need to even shoot RAW much of the time. A big time saver.

The excellent line of NX lenses is a big plus, it means it will be hard to "out grow" this camera (although if you shoot a lot of action, the NX300 and NX30 are much better having faster burst modes). Great dynamic range, colors, sharpness and low noise in images - what's not to love?

The video is acceptable, if not great, but the still images are stellar.

2015 Jan update: With the excellent 16mm f2.4 wide angle pancake lens, this make a very compact camera that can deliver some outstanding images, especially landscapes. Still loving it! :-)
2121 comments|153 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 4, 2015
It is like having a DSLR but so much smaller. Even with my large hands it feels comfortable. The interface with Samsung phones and tablets is a great way to use the camera and share the photos. The lightening deal was absolutely fantastic, couldn't believe I was fortunate enough to catch one. The lens is easy to use, manually or zoom and the auto focus is very fast. Battery life is really good (about 400 photos half with flash), The included software and the downloads make this such a versatile camera that I have purchased the 50-200 mm zoom, a speed light and my daughter uses it for product photography. I realize this isn't a very helpful review for techies. The wireless transfer of photos to my laptop is simple but rather time consuming vs a cable or via the micro memory card but it sure is simple. the lens cap is tiny but easy to put into a pocket and I bought a screw on filter to protect the lens (just like my first Minolta back in 1976) Excellent color reproduction, the include flash is very good, quick and convenient to use or to leave in your bag. The menu is easy to understand and pretty much the same as my Nikon Coolpix 520. I dont subscribe to the Selfie phenom, guess Im not that obsessed with images of me, but the camera preforms as well as my past SLR from a Minolta to a Nikon 6006.
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on July 12, 2014
With the birth of a new child, my wife and I wanted a camera that would take quality photos, with a fast enough shutter speed to capture all the rapid motions of a newborn. We love this camera. Although we are still figuring out how all the modes and buttons work (we just downloaded the full manual from Samsung) - it is extremely easy to use out of the box. In addition, the fact that you can use the wifi mode to transfer pictures to our phones has made sharing these moments with relatives in other states super-easy. There are some times when the camera refuses to take a picture - but these seem to only happen in very low light. As I said, I am still reading the manual, and can hopefully override this feature. Everyone I have shown it to is impressed with the picture quality, and I am very happy with the purchase.
Two short comments before I forget:
1: I did have to purchase a microSD card to use the camera, as one was not contained in the package I received.
2: When connecting your camera to your PC for firmware update, the microSD card MUST be in place. I tried for ten minutes to connect my camera before I tried to do it with the SD card - as soon as I did that, the camera went into USB mode, and I was able to download updates without trouble.
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on December 30, 2014
About me: Many years ago, I was a reporter who took a lot of photos (mostly b/w) for work using a totally manual film camera (Minolta SRT). Then I had a tiny Nikon point-and-shoot that I used to produce some decent pictures, based mostly on composition and editing software. Finally I decided to invest in a mirrorless camera, to see if I could get something approaching the quality of a traditional camera in a smaller size. So far I've only been working in digital rather than printing anything.

Why Samsung NX3000? I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching mirrorless cameras and came close to buying a Panasonic (either GM1 or GX7). Possibly I may end up switching to another brand, but so far this has been a good start for a variety of reasons:

1) Large sensor size. (A friend who used to work for a photography magazine insisted that was really important.)

2) Although there are not as many different lenses for this camera as there are for other brands, the lenses that do exist received high ratings from camera magazines/blogs and seemed generally much more reasonable than some other lenses. (The 16-55mm kit lens has been fine, but so far I really love the 16mm prime - it's tiny, has a wider f-stop, and seems to have a bit better quality than the kit lens. I'm just ordered the 30mm prime and am planning to buy the 50-200mm zoom as well.)

3) The cell phone battery lasts for a very long time. I am buying an extra battery just in case, but I doubt I will need it.

4) I've used the camera in a variety of different modes, and generally it produces quite good photos regardless.

5) I haven't used the flash at all yet, but the availability of the hotshoe to use a variety of different flash attachments rather than being committed to only a pop-up flash makes me feel somewhat more comfortable. (If I planned to use a flash routinely, not having a pop-up flash available might be frustrating though.)

6) The camera has a classic feeling (reminding me of my old huge manual camera) and seems fairly easy to hold still when taking pictures.

7) $350 including the 16-55mm kit lens was a very good price compared to other cameras with similar capabilities.


1) Compared to a point-and-shoot, it feels really large even with a pancake lens on it. The Panasonic GM1 apparently is only a little smaller, so my fantasy that tiny cameras can be quality cameras may not quite be reality.

2) I think I would have preferred having a standard memory card, or at least having the needed micro card included. I ordered the wrong size card through Amazon and then had to go shopping before I could use the camera.

3) The main feature that the camera does not include is a viewfinder, which seems to add at least a few hundred dollars (and some extra bulk) to any camera. I decided to try a camera without a viewfinder to see if I missed it. And I do miss it, especially when the lighting is problematic. On the other hand, the camera seems to be quite good at autofocusing and I can generally see the screen well enough to compose the shot. So I think that it's good enough for now.

4) I thought that the selfie feature would allow me to take photos of myself in front of landmarks without having to ask for assistance from strangers, but this is really not the case. A wide-angle lens (such as 16mm) distorts human faces enough to make people very unattractive, and anything less wide will not allow the face and background to fit into the frame. So that is not a reason to buy this camera, in my opinion.

One thing that I found difficult was choosing an appropriate bag. I currently am using the following bag, which is large enough to hold the camera and kit lens; a few more lenses (the kit lens and two pancakes); the flash; an extra battery and memory card; and a few filters.
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on March 8, 2015
WOW! I love this camera! The pictures are great and the mobile option is awesome. I'm also loving Lightroom--I'm very new to photo editing software, but I'm having a very good experience with this. If you're also new to Lightroom, I highly suggest you find the Lightroom Youtube channel and watch some tutorials, as these were VERY helpful for me in learning the program.

I've attached some photos to this review, but you can see more at my photo blog, iseeasinamap on tumblr.
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VINE VOICEon September 2, 2014
The Samsung NX3000 is the an up to date, feature rich mirrorless compact system camera that supports a variety of lenses. The body is sturdy plastic which makes gives you a lighter weight in exchange somewhat higher quality feel of a metal body. For on the go, I think this is camera is durable enough to withstand all but the worst abuse while not weighing you down and I like the vintage look of the body style.

While I have and use a DSLR for dedicated photo shoots, I have come to like the more casual ease of use, compact size, and smaller lenses that a mirrorless cameras can use by putting the lens much closer to the sensor and remove the complex mirror that supports the for through the lens viewfinder. If you are thinking about a camera for travel, family events, or any other activity that you don't want to be a dedicated photojournalist and still participate in the activity I highly recommend you go this route.

The NX3000 captures images on a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, no viewfinder is included, shots are taken using the 3-inch flip-up (not down) LCD screen. This flip up design is ideal for taking shots from a lower vantage point, keeping the camera in your lap while watching an event, or for selfies with wink-shot mode. The ISO range of 100-25,600 works great for indoor events that often have poor lighting with low noise up to fairly high ISO settings. With the ability to record 1080p HD movies you can quickly capture all your memories with great detail. The built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity makes uploading or sharing photos quick and easy and you can use the Samsung app for remote control with live preview.

I found the 5fps continuous shooting and 1/4000th second top shutter speed made it easy to capture some of the best action shots I have taken with any camera and the Sweep Panoramas is included to build a panorama shot in camera for those shots that just don't fit in a single shot. This camera kit includes a 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 lens with Optical Image Stabilization which greatly improves clarity when you don't have or can't use a tripod. And the included Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is a great value for tweaking photos once you get them on your computer (Mac or PC).

The lens includes Samsung's standard i-Function button. When using the iFunction mode you can press an easy to access button on the lens barrel which allows you to modify a sub-set of key settings by rotating the focus ring. As you press through the options you can adjust shutter speed and/or aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, and white balance.

The battery is huge, is only charged in the camera via microUSB, and the memory card is MicroSD / MicroSDHC / MicroSDXC. I am personally not a big fan of these as they are too easy to lose if dropped. Fortunately storage size has gone up and price has gone down, so you may not ever need to remove it.

I generally shot in program mode so I can find a set of setting that work for the environment I am in and be assured that most every shot works. However I was very impressed with the Smart Auto system and the rest of the family can easily use the camera just point and click with great results.

If you like you can use all kinds of in camera modes to modify the image, I found these fun to play with but generally don't use them on a regular basis. However I have used some of the post shot editing for redeye fix, backlight adjustment, changing the photo style, resizing, rotating, face retouch and using a couple of the smart filters.
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on November 2, 2015
I adore this camera. I have only ever used point-and-shoot cameras before this and the Samsung NX3000 blows all of them out of the water (as I hoped it would)! I love the flip up screen, it is so useful when my husband and I want to take photos together when we go on trips or to events. I also love the size, it's light and portable enough for me to feel comfortable carrying it on my neck all day and it fits nicely down in my bigger purses with its case on.

I love the colors it captures, the ease of use, and how well it works for portraits and food photography. If you have an upcoming event, trip, or just want to graduate from a point and shoot, this camera is perfect.
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on August 12, 2015
Really like the camera, the lense size is double what we expected. Picture and video quality is amazing. Very confused by the fact it's made for European outlets though.
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