This camera is amazingly powerful and super flexible for the beginning photographer. While it is very expensive it can be a very powerful tool. I still love my Canon in Digital SLR but this camera has some really beautiful features that blow it away. In this review I will highlight some practical tips for getting the most out of this camera especially if you're a new photographer. Remember too, GOOD photographs are not taken they are made. With a few simple rules and tips I hope to help you understand aperture size and shutter speed and how they make photography work.
First off what do I think of the Samsung NX30? It's a pretty amazing camera system. Ever since I started using DSLR cameras I've always loved interchangeable lenses. Being able to switch your lens type to changing light conditions or even subject conditions is the best way to become an advanced photographer. And it's very cool that the NX30 offers this even though I think the lens selection is a little limited. I will get into this a little bit more later on.
I love this camera mostly because it has built-in Wi-Fi feature. This is hands down one of the best implementations I've ever seen on a camera. I have used Eye-fi cards in the past (they are SD cards that have built-in Wi-Fi transmitters effectively enabling Wi-Fi on any digital camera) I've never found them to be very effective at distances more than 10 feet plus they're rather expensive. Eye-Fi 16GB Pro X2 SDHC
As you can see the Eye-fi cards basically start at $80 and only go up in price. In my opinion that reduces the price of this camera by $100 right there.
If you're somebody who really would like to have a Wi-Fi enabled camera so that you can take photos and instantly share them with friends and family I have no reservations in saying in all capital letters THIS IS THE BEST CAMERA EVER DESIGNED!!!!!!!!!!!! I say this not being bombastic it really is the best.
Being able to take your smart phone and download photos or videos instantly as you take them really is an amazing feature. Being able to also geo-tag (include the GPS coordinates of where the picture was taken) to a photograph instantly is awesome. There is just so much to this camera that the Wi-Fi adds that make it a league of its own.
I also love being able to use your camera as a remote viewfinder. Like I said previously I usually shoot with my Canon T3i digital SLR but if I want to have a remote viewfinder for that I need to plug it into a laptop or desktop computer. That's all well and good in a studio environment but not when you're out and about in the world. Again this feature is really awesome.
Another thing to note is that with the Wi-Fi enabled you can automatically transfer photos and video right to your computer or cell phone as you capture. One of the things I often dreaded most about taking a lot of photographs with my Canon cameras is having to pull out the memory card and then download the photos to iPhoto. It can be just such a pain in the butt it's nice that it can happen seamlessly and in the background.
A vloggers dream...
If you're somebody looking to get in the world of doing video blogs a.k.a. vlogging, this camera is a good choice. The reason being as I mentioned above videos can be automatically synced right to your computer for you to edit and upload. This again can save you tons of time and frustration. Plus the video features of this camera are above and beyond even my Canon digital SLR. Most of the video bloggers on YouTube use Canon cameras.
Another nice thing about this camera is the articulating LCD screen. The LCD screen can be pulled out from the body and rotated facing toward the subject in the lens. So if you're a solo person wanting to talk to the camera you can see just what you're getting. In conjunction with that you can then use the phone application to start and stop the video. It is amazing how far technology is come and again I say it the Wi-Fi had so much even to taking video with this camera.
The interchangeable lenses...
The one drawback to this camera that I don't like over my Canon digital SLR's is the limited amount of interchangeable lenses. Canon has hundreds of lenses for their digital SLR cameras and really in a plethora of price ranges from $100 to $10,000+. This being said Samsung does have a good group of lenses; about 20+ at the time of writing this review.
This lens below is the one that I would recommend getting right from the start: Samsung NX 45mm f/1.8 2D/3D Camera Lens (Black)
or the Samsung NX 45mm f/1.8 Camera Lens (Black)
I want to let it be known that I haven't tried these lenses but I would explain to you why they are the best starting lens if your new photographer.
One of the lenses above is a 3-D lens in addition to being a 2-D lens. Being able to take 3-D photographs and video is just a very cool thing to be able to do.
It's all about the lenses... PLUS A BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE FOR NEW PEOPLE.
If you're new to photography the one thing you need to learn is the camera body is just the box that catches the light while the lens is the part that captures the picture. So the camera body basically just governance how fast you can take the pictures i.e. shutter lag and how big the final picture is a.k.a. 10 MB or 20 MB per photo. There are a few other nuances it controls but that is more for an advanced discussion.
Are you ready? Here we go photography 102. **Some of the following information is found in the instruction manual included with this camera. The introduction chapter in this manual is very useful for new photographers.
The two things I think it's most important to understand is shutter speed and aperture size. Once you understand how shutter speed and aperture work together you will be well on your way to making great pictures. The reason being these two factors affect the lighting, color and clarity of your finished picture.
HOW APERTURE AND SHUTTER SPEED WORK: Basically the aperture is a circle inside the lens that as you go up in your f-stop from 1.8 to 2.2 to 3.0 and beyond it shrinks the size of this circle in the lens. The shrinking of the circle from a higher f-stop allows less light to pass through to the sensor. The lower the f-stop i.e. 1.8 allows you to shoot at faster (this is considered a "fast" lens) shutter speeds in low light situations because the circle in the lens allows more light to pass through because of the lower aperture.
Here's an example; say you are in a well lit room and you're shooting your child (yes that sounds very weird but it's a funny joke anyway). Generally indoors you need to shoot at 1/60 of a second with most lenses they'll instantly autofocus at their lowest f-stop which would be about 4.0. But if you have a lens that can go down to 1.8 on the f-stop you could shoot the same picture at 1/125 shutter speed. Resulting in about the same light but avoiding any motion blur that plagues low light photography. Now it needs to be noted that as you drop your f-stop you lose depth of field. I.e. how much of your photo will be in focus and how much will be blurred. It's the effect you see on portraits where the person is in focus but the background is blurry.
Now I know many people will probably shoot holes in the foregoing explanation of f-stop. I'm not a really advanced photographer but I get how shutter speed and aperture priority work with each other. I recommend getting the 40mm F 1.8 lens for this camera.
Here's what I recommend that you do with that lens:
1. Enable manual mode on your camera this mode allows you to set both the aperture for the lens a.k.a. the f-stop and the shutter speed a.k.a. how long the shutter is opened while taking a photograph.
2. Drop the aperture or f-stop to 1.8 on your lens (or you lowest f-stop available)
3. Set your shutter speed to 1/60 of a second
4. take a picture
5. Look at your photograph notice how much is dark and light about it how sharp it is etc.
6. Go up to the next shutter speed 1/90th of the second or 1/125 and take another photograph.
7. now compare both of the photographs you took
8. to change the shutter speed again going up another step taken other photograph now compare all three photographs
If you continue to do this adjust shutter speed while knowing what your aperture is you're going to notice how shutter speed affects the lighting of your photographs all you need to do then is start changing your aperture and repeat the process of stepping through your shutter speeds eventually you'll understand how the aperture works in correlation with shutter speed. I became a proficient photographer using manual controls in less than a month just by doing this simple practice. I would recommend starting outdoors on a well lit day because then you will see how you can adjust your aperture and your shutter speeds to really make good photographs.
In conclusion of this discussion of aperture and shutter speed I want to say that the default lens that comes with the NX30 is an 18 to 55mm (this is how much zoom the lens has) within f-stop of 3.5 the 5.6. What this means is when your lens is at its maximum zoom the lowest f-stop you can have is 5.6. But when it's all the way back at 18 mm it's lowest f-stop is 3.5. Some zoom lenses sometimes only have one f-stop number which means that any zoom level that's the lowest f-stop you have.
The f-stop of 5.6 as we learned means the circle and the lens is really small so in return you have to drop your shutter speed to allow enough light to get to the sensor. Indoor shooting without a flash at that f-stop is almost impossible.
I personally prefer shooting without flash as I generally feel it ruins good pictures. This is the reason I recommend getting the F1.8 lens is because you can really see how dramatically aperture can improve your lighting even at higher shutter speeds and it doesn't require the usable flash as often.
End of the lesson ;)
The picture quality is also amazingly beautiful. You'll find that good lenses are what contribute to getting good pictures. And the pictures from this camera our beautiful nice and crisp even with the default lens.
It's also nice of this package comes with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 that program is very useful for digital photography and it runs about $100 by itself.
So in conclusion I think this camera is a good choice in a lot of areas. The fact that it has the Wi-Fi built-in comes with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 in my opinion as $150 in subtractive value i.e. if it's $800 it's more like $650 in my eyes. So if you're somebody want to get into photography I really think this camera is a good choice over a digital SLR camera from say Canon or Nikon.
Thanks for reading!