Customer Review

205 of 215 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than a Nex,? Maybe.., April 24, 2013
This review is from: Samsung NX300 20.3MP CMOS Smart WiFi Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 20-50mm Lens and 3.3" AMOLED Touch Screen (White) (Electronics)
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!
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 30, 2013 9:06:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 30, 2013 9:07:17 AM PDT
Matt Eye says:
Toughie of a choice... I wanted this camera but turned away from it because it does not have a built-in flash (for when you want maximum compactness for an amusement park without having to clip on a flash so it is pocketable on rides, for instance). This Samsung is almost equivalent to the Sony NEX-5R - phase detection, wifi, touch screen, and good megapixels count (Samsung better by 4 = 20 vs. 16). Samsung is better though in its screen is "OLED" instead of LCD that is not as "fluorescent" and bright. Wanted a viewfinder on a compact camera with internal flash but can get good high-ish ISO in RAW on Panasonic DMC-LF1. I already own NEX-7 and even though it is a bit slower (no phase+contrast hybrid), it is sufficient for high MP count at low ISO and has the features of NEX-6, minus the wifi (it does not have the phase+contrast hybrid and lacks touch screen but has viewfinder unlike NEX-5R). That is my take on a camera that falls between NEX-5R/6 overall. That said, internal flash means more to me than viewfinder, especially if it just has the LCD screen, "OLED" is actually the better in bright light anyhow. Wonder if Samsung pioneered this screen technology, as it seems that most smartphones with this screen is Samsung, such as Galaxy S.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2013 2:27:09 PM PDT
Radio Man says:
Mr. Matt interesting...If you already own the NEX-7 I'd say you pretty much have all you need already, built in flash AND evf. Lens selection ..EH sort of, getting better though. I regret selling mine a bit other than I didn't like the Nex-7's color overall. Nothing wrong..but I always had to tweak it's output...I am finding this Samsung to have much more accurate color. Again to your needs, if a fixed lens is not a problem the Fuji x100s is a heck of a great camera..again with built in flash and evf/ovf. I just really like the Samsung though...sort of the odd man out..takes beautiful pictures. Oddly your praise of the OLED screen to me is about it's worst feature. As I wrote, in bright sunshine the screen gets rather washed out..MORE so than the Nex screen did or my Fuji. At least with those cameras you have an evf to turn to..not so with the Samsung. But the screen DOES look great when you are in shade or indoors. I don't think it's using the same screen technology as Samsung does on it's cell phones where you can clearly see it's display in bright sunshine..Nope! BUT I think the Samsung is a good alternative to the Nex's of the world...I like the NX300 a lot..It's not perfect..but no camera is..

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 9:10:25 PM PDT
Johnny B says:
Radio Man - Thanks for the great review. Up until a few days ago, I was dead set on getting the Olympus OMD-EM5... That is until I discovered the Samsung NX300. Now I am completely torn between the two cameras. Seeing that you have (had) both, I was hoping for a little advice.

About me (us). We are expecting our first child in a few weeks. By no means are we camera enthusiasts. I decided in my camera research that I do not want to lug around a DSLR camera and lenses. We are point and shoot type of people. Simple is better for us. I do find myself outside alot and my hope is to capture some sports/action photos. However, I am not sure if the mirrorless cameras can do this as well as an DSLR. I am okay with that. Also, I dont see myself doing a lot of face time in front of the computer editing. Videos are a key component to my decision too.

I was intrigued by the vintage looks and glowing reviews of the Olympus OMD. It sounds as if the camera takes wonderful pictures and has a simple interface. I was not overtly concerned about the price, however the Samsung's price tag, retro looks, wifi capability are making me seriously consider purchasing this camera. While the Olympus has lens options, which is a plus, it looks as if Samsung has the lenses I am interested in. One thing I am getting hung up on is the lack of the EVF on the Samsung since I take a lot of outdoor / nature shots. I am afraid that I will not be able to clearly see the viewfinder on the Samsung. I do think we would leverage the wifi on the camera... At any rate given that, would love your direction on what route we should go.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2013 5:20:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 14, 2013 5:39:58 PM PDT
Radio Man says:
Thx J. for your comments here. Long story short from the way you described how you may use your camera most, believe it or not I'd pretty much easily recommend the EM5 OVER the NX300 because of your needs. I still love the Samsung...maybe even more than when I wrote in my review BUT, you say you would like do do a lot of outdoor stuff like nature shots etc. Sadly for sure the evf on the Olympus is a BIG help..especially for anything almost macro, like taking shots of flowers real close up. Also as to action shots the Samsung is actually plenty fast BUT again the EM5 is faster and actually rocket fast to focus, pretty much ON par with a lot of DSLRS. The EM5 also has 5 axis image stabilization which works GREAT. That all said I prefer the overall output of the Samsung..pictures look more alive somehow...better dynamic range..and many may not agree..I find the NX300 to have about the most accurate colors of any camera I ever had. EM5 has that OLY look which many people love..but I found it's out of the camera jpegs a bit too saturated, with unrealistic greens in particular (Grass, leaves BUT pretty) for my tastes. I do usually end up shooting raw too, so I like to edit my stuff but you said you don't so in this case jpegs at higher isos look better on the em5 cause the Samsung uses TOO much Noise reduction. Shooting raw is a whole other story. For me I do prefer the Samsung as to overall output but again for what you said you will be using the camera for most, as to action shots..outdoor nature stuff I'd have to say you MIGHT be more happy with the EM5. You can't go too wrong with either camera all said, and PRICE wise Samsung is a big winner here..but I'd get the 30mm pancake prime for the Samsung IF you choose it,it makes a world of difference. Best of luck!

Posted on Feb 19, 2014 7:31:10 AM PST
Excellent review and very helpful follow-up comments. You are almost making me think about picking up one of these Samsungs instead of a Lumix FZ200 (with the 24x full f/2.8 at all focal lengths Leica lens), especially because I think my local Costco currently has the NX300 in a 2-lens bundle for $500. But I think the FZ200's wider, much longer, and faster zoom, plus the EVF, and cost factor of not having to buy extra lenses are going to win out for me over the better image quality of a bigger sensor. I used to own a micro-4/3 Lumix G2 and thought the larger sensor's advantages in slightly better image quality and slighter higher ISO range were significantly outweighed by the kit 14-42mm lens' very poor low-light and action shot capability and I really missed having both a wider wide end and a longer telephoto zoom. But maybe someday after I get the FZ200, if I find something like an NX300 or maybe a Canon T3i on clearance or really cheap on eBay, I'll pick up a DSLR equivalent camera to play around with for portraits and such where I don't need a really wide, long or fast lens.

A slight suggestion (and a subjective one at that): You might consider using fewer all-caps in your writing, as it can be a bit distracting (the visual equivalent of someone telling a story who uses a bit too loud of a voice and places a bit too much emphasis too frequently) and ironically, it can have the opposite effect that you intend. I agree that sometimes one wants to add emphasis and in Amazon reviews, one does not have available the italics, underline or bold options, so it's either all-caps or nothing. However, using all-caps three or more times per paragraph starts to weaken the impact, not accentuate it, because it makes the viewer want to skim the capitalized phrase, not focus on it. You're a good enough writer and are providing sufficiently worthwhile details that you already have the reader's attention. And some of the emphasis is a bit superfluous - e.g. "fantastic" already means 10/10, "definitely" already means unequivocally. I suggest scaling back on the all-caps use to maybe once or twice per review. Anyway, I hope you can appreciate that I meant for this comment to be constructive, not trollish and this really was a very useful review. [NMRNG removes hyper-critical-spinster-cat-lady-10th-grade-English-teacher-hat and descends from podium].

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2014 3:35:25 PM PST
Radio Man says:
Hi Not My Real Name Guy...thanks for your post here. SO THIS IS NOT GOOD...TOO MANY WORDS with caps lock on, JUST kidding! Thanks for your input on that, I think I have that I must agree with you, never too late to learn something, so thank you. As to the FZ200 I honestly can't comment on it vs the Samsung. Well they seem like two different animals...I mean cameras. :) If you want the built in faster zoom etc...seems the Panasonic may be better for you. If it's pure IQ, I have to think the Samsung will be better, much better, as it's sensor is much larger and takes dslr like pictures.. Again though I don't know much at all about the FZ200 so guess it depends on what is most important to YOU. I can only say that though I sold my NX300, it remains one of the best cameras I ever owned OVERALL...CAPS haha. I know I wrote this in the review , but it uses way too much noise reduction(smearing) at iso 400 and up so if you are primarily a jpeg shooter the smaller sensor Panasonic MAY just have better looking jpegs...but as to raw the nx300 is superb and a super great value. Best to you.

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 6:13:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 5, 2014 6:18:10 PM PST
W. Soh says:
You are spot on. The real deal is the COLOR. The skin tone totally swept my wife off her feet when we tested the camera at a store.
I wanted a Sony Nex but found the Nex jpegs too yellow - comparison at the store.
She is often against my frequent buying of cameras BUT said this is the only one I should get. So here I am looking at the reviews before I pull the trigger :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2014 11:05:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 8, 2014 11:17:36 AM PST
Digital Don says:
I am seriously considering the NX300. I had the NX100, and sold it because my stable of cameras was becoming rather large, and I have some 35mm rangefinders that offer the compactness desired for candid shots. I have come to miss the NX100, however. I have a review of that camera up on Amazon in which I mentioned that in my opinion, the main drawback to these cameras was the lack of a EVF. Well, that was solved when I purchased the auxilary EVF that Samsung made available for the NX100. It worked great, the only reservation being that you couldn't use the flash and EVF at the same time. This wasn't a huge problem however, because by using various adaptors, I was able to mount some fast Nikon and Leica glass on the camera for shooting both outdoors (bokeh) and indoors (available light). It's a pity they don't make a EVF auxiliary for these later models, though.
Many users offered their opinions to Samsung that both a built-in flash and EVF would make the camera far more practical, but Samsung seems to march to it's own drummer, and has been reluctant to respond to consumer input. The point of this rather roundabout post is that I think I have a solution. Back in my semi-pro years, I found that reading a washed out LCD screen to check shots and make adjustments outdoors could be a challenge. The answer to that was to buy an attachable hood, which effectively shades the screen. If I decide on the NX300, this is how I plan to solve that particular conundrum. This, of course, doesn't solve the problem of having to hold the camera out in front of you as if it was a cell phone, but one problem at a time. Macro and landscape photography would not be a problem, since you should be using a tripod for these, and a hood effectively transforms the camera into a miniature view camera. Anyway, that's my two cents.....

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2014 6:08:01 AM PDT
ShoppingGeek says:
I was considering the Sony NEX 6 until I read this review. It presently sells for $524 with an OIS lens and black body, a combo which costs $550 for the Samsung, plus I would have to buy (and lug) an external flash for the Samsung. Is the Samsung really that much better than the Sony?

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2014 6:17:19 AM PDT
W. Soh says:
The NX300 is $399 now!
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