Have you tried it in Macro setting? How does it perform?
I need a good affordable camera for taking pictures of jewelry up close.
116 of 121 people found the following review helpful
APS-C sensor, Wifi features, good image quality.,
This review is from: Samsung NX1100 Smart Wi-Fi Digital Camera Body & 20-50mm Lens (White) (Electronics)
This is a superb camera and an outstanding value at the current low prices! It is listed multiple times on Amazon, so be sure to search for the model, color, and price you want.
This is drawn from my review of the NX1000 which is the identical camera without the bundled Adobe Lightroom 4 software and Autoshare Wifi feature (but that feature was added to the NX1000 in the latest firmware update). If you already have Adobe LR 4 as I do, the NX1000 may be a better choice and save you some money. Same sensor, lens, body, etc. so you decide.
Samsung NX1000/NX1100 Review
The main things that drew my interest with this camera were the Wifi features (I have a Samsung WB150F and the Wifi features have worked well. I find them useful and convenient, especially the PC-Autobackup which transfers movies and images to your PC), the large APS-C sensor (more image detail), the compact, mirror-less design, and the recent price drops.
The NX1100 will debut with a MSP of $599 (vs. $699 for the NX1000) and comes bundled with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 and some new Wifi features - namely Autoshare. But guess what? Autoshare is available for the NX1000 in the 1.13 firmware update! I already own Adobe Photoshop LR 4, and even with the lower NX1100 price, the NX1000 (basically the same camera) at current prices (340-360) is a great value. Compared to models like the 200/210 it offers the exact same APS-C sensor and is almost identical in image quality and handling. what you are giving up is the AMOLED display, metal body and a few other minor things. (The LCD display on the 1000/1100 is fine, if not quite as good as far as contrast, deep blacks, it is still very usable.)
So...how does the pudding taste? Well, I will admit my overwhelming first impression was "plastic!" - though the build quality seems very good, there is an overall "plasticky" feel to the NX1000. (Thankfully, the tripod thread is metal!) The shutter and other bits are metal as well, including the lens mounts.
I use Panasonic and Olympus cameras, mostly, and even those in this price range have a bit nicer "feel" in that sense But, it's a very high quality plastic and I soon got over it except for the fact that I find the grip a bit slick and could see myself dropping this camera, so I immediately attached the strap. Not a big fan of the strap. It's OK, but I do not like the ring attachments used versus the more usual cloth through metal guides on my other cameras. I find the strap interfering with my grip due to where the attachment rings are located and this is quite annoying. I will probably remove this strap for that reason once I find a case I like. You can work around it, but I just don't like it. (Update: I'm adjusting to this and not as irritating as before.)
While we're quibbling, I'm also not a big fan of the way the Zoom lens "locks" when not in use. It does give a lower profile, but it takes some getting used to, as I've never experienced this design before. Again, a minor thing. Overall appearance is good, it looks like a serious camera. I got the white model and like the "Elvis vibe" it gives off. Also the markings are easy to read, it's comfortable to hold (with the 20-50mm lens) and the recessed mode dial is a nice touch. (It's even better with the awesome 16mm wide angle pancake lens! Much slimmer profile and very easy to hold and shoot with.)
In general, as far as controls, the design is well thought out and Samsung offers some unique and original twists such as the "Fn" and "iFn" control buttons which allow easy access to the main things you'd want to "tweak" when shooting. The controls work well and the "ring/wheel" control works very well. I was a bit skeptical, but in use I really liked it. For example, when flipping through your shots in playback mode it works very well and you can scroll through the images very quickly.
Nice to have the hotshoe, though I have not tried the flash unit supplied yet - will report back on that. Videographers might note that there is an external mike that works with the hotshoe and uses no cables at all, nice!
In general, I find the NX1000 easy to use, the manual focus works well, the Smart mode seems to do fairly well, there are a great many scene modes and other (somewhat gimmicky) features (Magic filters/frames, etc.). I enjoyed playing with those on the WB150F, but they seem out of place here. There are a superb number of image adjustments, exposure tweaks, and controls of a more serious nature as well. When you want to get serious, this camera is ready. Also, some of the fun things, like the Panorama mode, do work well if you understand their limitations and keep your expectations reasonable.
As expected, the APS-C sensor renders a lot of good image detail. This is the big plus for this camera. I was very pleased with the results under good lighting conditions. I shoot a lot of landscape and street stuff, and this camera seems well suited for that. The noise reduction seems to work well up to about 1600 or so (maybe 800 for purists). Colors are accurate and not over-saturated like on many consumer cameras. If you like the "boost" many cameras give by default, there is a "Vivid" mode which will do this for you. Personally, I prefer the more realistic colors (one of the things I like about Olympus and (most) Panasonics as well). Sharpness is good in JPEGs (I have not shot RAW yet) and tones are nice and smooth (think large expanses of blue sky and clouds). I'm sure with experience my results will improve over these initial test shots, so that bodes well. If you like to print big, 16x20, even 20x30 possibly, you will be able to do so, which is very nice.
The 20-50mm kit lens is nice enough, but has a very limited range compared to what I am used to. (I am considering getting the 30mm lens which I think would make a nice compact package for everyday use.) However, the images look good, sharp, detailed, so I am happy with it. Video worked well and the zoom worked fine in video mode and was silent. In casual use, there is no need to switch the dial to video mode, you can just press the Video button on the back and after a slight pause you're in action. This is nice. Of course, dialing to full video mode gives you more options.
Wifi features worked fine, I was able to easily connect and save pics using the autobackup mode. Skydrive and others worked fine. Have not tried the mobile link and remote view finder apps yet. (Update: I tried these apps out and they worked OK for the most part. A bit flaky at times. There is a new "Smart Camera app" to replace these, but it only works with the new firmware. Since I have not yet upgraded the firmware, have not tried it.) The PC_Autobackup mode works very well for transferring pics and movies to your PC. It remembers what has been transferred and only transfers new items. Best to transfer frequently, since slower than reading from a card, but all automatic and very convenient. [You can also transfer photos to your mobile devices (phone/tablet) using the other apps (Mobile Link/Smart Camera).]
Example: You get back from shooting, you activate the PC-Autobackup on the camera (your laptop/PC and network must be on, of course), and the camera will connect and begin transferring your content. When done the camera will turn-off (unless you press a control button within 30 seconds) and you can set the PC to shutdown as well if you like. Or you can select the "open folder" choice on the PC/notenook popup dialog and view your pics and movies. All very easy and convenient.
There is a "Smart Range" feature to extend dynamic range and preserve highlights. It seems to work well, but you lose shadow detail. Might want to turn off by default, I think. (You can also shoot RAW and tweak things yourself, of course.)
JPEGS look very good to me with a lot of detail and sharpness. So good that I think shooting JEPG only is feasible with the NX1000. (You can always switch to RAW or RAW+Jpeg when needed, of course.) I think many will find the Jpegs entirely adequate for most purposes. (If you shoot a lot at high ISO's you would definitely want to shoot RAW.) You have a range of aspect ratios including 1:1, 3:2, and 16:9. This is nice and gives you flexibility in camera versus cropping later.
The 8fps burst mode worked very well, though as has been noted everywhere, there is a lag as the camera processes the shots before you can shoot again. I am a fairly deliberate photographer and don't shoot much action/sports, so the NX1000 is fine for me. The occasional lags when switching modes and after bursts or RAW shots are not an issue for me, but could be for some. It's all covered in many of the excellent online reviews, so I won't dwell on it here. Overall, I found the camera responsive and adequate for my needs.
The LCD screen is bright, colorful and has good resolution. I was pleased with it. I generally favor optical view finders (sorry, I admit to being old school here, you can't beat a good optical VF IMHO) and even EVF in a pinch, but I am getting used to the non-VF style of shooting and the NX1000 LCD is very good in this respect.
In general, I am very pleased with the image quality and the feature set and think this camera is an excellent value at current prices. Many of the features are unique, the Wifi modes are the best I've seen to date, and the APS-C sensor seems to be a good one. It's fairly compact with the 20-50mm kit lens (and would be even more so with the 30mm pancake lens), easy to carry (not heavy), and has all the controls you could ever want. The images are very good and that's the main thing.
I think it's an easy 4 stars for overall quality and especially value for the price paid.
Update: I recently purchased the Samsung f2.4 16mm wide angle "pancake" lens (Samsung 16mm f/2.4 NX Ultra Wide Pancake Lens (Black)) and it's a great addition to this camera. Wonderful for landscapes and walk-about/street photography. It's the lens I keep on the camera by default now. Quicker auto-focus, faster optics(f2.4 vs f3.5), and a more compact profile. When I have the 16mm lens on the body, I feel this is a 5 star combo. (I am leaving the rating at 4 stars with the kit lens, which is an excellent lens. I just find the 16mm to be the "magic" lens with this body. Very subjective, of course.)
Update: I did not cover video very well above, suffice to say the quality of the video is excellent for a camera in this price range and superior to many, I would guess. It is full HD 30/60 fps. You can Zoom during video shooting and it supports external microphones and stereo sound. All the basics are here and a few pluses as well. You can even use many of the special effects in video mode should you wish to do so. There is a dedicated video button for instant access, and a dial selection for more options. Videos take longer to transfer over wifi due to their size, but do transfer fine. Sound quality id pretty good for a camera of this type, in my opinion. So, if you are traveling, you have both stills and video covered. (I still feel a dedicated video camera and full fledged DSLR are optimal. But I must say, the combo capabilities here are quite fine.)
Video Format: MP4 (H.264), Compression: Movie H.264, Sound AAC
Frame Rate: 60fps (1280 x 720 Only), 30fps (1920 x 1080), 24fps (1920 x 810)
Image Sizes: 1920 x 1080, 1920 x 810, 1280 x 720 , 640 x 480, 320x240 for Sharing (Default: 1920 x 1080)
Movie Editing: Still Image Capture, Time Trimming
Update: I did not mention that the kit lens (20-50mm) does not have image stabilization, nor does the body. Has not been a problem for me (I shoot old school, bracing, etc.), but it was a consideration in buying the low cost and excellent 16mm wide angle for this body (very compact and little worries about image stabilization, larger sensor works in favor here) and dedicating this to camera to the wide end, while using my Panasonic G1 for the mid/telephoto range (as I already have excellent lenses for my G1 in this range). I still have the 20-50mm (an excellent lens) in the bag and can switch when needed. The lenses I have already for my G1 are superb, so this works out well for me.
You can buy image stabilized Samsung lenses (like the 18-55mm) if that is a concern. Shooting with the 20-50mm kit lens, I never once had any issues. However, in low light situations, it might come into play. Again, in my case, my G1 and f1.7 20mm would be my preferred choice, but I could get by with the NX1000. It has good image quality at high ISO and even ISO 3200 is usable many times. ISO 1600 is very good and ISO 800 is very clean.
For quick "grab and go" shooting, I continue to enjoy this camera very much.
2013 August 3rd update: I have had a chance to try the 18-55mm lens (good) on the Samsung 210 model and the 210 is very nice, it's the 200 + wifi features (like the Nx1000/1100). The 200/210 is heavier, all metal and has the AMOLED screen. The screen is better in bright subnlight than the LCD on the NX1000/1100. However, overall, the differences are not great, as mentioned above. The image quality is very close, no discernible quality difference that I can see in my quick tests. The NX1000/1100 then stands as an excellent low-price entry point to get this excellent APS-C sensor, with the bonus of the same excellent image quality as the more expensive models. The lighter weight is a plus, too. I have been shooting extensively with the 16mm on my NX1000 and continue to be very pleased with the results. Great image detail and color. This camera is an outstanding bargain at current prices and delivers image quality equal to models selling for 2-3 times as much. The market has not quite caught on to the value here, yet...initial prices for these cameras were double current prices. But that just means you can snag one of these at an incredible low price and be happy! Shush...don't tell anyone! ;)
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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 30, 2013 8:05:36 AM PDT
Have you tried it in Macro setting? How does it perform?
I need a good affordable camera for taking pictures of jewelry up close.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2013 7:44:21 AM PDT
Yury, I have not used the macro setting that much, but I did take a few shots and they seemed fine. Most of my work with this camera is landscape and I usually have the 16mm wide angle mounted, but the 20-50mm is a fine lens and performed well in all my casual tests (not scientific, just me shooting and viewing the images and being pleased with what I saw). I think it would be fine, but I will also say there are a bunch of low cost point and shoot cameras that have fairly decent macro modes available. I have an older Panasonic Lumix ZS-6, for example, that takes excellent macro shots. You can often find these used for less than $100 and they are great cameras (ZS-5, 6, 7, 8 all very similar). I'm talking about stationary, general purpose, macros, not the hard-core macros with ring-lights, special lenses, rails, tubes, etc..
Assuming your jewelry pictures are for advertising, insurance, selling on eBay or some similar purpose, I think there are many good choices out there, some in the $150-250 (new) range, I would guess. That said, this camera would also do fine, I think, though the 20-55mm might not be the absolute best lens choice, I think it would be fine. The big plus here are the interchangeable lenses and the large sensor, and the Wifi to a lesser extent, but those may or may not be something you need for your purpose, so you might be able to save some money by looking at other choices.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2013 11:14:05 AM PDT
Dennis Langley says:
Using a lens extension tube with the 20-50mm kit lens will get you very close and, in my experience, very sharp image quality. Fotga has a set of 10mm and 16mm auto-focus/exposure tubes for the NX for around 54 bucks.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2013 4:04:47 PM PDT
Thanks, Dennis, for the info. Good to know and glad to hear you had a good experience with this. This will surely be helpful to others, so thanks for sharing!
Posted on Nov 28, 2013 6:40:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2014 8:42:28 AM PST
Wayne Ellyson says:
Thank you so much for this detailed review. Your review was a big reason why I felt comfortable ordering this camera without ever seeing one in person. Right now Amazon has it for a great price, but recently one well-known online camera store had an amazing price for the camera with 20-50 mm lens, Lightroom 4 (which is always bundled with this camera) and a Samsung Tab 3. The camera there was cheaper than Amazon at the time (not now) and you could add the tablet for free (white model camera only).
So, due in large part to your review, I ordered. I have been very happy. This camera, with the 20-50 lens, fits in a coat pocket, takes great pictures, and has all the bells and whistles I could want. And the menu is easily navigable, unlike some cameras I have used. I may get the 30 mm lens (or a different prime, possibly) soon also. Very nice camera for the price, even without a free tablet, especially with Lightroom included.
**UPDATE 2-1-2014*** - I did get the 30mm lens. I have taken several (maybe 1,000?) photos of bands, and I continue to be impressed. The 30mm lens really helps in low light. This camera is not the best low light performer, but I've been able to make it work using full manual mode, with some wonderful results. The high ISO noise of the NX1100 is very acceptable, IMHO, and I have taken photos at shows with very little light. I also bought an adapter for around $20 and use my old Canon FD manual lenses. Very cool.
Absolutely no buyer's remorse here :) Thanks again for the original review.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2013 7:54:19 AM PST
Hey, Wayne, Happy Thanksgiving! You made my day!
I am so glad my review was helpful, that's why I spend all the time and do this, hoping to help others, so it's always great to get feedback like this. I do think this camera is one of the absolute best values available currently. The sensor quality, image quality, and features are incredible for the price paid. I agree with you on the Samsung Menu system, it's my favorite of the many cameras I've tried over the years (others are fine, but I find the Samsung menus plus the iFn controls very easy to use).
I am very glad you like it and I must say, being a bit of a "deal" freak myself, you seemed to have scored an exceptional deal with the free tablet (and as you point out, LR 4 is a good value in itself), so very happy for you on that score. Makes everything a little bit sweeter, eh?
Enjoy, and thanks again for this very nice comment and for taking the time to post it, especially on this Thanksgiving Holiday!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013 7:19:23 PM PST
Where do you buy a lens extension for this camera?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2013 1:05:03 PM PST
They are available here on Amazon as well as at other online sellers. Search for "Samsung NX lens extension" (or Macro extension) and you should find some easily. Good luck!
One favor, if you found my review helpful, please be sure to click "Yes" to the "Was this review helpful to you?" at the end. This helps my reviewer ranking on Amazon. No money involved, just pride. :-)
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2014 7:07:18 AM PST
Deborah McCarthy says:
Thank you so much for replying to my e-mails you have been a Great help i ordered this camera today :-) and thank you for helping me understand how amazon works and making comments sorry i didnt know how to do it earlier because i know my questions and your answers would be very helpful to others too! Thank you again Debbie AKA Melissa lol
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2014 8:17:44 AM PST
My pleasure! I'm sure you will love this camera. Just take your time and play with the various functions and get to know it and you'll do fine. And the full auto mode is pretty good, too. The camera does all the work for you in that mode. And the great thing about this camera is that you won't "outgrow it" for a very long time, if ever. It's a very capable camera and, as I mentioned, one of the best around in this price range. I have made 16x20 prints that look gorgeous, thanks to the excellent sensor in this camera.