Pros: Solid construction and comfortable fit; Good quality three-inch LCD; Excellent menu system with friendly user interface; Built in flash and hot shoe; Convenient EVF, though not exceptional quality; Clean, colorful JPEGs using auto controls
Cons: Cumbersome raw processing; Poor video quality; Image stabilization is average at best; Bundled software for Windows users only; High price tag
The Samsung NX10, another entry in the growing compact interchangeable-lens camera category, takes up less room in your camera bag than most DSLRs, while still featuring a 14.6 megapixel, APS-C, CMOS image sensor, 3-inch LCD, and the Samsung NX mount for interchangeable lenses.
The NX10 is simple enough for point-and-shoot users to figure out. When it's time to take a picture, first choose the exposure mode on the top dial (there are ten to select from. including Smart auto-everything, Programmed, Scenes, Movie, and more). Then hold the camera up to your eyes and compose your image through the electronic viewfinder that shows 100 percent field of view, or use the 3-inch LCD that's fixed on the back of the body. In most situations, I found myself opting for the LCD because of its better image quality compared to the EVF, which seemed washed out and jittery by comparison.
Auto focusing is fast and sure, and the shutter button is responsive delivering a satisfying click that feels very SLR-like. When it's time to review your images, the 3-inch LCD shows them off with good color and clarity.
Size and weight
This powerful camera feels solid in the hands and is comfortable to hold. It is not a light camera; the body alone weighs .77 pounds. If you're accustomed to carrying a point and shoot, you'll notice the weight difference.
The body measures 4.23-inches wide by 3.43-inches high--a little bigger than the Olympus E-PL1 and smaller than the Canon Rebel T2i. The depth measurement varies with the lens you mount on the NX10 body (there are 3 currently available). With the 18-55mm zoom, the camera's depth is 4.5-inches. By comparison, the Canon T2i is 5.25-inches deep with its 18-55mm lens, and the Olympus E-PL1 is less than 3.25-inches with the collapsible M Zuiko 14-42mm zoom lens.
Menu system and controls
Samsung did an excellent job designing the NX10's easy to navigate menu system. Press the Menu button on the back, then rotate the top selector dial to choose among seven easy-to-read text screens. Each screen is limited to six items, so you never feel overwhelmed when looking for a specific option.
Many of the most popular settings can be controlled using buttons on the top and back of the camera, including: exposure compensation, drive mode, auto exposure lock, display readout, AF mode, white balance, ISO, and metering pattern. Each button is clearly marked. Within a short time, I was making my adjustments without thinking much about the controls themselves.