By Derrick Story Macworld.com | on July 23, 2010
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
Picture and video quality
JPEG picture quality is quite decent, but not spectacular. Images shot in Program mode with Auto ISO and Auto White Balance were generally well exposed with good color and detail. I actually preferred the JPEGs to the raw files that were processed with Samsung's Raw Converter 3 software.
Image capured using auto settings.
Image capured using manual settings.
The NX10 earned the lowest overall score in our seven-camera test group, with final score of Fair, which put it just below the Olympus E-PL1 and E-P2. It performed well in the sharpness and distortion tests, earning a score of Good in both categories, but underperformed in the Exposure and Color categories, with a rating of Fair in each. Click on any of our lab's test images to view the original files.
The HD video produced by the NX10 was a disappointment. Even though the resolution was good, 1280-by-720, quality was subpar compared to comparable cameras by Panasonic and Olympus. Plus, even though image stabilization was turned on, the footage was more jittery than I expected. In our lab tests, the video scores of Fair for the NX10 were also the lowest of the seven-camera testing group.
The software included in the box is Windows compatible only. It includes Samsung Master, Raw Converter, QuickTime Player, and the user manual. There is a raw converter available for Mac users, but you have to be determined to get it. First you must become a registered user on the Samsung site. Then you have to navigate to the software download section and register the camera (again) before you are permitted to download the software. Once installed, it takes up 215MB of space on your hard drive. (If you have a hard time finding the Mac download, as most will, it is here.)
To process the Samsung raw files using its converter, you have the typical array of settings for adjusting tone and color. The interface is a little clunky, but you can get the job done. Developed raw files can be output as Tiffs or JPEGs. There's no sharpening in the adjustment tools, but you do have an unsharp mask available during output and development. You just can't preview it.
In the end, this felt like more trouble than it's worth. When I shot Raw+JPEG with JPEG set to Super Fine, the JPEGs outperformed the raw files, especially in sharpness. So even though the NX10 does shoot in raw, I found the JPEGs to be more pleasing with far less hassle.
Neither Adobe or Apple provide raw support for the NX10 at this time.