Samsung NX10 Mini-DSLR Compact Camera - Movie Mode and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Samsung NX10 Mini-DSLR Compact Camera
Samsung NX10 Full Specifications
Samsung NX10 Design and Size Comparison
NX10: Handling, Construction and More
NX10 Menu Options and Settings
NX10 Physical and Software Controls
NX10 Focus, White Balance, Burst and More
Image Quality and Noise - JPEG
Image Quality and Noise - RAW
Dynamic Range and Image Stabilization
Movie Mode and Final Thoughts

Movie Mode:

Movies are where the new generation of mirror-less, large sensor cameras differentiate themselves. While my D90 takes some great video, it is also very frustrating due to a lack of auto focus. Auto focus is an essential feature, especially if you have small children who move fast and don't stay in one place very long.

The NX10 is able to capture 720p video at 30fps for up to 25 minutes.  This is pretty good considering that most of the other cameras in its class are only able to run for ~10 minutes. It also uses the H.264 codec instead of the older motion jpeg.  This should lead to better quality and smaller file sizes.

I found the movie mode on the NX10 to be quite easy to use, except for one small thing. The camera does not auto focus continually while you use it but rather you need to press a button down below the lens to perform a focus when needed. This is not explained in the quickstart guide, only in the full manual. Once I found this out, things went much more smoothly.

As I am not a big video user, I'll leave you with two little video clips.

 

SAM_0970 by Nicao
Video Sample #1
SAM_1280 by Nicao
Video Sample #2

 

Sample Gallery

 

Conclusion:

A year ago I would have been hard pressed to find a camera in Samsung's lineup that I could recommend to a friend. However the NX10 may just be a portend of better things coming out of Samsung's camera division. While it is not as compact as some of the micro-four thirds cameras that are currently out there, it is smaller than even an entry level DSLR. Its 14.6MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor is capable of capturing some pretty decent pictures at base ISOs while at the same time showing a very acceptable noise level at higher ISOs. Its mirror-less setup also gives it more flexibility than your average DSLR when it comes to movie recording.

A few things do keep this camera out of "perfect" territory though.

  1. The control wheel is prone to skipping in the wrong direction and the menus do not respond quickly enough to it.
  2. The amount extra information recoverable from RAW files seems fairly limited.
  3. It remains to be seen what caliber of lenses will be produced for the NX mount.

 

Is this camera going to replace my D90? No. Would I use the NX10 as a walk-around camera? Maybe, it is still a little large to be pocket-able even with the pancake lens. Would I recommend the NX10 to someone considering an entry level DSLR. Yes. I think the mirror-less cameras are going to chew out a significant hole at the bottom of the DSLR lineup. With contrast detect AF getting faster and better, smaller sizes and comparable image quality, there is a lot to like about these cameras. The NX10 is a good example of a good product produced at the right time. I think it has the potential to do very well and perhaps bolster Samsung's camera reputation.

Pros:

  • APS-C large sized sensor
  • Good auto focus and manual focus
  • Good noise reduction
  • Great resolution from the JPEG engine
  • Good OIS
  • Auto exposure bracketing option available
  • Excellent Build quality
  • Longer video recording time than most

 

Cons:

  • Larger than other mirror-less camera systems
  • Face detection not the greatest
  • White Balance unreliable
  • Control wheel sometimes skips and is a bit laggy
  • Clips to white fairly quickly, detail not recoverable in RAW
  • Uses a Samsung proprietary NX lens mount

  BCCRating

Silver

I'd like to thank Samsung for lending us the NX10 for us to review.  If you are looking for an entry-level DSLR that can shoot and focus video on-the-fly, this camera is one of the few decent choices.  Please post your thoughts and comments regarding this review in the forum at the "Comments" link below.