Samsung NX10 Mini-DSLR Compact Camera - NX10 Physical and Software Controls

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

Controls:

ControlsThe control layout is virtually identical to what can be found on most entry level DSLRs. Immediately behind the shutter/on/off switch there is a single control wheel. This used in combination with the buttons on the back, provides fairly quick access to most common settings. It still took some time for me to get used to the single control wheel after using two but I never found the layout clumsy or uncomfortable.  With a little practice it could be a fairly fast system.

On of the small gripes that I have with the control wheel is in its stiffness or lack thereof.  It simply seemed a bit loose and occasionally would skip back a notch. I much prefer the stiffness of the wheels on the Nikon.

 

 


 

The mode dial provides fast access to the main shooting modes of the camera. 

  • Manual
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority
  • Program - Mostly just a visual twist on aperture priority mode.
  • Smart - Attempt to select an appropriate scene mode.
  • Scene - Select from the menu the type of scene you are shooting.
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Night
  • Movie

Most of these are pretty standard on cameras nowadays. Coming from the DSLR world, I found myself using aperture priority most often.

 

ISO SettingsThe ISO button brings up a list of available sensitivities. The control wheel or dpad can be used to select the level.  Ranges from 100 to 3200 are available as well as an auto option. I would have liked to have seen an option for limiting the maximum ISO that is used in auto mode as some of the higher sensitivities have significant noise levels. 

 

White balance is crucial to a good picture. Unfortunately it is also a tricky thing for a camera to get right on its own. It helps if you are able to give the camera a hint as to correct setting. The white balance button on the dpad brings up a total of ten options.  




 

  • Auto WB - The camera automatically selects the optimal white balance settings.
  • Daylight - For shooting outdoors on a clear day.
  • Cloudy - For shooting outdoors on a cloudy day.
  • Fluorescent White - Daylight, fluorescent lamp, suitable especially for the white fluorescent light with the color temperature of about 4200K
  • Fluorescent NW - Daylight, fluorescent lamp, suitable especially for the daylight fluorescent lighting with the color temperature of about 5,000K
  • Fluorescent Daylight - Daylight, fluorescent lamp, suitable especially for the daylight-like fluorescent lighting with the color temperature of about 6,500K
  • Tungsten - For shooting under halogen lamps and standard, incandescent bulbs.
  • Flash WB - Suitable when using the built-in flash light.
  • Custom Set - To create a custom white ballance setting.
  • Color Temp - To set the color temperature manually.

 

AF Mode Auto focus in DSLRs has typically been done using phase detection. This method is fast, accurate and doesn't require a lot of processing power. In the mirror-less camera  world that method has been replaced with contrast detection. Contrast detection used to be quite slow but it has definitely improved over the years. One of the advantages to contrast detection is that because it uses the main imaging sensor, it is not limited by fixed AF points like a traditional DSLR.

 

The auto focus mode can be adjusted by the top button on the d-pad. The three modes are static, constant or manual. 

 


AF Area:

In addition to the mode there are also several auto focus areas that you can select from. 




 

  • Single area - In this mode you select the area that you want in focus manually. When in single area AF mode, the center button of the d-pad activates a screen that allows you to move the AF focus point around the screen. Rotating the control wheel adjusts the size of the AF point.
  • Multi area - The camera will try to detect the objects to focus on. When shutter button is pressed the selected focus points will light up.
  • Face detection - The camera attempts to recognize faces and prioritize focus on them.
  • Self-portrait - This is a really neat feature that is used to take pictures of yourself. The camera will give off a series of beeps indicating if your face is in or near the center of the frame.

 

Metering Light metering is controlled by the left button on the d-pad. From here you can select spot, center weighted or area modes of metering. For those time when you need a little extra adjustment, the AV button lets you adjust the exposure compensation. Pushing and holding this button will turn the light meter blue at which point you can turn the control dial to adjust the exposure.

Metering

 

Drive Modes:

Drive Mode One key advantage of DSLRs over their more compact brethren is the speed at which consecutive photos may be taken. The NX10 supports several drive modes.

Single, continuous, burst, and timer are fairly self explanatory, however there are also several bracketing modes which can be very useful. Auto exposure bracketing takes three shots at different exposures. This is especially useful for HDR pictures.  The order as well as the EV spacing of the images can be adjusted. In addition to the exposure bracketing, you can also bracket white balance and program.  Program bracketing means the camera will take the same image in several different program modes. Kind of neat eh?

 

 

Main Display / Viewfinder:

Whether you are looking at the main display or through the viewfinder, you will see the same layout. Pertinent information is displayed along the sides and bottom of the screen, unless you choose to turn it off using the "disp" button. You can also display a small histogram in the lower right corner if you wish. 


Display Default


Display High Detail

Display Blank

 

Whether you are looking at the main display or through the viewfinder, you will see the same layout. Pertinent information is displayed along the sides and bottom of the screen, unless you choose to turn it off using the "disp" button. You can also display a small histogram in the lower right corner if you wish.

It's worth noting that for a consumer camera the display is really top notch quality.  Colors are bright and vibrant and there is no ghosting or lagging visible while moving. The only downside is that it is almost impossible to view in bright sunlight but that issue is not unique to this camera. The viewfinder helps to mitigate this issue and while not looking quite as nice as the main screen, is still very adequate to the task.

 

Playback:

Image playback may be immediately accessed by the little arrow button at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Basic playback information is shown along the bottom of the screen but if you want more the "disp" button will give you more information. Pressing the "disp" button a second time will bring up a color separated histogram.


Playback

Playback w/Stats

Playback w/Histogram

 

The basic controls such as zooming and panning are fairly straightforward, but I did notice that you cannot flip from picture to picture while zoomed in. This is a very hand feature that I do find myself missing.

 A quick press of the "fn" button will bring up a simple editing menu where you can make minor adjustments to your photos.

 

The adjustments include...

  • Red eye correction
  • Backlighting
  • Color
  • Cropping / Rotating
  • Face Retouching