Samsung NX20 review: Samsung NX20

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Excellent AMOLED screen. Great Wi-Fi implementation. Range of scene modes and picture effects.

The Bad Shutter and AF lag in low light is very pronounced. Image stabilisation not particularly effective on video files. Kit 18-55mm lens drops in sharpness toward the edges.

The Bottom Line The Samsung NX20 is an attractive buy for anyone who wants Wi-Fi built in seamlessly to their camera.

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Design and features

Samsung's range of interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs) are usually fairly conservative in their design — with the notable exception of the droplet-inspired NX100. The NX20, now the flagship camera in the NX range, looks like a shrunken-down SLR in line with its predecessors, the NX10 and NX11.

For photographers moving up from a compact camera, or those looking for a smaller, more lightweight SLR alternative, the NX20 will not present too much of a learning curve. Controls and dials are all intuitively placed; there's a standard mode dial at the top, which houses full PASM control, as well as a range of scene modes. A simple power switch surrounds the shutter button, while an exposure and playback zoom control wheel sits right behind. At the back, buttons don't intrude the real estate, with record, exposure compensation, exposure lock and four-way directional dial among the features.

The NX20 is jam-packed full of menu options and enough configurable settings to keep anyone occupied for hours. Fortunately, if all you want to do is point-and-shoot, there is the option of leaving the camera in "Smart" mode, which is, essentially, the automatic mode.

Screen technology is typically where previous Samsung cameras have excelled, and the NX20 is no exception. The camera is fitted with a flip-out, articulating 3-inch AMOLED unit, which is bright and easy to see in most shooting situations. The electronic viewfinder is small, but it has a decent refresh rate, which makes it very usable.

The iFunction button on the kit 18-55mm lens.
(Credit: CBSi)

Like earlier Samsung NX cameras, the NX20 is fully compatible with iFunction lenses. This is a simple button at the front of the lens barrel that, when pressed, brings up a contextual menu on the screen that lets users change common exposure parameters, like white balance and aperture, just by turning the focus ring on the lens.

Bracketing is available with three parameters to choose from: exposure, white balance or picture style.

Overall, the NX20 is a comfortable camera to use. Lens choice will determine how the camera is balanced in the hand, but we find that the kit 18-55mm model feels most comfortable when the screen is extended out from the body. It counterbalances the weight of the lens nicely.

Full HD video is available at 1080/25p, 810/24p, 720/25p, VGA/25p, or a 240p for online sharing.

Wi-Fi implementation

The NX20 comes with built-in Wi-Fi to connect with a range of devices and transfer photos. It's very nicely done on this camera, with all the Wi-Fi options accessed from the dedicated option on the mode dial.

Menu options presented on the Wi-Fi screen of the NX20.
(Credit: CBSi)

Available from this menu are the following options:

  • MobileLink, which connects to a smartphone to transfer images and requires a specific app (Android or iOS)

  • Remote Viewfinder, which lets you use a smartphone or tablet with the specific app as a viewfinder, to see what the camera does

  • Social Sharing, which can connect to Facebook, Picasa, YouTube or Photobucket

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Where to Buy

Samsung NX20

Part Number: CNETSamsung NX20

Typical Price: $999.00

See manufacturer website for availability.