Noise

The Samsung NX200 has above-average JPEG processing for a sub-$1,000 camera. Combined with its relatively clean images off the sensor, its noise profile is quite good. The eagle-eyed will still see artifacts--especially in dark stretches of high-ISO-sensitivity photos, like this, and on edges. But overall I was really impressed with the quality of the noise reduction and compression, as high as ISO 1600 on some photos.
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Photo by: Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET / Caption by:

Seeing spots

While the callout is enlarged to 300 percent so that you can more easily see what I'm talking about, dark areas in high-ISO-sensitivity images, both raw and JPEG, are riddled with white spots. While these types of spots aren't unusual, they do tend to be larger and less frequent within an image. (I originally thought my monitor was very dusty and tried to wipe them off--that's what it looks like.) You can probably only see them at 50 percent zoom or higher, though, and if you apply a little luminance noise-reduction in the raw processing they disappear.

(1/100 sec, f2.8, ISO 800, AWB, spot metering, 60mm macro lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Noise, ISO 400, JPEG

You can see some mushiness and a slight bit of color noise (in the light part), but overall this isn't a bad processing job.

(1/60 sec, f5, ISO 400, AWB, spot metering, 18-55mm lens at 40mm)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 400, raw vs. JPEG

I couldn't create a significantly better version of this image in raw, except to achieve a slightly nicer "grain" perhaps.

(1/60 sec, f5, ISO 400, AWB, spot metering, 18-55mm lens at 40mm)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Dynamic range, shadows, ISO 800

If you stare really hard you can see some contouring in the darker areas. But overall, darn good for a camera in its class.

(1/100 sec, f2.8, ISO 800, AWB, spot metering, 60mm macro lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 1600 raw vs. JPEG

I wouldn't count on shooting clean images at ISO 1600, either raw or JPEG, but if you're willing to live with some graininess then the raw isn't bad; it retains saturation and color accuracy. Here you can gain a lot from shooting raw, as the JPEGs have a lot of color noise.

(1/60 sec, f1.8, ISO 1600, AWB, spot metering, 85mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Kit lens

Samsung's 18-55mm kit lens is very nice. While it doesn't seem exceptionally sharp overall (the center of the frame is about the same sharpness as this), there's also not much distortion, as you can see by this edge-of-frame example.

(1/125 sec, f7.1, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 18-55mm lens at 40mm)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Sharpness, 18-55mm lens

The kit lens delivers relatively sharp results.

(1/100 sec, f4.5, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 18-55mm lens at 30mm)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Sharpness, 85mm lens

This lens produces a sharp image that isn't unnaturally oversharpened by the camera.

(1/250 sec, f13, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 85mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Color

The default color settings push the saturation a little but without wholesale hue shifts. Unfortunately, there's no neutral color preset.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Dynamic range, highlights

This problem with exceptionally bright, saturated red and pink hues looks like a result of JPEG clipping. When I brought the exposure down, it was apparent that the camera had retained all the highlight detail in the brightest areas.

(1/250 sec, f2.8, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 85mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Bokeh, 18-55mm lens

While it's not as nice as the more expensive prime lenses, the kit lens renders nice out-of-focus highlight areas.

(1/100 sec, f7.1, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 18-55mm lens at 55mm)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Bokeh, 85mm lens

The 85mm lens renders soft, round out-of-focus highlights.

(1/250 sec, f2.8, ISO 100, AWB, spot metering, 85mm lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Bokeh, 65mm macro lens

Like the 85mm prime, the 65mm macro renders lovely out-of-focus highlights.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:
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