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Samsung NX210 photo samples

While the Samsung NX210 takes very nice, relatively low-noise raw photos, its JPEG processing could use some work.

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LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg
Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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1 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Noise and JPEG processing

I'm less impressed with the JPEG processing on the Samsung NX210 than I was with the NX200's; it's not that it's worse, it's just that even as low as ISO 100 you can get better results from raw. By ISO 400 I see artifacts everywhere -- though not bad artifacts, and frankly I don't think they'll jump out at many people until you hit ISO 800. In contrast, raw-format night photos shot at ISO 3200 looked reasonably good printed at 13x19.
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2 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 100 JPEG

I think the default multi metering tends to underexpose a hair. This photo came out slightly higher contrast than I'd wanted.

(1/100 sec, f5.6, multi metering, AWB, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens at 55mm)
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3 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 100 raw vs. JPEG

Fine details in JPEGs get that oversharpened crunchy look.

(1/125 sec, f9, multi metering, AWB, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens at 55mm)
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4 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 400 raw vs. JPEG

Slightly defocused edges become especially troublesome (not just for the NX210 but for all cameras) as ISO sensitivity rises. In the NX210, they start to look aliased (jagged).

(1/80 sec, f5, spot metering, AWB, ISO 400, 30mm lens)
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5 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 400 JPEG

JPEG artifacts present as blotchiness in the sky.

(1/100 sec, f2.8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 400, 30mm lens)
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6 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 800 JPEG

The aliasing on out-of-focus edges became so strong at ISO 800 that I thought I might have shot this at too low a resolution. You can also see noise and suppression artifacts in the flat black areas.

(1/80 sec, f2.0, spot metering, AWB, ISO 800, 30mm lens)
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7 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

ISO 3200 raw vs. JPEG

You can see how much better out-of-camera processing is -- I got a decent 13x19 print out of this ISO 3200 photo.

(1/100 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 3200, 30mm lens)
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8 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Colors

The NX210 renders very good color, with solid automatic white balance.
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9 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Color settings

Interestingly, Samsung's Picture Wizard setting -- its color controls -- defaults to off, which is its most neutral setting, and my preferred option. However, if you're looking for a setting that automatically produces a higher-contrast, more saturated look comparable to what you get from other consumer cameras, you'll want to use the Standard setting. It produces decent results, boosting contrast and saturation slightly without sacrificing detail or accuracy.
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10 of 10 Lori Grunin/CNET

Effects

The NX210 has 10 special-effects modes and another set of 13 Magic Frames. You can't change any of the parameters for these.

Return to the Samsung NX210 review

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