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CNET First Look
The Samsung NX500: Compact and ready for actionThe Samsung NX500 may be small but it packs great video.
[MUSIC] Although it's a little more expensive than most competitors given that it lacks a viewfinder, the Samsung NX500 offers a lot of useful features, excellent video quality and action friendly performance that makes it a nice choice for families and travelers. I'm Lori Grunin, Senior Editor for CNet and this is the Samsung NX500. The camera's an attractive retro two tone. It's solid feeling and has a big enough grip for comfortable single handed shooting, as long as the lens is relatively light weight. I have no real complaints about the design. I do wish it had a zoom switch on the camera to control power zoom lenses, as some of it's competitors do. I don't really like the feel of the zoom ring on the lens, or the position of the zoom buttons. It doesn't have a built in flash, but Samsung bundles a Hot Chi flash. The back display is nicely designed, it can tilt down for overhead shots, tilt up for waste level shots, and flip up for selfies. Samsung's auto self chat mode kicks in when you flip it up. Which activates the self timer and invokes the company's beauty shot. That blurs your skin so that you look like you don't have any pores. One of the NX500's notable features is Samsung's auto shot mode. In this mode, the camera has several optimized setting for capturing peak action. A baseball swing shot, a jump in the air shot, and a shot tha triggers the shutter when the subject passes a specific line that you've indicated in the camera. In addition to full featured remote shooting options, it has a novel bluetooth shutter. Which gives you a basic shutter, in contrast to the full manual controls, That operates quickly after the initial pairing. It's only on Andriod, of course. Unsurprisingly, the photo and video quality definitely surpasses it's smaller sensor competitor, the Olympus E-PL7. The 4K video is excellent, sharp, and reasonably high contrast. For a camera in it's price class, the photos look quite good. And it's rendering of colors, white balance, and tonal range are very nice. I'd say it's probably one of the better interchangeable lens models, under $1000, for photo quality. Overall I'd rank the NX500 performance as very good, but not spectacular. It takes about 1.6 long seconds to power on, focus and shoot. Partly because the lens has to extend. The rest of its times are very good. And its continuous shooting speed is excellent at 9.1 frames per second with auto focused enabled and with a decent number of in focus shots. As long as you don't pine for a viewfinder, which I admit I do. The Samsung NX500 probably has everything you need in a compact family and traveling camera. [MUSIC]