Samsung NX200

Cameras
-Hi! I'm Lori Grunin, editor for CNET, and this is the Samsung NX200. The NX200 is the replacement for the NX100 and it's almost a completely different camera. I only had a few hours to shoot with this preproduction unit and to run some preliminary tests, but I really liked it. The NX100 was too big, too smooth and slippery, and too rounded, but the NX200 resembles Sony's NEX7. It has a thick body, but one that is recessed from the grip. It's solidly built and comfortable to hold with a fairly typical control layout. Like the other NX models, it uses Sony's eye function lens system in which several of the adjustments such ISO sensitivity or shutter speed can be triggered and adjusted via a button and ring combination on the lens barrel. Of course, there's nothing that precludes you from doing it via the interactive control panel, which is an interface flexibility I really like. The LCD is bright and contrasty, and it remains visible in direct sunlight, sort of. It doesn't wash out the way a lot of LCDs do, but it gets really reflective, which poses a completely different set of problems. I kept wishing it would at least tilt. You can set the color tone as well as the brightness and contrast of the display, which is a nice feature. The NX200 doesn't have a built-in flash. Instead, like a lot of companies are doing now, Samsung bundles an add-on flash that slides into the hot shoe and pops up. When not it use, it tucks down, which is a design that really works for me. It has completely manual set of feature and it also has the typical set of special effects that we've come expect from this class of cameras. You can't change the effects parameters that you can with Olympus or overlay multiple effects like Olympus and Panasonic like you do. It also doesn't have an option for a viewfinder, which is really disappointing at its price. Samsung incorporates a new 20-megapixel APS-C sized sensor into the NX200. And I have to admit some reservations going in. That's a lot of pixels though not as many as Sony is cramming in to the 23-megapixel sensor in the new NEX models. The image quality of this preproduction unit looked surprisingly good at low ISO sensitivities. I find the defaults tend to over sharpen a bit and out-of-focus elements looked slightly processed, but I think most people will be satisfied with that. And of course, the sharpness is always adjustable. The color at least in daylight looked really good and it did well with saturated reds and pinks, which is unusual. Though I didn't see much noise through ISO 400, I did see some noise reduction artifact as low as ISO 100. As for performance, when shooting, it feels fast and fluid enough that it didn't get in the way of my shooting and it's faster than the NX100, but it's still slower than several of the current models. Given its relatively high price though, Samsung plans to launch it at 899.99. I really think it needs an articulated LCD, a viewfinder option, you know, some of those features as well as better performance. We'll get it and then retest it when it ships. I'm Lori Grunin, and this is the Samsung NX200.

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