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First Impressions: Samsung NX30

by Chris Gampat on 01/02/2014

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (2 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

It’s been a while since Samsung first announced their NX20 camera–and today it’s finally receiving a refresh. Considering what Samsung has been doing to change the innovation game as of late, it only makes sense that they are putting a lot into their new flagship NX series camera. And while we’re talking about a lot going into it, one core feature is the same. It houses the same 20.3MP APS-C sensor as previous cameras but with a bit of modification. But otherwise, the camera has weather protection, WiFi built in, and lots of cool modes that play well with the mobile world.

Tech Specs

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (1 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

- 20.3MP APS-C sensor

- Hybrid AF

- 105 phase detection points

- Tilting EVF with 2.36 million dot XGA resolution

- AMOLED screen

- 1/6000 shutter speed but in electronic shutter mode can go to 1/8000

- 9 fps

- 25,600 top ISO

- Built in pop-up flash

- Wireless flash sync with the SAF58 also introduced today

- 1080p 60p and 30p

- 3.5mm mic input

- Video mode now has full control over audio

- Adobe Lightroom 5 bundled

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (6 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Samsung’s NX30 is a camera that more than anything, mimics the look of a small DSLR of some sort. It could be likened mostly to the Panasonic GH3 or something like a Canon Rebel SL1.

The camera is almost devoid of controls on the front with the exception of a depth of field button and a lens release.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (5 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

The top of the Samsung NX30 has a couple of the key controls that you’ll need to get a handle on the camera. For starters, there is the mode dial, the drive switch, the video record button, shutter release, on/off switch, and the hot shoe. One of the camera’s exposure controls is also on the top.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (3 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

As you turn to the back of the camera, you’ll see even more controls. Here you can find another exposure dial (Canon DSLR style) and lots of other control buttons. But by far, the main attraction is the big, beautiful EVF.

Oh yeah–and there’s this massive LCD screen that can tilt.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (11 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

On of the other cool things about the EVF is that it can pop out a bit. But then it can also do this.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (10 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Huzzah! No one else in the industry has done this yet and it’s seemingly brilliant.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (8 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Also introduced today is Samsung’s 16-50mm f2-f2.8 OS lens–it’s quite a heavy optic and also a beastly feeling one. The lens has weather sealing incorporated in it–which tells us that Samsung is prepping to go after a more serious crowd soon.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX30 first impressions photos (9 of 11)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

The camera can also come with a new kit lens: a 16-50mm f3.5-5.6. This lens folds down into a semi-pancake.

Build Quality

Though we only held the camera for maybe around seven minutes max, we are quite impressed with the way the camera feels. It’s leaps and bounds better than the Galaxy NX camera in terms of feel and in many ways combines aspects of high end APS-C DSLRs and puts it in a smaller package.

Indeed, this camera feels like the Nikon D7100 of the mirrorless camera world.

Ease of Use

There are lots of buttons, dials and a working touch screen for the user to get to exactly what they need. If you’re brand new to Samsung products, you’ll probably take some extra time navigating the ropes. But doing anything that you really need to in order to take a photo is extremely straight forward.

There are lots of things that you can do with the NFC connectivity as well as sharing to multiple devices. Some of the combinations of things that we saw kind of blew our minds.

Autofocus

The Samsung NX30 is the fastest Samsung camera that we’ve seen when it comes to focusing. On top of that, it also can be said to be one of the fastest APS-C mirrorless cameras when it comes to focusing. We’re going to have to put it against the Sony NEX 6 to really tell, but the speed is very impressive.

Image Quality

We were handling pre-production units, so we weren’t allowed to put a card in. The NX300 had a pretty good sensor that was improved when it showed up in the Galaxy NX. It will be even more interesting to see how much Samsung did with nearly the same technology.

First Impressions

We haven’t spent a lot of time with the NX30 yet, but so far it’s gearing up to be quite the camera. And if this is any indication of what the future from Samsung may be, we’re quite excited.

We’re waiting on our review unit to come in, so stay tuned.

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