The NX10 is Samsung's first compact interchangeable lens camera, rivaling the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 (Discontinued) and the Olympus Pen E-PL1 (Discontinued). Like its competitors, the NX10 aims "to bridge the gap between a small compact and a large DSLR," says Mark Goldstein at PhotographyBlog.com, but sets itself apart with a full-sized DSLR sensor, a 3-inch AMOLED display and a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). The 14.6-megapixel sensor has about 50 percent more surface area, say editors at DPReview.com, which lets it absorb more light and "offer superior low-light capabilities," say editors at Steves-Digicams.com. Likewise, the AMOLED display has much higher contrast and a response rate that's 3,000 times faster than a standard LCD, and it's of "far higher quality" than the E-PL1, says PJ Jacobowitz at PCMag.com. The NX10 matches the GF1 and E-PL1 with its two lenses (18mm to 55mm), a pop-up flash, full automatic and manual settings, HD video (720p), and AVCHD Lite and RAW image file support.
While Goldstein says "NX10 is a very impressive first attempt," reviewers agree that flaws chip away at value. The NX10 has few proprietary lenses (currently three), whereas the Panasonic and Olympus cameras can share lenses. Several experts also say the NX10's lenses produce soft images, and the hefty 18-to-55 mm unit bloats the NX10 beyond a compact size. Nevertheless, reviewers praise the comfortable handling, intuitive user-interface and zippy performance. Shutter lag is "practically non-existent," and the NX10 matches the GF1 for autofocus, whereas the E-PL1 takes nearly twice as long, says Jacobowitz. The NX10 also earns solid grades for image quality, but despite the larger sensor, several experts say photos suffer from image noise and a lack of sharpness. The drawbacks are enough "to keep it from being a no-brainer choice" in its class, says CNET's Lori Grunin, and Jacobowitz gives the nod to the more versatile Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1. Most critics name the Olympus Pen E-PL1 (Discontinued) as their top pick in this category.
PCMag.com, PhotographyBlog.com and CNET provide thorough reviews of the Samsung NX10. The write-ups include test charts that show how the NX10 stacks up next to cameras like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and Olympus EPL-1. Not enough users have posted comments about the Samsung NX10 to establish a reliable consensus.
PJ Jacobowitz says the Samsung NX10 "holds its own" against competitors with its zippy speeds and performance. He likes the AMOLED display's "extraordinary" contrast and minimal motion blur, as well as the intuitive user interface. However, the proprietary lens system detracts from overall value.
Review: Samsung NX10, PJ Jacobowitz, April 20, 2010
"The Samsung NX10 really does look, feel and behave like a proper DSLR that's been shrunk in the wash," says Mark Goldstein. The camera delivers intuitive handling, speed that's "on par" with the Panasonic G cameras and most DSLRs, and a fantastic ALOMED display. Image quality is also excellent, although photos are a bit soft at the default settings.
Review: Samsung NX10 Review, Mark Goldstein, March 11, 2010
With the Samsung NX10, the whole feels like more than the sum of its parts, says Lori Grunin. The camera offers intelligent design, a nice LCD and excellent photos, but drawbacks like the "middling" EVF and "annoying" RAW software chip away at value. Despite the "nitpicks," Grunin says she still enjoys shooting with the GF1.
Review: Samsung NX10, Lori Grunin, April 19, 2010
"Overall, it's hard not to be impressed by the NX10," say editors at DPReview.com. It's well-designed, nice to use and delivers "on-par" image quality, but it's not "substantially better" than class rivals or comparable to the best DSLRs.
Review: Samsung NX10 Review, Richard Butler, Simon Joinson and Andy Westlake, March 2010
Editors at Steves-Digicams.com say the Samsung has fabulous overall design, an awesome AMOLED display and a high-quality EVF. The camera's image quality surpasses expectations and captures beautiful 14-megapixel images, although a good amount of noise pops up at ISO 3200.
Review: Samsung NX10 Review, Editors at Steves-Digicams.com, June 22, 2010