Experts consider the Samsung NX100 a worthy option for consumers who want an affordable, interchangeable-lens camera that delivers great photos. For the price, you get a "larger sensor" and "better image quality than most other compact interchangeable-lens cameras," says Derrick Story at PC World. Like the more expensive Samsung NX10 (*Est. $600), the NX100 sets itself apart from Micro Four Thirds rivals such as the Olympus PEN E-PL2 (*Est. $550) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 (*Est. $700) with a larger 14.6-megapixel APS-C sensor that produces better pictures in low-light conditions, says Leonard Goh at CNET Asia. The NX100 also retains the NX10's 720p HD video and widely praised 3-inch AMOLED display, which has a faster refresh rate and better resolution than standard LCDs. However, Samsung drops the NX10's built-in flash and electronic viewfinder to make room for a 20-50 mm retractable kit zoom, though the NX100 lacks the Olympus E-PL2's image stabilization and wider zoom range (14-42 mm).
The NX100 is slightly smaller than its predecessor, and reviewers say its smooth, mostly plastic body is not as easy to grip. However, critics find the camera's uncluttered interface simple to navigate and say the Smart Auto mode makes it easy to frame shots. Critics also like the addition of the NX100's i-Function feature, which lets users quickly adjust manual settings such as white balance, ISO, shutter speed and aperture via the camera's lens barrel. The NX100's hot shoe accommodates an external flash (*Est. $100), optional GPS module (*Est. $200) or electronic viewfinder (*Est. $200), but critics say you'll be better off using the camera's crisp LCD panel to compose your shots. Image quality earns universal praise, with the NX100 delivering excellent color and good low-light results up to ISO 1600.
Performance also impresses with speedy start-up and quick autofocus, but several tests detect autofocus noise in video mode. And unlike the Panasonic DMC-GH2 (*Est. $1,800 with kit lens), the NX100 only records in mono, lacks a dedicated video record button and external microphone jack. Samsung offers only three other lenses for this camera -- a 50-200 mm telephoto lens (*Est. $250), a 20 mm pancake (*Est. $350) and a 30 mm pancake (*Est. $300). The Olympus and Panasonic cameras are able to share lenses between their systems.
We found concise, useful reviews of the Samsung NX100 at CNET Asia, PC World magazine and StevesDigicams.com, while PhotogprahyBlog.com runs the NX100 through its paces and logs the results in great detail. At Amazon.com, a handful of owners note their experiences with the NX100.
1. CNET (Asia)
With its large APS-C sensor, high ISO quality and quick autofocus, the Samsung NX100 "is a worthy competitor to the other mirrorless [interchangeable-lens cameras] on the market," says Leonard Goh. But mostly plastic body doesn't have "much of a grip," and the NX100's missing built-in flash "may deter potential buyers." Goh also finds the optional electronic viewfinder difficult to use and the lack of a dedicated video button "quite a hassle."
Review: Samsung NX100 Review, Leonard Goh, Jan. 14, 2011
Although the Samsung NX100 lacks image stabilization, and potential owners "will miss the versatility of a pop-up flash," Mark Goldstein still considers the NX100 "a very good camera with a high-quality APS-C sensor" and recommends it as an inexpensive way to test the interchangeable lens waters. However, with no stereo sound, one-touch recording or external microphone jack, the NX100's video mode lags behind its rivals.
Review: Samsung NX100 Review, Mark Goldstein, Nov. 10, 2010
3. PC World
The Samsung NX100's APS-C sensor and solid image quality are the main draws, but Derrick Story says the NX100 lacks many of the features found in its competitors, such as built-in image stabilization and a wider lens selection. In addition, video quality is "no match for that of rival cameras." Yet, despite its shortcomings, the NX100 lands on PC World's top-10 list.
Review: Samsung NX100 Review, Derrick Story, April 7, 2011
Speedy performance, abundant manual options and excellent image quality draw raves from editors, who also credit the Samsung NX100's APS-C sensor for impressive low-light performance. However, while the "competitively priced" NX100 is a highly recommended upgrade, the camera's smooth plastic surface may feel "cheap" to some, editors say.
Review: Samsung NX100 Review, Editors at StevesDigicams.com, Jan. 17, 2011
The Samsung NX100 earns 4.5 out of 5 stars from about 10 users, who are pleased with the camera's photo quality and small, lightweight build. Some find the NX100's autofocus quick and accurate while others say it doesn't focus as well as a DSLR and lacks wide-angle coverage.
Review: Samsung NX100 Review, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2011