Terrific Wi-Fi features earn the Samsung NX20 a runner-up spot among compact system cameras. It makes it easy to share and post photos, use your smartphone to control your camera and more. But the NX20 feels sluggish next to its rivals, and its photos -- although very good -- aren't quite up to par with better-reviewed competitors.
Looks and feels like a DSLR. The Samsung NX20 "so closely resembles a digital SLR [single-lens reflex camera], you sometimes forget it's not a DSLR," says Dan Havlik at Imaging-Resource.com. Like other high-end cameras in this class, the Samsung NX20 offers an electronic viewfinder, for which it receives mixed reviews. Luckily, the Samsung NX20 has a 3-inch tilting, swiveling OLED screen that frames shots very nicely in tests. There are plenty of physical buttons and dials on the NX20 with one unique touch: a button on the kit lens lets you program the manual focus ring to control something else (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, etc.). Prepare for huge image files, testers warn, as the RAW files are massive and even the JPEG files are unusually large.
Image quality and speed trail the competition. The image quality of the Samsung NX20 isn't as good as that of its rival Olympus and Canon cameras, but they're still good overall. Speed lags, too. "While the NX20 is generally a responsive camera, it is painfully slow to start up, focus, and capture a photo -- requiring about 3.3 seconds to do so," says Jim Fisher at PCMag.com. And while the NX20 can shoot 8 frames per second, the buffer takes frustratingly long to clear those big image files in tests. Video mode was easy to engage and produced excellent results in good light. Battery life is rated at 360 shots per charge, about average for the class.
Plastic body isn't weather-sealed. Unlike its metal-bodied rivals, the Samsung NX20 is all-plastic. "The NX20 feels like more of a mass-market device than its price-tag might suggest, with an all-plastic body," says Mark Goldstein at PhotographyBlog.com. "This isn't to say that the NX20 isn't well-built though, and you'll certainly appreciate the NX20's lack of bulk during a long day's shooting."
It isn't weather-sealed, either, like the more pro-grade Olympus OM-D E-M5. Other experts and owner reviews say nothing about the NX20's build quality -- no praise, but also no complaints.
Outstanding Wi-Fi features. Wi-Fi is the big story on the Samsung NX20. While it doesn't make photo-sharing as effortless as an iPhone, "it had one of the best Wi-Fi implementations on any camera we've tried," says Havlik at Imaging-Resource.com. You can also beam photos to your iOS or Android device, use your phone or tablet as a remote control and live viewfinder ("perhaps the coolest feature for our money," Havlik says) and more. Like others in this class, the NX20 also lets you add special effects to your photos -- black-and-white, vignetting, miniature, etc. -- and it includes a panorama feature. The included 18 mm to 55 mm kit lens performs well in photo and video tests.
This website reviews fewer point-and-shoot cameras than other sources, concentrating instead on superb tests of advanced cameras like the Samsung NX20. Experts here evaluate every aspect of the camera, shooting photos and videos in numerous conditions and conducting side-by-side tests with close rivals. The NX20 isn't quite as fast as better compact interchangeable-lens cameras, or as good in low light, but its generally good performance and outstanding Wi-Fi capabilities make it a good bet.
Review: Samsung NX20 Review, Dan Havlik, Shawn Barnett, Mike Tomkins, Dave Etchells and Zig Weidelich, Oct. 19, 2012
PhotographyBlog.com names the Samsung NX20 to its list of the best compact-system cameras. Mark Goldstein appreciates the DSLR-size image sensor and built-in Wi-Fi, but its "slow processing times make it less well-suited to action photography."
Review: Samsung NX20 Review, Mark Goldstein, June 21, 2012
The Samsung NX20 is a good -- not great -- camera, Jim Fisher concludes after a full test. It has a great Wi-Fi feature, but it needs faster performance, better low-light chops and a brighter viewfinder to compete with the much better Olympus OM-D E-M5, he says.
Review: Samsung NX20, Jim Fisher, Oct. 3, 2012
ConsumerReports.org tests the Samsung NX20 alongside 28 other SLR-like digital cameras. Editors judge each camera's photo and video quality, ease of use and more, and then rank the cameras from best to worst. Each camera gets a write-up, but it's very brief.
Review: Samsung NX20, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
The Samsung NX20 has amassed only a few owner reviews here, all but a couple rating it 4 or a perfect 5 stars. Owners thoughtfully critique the camera, though, mentioning drawbacks as well as praise.
Review: Samsung NX20 Kit 20.3 MP SLR with 3.0-Inch LCD Camera (Black), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014
With just a handful of owner reviews posted here, the Samsung NX20 averages 4.4 out of 5 stars. Some complain about its slow buffering speed.
Review: Samsung 20.3Mp NX20 Mirrorless Wi-Fi Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black), Contributors to BHPhotoVideo.com, As of May 2014