At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, Samsung announced their latest mirrorless camera offering; the NX30. Like a number of other big manufacturers, Olympus, Fujifilm and Sony for example (but unlike Canon and Nikon), Samsung are making a serious play to attract DSLR users over to the mirrorless world.

To that end, Samsung has deliberately designed the NX30 to resemble a DSLR. It has a nice big, ergonomic grip which reminds me of the Sony DSC-H300 which I reviewed recently. This, coupled with the fact that the NX30 is really light, means that it will be easy to operate one-handed. On top of that, it also shoots an impressive 9 frames a second, which makes it a great camera for action photography. Oh, and the LCD screen tilts and twists in all kinds of directions, so you have creative angles ahoy.

The NX30 has a nice big APS-C sized sensor, which is typical of most DSLRs. It has really big ISO range, all the way up to 25600, which means lots of scope for photographing in low-light and indoor situations.

Like all the ‘high-end’ mirrorless cameras the NX30 comes with an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and it has a sensor to automatically switch between EVF and LCD screen, which is a really handy feature. EVF technology has really improved in the last couple of years so my expectations are high for the NX30. The little screen in the viewfinder has almost 2 thousand 4 hundred dots, which is about the highest resolution I’ve seen.

What is really unique about this viewfinder is that it actually extends outwards and upwards to 80 degrees, to give you another option for photographing from a lower perspective.

As I mentioned already the LCD screen is fully tiltable and rotatable, and it’s also touch enabled. You can activate the shutter and change your focus point, which is great because often it’s a bit bit tricky to do so using a cameras buttons.

Initial reports indicate that the auto-focus performance on the NX30 is good, which should be expected as it has a hybrid focusing system with 247 contrast detection points and 105 phase detection points. Of course you have continuous or tracking autofocus, but I wonder if that works during continuous shooting, like the Sony A6000 for example.

Samsung like to add the ‘Smart’ label to their latest models, and indeed Samsung has been at the forefront of wifi and image sharing capabilities. The NX30 has some really cool features like the ability to share straight to Facebook, and also the ability to share a single image to an NFC enabled device simply by touching the two units together. You can choose to automatically back up every photo you take to your phone, and you can also upload your images straight to Dropbox. This is a great feature, particularly if you’re travelling, but I expect upload times will be significant, especially if you’re shooting in RAW mode.

Another cool sharing feature is the ability to instantly share images with up to four local devices, so your friends don’t have to crowd around to take basically the same picture.

You can also operate the NX30 remotely from your device, and you even get a real time image of what the camera sees. I guess it was an easy leap for Samsung to incorporate a ‘Baby Monitor’ mode too!

All in all, this looks like another fantastic mirrorless camera. I have to say I’m consistently impressed by the new releases I’m seeing in this category, and with each one I’m more and more convinced that the DSLRs days are numbered.

The NX30 will only be available in-store, although the Samsung Galaxy NX is available online.

Specs:

  • CMOS APS-C image sensor
  • Approx 20.3 Megapixels
  • Hybrid AF (Phase & Contrast) type
  • Display Type: Super AMOLED with Touch Panel (C-Type Touch Control Enabled) and Swivel (Horizontal: 180 degree, Vertical: 270 degree)
  • Shutter Speed: Auto: 1/8000 s. ~ 1/4 s. (EFS available), Manual:1/8000 s. ~ 30 s. (1/3 EV step) (EFS available), Bulb (Limit time: 4 min.)
  • Continuous: JPEG: High (9 fps), Normal (4 fps) selectable, Burst: 10, 15, 30 fps selectable, RAW: High (9 fps), Normal (4 fps) selectable
  • Shooting Mode: Smart Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, Custom1, Custom 2, Lens Priority, Smart, Wi-Fi
  • Weight: 375 g (without battery)