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Samsung NX100 Performance


Timing and Performance

The Samsung NX100 was generally slower than average compared to most consumer SLRs, but performance was good for a compact system camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~1.1 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot. (Without sensor cleaning.)

Shutdown

~1.6 seconds

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
4 seconds after 8 large/superfine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
12 seconds after 4 RAW files*
13 seconds after 4 RAW+ LSF JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup and shut-down times were slower than those for most SLRs, but good for a compact system camera. Sensor cleaning can be enabled on start-up. The default is off, which is what we tested with. Buffer clearing will depend on image size and quality, as well as card speed. Here, the Samsung NX100 was a bit sluggish, considering the shallow buffers.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.7 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~2.4 seconds

Time to display a large/superfine JPEG file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.5 second

Time to display a large/superfine JPEG file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was pretty good for its class, except Record to Play which was sluggish.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Wide Angle
0.431 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All timing performed with Samsung 20-50mm kit lens at 20mm.)
Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.444 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.

Prefocused

0.107 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.422 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.122 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

The Samsung NX100 showed full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) that ranged from 0.431 second in single-area AF mode at wide-angle to 0.444 second in multi-area AF mode at wide-angle when using the 20-50mm kit lens. The size of the focus area made little difference.

Shutter lag was 0.422 second in continuous mode AF, though your subject may not be in focus in this mode. When manually focused, the Samsung NX100's lag time dropped to 0.122 second, which is reasonably fast. The NX100's prefocused shutter lag time was similar, at 0.107 second, a little slower than most cameras.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with every camera (on all platforms except Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, and Nikon consumer models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Superfine JPEG

1.06 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 3 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

1.05 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 6 shots, 12 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LSF JPEG
1.08 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 6 shots, 13 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous Mode
Large/SuperFine JPEG

0.35 second (2.87 frames per second);
8 frames total;
4 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 8 shots, then slows to an average of about 0.65s or 1.55 fps when buffer is full, with a lot of variation.

Continuous Mode
RAW

0.34 second (2.94 frames per second);
4 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 4 frames, then slows to an average of about 2.23s or 0.45 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous Mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

0.32 second (3.13 frames per second);
4 frames total;
13 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 3 frames, then slows to 2.67s or 0.38 fps when buffer is full.

Burst Mode
1.4MP JPEG
0.03 second (30.3 frames per second);
30 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 30 frames.
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30 MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times are a bit on the slow side, ranging from 1.06 second for large/superfine JPEGs to 1.08 seconds for RAW + LSF JPEG files.

Continuous mode at full resolution was slightly slower to average for its class, at around 2.9 frames-per-second for large/superfine JPEGs or RAW files. Oddly, continuous mode rate increased slightly to 3.13 frames-per-second for RAW + LSF JPEGs. Buffer depths were pretty limited though, at only 8 large/superfine JPEGs, and only 4 RAW or RAW + LSF JPEGs before the NX100 slowed down. Note that our test target for this is designed to be difficult to compress, so JPEG burst lengths may be longer with typical subjects.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

6,342 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were pretty fast, quick enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader, even with large memory cards. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme III 30 MB/sec SD card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Samsung NX100 performance is pretty good for a compact system camera overall. Full autofocus is a bit slow compared to most SLRs, but good for CSC and on par or better than most digicams. Cycle times are a bit sluggish, but also better than most digicams. Burst speed is about average, but buffer depths are pretty shallow, especially with those large RAW files.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Fair battery life for a compact system camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(Samsung standard)
420 shots

The Samsung NX100 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. Samsung rates battery life at 420 shots per charge. This may seem good for a compact system camera at first glance, but keep in mind the NX100 has no built-in flash, and the CIPA standard specifies 50% flash shots for their rating. We recommend getting a second battery for your NX100 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Samsung NX100 accepts SD/SDHC memory cards, and does not ship with a card. The user manual doesn't specify minimum card speed for movies, but we recommend cards with at least a Class 4 speed rating for 720p H.264 video, and it doesn't hurt to get a faster one.

Image Capacity with
1GB Memory Card
Super
Fine
Fine Normal RAW RAW +
LSF JPEG
4,592 x 3,056
Images
(Avg Size)
141
7.3 MB
282
3.6 MB
423
2.4 MB
35
29.3 MB
25
41.1 MB
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
12:1
17:1
0.7:1
-
3,872 x 2,592
Images
(Avg Size)
195
5.3 MB
391
2.6 MB
587
1.7 MB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
12:1
17:1
-
-
3,008 x 2,000
Images
(Avg Size)
320
3.2 MB
640
1.6 MB
961
1.1 MB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
11:1
17:1
-
-
1,920 x 1,280
Images
(Avg Size)
732
1.4 MB
1,465
699 KB
2,198
466 KB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
5:1
11:1
16:1
-
-

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC memory card at least a 4GB card, preferably a 8 or 16GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings, or when shooting RAW or video files. (Check the shopping link above, memory cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)