Samsung NX10 Review

 
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Samsung NX10 Performance


Timing and Performance

The Samsung NX10 is generally slower than average compared to most consumer SLRs but faster than some other SLDs.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

1.1 seconds

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

Shutdown

1.4 seconds

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

Buffer clearing time
6 seconds after 13 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 3 RAW files*
13 seconds after 3 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 are slower than those for most SLRs, but good for an SLD. Sensor cleaning can be enabled on start-up. The default is off, which is what we tested with.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.1 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

2.0 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 pretty good for its class, except Record to Play which is sluggish.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Wide Angle
0.424 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (Timed with Samsung 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm.)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Telephoto
0.388 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (Timed with Samsung 18-55mm kit lens at 55mm.)

Full Autofocus,
Multi-area AF mode
0.408 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (Timed with Samsung 18-55mm kit lens. This measurement done at an intermediate focal length.)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Wide Angle
Auto Flash Enabled
0.508 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, TTL Auto flash enabled. (Timed with Samsung 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm.)

Prefocused

0.119 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button. There was about 7% variation between iterations on this particular measurement.

Continuous AF
0.405 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 NX10 showed full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) that ranged from 0.424 second at wide angle to 0.388 second at full telephoto when using the 18-55mm kit lens in Single-area AF mode. The size of the focus area made little difference (switching from largest to smallest only resulted in 0.2% difference in speed). Oddly, turning AF Priority off also didn't have much effect on timing.

While slower than most SLRs using an optical viewfinder, this is pretty fast for contrast-detection with such as large sensor. The Samsung NX10's AF speeds are just a bit slower than the Panasonic GH1, the current SLD AF speed champ. The GH1 managed 0.321 to 0.336 second with its 14-140mm kit lens.

With the flash enabled, the NX10's full AF shutter lag increased to 0.508s, but that's not much of an increase for preflash metering. Shutter lag was 0.405 second in continuous mode AF, though your subject may not be in focus in this mode. When manually focused, the Samsung NX10's lag time dropped to 0.122 second, which is reasonably fast and very similar to the GH1's 0.118s. The NX10's prefocused lag time was similar, at 0.119 second, which is slower than the GH1's 0.084 second.

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

0.93 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 2 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

1.07 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 4 shots, 12 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LSF JPEG
1.24 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 4 shots, 13 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

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

0.33 second (2.99 frames per second);
13 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 13 shots, then slows to an average of about 0.66s or 1.52 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous Mode
RAW

0.34 second (2.99 frames per second);
3 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 3 frames, then slows to an average of about 3.12s or 0.32 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous Mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

0.34 second (2.99 frames per second);
3 frames total;
13 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 3 frames, then slows to 3.64s or 0.27 fps when buffer is full.

Burst Mode
1.4MP JPEG
0.03 second (29.9 frames per second);
30 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 30 frames.

Flash Recycling

4.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*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 0.93 second for large/superfine JPEGs to 1.24 seconds for RAW + LSF JPEG. Continuous mode at full resolution is about average for its class, at 2.99 frames-per-second in any quality. Buffer depth for JPEGs is pretty good at 13 large/superfine frames, but RAW buffer depth is only 3 frames, likely because the 14-megapixel RAW files are so large (~28MB). Note that our test target for this was designed to be difficult to compress, so JPEG burst lengths may be longer with simpler subjects. The flash recycle time of 4.1 seconds is about average, which is good considering how powerful the flash is.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

5,556 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 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 NX10 performance is pretty good for an SLD overall. Full autofocus is a bit slow compared to most SLRs, but pretty good for an SLD and on par with most digicams. Cycle times are a bit sluggish, but better than most digicams. Burst speed is about average, and buffer depths are good when shooting JPEGs, but those large 14-megapixel RAW files really limit buffer space when shooting RAW mode.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Seemingly good battery life for an SLD camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(Samsung standard)
400 shots
Video Capture,
(Samsung standard)
130 minutes

The Samsung NX10 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. Samsung rates battery life at 400 shots per charge, but we don't know if this is comparable to the CIPA standard most other companies use. Battery life seems pretty good for an SLD, but we do recommend getting a second battery for your NX10 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 NX10 accepts SD/SDHC memory cards, and does not ship with a card.

Image Capacity with
1GB Memory Card
Super
Fine
Fine Normal RAW RAW +
SF JPEG
4,592 x 3,056
Images
(Avg Size)
142
7.2 MB
278
3.7 MB
408
2.5 MB
35
29.3 MB
28
36.6 MB
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
11:1
17:1
0.7:1
-
3,872 x 2,592
Images
(Avg Size)
197
5.2 MB
382
2.7 MB
724
1.4 MB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
11:1
21:1
-
-
3,008 x 2,000
Images
(Avg Size)
322
3.2 MB
615
1.7 MB
1,128
908 KB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
11:1
20:1
-
-
1,920 x 1,280
Images
(Avg Size)
738
1.4 MB
1,334
768 KB
2,238
458 KB
-
-
Approx.
Comp.
5:1
10:1
16:1
-
-

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/SDHC memory card at least a 2GB card, preferably a 4 or 8GB 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.)

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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