Samsung NX200 RAW Comparison
We often look at RAW files converted with dcraw, an excellent freeware raw converter. dcraw usually offers timely support for the latest cameras, but more importantly, it does not apply any noise-reduction, sharpening or other corrections such as geometric distortion correction to the output files, so we like to use it to compare RAW output. There will always be differences between RAW converters, in terms of the sort of demosaicing algorithms they use (the processes by which they convert the separate Red, Green, and Blue data sets to an array of full-color RGB pixels), but dcraw seems to use a fairly generic algorithm that delivers good sharpness with relatively few artifacts, and can be counted on to not apply any noise reduction if you don't want it to.
See crops below to compare the Samsung NX200's (12-bit) RAW image quality to its predecessor, as well as a few recent, premium compact system cameras.
Above, we can see that the 20.3-megapixel Samsung NX200 produces slightly noisier RAW output than its predecessor, the 14.6-megapixel Samsung NX100, at least until ISO 800 where they are pretty evenly matched. At higher ISOs, the NX200 does better, which is remarkable given the NX200's smaller 4.3µm pixel pitch versus NX100's 5µm. It's a similar story compared to the 12.3-megapixel Olympus E-P3, with the P3 doing a bit better at low ISOs but not above ISO 800, even though its pixel pitch of about 4.2µm is much closer. The NX200 clearly does better than the 16-megapixel Panasonic G3 at all ISOs. That's not a surprise given the G3's smaller 3.8µm pixel pitch, though. The NX200 does quite well against the 24.3-megapixel Sony NEX-7, performing at least as well if not better than the Sony in terms of noise, though perhaps that's not a surprise since the Sony has a smaller 3.9µm pixel pitch. Overall, we'd have to say the Samsung NX200's sensor seems quite good in terms of high ISO performance, better than we expected given the camera's somewhat disappointing high ISO JPEG image quality.
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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.