Samsung NX1000 Review

 
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Samsung NX1000 Optics

 

Kit Lens Test Results

20-50mm Zoom
Below-average zoom ratio, no image stabilization, but good optical performance.

20mm @ f/8 35mm @ f/8
50mm @ f/8

The Samsung NX1000 is available bundled with the Samsung 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 ED NX lens, which has a 35mm equivalent focal range of about 31-77mm. Its 2.5x zoom ratio is lower than average for a kit lens, and it doesn't go as wide as most kit lenses either. Optical performance is quite good at 20mm, though, with very good sharpness and contrast across most of the frame at f/8, and just minor softness in the corners. Coma distortion in the trees is very low, and chromatic aberration very well controlled (suppressed by the camera), though some minor flare can be seen around bright highlights. Results are also very good at 35mm, with very good sharpness across the frame and negligible chromatic aberration. At full telephoto, sharpness and contrast are are quite good across most of the frame, and chromatic aberration is still very low. Overall, far-field performance is pretty good for a kit lens when stopped-down to f/8.

Macro
A larger-than-average minimum coverage area, with soft detail. Flash throttled-down well.

Macro with 20-50mm kit lens
50mm @ f/8
Macro with flash

As with zoom performance, the Samsung NX1000's macro performance will depend entirely on the lens in use. However with the 20-50mm kit lens set to 50mm, the Samsung NX1000 captured a larger-than-average minimum area measuring 3.61 x 2.40 inches (92 x 61 millimeters). The image is soft in the center, and oddly it's sharper near the edges, likely because of focus error. (Most lenses show some softening in the corners at macro distances.) The flash throttled-down well, producing a bright, well-exposed image.

Geometric Distortion
Low distortion with Distortion Correction enabled, much higher at wide angle without correction.

Distortion Correction On (default)
Almost no barrel distortion at 20mm
Slightly high pincushion distortion at 50mm, about 0.2%
Uncorrected (Raw)
High barrel distortion at 20mm, about 1.7%
Slightly high pincushion distortion at 50mm, about 0.2%

With Distortion Correction enabled by default, the 20-50mm kit lens' barrel distortion at wide angle is practically non-existent (0.02%). At full telephoto, pincushion distortion is about 0.2%, but that's pretty low. This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto). It's worth noting here that the default seems to have changed from the prior generation of Samsung CSCs, with distortion correction on by default instead of off. We also don't see part of the framed image cropped away by Distortion Correction like we did with the NX200, which is a nice improvement.

Without distortion correction when converting raw files, the Samsung NX1000's 20-50mm kit lens produced much higher-than-average distortion at wide angle, but about the same at telephoto. At wide angle, barrel distortion is 1.7% and at telephoto, pincushion distortion is unchanged at about 0.2%. Disabling Distortion Correction should produce similar distortion in JPEGs.

Chromatic Aberration and Corner Sharpness
JPEGs have low chromatic aberration, though uncorrected raw files have much higher. The lens produced some soft corners at telephoto.

Maximum Aperture
20mm, f/3.5: Lower right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Minor blurring
20mm, f/3.5: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Sharp
50mm, f/5.6: Lower right
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Quite soft
50mm, f/5.6: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Fairly sharp

Chromatic Aberration. Chromatic aberration in the corners with the NX1000's 20-50mm kit lens at wide angle (20mm) is quite low with just a hint of coloration, and very low in the center. At full telephoto (50mm), chromatic aberration is very low.

Corner Softness. The lens produced some soft corners in a few shots, though performance wide open is better than average for a kit lens. At maximum wide angle, all four corners exhibit very minor blurring and loss of contrast, but softness does extend fairly deep into the frame. The center of the image is however very sharp with excellent contrast. At full telephoto, the bottom right corner is quite soft with lower contrast, and softness extends fairly deep into the frame, however the other corners are sharper, so our copy of this lens is slightly de-centered. The center at telephoto is fairly sharp, just a touch softer with lower contrast than wide angle.

Vignetting. There's very little corner shading ("vignetting") at both wide angle and telephoto when wide open as indicated by the darker corner crops, so light fall-off isn't really an issue with this lens.

f/8 Aperture
20mm, f/8: Lower right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Slightly soft
20mm, f/8: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Sharp
50mm, f/8: Lower right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Soft
50mm, f/8: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Sharp

Stopped down to f/8, corners improve at both wide-angle and telephoto, but still remain a little soft especially at telephoto. Vignetting is negligible at both wide-angle and telephoto.


20mm, f/8 In-Camera JPEG 20mm, f/8: Uncorrected Raw
50mm, f/8: In-Camera JPEG 50mm, f/8: Uncorrected Raw

C.A. Reduction in JPEGs. As you can see from the crops above comparing in-camera JPEGs (left) to Adobe Camera Raw converted SRW files (right) taken with the 20-50mm lens, the Samsung NX1000's image processor does a good job at suppressing much of the lateral chromatic aberration produced by the lens during JPEG processing.

 


Samsung NX1000 Viewfinder


Viewfinder Test Results

Accuracy
Excellent accuracy from the LCD monitor.

60mm, LCD Monitor

The Samsung NX1000's LCD monitor proved to be quite accurate, showing just over 100% coverage with our Samsung 60mm f/2.8 macro lens. Excellent results here.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Samsung NX1000 Photo Gallery.

Samsung NX1000

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