Samsung NX30 Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Samsung NX30 against the Samsung NX20, Canon T5i, Nikon D5300, Panasonic GX7 and Fujifilm X-E2. All of these models sit at relatively similar price points and/or category in their respective product lineups.

These comparisons are somewhat tricky to write, as the cameras vary in resolution, so bear that in mind as you're reading and drawing your own conclusions. (We generally try to match cameras in these comparisons based on price, given that most of us work to a budget, rather than setting out to buy a given number of megapixels.)

NOTE: These images are best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved: click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Samsung NX30, Samsung NX20, Canon T5i, Nikon D5300, Panasonic GX7 and Fujifilm X-E2 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Samsung NX30 to any camera we've ever tested.

Samsung NX30 versus Samsung NX20 at Base ISO

Samsung NX30 at ISO 100
Samsung NX20 at ISO 100

Sporting a similar 20MP APS-C sensor, the detail captured by the new NX30 and its predecessor is very similar. Both the bottle and mosaic crops display a very high amount of detail at base ISO. The big apparent difference is in the fabric swatches; the NX30 does slightly better with the red fabric and the subtle leaf pattern, while the NX20 handles the pink one a little better.


Samsung NX30 versus Canon T5i at Base ISO

Samsung NX30 at ISO 100
Canon T5i at ISO 100

While both cameras here show clean, crisp detail in the bottle crops, the NX30 has the edge in sharpness in areas of fine detail such as the tile mosaic pattern. In the fabric crops, both cameras are very similarly matched, especially with the pink fabric, though the NX30 does ever-so-slightly better with the leaf pattern in the red swatch.


Samsung NX30 versus Nikon D5300 at Base ISO

Samsung NX30 at ISO 100
Nikon D5300 at ISO 100

Both cameras here show impressive detail at base ISO. The D5300's 24MP APS-C sensor lacks an anti-aliasing filter, and with that comes a lot of resolving power. However, the NX30, even with a more traditional sensor, isn't hurting in the detail department. Default sharpening is a bit strong in the images from the NX30, though, particularly in the mosaic detail, while the D5300 looks a bit more natural but still crisp.


Samsung NX30 versus Panasonic GX7 at Base ISO

Samsung NX30 at ISO 100
Panasonic GX7 at ISO 200

The larger, higher resolution APS-C sensor of the NX30 compared to the Four Thirds sensor in the GX7 is able to produce slightly cleaner, crisper fine detail for the most part. However, the GX7 is certainly no slouch here at base ISO. The shadows and bottle surface in the first crop are a little cleaner from the NX30, and the mosaic pattern is noticeably sharper. However, both cameras handle the fabric swatches very well, with the GX7 actually producing a slightly cleaner, more distinct leaf pattern in the red fabric.


Samsung NX30 versus Fujifilm X-E2 at Base ISO

Samsung NX30 at ISO 100
Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 200

It's a tough match-up between the Samsung and the Fuji here. Both cameras display impressive fine detail. While the NX30's sharpening is stronger, fine detail from both cameras is excellent. And the X-E2, in fact, does an outstanding job at the leaf pattern in the red fabric, however it struggles with the pink fabric. The Fuji does, however, eliminate some of the colors found in the monk's clothes and mosaic pattern that are a result of the offset printing process used for the bottle label.



Most digital SLRs and CSCs will produce an excellent ISO 100 shot, so we like to push them and see what they can do compared to other cameras at ISO 1600, 3200, and 6400. Recent advances in sensor technology have made ISO 1600 look a lot more like ISO 100, but there are still cameras whose quality starts to fall apart at this setting. We also choose 1600 because we like to be able to shoot at least at this level when indoors and at night.

Samsung NX30 versus Samsung NX20 at ISO 1600

Samsung NX30 at ISO 1600
Samsung NX20 at ISO 1600

While the base ISO comparison was quite similar, the difference now at higher ISOs is more apparent. At ISO 1600, the NX30 does noticeably better than the NX20. The default noise reduction processing is a little strong on the NX30, though it does well to remove luminance and particularly chroma noise, while still leaving a lot of find detail.


Samsung NX30 versus Canon T5i at ISO 1600

Samsung NX30 at ISO 1600
Canon T5i at ISO 1600

It's a pretty close comparison here at ISO 1600. The NR on the NX30 is strong, but it does a great job at removing almost all noise, while the T5i shows a small amount. The fine detail is very good from both cameras, though the edge goes to the NX30 with slightly sharper detail. The NX30 also handles the fabric swatches better than the T5i, with a more realistic attempt at the red leaf pattern.


Samsung NX30 versus Nikon D5300 at ISO 1600

Samsung NX30 at ISO 1600
Nikon D5300 at ISO 1600

Quite an interesting comparison here. While the noise reduction processing appears stronger on the NX30, it's effective at cleaning up a significant amount of noise while leaving lots of fine detail. However, the D5300 on the other hand opts for a more "natural," grainy look with lower noise reduction. Both provide excellent detail, but the NX30 looks a bit crisper.


Samsung NX30 versus Panasonic GX7 at ISO 1600

Samsung NX30 at ISO 1600
Panasonic GX7 at ISO 1600

Despite the smaller Four Thirds sensor, the GX7 does quite well up against the APS-C NX30 at ISO 1600. However, the Samsung does take the prize for fine detail, as noise from both cameras is fairly evenly matched and quite low at default NR settings.


Samsung NX30 versus Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 1600

Samsung NX30 at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 1600

At the higher ISOs, the Fuji shows its famous high ISO performance. Other than the difference in resolution, both cameras are pretty evenly matched in terms of low noise and fine detail in the mosaic. The big difference is in the fabrics. The X-E2 does very well at resolving the leaf pattern in the red fabric, whereas the NX30 struggles with that difficult pattern.



Today's ISO 3200 is yesterday's ISO 1600 (well, almost), so below are the same crops at ISO 3200.

Samsung NX30 versus Samsung NX20 at ISO 3200

Samsung NX30 at ISO 3200
Samsung NX20 at ISO 3200

Similar to the ISO 1600 comparison, the NX30 shows significant image quality improvements over the NX20 at higher ISOs. The NR processing, while strong and displaying some artifacts, is very good at removing luminance and chroma noise. The NX20 in fact displays quite a bit of cloudy chrome noise. The NX30 still manages a lot of fine detail in the mosaic tile pattern, though it struggles with the red and pink fabrics a little more so than the NX20.


Samsung NX30 versus Canon T5i at ISO 3200

Samsung NX30 at ISO 3200
Canon T5i at ISO 3200

Like we saw with the ISO 1600 comparison of these two cameras, the NX30 takes the prize here with less noise and better fine detail, particularly in the mosaic tile. The fabric swatches are troublesome for both cameras, though the T5i still struggles with the fine, low-contrast pattern more than the NX30.


Samsung NX30 versus Nikon D5300 at ISO 3200

Samsung NX30 at ISO 3200
Nikon D5300 at ISO 3200

While both cameras show impressive detail at ISO 3200 -- especially in the mosaic tile -- the D5300 images are noticeably noisier than the NX30's, thanks in part to less aggressive NR processing.


Samsung NX30 versus Panasonic GX7 at ISO 3200

Samsung NX30 at ISO 3200
Panasonic GX7 at ISO 3200

The GX7 is definitely holding its own against the NX30 here at ISO 3200. While noise and NR processing is taking its toll on tricky areas like the fabrics in images from both cameras, fine detail in the mosaic holds up well from both cameras, with just a slight edge going to the NX30 overall.


Samsung NX30 versus Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 3200

Samsung NX30 at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-E2 at ISO 3200

The X-E2 is impressive at high ISOs -- clean shadows with very low noise and lots of fine detail, even in the notorious fabrics. While the NX30 is low on noise as well, its NR processing is strong with visible artifacts, whereas the the X-E2 less so. The mosaic areas in both cameras' images is very good, however.



Detail: Samsung NX30 vs. Samsung NX20, Canon T5i, Nikon D5300, Panasonic GX7 and Fujifilm X-E2.

Samsung
NX30

ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400

Samsung
NX20

ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400

Canon
T5i

ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Nikon
D5300

ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Panasonic
GX7

ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Fujifilm
X-E2

ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. This lettering allows us to really examine fine, high-contrast detail. At base ISOs, all cameras here show sharp, crisp fine detail, despite the different resolutions between cameras. As the ISO rises, the differences in image quality become more apparent. The NX30 is certainly an improvement over the predecessor, the NX20, which struggles significantly to capture almost any fine detail at ISO 6400. Compared to the rest of the cameras in the lineup, the NX30 certainly holds it own, even against the high ISO prowess of the Fujifilm X-E2.

 

Samsung NX30 Print Quality

Overview: Very good 30 x 40 inch prints at ISO 100/200; a nice 13 x 19 at ISO 1600; a good 4 x 6 at ISO 12,800.

ISOs 100 and 200 yield very nice printed images up to a large 30 x 40 inches. Depth, color reproduction and fine detail are all excellent here, and wall display prints are possible up to 40 x 60 inches.

ISO 400 prints are terrific at 24 x 36 inches. Fine detail is excellent and there is no sign of noise in sight.

ISO 800 produces a gorgeous 20 x 30 inch print, quite a large size for this ISO. There is still virtually no sign of noise even in the flatter areas of our target, and the only apparent issue is the very typical loss of contrast in our target red swatch of fabric, which most cameras struggle with as ISO starts to rise.

ISO 1,600 images begin to show moderate signs of ISO strain, and warrant a reduction in size to 13 x 19 inches in order to achieve good-looking prints. This is still a fairly good size for this ISO.

ISO 3,200 shows aggressive noise reduction becoming apparent in printed images, and there's a bit of a washed out look from the noise processing and JPEG rendering here. 13 x 19's are usable for less critical applications, but we'll tag 11 x 14's with our "good" seal for printing at this ISO.

ISO 6,400 prints a nice 8 x 10. All contrast is now lost in our tricky red swatch, but it's otherwise a good print with nice detail.

ISO 12,800 yields a good 4 x 6 inch print. There is minor noise visible in a few areas, but still a worthwhile print for such a high ISO.

ISO 25,600 prints are not usable and this setting is best avoided when possible.

The Samsung NX30 does a fine job in the print quality department indeed. For an APS-C sensor size, these print sizes rank up there with most of the better cameras in its class. Due to the high resolution 20MP sensor, prints at lower ISOs are possible at 30 x 40 inches with no visible signs of the pixelation seen in cameras with resolutions of 16MP and below, which is a good thing to keep in mind if these really large print sizes matter to your work. After about ISO 1,600, noise reduction starts to take its toll, but no worse than in most APS-C cameras, and looks far better than some. In fact, Samsung's noise reduction algorithms tend to smooth images as the noise reduction ramps up, rather than creating splotchiness like some of the other manufacturers. The smoothness eventually becomes washed out looking, but for some prints this is still acceptable, even sometimes larger than the sizes mentioned above.

 



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